Monday, January 30, 2012

Spanish Rice Recipe

In one of my comments I was asked if I had posted my spanish rice recipe. I can't remember if I have posted this or not but here it is just in case. We tried many, many, many, many different rice recipes before deciding "this is it!" We like it almost as much as restaurant rice. (Actually it's better than some of the rice we've gotten in "Mexican" restaurants here in Utah.) Of course the first time I made it I made a mistake (I really need to read recipes more carefully) but it worked so well that I do this mistake every time. Intentionally. 

*After I add the blender mixture to the rice I don't cover it. I bring it to a boil and then let it boil with the lid off for 5-10 minutes. Probably closer to five. (I wait until I can tell some of the liquid has evaporated) I stir it a few times too. Then I cover it, reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. At least 20 minutes. It makes a really fluffy dry rice, just the way we like it. We almost always half the recipe. It makes a ton of rice. If you want to make a whole recipe it does freeze and reheat really well. We use this recipe all the time now. 

I wish I could remember where I got it so I could give proper credit but we've been using it so long I've forgotten now. 

Spanish Rice

1-2 T. oil
2 c. white rice
1/2 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
3 T. chicken bouillon granules
5 c. water

Heat oil in skillet and fry rice until light brown. Add tomato sauce and stir. Turn heat off and set aside. Blend onion, bouillon and water in blender on high until pureed. In a saucepan add the blender mixture to the rice mixture, stir well and *cover. Bring rice mixture to a boil, over medium-high heat. Once liquid level has dropped below the rice, turn heat down to low and simmer 30-35 minutes. Move rice to see if liquid remains. If so, keep simmering. Once rice is done, you may crack the lid to let steam out and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving (this helps the rice dry out a little and not be so sticky).

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Several New Recipes

So far this year I have really tried to think before I eat. I'm trying to make better choices along with eating less. I am very early in my journey but I have lost five pounds so far this month. I am very very pleased with that but still have a long way to go. I also have concerns that the weight loss will slow down/stop and I will lose my motivation to try. Again. Before I eat I think, "would my great grandmother have eaten this?" If it didn't exist when she was alive I think twice about eating it. Right now I think about it more than I execute it but it's a start in the right direction. 

Thanks to Pinterest I have a never ending supply of new recipes to try. Some are healthier than others but all are better than some of the things I was preparing that used Cheese Whiz etc. The title of the new dish is a link to the original recipe.

I followed the chicken seasoning part of the recipe pretty closely. ( I used less chicken but that was not a big deal.) I did serve this over my spanish rice instead of just white rice. I made my own beans so there would be less sodium so they weren't in the crock pot the whole time. It was a great idea but we didn't like the jar salsa flavor on the chicken. We will make this again but I will use seasoned tomatoes along with the spices instead of the jar salsa. It is pretty similar in taste to the chicken chili I tried last month so I need to make sure those two meals are spaced out. 

This is my new most favorite recipe ever. Paul and I loved it! The kids, not so much. They didn't despise it but they didn't love it either. Their loss. We've already made this twice. 

I didn't use the optional Sriracha but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. I used natural peanut butter, one time it was smooth and one time I used crunchy. I preferred the smooth in this recipe but I'm all out of that and only have crunchy so that's what I'll use. It's fine, just...chunkier. Imagine that!

I served it over Jasmine rice with cilantro garnish. We also had roasted curry cauliflower with it. It was a really great meal. I may even make it again this coming week. Yum! 


I did not follow the seasoning part of this recipe at all. I drizzled the pieces with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, curry powder and garlic powder. I baked/roasted as directed. The kids screamed when they saw this on the table, "YELLOW BROCCOLI?!?" Nope, just curry cauliflower. Paul and I really enjoyed this easy side dish. We've made it three times over the last couple of weeks. I can't wait to try it will all sorts of different seasonings. You could really make it to fit any meal.

These were good but not pretty like the picture on the original recipe and they were a little heavy for my taste. Now, I did rush them and I think I added too much wheat flour. After mixing it in my Kitchen Aid I kneaded more flour in and I really don't think it needed it. They are TOTALLY worth working on. Next time I make them I will allow three hours, at least. I will let them rise longer and I will try rolling them out just a little and cutting them into rectangles. It may or may not work but these little pinch off and tuck into ball rolls were ugly! We had three leftover. I tried one the next day and it was almost better than it had been the first day. I ended up eating all three, one right after the other. Don't judge! They were really enjoyable. I froze half a dozen balls. I'll be curious to see how they do. If they don't come alive well after being frozen I will know that next time to bake them all since they are so good the next day! 

