Foolproof rice

A super easy method for cooking a main dish staple

I’m not sure if this is a recipe or a teeny tiny tip, so I’ll categorize it as both.

Making rice always seems more difficult than it should be. There’s that magic formula of water vs. rice and cooking time with the lid on that generally didn’t really work out that well for me. So I bought a rice cooker, and for about 10 years never gave rice a second thought.

Then last summer, a co-worker gifted me a box from one of the meal subscription services, and it contained a stuffed pepper recipe that featured a new-to-me method of rice cooking. And I’ve never gone back to the rice cooker – in fact, it has moved from the kitchen to the basement, along with other one-trick appliances that aren’t earning their keep.

The technique is ridiculously simple – you just prepare rice as if it were pasta.

Cook rice like pasta for a foolproof dish

Bring a pot of water to boil, add rice, continue to boil uncovered until the rice is cooked to your desired finish. Drain and serve.

Never too crunchy or too soggy. The only caveat on this method is to make sure the holes in your colander are small enough to catch the rice and not let it all go down the drain.

Foolproof Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice

Directions

  1. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add rice to pot, reduce heat slightly so it doesn’t boil over and stir.
  3. Keep rice cooking at a boil, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Test occasionally beginning at about the 15 minute mark (longer if you are using brown rice).
  5. Remove from heat when rice is cooked to your desired finish. Drain and serve. Don’t forget to freeze the leftovers.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Microwave Splatter Shield

A cool trick that doesn’t require a 500 word essay

I’m a big fan of kitchen gadget stores. I love to browse the catalogs, websites and the actual aisles, looking at tools, appliances and decorator items.

But I rarely buy anything. I like to be resourceful and use what I have. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

Take microwave splatter shields. Really good idea. I hate, hate, hate to clean the microwave (true fact: more than once I’ve thought about just buying a new one instead of scrubbing something off the ceiling of the existing one). But they seem really expensive for what they are.

Last winter, in a fit of organizing, I threw away or gave away all my mismatched plastic food storage containers and switched over to glass. At the last second, I snatched two very sturdy lids back from the pile.

Why? Because they were the perfect size to use as splatter shields for my  bowls. They cover almost all of the top of the bowl, but let a little space exist on the corners for steam to escape.

And they are sturdy enough to use as a placemat/trivet for the hot item to be carried from the microwave to the coffee table.

You do eat all your meals on your coffee table, right? 🙂

Choose Happy Sign

A quick Silhouette paper craft

Sometimes I’m all in on a big, multi step craft.

And sometimes, it’s Saturday afternoon, and it’s a little rainy and I’m just restless.

I’ve posted before about my drive to be happier this year. Staring out the window and wishing it was nicer isn’t on the list.

Cutting out a positive statement in pretty purple paper and backing it with translucent paper so the dreary sky actually becomes an art feature  is a better way to approach the situation. Continue reading “Choose Happy Sign”

Sunday Scrolling: April 16, 2017

Socks, Peeps and a Word Album

  • After years of turning up my nose (toes?) at them, I’ve finally become a Birkenstock convert. Did you know they make socks?
  • I’m not a fan, but ’tis the season, so it makes sense for someone to do a list.
  • I’m trolling Pinterest for Mother’s Day ideas, and I came across this which looks spectacular. And time consuming. But the blog author has several additional posts and videos that break it down nicely. And if you started now ….

None of the links in this post are affiliate; they are just things that caught my eye this week.

Paper Box Perpetual Calendar

A Silhouette Studio Print & Cut craft

I’m one of those people who never knows what day it is. I tend to blame my past professional life for this disorder – I used to work at a daily newspaper, and in that business, you are often working ahead. The Sunday inserts get done on Wednesday, the Thanksgiving special gets planned in October, etc.

In reality, I’ve been out of that business for years. So I may have to find another excuse.

I have a ton of electronic calendars at my disposal which are great for actually scheduling, but when I just want to know the day and date, I still look up at my paper calendar.

Perpetual calendars are a neat thing – you don’t have to buy or set up one each year. The day numbers and days of the week just rotate through, uh, perpetuity.

I’ve seen several craft projects where you decoupage paper numbers and other decorations onto wood cubes. I decided to see if I could make one completely out of paper.

Spoiler alert: I did! Double spoiler alert: You can make one too (free files at the end of the post).

