What I Found on Etsy

What I Found on Etsy: Kitchen Things

What I Found on Etsy: Kitchen Things

As I spend more and more time in the virtual world, working on this website and turning myself into a social media butterfly, I crave handmade objects. So I’ve been trolling Etsy and found so many wonderful handmade products and fascinating stories behind them.

From left to right, top to bottom:

I’m a sucker for all jewelry but I’m an absolute fool for miniature kitchen utensil charms like the Hannibal Cooking Necklace.

I think I would entertain more if I owned this Lace Ceramic Platter Terracotta Bowl.

My kitties live to eat and that’s about it so this Cat Kitchen Art Decor of the cat dressed in a chef’s outfit amuses me to no end. From Meow Concepts :)

I’m struggling with recipes that seem to explode out of every orifice in the house. I like to think if I had a handmade recipe box with letter press recipe cards, I would be more organized.

I know of a little gal who turned seven last Saturday and I wonder if she could have put these Elsa cookie cutters to use.

Etsy is such a vast online marketplace. I’d love to know which are your favorite shops and artisans. Please, my shopping friend, tell me in the comments.

 

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Links I Love #35 + Who’s Sleeping Together in Minnesota

Links I Love #35

Links I Love #35

Hey buddy, what’s going on? Here is my weekly posting of Links I Love #35, a carefully curated list of recipes, kitchen tips, food news and random great things you need to read, make or eat.

Food:

Are you perpetually trying to add more green to your diet? See 25 Simple Green Side Dishes.

Chicken is a really cheap source of protein so I would love to have 30 or 90 or so favorite ways to prepare it. Here’s one more.

Move over Bullet Proof Coffee and meet the Coffee Tonic.

How did I, lover of all things pie and all things s’more, miss the pie/s’more combo that apparently was A Thing a few years back like these Key Lime Pie S’Mores?

One of the best desserts I ever ate consisted of berries topped with mascarpone cheese. I had no idea I could make mascarpone at home.

What would you add to this list of essential baked goods everyone should master? I would add pie crust, croissants and pound cake.

Not Food:

My new friend Leslie at Usually Charming met Boyz II Men last weekend! Go check out her post about the experience and ogle the photos she took with the guys :)

If I had a daughter, we would be making these all the time.

I always have a big pile of books and things to read. Do you? Maybe you need these tips, as I did, about how to get more reading done.

Finally, Check Out Who’s Sleeping With Who at a Certain Minnesota Farm:

Aren't these furry babies the cutest you've ever seen? My cats will sleep with Jesse, the bad blonde Lab, but I'm not sure they'd curl up with calves like the critters who share home with the A Dairy Good Life blog.

Aren’t these furry babies the cutest you’ve ever seen? My cats will sleep with Jesse, the bad blonde Lab, but I’m not sure they’d curl up with calves like the cats who call home at the Dairy Good Life blog. Photo Courtesy of Dairy Good Life.

You should go meet Sadie, who runs a dairy farm with her husband in Minnesota, at her blog, Dairy Good Life. You’ve got to love a gal who has 17 types of Christmas cookies and treats on her baking list every December. Sadie posts family friendly recipes, uber cute photos of her farm animals and blogs about milk. In fact, she’s a good go-to-source for dairy questions as she’s been writing a column for a regional dairy newspaper since 2008.
If you visit Sadie, be sure to say hey and that I sent you :)

Please tell me what links you’re loving this week? What would you add to the list? Leave a comment.

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Because…

Because I woke up to cat barf in the food bowl
Because I had to sign a note from my son’s teacher
Because spring has sprung but it was 16 degrees today
Because I have several feet of ice and snow in my driveway
Because I had a teensy bit of road rage on my way to work
Because I was in such a bad mood my coworkers were afraid to speak to me
Because I came home to dog sh*t in the mudroom
Because bills are never ending
Because salaries are never increasing no matter the work done or awards won
Because I have a sink full of dirty dishes
Because a beloved is having a serious health problem
Because I have expanded too much this winter
Because a taste of whiskey makes me feel grown up in a good way
Because I am so blessed but rarely get on my knees
Because, because, because
Because of all this on this dreary, frigid Maine March day, there is this for dinner:

Because...dinner

A shot of whiskey in a cup of coffee ice cream makes a damn fine Monday night dinner.

What are you having?

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Links I Love #34

 

Links I Love #34

Links I Love #34

Hi pal. I offer you Links I Love edition #34, a compilation of humorous animals, promising recipes and other delights I’ve scoured the Interwebs to find for you.

Food:

Spring may officially start on Friday but it’ still brrr cold here on the Maine coast, which is perfect weather for one-pot dinners like this one in which everything cooks in a cast-iron skillet.

I’m always looking for vegetarian main dishes, which can go in the slow cooker.  I think that dish would go quite well with my Triple Helping Mexican Rice.

You need this list of 20 meals you can prepare in 20 minutes or less.

Just when I think I’ve prepared roasted potatoes every way possible I see this.

I am a fool for Key Lime Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie and Luscious Lemon Bars and Whole Lemon Bars so I can’t believe I haven’t made this pie yet.

This  is one of the cutest cakes I’ve ever seen.

Not Food:

Cutest animal photo of the week: did you catch these sheepdog sisters?

 

Sheepdog Sisters

Are you drowning in newspapers and magazines and seed catalogs and so on and so forth like I always am? Then click to read how to cut through your to read pile.

Six Google flight tricks better than any travel agent.

Do you use your fingertips in yoga? Here are three reasons you should.