Oh So Good Chicken (Only it wasn't that good but I'll take the blame) 

The kids hated this and acted like we were trying to torture them. It was weird. I think our problem was toooo much sauce! It never really caramelized. I used way less chicken than the recipe called for so it was totally my fault. This was a recipe that I thought at first glance was pretty healthy but when I started making it I realized there was a ton of sugar in it. How did I miss that much sugar in the ingredients?!? I did version two, the fast version to avoid the frying so it would be healthier. Maybe that was an issue too? It was very peppery and really intensely flavored. Paul and I didn't mind it but I can understand why the kids didn't love it. I would eat it again if it was healthier but since it's not I doubt I will cook it again. We served this will the whole wheat rolls, baked potato and a green salad. 

Happy Birthday Dad!

We celebrated my dad's birthday on the 18th this year. We had Thai food and cake and ice cream. I wasn't feeling well so we didn't do much more than sit around and visit. It was nice having them here though. Happy Birthday Dad! Here's to many many more.

January 23rd~Snow

We have had hardly any snow this year. I am NOT complaining. It's been wonderful. We did get a storm last week but really it wasn't too bad. It started to collect on our satellite screwing up the TV though. Paul went out with a big ladder and his push broom. He successfully unburied the satellite and got the TV working again. When he came back to the house he looked like a giddy little kid. I asked him what he had done. This is what I found. : D What can I say? That South Dakota boy loves the snow! 

The Wax Museum

Andrew was Benjamin Franklin this year for the wax museum. We have a fabulous friend who was able to loan us almost his entire costume. She really came through! Thanks Beth. 

I love the wax museum and am honestly a little sad that this was my last one. This is not something we ever got to do in California. I really think this is a great opportunity for all the kids in the school to learn about some wonderful Americans. 

Originally Andrew wanted his group of buddies to all be Founding Fathers but that didn't work out. I was just glad that he chose Benjamin since that was the name of his great-grandMOTHER. How many kids can say that? LOL! 

He wrote his report all on his own and did a really nice job on it. The idea of the wax museum is they are frozen until someone (All the different grades get to take turns coming in and listening) hits their button and then they tell about "themselves" for about a minute. He didn't have a spiel memorized so each time I pushed his button I got different information. 

Here he is frozen.

I got a smile out of him though.

You have to see the whole costume. All the way down to the tights and foil buckles. 

Paul was able to come this year which was really nice.

Me and Ben handing out.

Andrew and his friend "Walt Disney". This pictures cracks me up. Walt had some issues getting his mustache to stick so his dad borrowed some double sided scrapbook squares from me. They kept applying them throughout the afternoon. There were so many at the end they were hanging out the bottom of his mustache. It looked like jagged teeth! It still makes me laugh. 

One last shot of Ben. Did you notice that he even has a pot belly? I love it! 

The teacher asked the kids to take everything out of their desks so they would be easier to carry to the gym. The classroom looked like a bomb had gone off! They had to stuff everything back in before they could go home. What a nightmare! 

Winner Winner!

We're Finally Winners!!!

Unfortunately though the day was tainted. I don't even know where to start with this story. We were told we had an 8:00 am game yesterday. We showed up and noticed that there were three teams at the church. Hmmm, that's odd. It turns our coach was given incorrect information and we weren't actually playing until 9:00 am. It was sooo sooo frustrating. (An innocent mistake? Who knows.) We still don't know how it happened.

The girls stayed at the church but Paul and I ran home and showered. When we got back we found out we had the ref. Good gravy. She stared out fine but as it got near the end things got tense. I'm not going into all the details but she actually threatened Paul and warned him to be quiet. He was simply asking questions because some of the rules for the girls are different than what he is used to. She is really a piece of work. She is holding a grudge against our team for something that happened literally years ago. We don't know what to do about her (My blood is still boiling thinking about yesterday) but something needs to happen. She should NOT be allowed to ref any more.

The good news, Emma scored her first basket. Some of the other girls got their first scores of the year as well. They were so excited to win this. I think their sweet little hearts were just about broken after so many hard losses.

Another Game-Sadly Another Loss

This past Thursday, instead of practice, they had a make-up game. Once again it was comical. I think Emma spent more time on the ground than she did on her feet. They played hard and did their best but they just can't make baskets. Emma is getting much spunkier this year. She gets to play quite a bit (I love that the coach plays all the girls a lot!) which is helping her confidence. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saturday January 14th was Such a Nice Day!

After Emma's basketball game I went to my quilt class. (Put a bullet in my head! What did I sign up for? I do not like this class one little bit.) When I got home Paul told me Andrew was having a friend over. I was thinking, "excuse me?" I had just had the stomach bug so the house was not in tip top shape. What was done was done though.

Devin came over and they boys started to play video games. By this point in the day we could tell is was going to be GORGEOUS! It had gotten into the 50's. We didn't want them indoors playing video games! Paul asked if they wanted to go to the skate park. They were so excited. We got permission from Devin's parents and all loaded up to play in the warm sun. When we first got there everyone went and played while Paul and I stayed in the car, with the windows down, working on our lessons.

