She works with willing hands.

Corned Beef with Cabbage and Potatoes

I’m a firm believer in seasonal cooking.  Typically this means utilizing locally grown produce, which helps out our local farmers (you know, that whole farm-to-table thing?).  Plus it’s hip.

Just call me Hipster Unbored Housewife.  Or don’t.  That would be weird.

You can use this fancy schmancy Seasonal Ingredient Map from epicurious to help you discover what is fresh in your area.

Unfortunately for those of us who live in the northeast, we don’t have local produce available this time of year.  So my version of seasonal cooking in the wintertime is preparing meals that utilize the freshest available grocery store produce while matching the feel of the month or holiday.  And given that we’re already into the second week in March, and we’ll be donning those shamrocks soon, I thought it appropriate to cook my corned beef brisket with cabbage and potatoes.  I’m not Irish, but I’ll celebrate right alongside them if I get to eat this.

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional, hearty Irish dish.  I was curious about its origins, so I found this informative little article from the History Channel.  Apparently, Irish folks originally prepared this dish with pork, but started using beef instead after immigrating to the United States.  It was, and still remains, a satisfying and cost-effective way to feed your family.

Cabbage is a cool-weather crop and is currently in season in California, Florida and Texas, so we have plenty of it in our local market.  I use green cabbage for this particular dish.

And in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, corned beef brisket is readily available in the market right now.  I snatched up a two and a half pound, pre-cured corned beef brisket from my local Wegmans.

Some folks brine the beef themselves, but I am not one of those folks.  It takes about a week to pickle corned beef, during which time the meat sits in a liquid brining solution.  I’m sure that the result is tasty, but that method is far too time intensive for this unbored housewife.

Here are the ingredients for my version:

corned beef ingredientsThrow your corned beef into a large pot.  I put mine in fat side down.  Add a bottle of beer to the pot.  I used Stella Artois because it’s Jersey Boy’s favorite and it’s all we had in the fridge.  Highbrow or lowbrow beer is fine.  Miller Light would be A-okay.  Just pour it in.

Now open the spice packet that comes with most pre-brined corned beef briskets and dump it on top of the meat.


The spice packet contains a combination of mustard seed, coriander, cracked bay leaf, crushed chilies, cracked cinnamon, fennel, whole black pepper and dill seed.

Now grab a white onion.  I used one because my brisket was fairly small.  Use two onions for a larger brisket.

First halve your onion.

onion halved

Then quarter it and add it to the pot.

onions in pot

Next add a teaspoon of minced garlic.

garlic on brisket

Grab one big or two small bay leaves and put them in the pot.

bay leaves

Measure one-half tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper.

coursely ground

Add the pepper to your other ingredients.

ingredients atop

That’s almost pretty, no?  (Well, I guess as pretty as spices sitting atop cured meat can be.)

Now pour in just enough water to cover your corned beef.  Mine was floating just a bit, which is fine.


Bring your ingredients to a rapid boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow the meat to cook for two hours.

These are the kind of notes that I leave myself:


For inquiring minds, that reads: “2 hours, put veg[etables] in @ 4:00.”

Whatever works, right?

After the meat cooks for two hours, open the lid and toss some baby carrots into the pot.  I used twenty-five baby carrots.


You can use twenty-six,

or twenty-four,

or seventeen.

It’s not an exact science.

Now look at these cute little potatoes:

baby potatoes

Aren’t they precious?  Bless their hearts.

They are this type:


I scientifically measured three handfuls, washed them well, and tossed them into the pot.

potatoes into pot

potatoes in pot

Re-cover the pot and simmer for an additional thirty minutes.

Now for the cabbage.

You have to eyeball this one.  Roughly cut several small-ish chunks of cabbage.  Go with the proper amount for your size of brisket.

Wash it in a colander,


and add it to the pot.

cabbage in pot

Cook for an additional thirty minutes.

When the brisket is done, remove it from the pot and place it on a carving board.  Cut off the fat pad on the bottom side of the brisket.  It should slide off easily.  Now slice the corned beef, ideally against the grain.

Plate it and dig in.

Make it for St. Patrick’s Day!



2.5 lb. corned beef brisket, including spice packet (this size was sufficient for two adults and three small children)

1 bottle of beer (nothing too dark)

1 white onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 big or 2 small bay leaves

1/2 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper

25 baby carrots

3 handfuls baby potatoes

green cabbage

36 Feels Pretty Good

Yesterday was my thirty-sixth birthday.  I know that I’m still considered “young” according to many, and I certainly don’t feel “old.”  But as the fine crows feet slowly gather at the corners of my eyes, and I ascertain with dismay that I’m one year too old to be considered one of those much-discussed “millennials” I can’t help but feel thoroughly grown up.

