An Old Staple Becomes New…..Again! The Captain and I are somewhat adventurous when it comes to eating new foods. Actually, the Captain more than I, but when it comes to rice and beans….we love whatever combination we can find. Living in […]
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle….. Rain Rain Go Away….we have all heard that little phrase. And we are definitely in the Monsoon season here in Florida. However, what usually happens, is it rains in the late afternoon for a […]
The Burger Voters Know….and even though the Captain and I did not vote on the best burger in the Cape…others did and we have to agree that this is one good hamburger. And it was voted best burger three […]
I’ve BECOME a Softee….!!!! A pushover…..A Doormat…..! Yep! That is me. One would think that as we age, we might become cynical….grouchy….irritable….and just plain onery! You know, kind of like Maxine! But I am finding that as I age…. I […]
Yes, I Already Knew That…..:) My Captain’s Birthday! Yup, today is the Captain’s Birthday and we like to spoil each other for a full week…calling it a “Birthday Week”, because a one day celebration is just not enough! 😉 What […]
An Old Staple Becomes New…..Again!
The Captain and I are somewhat adventurous when it comes to eating new foods. Actually, the Captain more than I, but when it comes to rice and beans….we love whatever combination we can find.
Living in Florida has introduced us to Latin American foods. We have visited Puerto Rico, …but the influx of Peruvian, Columbian and Cuban cultures in Southwest Florida has given us a different view of Latin American foods.
This old staple of beans and rice (or rice and beans) has been around for years.
There is Mexican, Cajun, Southern, Creole, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Columbian just to name a few, and with all the variations…there is the basic fact that this is definitely good eats, no mater what seasonings you use.
The next bit of good news is that the combination is a healthy choice (lots of fiber and protein) and the fact that you can buy dry beans and a bag of rice for very little money… really helps to keep the food budget, low cost. You will note in the above picture, I have pinto beans, red beans and black beans.
Another bit of good news is that all ingredients go together in one pot…after prepping of course. This allows the flavors to percolate and permeate and well, just meld together for good taste.
I hope there is a Latin American food market near you…which is where I found a salsa/sauce called Lizano Salsa. (Sometimes Wal-Mart has items your local supermarket does not have.)
This salsa/sauce makes the beans and rice have an almost “creamy” texture….just melts in your mouth. And if you want to add a little more protein to the meal…top the beans and rice with a fried egg. Many Mexican recipes call for an egg or two on top.
Experiment a little with different rice(s)….brown, yellow….white!
I just wish you were sitting at my kitchen table, right this minute, sharing this wonderful staple that is served at many Latin American tables.
- 1 cup long-grain white rice (or you can use brown or yellow rice)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil for softening the onion, peppers and garlic
- 1 cup of chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small (7 3/4 oz) can of El Pato brand tomato sauce (Wal-Mart has this brand)
- 2 cups of cooked pinto, black or red beans (or large can of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained)
- 3 tablespoons Lizano Salsa (you can always add a little more, keep tasting)
- freshly ground black pepper and dash of salt
- Fresh cilantro and limes for garnish
- Prepare rice according to package directions using water or chicken or vegetable broth (I use a rice cooker, but you can cook on top of the stove...just be sure to cover with a lid after bringing to a boil and let simmer)
- While rice is cooking, heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat.
- Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and cumin, stirring until soft ...which should take about 3 minutes Add the tomato sauce and continue stirring and cooking for another 2 minutes
- Stir in your choice of beans with about a cup of water (or broth)
- Reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until most of the liquid is reduced (about 5 more minutes)
- Carefully add in about 3/4 of the rice along with the Lizano Salsa and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and a bit of salt
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- *I like to serve the beans and rice in an individual serving dish and then I take the remainder of the rice and place it on top of the mixed beans and rice mixture. I think it gives a bit more texture to the dish.:)
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime!
- If using black beans, be sure to rinse well and drain....it can sometimes make your rice look "muddy".
- No Lizano Salsa? make your own sauce by adding 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of molasses.
- You can also turn up the heat with the addition of El Pato Jalapeno salsa in place of the tomato sauce, if desired.
How about Coconut Chicken?
As many of you know, I love roast chicken, whether it be my own roasted chicken or one bought from the supermarket deli….it’s a perfect meal for any occasion. And I love the flavor of coconut milk so when you combine the two….Delish!
I am always looking for ways to use chicken in quick and easy ways. I have found a recipe that is sweet, salty, sour, spicy and fragrant!
Believe me when I tell you this chicken recipe ticks all the boxes and because it is butterflied (cut in half) it’s cooks much faster.
You can actually prepare the chicken the night before and then toss it in the oven for a quick week-day meal.
- 1 whole chicken (free-range are nice)
- 1 lime or lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 chunk of fresh ginger, finely chopped (I use about a one inch chunk)
- 1 small red chile, deseeded and finely sliced (you can use the can of red chiles but I use fresh)
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary (optional but it really adds fragrance and taste)
- Chopped fresh coriander or cilantro, sliced red chiles and lime slices or wedges for garnish
- Rinse and dry the chicken
- Using kitchen scissors cut down either side of the backbone (which can be removed if desired) to open up and butterfly the chicken
- Turn the chicken legs out and place the chicken in a roasting dish, breast side up.