Here are some pictures from the skate park.

After they kids had all the fin they could handle we went to In N Out for dinner. It was such a nice day I'm thrilled we got to be out enjoying it. 

Second Basketball Game, Better Than the First

Sooo, have I mentioned these games are hilarious? They really, truly are! The team we played against this week was a much better match for our girls. (I also heard some scuttlebutt on the other team from the week before. They have more girls than any other ward but only five super aggressive girls play because they take the game so seriously they scare away all the other girls. Nice right? That is EXACTLY the attitude you should have for church ball. NOT!) Anyhoo, this week was close. Super close. 

On a side note, I would love to know what our teams shooting percentage is. It has to be miserable. Both of the teams shot up air ball after air ball. I'm not judging, I couldn't do any better. It's just funny. Really funny. 

This picture is bad but I have one almost exactly like it from last year so I had to include it.

Emma is still waiting for her first basket of the year. She gets to play quite a bit but doesn't shoot much.

We only lost by one point. 

I don't know if this story is accurate or not but in Emma's head it is so I'm thinking it is. There were only a 20 seconds or so left in the game. We were up by one point. Our girls had the ball (it had gone out of bounds and they were getting ready to pass it back in.) when the other team called a time out. (This ref didn't follow the rules as strictly as some of the other refs. She didn't care that the team that WASN'T in possession called the time she granted it anyway. No biggie.) So when they came back to resume play the ref gave the ball to the other team even though we should have gotten it back. They went down and scored right before the buzzer thus winning them the game. 

Emma was sad because they should have gotten the ball back after the time out. She said her coach had even told them during the time out to just hold onto the ball when the game started again so they would win. I wasn't paying enough attention to know if this is how it all went down or not but she had enough details and frustration for me to believe that that is exactly what happened. Oh well. We will win one eventually. We have to, right? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm Not Dead~Just Sick

I've had two different illnesses in one week. Fun I tell ya! I got over the nasty 24 hour stomach one in just enough time to finish my squares for quilt class though. (In the picture they still haven't been trimmed. They are much cuter now, and more impressive looking, I promise.) I also got to go to church and substitute teach in Relief Society. Then I caught a cold from Andrew. (A cold with THE worst sore throat EVER and this is coming from someone who had tonsillitis and strep so much that I had to get my tonsils out at 17. I know my sore throats.)  I think my resistance was down since I had just had the other nasty 24 hour stomach thing. Hopefully I'll be 100% soon. For now I just want to sleep. And eat (I think I'm still trying to make up for when I didn't eat for 24 hours) but I'm trying to sleep so I don't eat. ; ) Tonight/tomorrow it's suppose to be snowy. They say it will last for days. In case you haven't guessed, I'm not the funnest person to be around right now but at least I'm not dead.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Basketball Saturday

Church ball has started again. Woot! This was their first game. There was a problem though. A big problem. They hadn't practiced. Not even once. It was a slaughter. It didn't help that the ref had a daughter on the other team either. So not fair. Whaaaaa! 

It was bad. No, more like awful. Our team actually scored eight points but really, does that make it better? I don't think so. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.  

Saturday afternoon Emma and Paul went to the BYU game again San Francisco. They got to use the new car flags. Emma almost lost one when she rolled down the window for some reason. Silly. 

After their game Andrew and I drove and met them in Orem. We got dinner at Rubio's then traded kids. Paul and Andrew went to see a UVU game with some friends. That's a lot of basketball games to go to in one day.

Saturday between basketball games we had a birthday party to go to. My friend/old roommate/ward member's husband turned 40 over the weekend. I took Andrew with me since Paul was gone. Sadly we didn't get to stay too long but I'm glad we went. 

We've all seen the 40 sucks or the 40 blows (with bubble gum) running around the internet/Pinterest right? Well this was my take on it. I thought it turned out pretty cute. I'm still wondering how it's possible that I have friends that are turning 40. That must mean that I am getting close. That can't be right. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today we Celebrated the Life of my Great Uncle Harold

This is grandma Louise with her little brother Harold a couple of years ago at my cousin Chris' wedding. 

I'm glad I have this picture of us together.

Last Tuesday Harold passed away. He was fighting cancer but passed from a brain stroke. I really enjoyed getting to know him even better today at his funeral. His four children told many wonderful stories today. He was a very intelligent, very good and giving man. 

I'm thankful that my grandparents came out from California for the funeral. It was so good to see them! I was wasn't going to check the kids out of school since it is the end of the semester (finals) but once I got there I knew they had to see their great-grandparents again. I texted Paul and asked him to check them out of school and bring them to the church. They got there right at the end of the service. They were able to visit with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles during the luncheon. It was such a good afternoon. I love that my kids love their great grandparents so much because I love them so much. 

I had to take another four generation picture.