Tag Archives: rice

Purple, Green & Gold

10 years ago around this time, in my Marketing days, I went to New Orleans for the NADA {National Automobile Dealers Association} trade show. It was right before the Superbowl and Mardi Gras, but the beads were already flying, the zydecos were playing and the Hurricanes were certainly flowing. If it was {that} crazy a week or so before Fat Tuesday, I can’t imagine what the actual day would be like.

Good times.

GOOD times.

Last night for dinner I wanted to channel NOLA’s cuisine so I threw together some muffuletta sandwiches and red beans & rice.

These were so easy to put together and are great for summer picnics since they have no mayo and should be made an hour or so before enjoying.

I just picked up a fresh loaf of Italian bread, cut it in half and then in half again horizontally. Scoop out a little of the bread to make room for the fillings.

I threw a whole jar of Mezzetta California HOT Mix into my mini processor and reserved the liquid. Add 3-4 tbsp liquid to processed veggies before spooning onto the 2 halves of hollowed out bread. You want the extra juice to soak into the bread just a bit, but don’t want to oversaturate it ~ this will give it great flavor. {Muffuletta is made with lots of chopped olives, too, however I am not a huge fan of them so that’s why I used this mix ~ thanks for recommending, Lisa!}

Then just layer your meats and cheeses ~ I used ham {or capicola}, genoa salami and provolone.

Cut into triangles and eat up!

I cheated with the red beans & rice and just used a packaged mix.

And since I will be saying bye-bye to desserts during Lent, I had to go out with purple, green & gold sugar cookie bars!

My new addiction. Recipe here!

{This time I used almond extract and coconut/almond milk in the frosting ~ a definite tweak to the recipe for batches to come. After Lent, of course}


Happy Ash Wednesday!


Bitches & Crack

This year I joined a group of ladies and started playing “Bitch Bingo” once a month.


I actually enjoy it a little more than Bunco…

Someone different hosts it each month and chooses a theme.

{my friend, Vicki, is the “keeper” of the little cage, balls and cards}

Here’s how it works:

1. Purchase a gift valued at $20 that fits with the theme.

2. Put it in a brown paper shopping bag.

3. Bring $5 for the pot.

4. Whip up an appetizer or dessert to share.


The host supplies a main dish and a hostess gift, again based on the theme.

The first 45 minutes or so is spent filling up on the smorgasbord of dishes and chatting over a drink or two.

Then everyone chooses two cards to play and the first game prize is the hostess’ gift. This gift is “safe” and cannot be stolen from the winner.

After that you start playing for one of the gifts in the paper bags. Whoever wins picks a bag and shows their goodies. The next game’s winner can either steal the other person’s goodie or pick a new bag and reveal their gift. This goes on for as many bags as there are.

Once all the bags are opened, we play a couple rounds of “stealing”. This is where the real bitchiness comes in…..

Then the last game is blackout bingo and the one who fills the whole card first, gets all the cash in the pot.

It’s a lot of fun.

Sometimes you come home with a boatload of stuff.

Other times, nothing.

But it’s always a good time. A girl’s night out of sorts. Time to chat, gossip, vent with other mommies.

Last night I sent the rice krispie crack home with everyone. They could not leave unless they had their little saran wrapped dessert plate with their crack treats!

I wanted them OUT OF THE HOUSE!

The treats that is…not the ladies!

We had a great time. This months theme was “Adios Summer, Hello Fall!” You could either bring a gift that celebrates the last month of Summer or welcomes upcoming Fall.

I was happy to see that everyone went for the Fall feel!

I won some cute autumnal goodness for my kitchen.


May I suggest starting something like this in your neighborhood?

Something fun to start in twenty-eleven….or next month even.

It’s fun with a handful of ladies or 20.

I’ve seen BINGO sets at places like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx for under $20. Pick one up next time you see it….how I would love a vintage set like the one pictured above!

So, whether you’re in San Diego, Nor Cal, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, The Carolinas, New England or in-between, get crackin’ and get your bee-otches together!

Try it, you’ll like it!

Snap {Crack}le Pop

I needed a little dessert to whip up for this evening.

But I’m afraid to use any eggs…

{more than half a billion huevos have been recalled!}

Then I remembered this little tasty morsel from one of my fave blogs, Cookie Mondays.

I think it’s hilarious that this is referred to as crispy crack.

I agree…these ingredients should’ve never been introduced.

We had a good thing with butter, marshmallows and rice krispies!

Um, and then add peanut butter, chocolate AND a SKOR bar?

Yes, it’s like a drug, for sure.

But a legal drug.

Rice krispie treats taken up a few notches.

Chocolatey Fluffernutter Rice Krispie Treats…

Betcha can’t eat just one.

Rice To Riches

I first had Pineapple Fried Rice at Thai Basil in downtown Sunnyvale.

Um, WOW! I’m normally a spicy yellow curry and pad thai girl, but this rice would change that. It’s different than your standard Chinese fried rice dish which I don’t even order.

We had some leftover rice and Korean BBQ beef (bulgogi) and decided to try our hand at making some of our own pineapple fried rice. First of all, if you haven’t tried bulgogi, don’t let the name scare you…it’s delish. I know Costco has had it in the past and Trader Joe’s now carries it right next to the marinated carne asada in the refrigerated section.