But as they say, “age ain’t nuthin but a number” so I elect to push aside the image of myself growing ever closer to the pinnacle of that darn age-related hill.  You’re not over the hill until you allow yourself to feel that way, right?

My day began with gusto as I shook what my mama gave me at my Mojo exercise class.  That’s right, my favorite exercise class is called “Mojo” which I love because it reminds me that I have it (mojo, that is).  I talk about the class here.

And just look what my exercise buddies gave me:


While I’m at it, can I just say that I am tired of hearing that women don’t encourage and support each other – that we’ve all been socialized into catty, jealous gossips?

It simply isn’t true.

Does cattiness ever happen?  Sure.

But in my experience it is the exception, rather than the rule.  I have amazingly encouraging and supportive women in my life – women who seek to bolster each other with kindness and gestures of love.

If you don’t have women like this in your life – find them.

They may not be your age and they may not look anything like you – but they’re out there, all over the place.  Maybe it’s the grandma who sits in the cubicle across from you.  Maybe it’s the high school girl who lives next door (just imagine what an encouragement you could be to her).  Seek out these friendships.  You’ll be amazed by what you find and how you will be blessed.

Sorry, just give me a moment to step down from my podium.

Okay, I’m back.

After Mojo, my family took me to a scrumptious lunch and then I headed to the nail salon for a touch of solitary pampering (oh the joy).

I left looking like this:

mani pedi

Jersey Boy had this boxed up and waiting for me at home:


And may I just say that there is something terribly romantic about a man picking out and purchasing a dress for his wife to wear out that evening?  I felt a little bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

Except I’m not a prostitute.

And Jersey Boy isn’t a millionaire.

And we’re married.

Oh, you get what I mean, right?

After slipping into my LBD and leaving our children in the capable hands of my MIL, we headed to Paris.

Yes, that Paris – the quaint French bistro and jazz café in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia.

I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Noir, escargot, short rib beef bourguignon, classic crème brulee and a strong cup of decaf coffee with cream.

After dinner, my LBD could have benefitted from a bit of alteration to take out the waist by an inch (or three), but in the spirit of embracing the age of thirty-six, I didn’t much mind.

It was a birthday well spent surrounded by the amazingly supportive people in my life, and I gotta say, so far thirty-six feels pretty good.

Marriage Doesn’t Always Look Like This

[This wasn’t the post I planned for today.  I planned to see The Drop Box film and post a movie review.  However, a winter storm blanketed the Philadelphia region with snow, the theater closed early, and the showing was cancelled.  And then my evening took a different turn.]

Do you ever fight with your husband?  Because I sure do.

Last night we got into a rager.  It snowed all night and day here in Pennsylvania, and after a number of recent snow days, I think I was already teetering on the edge of the proverbial cliff.

You know that cliff, right?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who frequently finds myself seesawing at its summit.  Just picture the Grinch Who Stole Christmas after he stole all of the Whos’ goodies and the goodies are about to go over the precipice (just before he grows his heart – remember?).  He is trying desperately to prevent the Whos’ bounty from crashing over the edge of the cliff.

That was me last night.

And then Jersey Boy did something minor-ish that sent me careening straight down, over the edge.  I lost my temper.  I yelled in front of my kids.  I screamed in front of them, actually.

I screamed at my husband in front of my children, and then all three of the kids started wailing.

[Hanging head in shame.]

I could sit here and describe what Jersey Boy did wrong and how and why it upset me.  He’s certainly not blameless.

But you know who was the real problem?


I’ve been married for ten years, which I know is a small number compared to some of you dear ones.  But I’ve learned enough in the past ten years to understand that if I want my marriage to work – if I truly desire to uphold my marriage vows – I need to spend more time looking at myself in the mirror, and less time staring straight at my husband.

He is flawed, but so am I.  I am terribly flawed.

I am quick to speak and quick to anger…when I know that I am called to be exactly the opposite.

Accurate self-reflection is unpleasant work.  It’s so much easier to see the flaws, even the ugliness, in those closest to us.  I am adept at fooling myself into believing that my flaws are inconsequential and minor.  But these are mere pretenses.

That’s why I need grace – and I need it daily in abundance.  I need grace from God.  I need grace from my husband.  I need grace from my kids, from my friends, from my in-laws.