- Rub the lime zest and juice over chickens and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a pan and gently sauté the shallots, ginger, chiles and garlic.
- Add remaining ingredients (except those to garnish), stir and pour mixture over chicken.
- Cover and let marinate in the fridge for about 3 hours (can be left in the fridge overnight)
- Place shallow roasting pan in the lower third of your oven and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and the juices run clear.
- Garnish with chopped coriander, red chiles and lime slices.
- You can also use the red chili flakes from the spice rack. Use the temp you prefer on your oven. Mine gets hotter than most so I try to keep my temp between 350 and 375 degrees.
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle…..
Rain Rain Go Away….we have all heard that little phrase. And we are definitely in the Monsoon season here in Florida.
This year is a bit different. We wake up to rain, and it has been raining almost all day and night for the last few weeks.
Yesterday morning after church, the Captain and I took a break in the rainy season…. to start to trim the jungle back.
The Captain and I looked like drowned rats as we trimmed away at the bushes that had sprouted long thick branches in just a matter of weeks!
We laughed about how long it takes in the Midwest for a plant or tree to grow…years actually, whereas down here, overnight is not an exaggeration.
So in order for the Lion to sleep tonight, we still have a lot of jungle clearing to do….provided the skies don’t open up again.
Have a great Monday my dear friends.
Now, where did I put my safari hat?
The Burger Voters Know….and even though the Captain and I did not vote on the best burger in the Cape…others did and we have to agree that this is one good hamburger.
And it was voted best burger three years in a row….there is a sign that says so!
(Not taking any chances, How would one explain a car falling from the ceiling?)
Have a great week-end where ever you are!
As for me and my Captain, we are just going to try to stay dry and savor our charburgers!
*Our meal was independently paid for.
I’ve BECOME a Softee….!!!! A pushover…..A Doormat…..!
Yep! That is me.
One would think that as we age, we might become cynical….grouchy….irritable….and just plain onery!
You know, kind of like Maxine!
But I am finding that as I age…. I have become a bowl of jello!
Yep, just a great big softee!
Usually, the owners are very accommodating and let me act silly,,,,they probably chalk it off to that silly ole’ lady…. who we see every time we walk our dog.
So, I have named Jesse, the “Foreman”!
Btw…the other day, we pulled up at a stop light and I do believe I impressed the policeman in the patrol car next to me when he saw Jesse was securely in his car seat and fastened in!!
Gotta go now, my dear readers…it is time for the “Foreman” and I… to go check the plumbing for the pool at Flip 4.
Have a great blessed Thursday, my friends… and don’t be afraid to show a little softness when it comes to people and our pets!
Yes, I Already Knew That…..:)
My Captain’s Birthday!
Yup, today is the Captain’s Birthday and we like to spoil each other for a full week…calling it a “Birthday Week”, because a one day celebration is just not enough! 😉
What our little “game” consists of is this: It is the responsibility of the non-birthday spouse to pick up the tab all week long…for the Birthday spouse!
So when the Captain arrived home from his tour of flying yesterday…I knew I was in for picking up the bill at all the events this week.
Of course, he is worth it. I am so blessed to have him in my life.
And…..being the loving wife that I am….I took the Captain out for dinner, soon after he landed at RSW on Monday.
He likes all kinds of food, but he particularly likes Italian food, so of course I took him to Ceno’s Italian Restaurant and Grill.
But being the wonderful, sweet spirited, wonderful, happy to pay, wonderful (did I just repeat that?), person that I am….I volunteered to take us to breakfast on this,…. the Captain’s special day, Tuesday, July 21st!
(OK, I must confess….I already knew that) 😉
However, lunch required some thought. I didn’t want to just fix him a baloney sandwich for lunch…so I decided to surprise him with a trip to one of his favorite places.
Sorry for the mush and gush!
(And yes, I must confess….I already knew that)
The afternoon was spent in the pool…splashing each other like little kids. You know all the adult behavior! NOT!!
I can sum up my Captain, by the sentence that remains on the bottom of all his outgoing emails!
“You have to make up your mind about growing up and being a pilot. You can’t do both”.
Which makes him so special to me….
(And yes, I must confess….I already knew that)
Yeah! You know where this is going. AND…I also have a coupon!
But then you already knew that didn’t you?
Have a great Tuesday….:)…and I wish my Captain a very special birthday for a very special guy!
But I already knew that!
“GGson” Show Off Time…..:)
Over the week-end, “GGson”….(Great Grandson in simple English) went to the Lake for boating with his family and his Grandma!
Below are a few pictures that his Gma (Grandma) sent his GG (Great Grandma)….that’s Me!
Don’t ya love taking in code?
Well, it isn’t really code….you grandmas and great grandmas know what I mean. 😉
If they would come down here to Florida…our Gulf waters are crystal clear and turquoise….did I just say that out loud??? ! 😉
Sorry, you know I had to get sports in there somewhere! 😉
Speaking of starting a boat….It is Monday!!! , and I have got to get a move on. Stripping the beds, doing laundry, putting a pot of soup in the crock pot, etc.