Continue reading “Paper Box Perpetual Calendar”

Salad Nachos

Adding healthy ingredients takes a snack to a meal

Lunch on Sundays at SuzerSpace is just about always nachos. Good on rainy days, good on sunny days. They pair well with sports, or crafts, or even chores.

You can’t really go wrong with melty cheese and chips, and anything else you add is bonus.

Because I top these with arugula and southwestern salad dressing, I call them “Salad Nachos” and then I feel less guilty about them. Although as long as you keep the fatty items off, and be tight on portion control, nachos don’t necessarily have to be on the bad list anyway.

A quick word about my feature photo – this isn’t a food blog, so I’m showing them exactly how we eat them. I lift them off the baking sheet by the foil, and then wrap that foil around the serving plate.

Classy? Not really. Easy cleanup? You betcha 🙂

Print

Salad Nachos

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • Salsa
  • Arugula
  • Southwestern Style Ranch Salad Dressing

Instructions

  1. Line a small baking pan with foil
  2. Place a single layer of chips on the foil, keeping them close together so very little foil shows through.
  3. Add a light layer of black beans, and top that with salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly so everything gets a little.
  5. Place this dish in a cold oven, and turn oven to Bake, 350 degrees. *See first note below
  6. Bake until oven hits preheated temperature, switch to broil. *See second note below.
  7. Remove from oven when cheese and chips are browned and crispy.
  8. Top generously with arugula, sparingly with Southwestern style ranch dressing.

Recipe Notes

  1. I call this cooking method "Two-Stage" cooking, which is I'm using the pre-heating of the oven to warm all the ingredients and then switching over to broil to blast them at the last second. I find if I just broil the nachos, the tops are good, but the beans are cold.
  2. When the nachos are in the first stage of cooking, you've got freedom to do something else, since the oven will beep (or in our case play a song) when it's at 350 degrees. However, when you switch to broil, DO NOT LEAVE the oven, not even for a second. These go from "almost there" to carbon in as long as it takes you to look up that just one more thing on the computer.

 

Show and Tell: Paper Swallows

A craft I tried from another website

Three dimensional paper projects are high on my list of fun things to make. Often I don’t even have an intended use for them, I just want to see how they go together.

Pinterest is on to me, and early last week a pin for these paper swallows landed in my feed. Originally, I ignored it because they looked a little scary. But I liked how quick they appeared to come together, and I figured if I cut them from colorful paper, they’d be much happier looking.

And I was right on all counts.

Continue reading “Show and Tell: Paper Swallows”

Miniature Paper Hyacinths

Cute, quick and easy to make

My obsession with making easy paper flower crafts continues with Hyacinths.

I have actually tried to grow these more than once, but between the squirrels that kept digging up the bulbs, and our well intended but big-footed hound dog that squashed them like King Kong, they never fared well in the SuzerSpace yard.

I’ve seen a couple of posts on how to craft these up, and Pinterest is swarming with them, so I’ve course, I’m going to step in with my version as well.

This craft is super low tech – you need scissors, construction paper and glue.

Continue reading “Miniature Paper Hyacinths”

Sunday Scrolling: April 9, 2017

Hockey Horns, Bike Repair Stations and Vigilante Grammar Justice

Today is the last day in the regular NHL season – the Stanley Cup Playoffs (which are practically a full season themselves) start on Wednesday. While waiting for the playoffs to start, you can entertain yourself with this great noisy site.

Several parks in our area have installed these cool Bicycle repair stations that have a rack, tools and QR codes you can scan to see videos of common bike issues that you can fix. I’m not sure how many manufacturers there are for these, but here’s a map from one of them to see if there are any where you ride.

Via FiveThirtyEight – Apparently there is a Vigilante Grammarian roaming England, correcting apostrophe mistakes in signage. Sometimes I’m tempted to bring my own Sharpie/White Out kit to the grocery store and correct all those misplaced possessives myself.

None of the links in this post are affiliate – they are all just things that caught my interest this week.

Stencil Painted T-Shirt

When I created my personalized bike license plate, I realized that the weeded part of the vinyl letters from my name would be a perfect stencil for a T-shirt.

I’ve painted T-shirts before, but not since I bought my Silhouette Cameo. Blogs abound with the instructions for cutting vinyl for a stencil and then painting either fabric or wood signs, and I definitely wanted to try this technique.

And it turns out it’s pretty easy and fun.

Continue reading “Stencil Painted T-Shirt”