Examine yourself.  Do you need grace?  Do you show grace to the people around you?

Be encouraged, dear ones.  Marriage is hard work, as are all relationships.  Don’t believe a lie to the contrary.  But it’s valuable work; work worth doing.

I forgave Jersey Boy for wronging me, just as he forgave me for my lack of self-control and display of anger.  I apologized to my children, and they forgave me with open arms and sweet kisses.

Much like the Grinch, my heart has been changed, and is being changed daily.  And although it is often unpleasant work to examine the condition of my own heart, it is necessary and valuable.

And take heart, spring is right around the corner.

The Four Phrases I Tell My Kids Every Day

Photo by KC Photography Co.
Photo by KC Photography Co.

There are certain things that I want my children to know and believe without any doubt.  I repeat these four phrases to my children daily.  I desire that these things become part of my children’s identities.

1.  “I love you with all of my heart.  Always.  No matter what.”

I want my children to trust that there is nothing they can do to lose my love.  My love for them is unconditional.  Will this always be easy?  Surely not.  It is easy when they are toddlers looking up at me with their precious doe eyes.  It’s another matter when they are adults making their own way in life, beyond my influence or authority.  I repeat this phrase as much for myself as I do for them – to remind myself, assure myself – that I really will love them no matter what.

2.  “God made you just the way He wants you.  There is only one of you, and He has special plans just for you.”

I want my children to understand that they are known and loved.  I want them to embrace that they are unique and trust that they were designed by their maker who has a unique plan for their lives.

3.  “You are precious.”

I convey to my children that they are more precious than all the treasure in the world.  I tell them that I am so thankful that I get to care for them – so thankful that I get to be their mommy.

4.  “You are beautiful inside and outside.”

This phrase is mostly for my daughter, although I say it to my sons too.  She is only a year old, but my daughter will spend her entire life being faced with unavoidable messages about what it means to be beautiful.  I want her to know and believe that her daddy and I see her as beautiful, both physically, and for the condition of her heart, mind and soul.

Sometimes I repeat these phrases out of rote memory and sometimes I even say them when I’m angry.  Loving my children well isn’t always easy, but it is what I am called to do.  And one day when I am dead and gone, I hope to leave behind children whose identities reflect these phrases – children who love well.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

When a toddler happily noshes on a roasted stalk of asparagus, you know you’ve done it right.  My eighteen-month-old gobbled down a piece of this asparagus and upon finishing it, pointed to the rest of the dish still warm from the oven, and proclaimed “nom nom.”  This, my friends, is true culinary success.

V asparagus

(Yes, her hand and nose are blue.  We had a run-in with a stamp pad.)

Asparagus is a spring vegetable, and since it’s March, I thought it apropos.  This side dish is so easy and so yummy that if you don’t head to the grocery store immediately to buy some asparagus – well then you’re just crazy.

Asparagus is reportedly good for your heart, skin and digestion.  Eating asparagus may also help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and according to at least one study, it may actually slow the aging process.  And since my birthday will be here in just a few short days, I snatched up a bunch of asparagus from the market.  (It’s worth a try, right?)

There are several ways to prepare asparagus, but I love it roasted in the oven.  Today’s version is light and clean, with olive oil, lemon and garlic.

Here are the ingredients:

asparagus ingredients

I prefer thin asparagus stalks.  The thicker variety is usually tougher and stringier.

Start by cutting off the woody ends of the stalks.

cut off ends

According to the kitchn, there is a fancy way of trimming asparagus by individually snapping off each end.  I’m sure it works well, but I prefer the lazy housewife’s way – I’ll use my knife and cut mine off in two seconds.  Done and done.

Now rinse your asparagus well and place them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

baking sheet

Grab the extra virgin olive oil, and drizzle it on your asparagus.  I did not measure before doing this.  Simply drizzle enough oil to lightly cover the asparagus.

This is what my pan looked like at this point:

olive oil drizzle

Next measure one teaspoon of course sea salt.

sea salt1

Evenly sprinkle the sea salt onto your asparagus.

sprinkled salt

Now measure the black pepper.  I use one-half of a teaspoon of black pepper, but I like things spicy.  If you score low on the heat-tolerance scale, go with one-quarter teaspoon.

black pepper

Sprinkle the pepper over your asparagus.


sprinkled pepper

Measure one-half of a tablespoon of minced garlic.  Today I’m using my jarred garlic.  Of course, you can always use fresh.

garlic1Evenly distribute the minced garlic on top of the asparagus.  Now use your hand and mix it all around, making sure it is evenly coated.

mixI took this picture with my nose and yes, that is my hair in the right side of the frame.  You get the point.

