Monday, January 31, 2011

Spanish Rice (I'm No Pioneer Woman)

My dad is known for his spanish rice.  He makes it ALL the time, and I've grown up eating it for as long as I can remember.  I can't believe I used to actually hate his spanish rice, but that's a thing of the past.  In fact, I would eat so much of it whenever I'd go home to visit, that I finally decided I needed to learn his "recipe."

Thing is, there's not a written recipe. 

So about this time last year, when I was visiting my parents, I had him show me how to make it.  I didn't write it down, so this is probably not exactly the way he does it, so this is my version of my dad's spanish rice.

And as the title of this thread says, I'm no Pioneer Woman, but I figured her style of explaining a recipe through photography would work well for this.  So here goes...

Here's what you need.  We'll talk about amounts as we go...

1 bunch of green onions
1 green bell pepper
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
white rice
brown rice
soy sauce (optional)
chicken broth
vegetable oil
olive oil
cayenne pepper (optional)

Before you even turn on your burner, go ahead and prepare everything, so it's ready to throw in the skillet.  The rice can burn really easily, so this way, you don't have to worry about not being able to watch it as you chop something, or measure something.

So chop your green onion and bell pepper, but keep them separated, because you'll add them at different times...

Okay, turn on the burner.  I usually keep mine on about 6 or 7 (gas stove), but of course, do whatever works with your stove.  You want it a little higher than medium heat.

Pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your pan...

After the oil gets hot, add the white rice.  I use about 1 cup.

Try to coat it evenly around the surface of the pan. 

You want the white rice to get browned.  Get it?  It should look something like this...

After it's been browned, add the brown rice...I use about 3/4 cup.

Stir the brown rice to incorporate it with the browned white rice and the oil. 

At different points throughout, you may need to add a little bit more oil, just to prevent burning.  I usually add olive oil when I do this.  This would be one of those times....

Add the green onions...

Stir, and then let the onions cook for just a little bit...maybe a minute..

During that minute, you might want to add some more olive oil.  Basically, if the pan starts looking too dry, I add just a little oil...

Add the green peppers...


My dad likes to add a little soy sauce.  I'm out of soy sauce, so this is where I add in some salt (a little more salt than usual, since I'm not doing the soy sauce)...

To your own taste, and only if you want to, sprinkle a little cayenne pepper.

Do you have your can of tomatoes open yet?  If not, hurry up!  Then you can add them...


This is what it should look like so far...

Now it's time to add the chicken broth/water.  How much you add really depends on how much rice you have.  I use about 3 cups.  If you don't have chicken broth, water is fine.  The chicken broth just gives it a bit more flavor...

You want to add enough so that your rice mixture is completely covered, and then some...Kind of like this.

Cover, and turn the heat down a little...

And let it cook for...a while.  I don't know...30 minutes?  I never time my rice.  You want all the liquid to cook out of it, without it burning.  If you're unsure, you can always do the fork check. 

When it's done, it should look like this...

And then fluff it with a fork so it looks like this!

And please, try to wait a little before tasting it, because that stuff is HOT! 

I hope I haven't totally changed the way my dad cooks his rice.  But for what it's worth, he has tasted it, and given it his seal of approval.  It's not exactly like his, but it's pretty darn good.


Her First Report Card

A couple of Sundays ago in church, our pastor was talking about having role models, and imitating little children - about 2-3 year olds.  So he started picking out kids from the congregation, asking how old they were.  He asked how old Cami was, and I said 1 (you can listen to it here, and the part I'm referring to is at about 3:45).  He went on to a few other kids, but Kendall noticed that he didn't ask about her.  So she tapped me on the arm and said, "Mama, tell Pastor Paul I'm 3!"  I said Okay, but then she poked me again and said, "Tell him NOW!"  I told her I would wait until church was over to say anything about it.

As soon as Paul gave the benediction to dismiss us, she said, "You need to tell him now that I'm 3!"  So we made our way over to him and told him.  When we did that, of course, she was super shy and acted like she didn't know why we were telling him she was 3.

On Thursday, she got a card in the mail from Pastor Paul.  I think this picture says the rest...

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Do you watch American Idol?  No?  Well, so far you haven't missed much.  Simon's not on this season, and I almost decided not to watch because of that.  So far, the judges have been WAY too nice to some of these people trying out, and Grant and I truly miss Simon's comments.

I will say, though, that I'm glad I did decide to watch this season, because if I wasn't watching it, I wouldn't have seen what I saw last night.  If you didn't see this, didn't hear about, whatever, here's the clip.  I was literally sobbing as I watched this.

Everything about that scene is touching - the story, the love, the dedication, the music, the voice, the way Steven Tyler talks to Julie, the tear falling from Randy's cheek.  I hope this guy makes it far.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sisterly Love

After breakfast this morning, I got Cami out of her high chair and I cleaned up the kitchen. Kendall was sitting in the recliner, and then I heard her say, "I gonna read to you Cami, come sit in my wap (lap)." Somehow Cami got in the recliner - not sure if she climbed or if Kendall pulled her, but whatever.

Kendall then started reading her the "Demon Bears" (that's apparently how she says Berenstain).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011


If you're reading this, chances are you're somewhere cold (even my friends and family in Florida are!), so I really hate to rub it in, but we just got back from the beach. And it wasn't one of those too-cool-to-wear-bathing-suits days (like so many days are here), either.

And before the beach, we went to a resort close by to have brunch. Outside. Looking out across the ocean.

I'm really sorry.

So as long as you promise not to hate me, enjoy some pictures...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Kendall Speak - Part 8

I overheard Kendall "reading" to her babies: Once uponce a time, there was a baby named Jesus. And Jesus name was God. Does that make you happy, baby? Aww, baby still cryin'. You stop cryin' baby, and wisten to the story.


We're at my mom's house, and I heard Cami crying in the play room, so I went in to see what was going on. Grant and Kendall were putting together a puzzle, and Grant said that Cami was trying to steal the pieces. He gave her one piece, and I was holding her, then she started pointing to the puzzle. I said, "Awww, Cami just wants to do the puzzle like her big sis." Kendall said, "You can do the puzzle, Cami. Just don't steal!"


I was dropping Grant off at his mom's house, and he was dancing in the driveway as we pulled away. Kendall started laughing at him and said, "Daddy's a funny guy. I wuv Daddy."


We were getting ready to go out to eat with my parents, and my mom put on this really pretty blouse. Kendall came up to me and said, "Did you see Grandma's clothes? Is she going dancin'?"


Now that we're home, Kendall's revisiting all of her gifts she got here for Christmas and her birthday, one of them being a guitar from her BFF "Mookie." We currently don't have batteries for the guitar. She just said, "Mama, you been thinkin' 'bout goin' to Target? I think we need to get battwies, cause I need them for my 'tar, cause I need to pway muzic. So we need to get battwies fwom Target."