We loosely followed this recipe. We added the chopped beef, but this would also be excellent with some shrimp, chicken or some leftover pork chops, too. We used soy sauce in place of the fish sauce and bumped up the curry powder a skosh.

Garnished with green onion and cilantro confetti…

Oh man was it good….I felt like I was back at Thai Basil or Siam Thai in Morgan Hill.

I love when we’re able to create restaurant quality food at home!

So please, take your plain, leftover, don’t-know-what-to-do-with steamed white rice and make this. It’s sweet from the pineapple and raisins, spicy from the chili and crunchy & salty from the cashews!

{C}atch Up Day

Reposting this carnitas recipe today {10.12.11} over at The Larson Lingo’s Crock-tober! These carnitas are healthy and great in tacos, burritos, over cilantro rice {recipe also on this post!}, on nachos or in a salad! Makes a TON so there are lots of leftovers or perfect for a party. Come on over and see who else is linking up and what they’re cooking up in their crock pots!

Mel shared a recipe for baby back ribs with a cherry mustard BBQ sauce ~ needless to say, they look amazing!


Mondays are generally catch up days around here. You know…tidying up the tornado from the weekend, laundry, phone calls, cleaning, etc.

It’s been {c}old and rainy today, so I didn’t mind being holed up in the house doing all these lovely {c}hores.

I was up bright and early this morning getting my crock pot on. Jay found a {c}arnitas recipe here and I thought it’d be the perfect thing to cook away in my new, gorgeous stainless steel Crock Pot while we hung out at home today.

Here is the line up:

This recipe is soooo simple, but it takes 10 hours on low!

In at 7am…ready at 5pm!

In between the {c}hores, we played {C}hutes & Ladders:

…and put together a {C}urious George puzzle:

Rainy day movie of {C}hicken Little:

…and the tail end of a {c}artoon:

(gotta love {C}andace!)

Once the sun reappeared, the kiddos {c}hristened Emilie’s new swing set:

Sweet Baby Ryan:

We had a minor {c}ollision:


I made some {c}ilantro lime rice to go along with the {c}arnitas. This recipe is inspired from my friend, Niki, in San Diego. Mine doesn’t turn out as well as hers, but it’s still delish.

Here’s the line up:

Tonight I made WAY too much rice ~ 2 cups with 4 cups stock! I think we could feed the whole neighborhood. I would suggest a cup of rice (2 cups stock) for 4 people or 1/2 cup rice (1 cup stock) for 2 people.

First, toast the rice and get the onion (I used a half, chopped) going in some olive oil and a little bit of butter for about 10 minutes stirring frequently:

Holy rice, Batman!

Next, add your stock depending on the amount of rice you’re making (1:2 ratio):

Bring to a rapid boil for a couple minutes on high and then turn to low and cover for about 2o minutes. Chop a handful of cilantro and stir in at the last minute and you will have this:

…enough rice to feed all of China!

The carnitas turned out perfect, but again, we could feed an army. Look at all this meat from a 2.5 lb. pork shoulder:

I got a bone-in shoulder and I was a little nervous, but the meat literally fell off the bone and I discarded it and then started shredding the meat with 2 forks. It was SUPER tender. I spooned a little of the juice over it to keep it moist.

Here is the final taco action on a plate:

YUM! Smokey from the cumin and citrusy from the orange and lime juices! I added a little peach pineapple salsa, a tad bit of sour cream and a squeeze of lime and it was delish. The recipe calls for corn tortillas, but I am a flour tortilla girl all day long. I found these mini ones at Super Wal-mart of all places and I love them because they are the perfect soft taco size ~ even smaller that the “fajita” size variety you see in the grocery stores. They come in a package of 20 for under 2 bucks!

Don’t forget a squeeze of lime on your rice!

Enjoy and adios! I am off to see {C}armen at boot camp!

Maybe I should take her a couple tacos and some rice…


Sous Chef

Lately Elliott wants to “help” me in the kitchen…all.the.time.

I hate telling her, “Maybe tomorrow, honey.”, “Not right now.” or “Just let Mommy do it real quick.”

It makes me feel like such a crappy Mom.

So, while I was doing my grocery shopping this weekend, I decided to pick up some rice crispies and marshmallows and enlist her help with making some good old-fashioned rice crispy treats. After all, marshmallows are so Springy to me.

Pouring in the ‘mallows:

And some more…

Holden sneaking crispies:


Ready for an after lunch treat:

In case you forgot (like me!) or never knew just how easy these are to make, here is what you need:

1 stick butter

1 16 oz. bag mini marshmallows

6 cups rice crispy cereal

Here’s what you do:

Melt butter on stovetop over low heat. In the meantime measure out 6 cups of cereal into a large bowl. When the butter is melted, add half the bag of marshmallows and heat slowy, stirring frequently. Add the rest of the ‘mallows and continue stirring until they are melted and combined with butter. Pour mixture over the cereal and stir to combine. Pour into a greased 9″X13″ pan and let cool before cutting.

I wanted to color the marshmallows pink, but Elliott wanted to “keep them white at Easter”. OK. Will do!

I am committed to being a better “executive chef” in my kitchen and letting my sous chef help more.

Hope you’re having a happy, marshmallowy Monday!