Now wash your hands immediately if you don’t want to smell pungent.

coatedDoesn’t that look lovely?

Now rinse your lemon and slice it thinly.

lemon slices

I know, my knife skills stink.  I’m impatient, I tell ya.

Evenly place the lemon slices on top of the asparagus.

lemon on topPlace the asparagus into a 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes.  When it’s done, the asparagus should be tender but still a bit crisp.

Remove it from the oven and put it into a pretty dish for serving (or just nosh on it straight from the pan, like we did).

If this asparagus pleases even a toddler, you know it’s delicious (not to mention good for you)!

Nom nom.


1 bunch of thin asparagus

Olive oil for drizzling

1 tsp. course sea salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 lemon


Why I Embrace the Term “Housewife”

Google tells me that “housewife” is defined as: “a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.”  Sounds pretty glamorous, huh?

Some of you may find the term “housewife” antiquated, offensive…perhaps even sexist.  So why on earth would I, an educated woman who left behind a promising legal career, embrace such a term?  Why would I choose to call myself a housewife?

In her book Housewife Theologian, Aimee Bird expresses it well:

These days the term has come to mean a married woman without a career–which is a negative definition.  It separates women by the question we have been contentiously debating for decades: should a married woman, particularly a mother, work outside the home?  I believe this is a big distraction that has prevented us from asking better questions.  But instead of tossing out the word altogether, I would like it to be recovered for the uses of uniting women in their common calling and responsibilities as well as helping us to celebrate the beauty of diversity among us.  The word love has been abused in more ways than I care to imagine, but none of us would want to sacrifice the speaking and hearing of it for the sake of word thieves.

So, just like Aimee, I am reclaiming the term “housewife” from the word thieves who have twisted it into a picture of the docile wife pandering to the chauvinistic dominion of her husband.  Instead, I embrace the term with open, loving, sometimes exhausted arms.

I am a housewife.  This is my work.  I clean, teach, change diapers, kiss boo-boos and serve as room parent at my kids’ school.  I nurse babies (only one currently), go to Target more than I care to admit, and cut food into teeny-tiny pieces for teeny-tiny mouths.  I read the same picture book over and over at the request of an eighteen-month-old.  I make lion sculptures out of Play-Doh and pretend I’m a princess being rescued by my three-year-old knight in shining armor.  I sing songs with hand motions and cook my husband’s favorite meals.

I imagine that many mothers, whether or not they have a professional career, do many of these things.

Being a housewife isn’t about whether you work outside of the home or how you make your money.  It’s about our shared responsibilities as women and mothers.  These things unite us.

And as mothers – as women – there is immense value in our responsibilities.  There is beauty, selflessness and strength in our duties.

As for this unbored housewife, I don’t do my work with a sense of burden or out of compulsion.  Not every day is easy, but I find joy in my duties.

You see, dear ones – I work with willing hands.

Jersey Boy’s Basic Whipped Potatoes

I may be an unbored housewife, but I don’t do every last bit of cooking in my house.  My Jersey Boy husband pitches in from time to time, too.  There are a few dishes that he always makes, mostly because his version is better than mine.

Whipped potatoes are one of those foods.  I can be a little (ahem) impatient.  Therefore, peeling potatoes, cutting potatoes, boiling, draining, and then pulling out the mixer and whipping those potatoes – ugh, it just seems like a chore to me.  My version of whipped potatoes is actually the mashed variety, hastily achieved by way of a hand masher, leaving tiny, uneven chunks throughout.

But Jersey Boy takes his time and does it right.  (Remove your mind from the gutter, dear ones.  We’re talking potatoes here.)  He doesn’t mind using the hand mixer to achieve some delightfully-even potato bliss.

Whipped or mashed potatoes are just one of those great comfort foods.  This version is just about as simple as they come.  Jersey Boy frequently zhushes up his whipped potatoes with cheese, green onions, garlic, chives, and even bacon (so good, but so bad).  But today we’re showing you the yummy comfort that is basic whipped potatoes.

Start with six medium to large potatoes.  Jersey Boy is using white potatoes today, mostly because we have a bag of them and they are cheap (cheap but full of nutrients).  Just look at the bag – they’re A High Potassium Food!

bag potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are quite literally the gold standard for whipped potatoes and will yield the tastiest result.