Tell me what links you’re loving this week. Leave a comment :)

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How to Make Triple Helping Mexican Rice

Triple Helping Mexican Rice

Triple Helping Mexican Rice is so good your kids, houseguests, cats, dogs, whomever you’re feeding, will insist on seconds and thirds.

How to Make Triple Helping Mexican Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, diced (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Puree salsa and cilantro together. Set aside.
  2. In a dutch oven or skillet (I used 14-inch cast iron skillet), heat canola oil over medium. Pour in two cups of rice and saute, stirring frequently, about 8 to 10 minutes or until rice is a golden brown color.
  3. Add garlic and saute for 30 to 60 more seconds. Add cumin and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover skillet. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes stirring every five minutes or so to ensure rice doesn't burn. Add additional few tablespoons of water or broth if needed.
  4. Add pureed salsa and cilantro to rice and stir to combine. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until rice is dry and fluffy.
  5. Perfect as is but serve with chopped green onion or diced avocado or a slice of lime if you'd like.
http://kitchenserf.com/how-to-make-triple-helping-mexican-rice/

I made this Triple Helping Mexican Rice tonight to go with tacos and it was so good that Mr. 11 went back for thirds before pushing his plate away.

Have you ever gone to a Mexican restaurant and wolfed  down all the rice on your plate? That’s me every time. And that’s this Mexican rice I made. The rice was dry, fluffy and full of the flavors of tomato and cilantro with a bit of heat.

There are very few Mexican restaurants where I live in Maine, also known as the whitest state in America.  In fact, I can only think of one Mexican place in a 75 mile radius. So what’s a Mexican rice oinker to do but learn to make her own.

This is an easy recipe that almost makes itself but not quite. Don’t make it on a night when you just want to sit in a recliner and watch Nashville or Vampire Diaries or Pretty Little Liars while dinner is percolating on the stove. This Triple Helping Mexican Rice is a stand at the stove and keep a watchful eye, stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn side dish.

Use whatever salsa you like or even a salsa you don’t. That’s the reason I made this dish tonight. I had a jar of salsa that none of us were nuts about languishing in the fridge.  The recipe that inspired my Triple Helping Mexican Rice is this one from The Kitchn. The author, Nealie Dozier, uses canned tomatoes and chops up onion and cilantro.

Because I’m a triple lazy girl, I knew salsa would work just as well. Nealie’s recipe includes a jalapeno. I didn’t include a jalapeno because I was using a salsa with a medium level of hotness. But if you like a lot of heat, use a hot salsa and/or toss a jalapeno into the food processor when you puree your salsa and cilantro. Blending the salsa and cilantro together is important otherwise you’re going to have rice with chunky pieces of tomato and such, which is fine, but you won’t get the typical Mexican rice result that you’ll recall from your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Blend salsa and cilantro together so that it's chopped fine and mixes well with the rice.

Blend salsa and cilantro together so that it’s a puree and combines well with the rice.

Be sure to measure your rice and your broth so you have exactly two cups each. Normally you would use four cups of liquid for two cups of rice but you’re adding two cups of salsa to compensate. A side note, don’t pull a can of broth from your cupboard and assume that it contains two cups of broth. I pulled a 14.5 ounce can out the other day and it felt light so I poured it into my measuring cup and it was a scant 1 3/4 cups of broth. What gives broth manufacturers? Your labels says “about two cups.”

I’m all about seat of the pants, a pinch of this and a squeeze of that cooking but not when it comes to cooking rice. Use exact measurements or your rice isn’t going to turn out well cooked and fluffy.

Mexican Rice. I haven't tried brown rice or other types of rice in this recipe yet but let me know if you do.

Two cups of long grain white rice is the base for Triple Helping Mexican Rice. I haven’t tried brown rice or other types of rice in this recipe yet but let me know if you do.

I wish I had an extra toe on each foot. Are you still with me? Wake up. This is the most important step. Don’t skip this step. Triple Helping Mexican Rice will be “I’ll just have a spoonful rice” if you don’t do the following: saute the two cups of rice in a 1/3 of a cup of canola or vegetable oil for 8 to 10 minutes or until the rice turns a light golden brown color.

This is a critical step. Saute rice in a 1/3 of a cup of oil. This ensures a flavorful, fluffy rice dish. Don't saute the rice and you'll end up with a mushy, substandard rice dish and no one will love you.

This is a critical step. Saute rice in a 1/3 of a cup of oil. This ensures a flavorful, fluffy rice dish. Don’t saute the rice and you’ll end up with a mushy, substandard rice dish and no one will love you.

Once you’ve sauteed the rice and added a chopped garlic clove or two and your teaspoon of ground cumin, stir in two cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil before reducing the heat, covering the rice and letting cook on low for ten to 15 minutes. Then add salsa and stir well continuing to cook until all liquid has evaporated. If rice seems dry and needs to cook longer, you may need to add a bit more chicken broth or water.

 

Triple Helping Mexican Rice offers a bit of heat, a hint of cilantro and tomato and is so addictive you'll want more than two servings.

Triple Helping Mexican Rice offers a bit of heat, a hint of cilantro and tomato and is so addictive you’ll want more than two servings.

You tell me, do you like Mexican rice? Do you have any good recipes for it? What’s your favorite dish to order at a Mexican restaurant? Tell me in the comments section.

I like to order dishes I won’t typically make at home so I usually order a chimichanga (a.k.a deep-fried paradise). When I was little and we lived in Arizona, I had a babysitter named Lola Gonzalez who was very glamorous and painted her face and she taught my mother how to make Mexican food, including chimichangas. She had a little boy a few years younger than me named Renee who was always playing with Matchbox cars.  I never understood that little kid’s fascination with Matchbox cars until I had my own little boy kid. Then I got it.

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