Gosh, Monday was always wash day when I was growing up….and Mom always had a pot of Soup on the back of the stove….click on the post below for the Ham and Bean Soup recipe and wash day musings.
Did your family have a special day for laundry, my dear readers?
Have a great Monday!
Shooting the Shell….
No, this isn’t about shooting guns or water pistols.
No, this isn’t about shelling, although I love to roam the beaches here in Florida and pick up shells.
This is about shooting a gunnite mixture that looks like cement…. out of a large hose that looks like a fireman’s hose…. and filling in the sides and bottom of a pool dig.
We are talking the making of a pool that the Captain and I are putting in at one of our Flip houses.
Several of our friends are fascinated with this process and I thought I would share it with you, my dear readers.
The gentleman holding the nozzle and hose controls the amount of mixture to water and the pressure, etc.
The pool is allowed to dry before the forms are removed and the bobcat comes in and back-fills the pool with the dirt and smooths the area out.
You see as the pool drys, it must be kept sitting where it was dug. If there were no water in the pool…it would “Pop the Shell”. …which in simple language means it would bounce up out of the ground as if it were in water itself.
This would not be a good thing. So the water anchors the shell and “holds” it in place.
In case you are wondering about the size of this pool….It is 28 feet long, 12 feet wide and almost 6 feet deep.
I will post pics later, of the next process, ….before this pool can be filled with water and ready for a “dip”.
Meanwhile, I have to show you the Limes growing on several lime trees on this property. I told the workers to take as many as they liked, which I am sure ended up in the long neck of a bottle of Corona!
And that my friends, is shooting the shell.
Have you ever watched this process of building an inground pool?
Have a great Friday!
Chocolate Cake…. Wowser Wow Wow Wow!
That is what I said after tasting the chocolate cake oozing with hot fudge icing!
But, I am getting ahead of myself.
The Captain and I like to frequent a chain restaurant for dinner …..”Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen” and it has proven to be pretty consistent in flavorful foods.
I had not eaten lunch at this restaurant, and I certainly had not eaten desserts….not because I didn’t think they looked good, but with the dinner menu….there was no way we could squeeze in a dessert…that is, until last week.
I knew from past experiences with my Chocolate Cake Buddy, that chocolate cake would be either eaten separately or at least shared. In the past, she and I have shared and sampled many a chocolate cake!
I found the lunch menu not much different than the dinner menu….as far as portion size goes…always large portions.
My salad was so good and the drizzling of Bleu Cheese dressing didn’t hurt it one bit! (I always order my dressing “on the side”… so I can determine just how much I will put on my salad…and then I put it all on my salad!)
I know, I am a bit weird! 😉
And the croissants! I mean, look at these melt in your mouth croissants!
As you can see, this consisted of wonderful fresh, green beans cooked in bacon and onions, home made mashed potatoes with cream gravy….and enough food for her to take home to the Fisherman,…her husband.
When the server asked if we wanted dessert…we both said in unison…”YES”!
We shared the melt in your mouth fudgy cake, and when neither of us could eat another bite…my Chocolate Cake Buddy asked to box up the remainder to take home to her hubby.
“Cheddar’s Casual Cafe” originated in 1979 in Arlington Texas…and later changed their name…. in some states, at least….to “Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen”. These restaurants are located in almost every state….so there just might be one near you.
So, my dear readers…have you eaten at “Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen”?
And more importantly…have you eaten the chocolate cake?
If not, this cake sorta takes the cake! :)…and yes, pun intended!
Excuse me, I have some more leg exercises to do!
Have a great Thursday…and Let Em’ Eat Cake!
*This meal was independently paid for by “Me” and my “Chocolate Cake Buddy“!
The #All Star Game…#Midsummer Classic! was last night….this is the baseball game that is played at the “Break” of the 162 game season and the team is put together with players from all the teams.
Sorry, folks…if sports is not your game, but I just wanted to give a quick comment on this night of legendary baseball.
Yes, I confess to being a sports fanatic! 😉
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the “Midsummer Classic,” is an annual game between the best players from the American League and the National League. Since 2002, the winning side has secured home-field advantage for its team’s representative in the World Series.
It was a proud moment for them in front of thousands of fans cheering the memories of days gone by.
The game itself, ended as it should have (in my opinion), with the American League defeating the National League 6-3.
Yes, I am a bit biased….the American League team was coached/managed by none other than Ned Yost, Coach of the Kansas City Royals…and although many players from many teams played through-out the game….the starters included our very own center fielder, Lorenzo Cain, short stop, Alcides Escobar, catcher, Salvadore Perez and left fielder, Alex Gordon. Quite an honor to have four Royals among the nine players starting.
Allow me to quote from the Kansas City Star sports writer:
“With Lorenzo Cain leading the way, Royals players made a big impact on the All-Star Game and helped the AL secure home field advantage in the World Series”.
#Lets Go Royals!
After a few days of rest, the last half of the baseball season will start and the teams will begin their quest towards the World Series.
Until then…Good luck to the Boys in Blue…our Kansas City Royals!
Have a great day!