Wash and peel your potatoes.  These white potatoes are pretty clean and only need a good rinse.  When I use russet potatoes I typically scrub them with these babies:

potato gloves

Jersey Boy peels potatoes pulling the peeler towards his body.  Isn’t that weird?  I always use the potato peeler with my hand moving away from my body.



Now cut your potatoes.  Look at that.  My Jersey Boy is a man of precision, I tell you.

photo (125)

Throw your potatoes into a nice-sized pot.  This baby is four and a half quarts.

in pot

Cover your potatoes with a few inches of cold water and put them on the stove on high heat.  Add one teaspoon of salt to the water.

water in pot

Bring the water to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to a low rolling boil.  Cook the potatoes for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.

Drain your potatoes in a colander.


Return your steaming hot potatoes to the pot and pull out the butter.  Don’t be afraid of butter, dear ones.  In fact, check out bon appetit‘s cursory review of what science says about butter.  As for me, I’d rather consume something with these ingredients:

butter ingredients

than something with the less-than-appealing ingredients that exist in most butter substitutes.

Sorry, back to the potatoes.

Cut four tablespoons of butter and place those pretty little pats in your steaming hot potatoes.



Jersey Boy likes to bury his in the pot at this point to speed up the melting process.

Next measure and sprinkle in one and one-quarter teaspoons of salt.


Of course, all seasonings, especially salt, are really a matter of taste.  If you typically go light on the salt, start with one teaspoon.  You can always add more.

Measure one-half teaspoon of black pepper and add that, too.


Pour three-quarters of a cup of half-and-half into the potatoes.  (We keep things rich around here.)

half n half

Now pull out your hand mixer.  Jersey Boy uses his hand mixer’s beaters to lightly mash the potatoes before turning on the power.


After a little mashing, turn on your mixer and whip your potatoes just until smooth.  Caution – do not over mix!  Too much mixing will cause them to turn into a gummy concrete.  Um, thanks but no thanks.


And here is the final, comfortable, whipped potato bliss.

final whipped potatoes

As always, Jersey Boy took his time and did it right.  These whipped potatoes are yummy and smooth – just like Jersey Boy himself.

Bon appetit!


6 medium to large potatoes

1 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. butter (Jersey Boy uses salted butter)

Additional 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3/4 cup half-and-half

Sweet Soy Salmon Marinade

Try saying “sweet soy salmon” three times fast.  Did it twist your tongue?

This marinade is tried and true.  I have cooked salmon every which way, and this is still my go-to.  It is insanely easy and always delish.

I typically cook more fish in the summertime.  I often throw some salmon filets in this marinade in the early afternoon hours after putting my two youngest babes down for a nap.  Then I pull them out of the refrigerator at dinnertime (the salmon filets, not the kids), throw a layer of tinfoil on the grill, and place my fish on the tinfoil to cook.  Barely any clean-up = my kind of cooking.

Tonight I’ll cook my salmon on the stove in an oiled grill pan and dream of being barefoot on the deck while my kids run through the sprinkler and play in the sand table.  Ahhhhh…

First, locate a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag.  You can also use a shallow pan if the idea of a plastic bag disturbs you.  I love the environment, too.  Seriously, I do.  I think as humans we were gifted an immense, gorgeous world and we are responsible for caring for it.  But I confess…I use plastic bags.  The fish stay more evenly coated while marinating in a bag.  Plus, I’m an unbored housewife and I pick my battles.  And today my battle is minimizing my dishes and clean-up situation.

Here is the dreaded, evil thing:

plastic bag

Measure one-quarter of a cup of brown sugar and put it inside of the evil one.  You can use light or dark brown sugar.  Both are sugar and molasses.  Dark brown sugar just has more molasses in it, which results in a stronger, more complex taste.  Today I’m using dark.

brown sugar

Now use the same quarter cup and measure one-quarter of a cup of soy sauce.  Pour the soy sauce into the evil one.


Next measure one-quarter of a cup of lukewarm water and pour it in, too.


Finally, measure a little less than one-quarter of a cup of vegetable oil and add it to your other ingredients.  Now, I recognize that “a little less than one-quarter of a cup” isn’t a real measurement, but that lack of precision is just how I roll.  This is what it looks like in my quarter measuring cup.

quarter cup

Now add one teaspoon of garlic powder.

garlic powder1

Finally, add one-half teaspoon of black pepper.

salmon pepper

Squish the bottom of your bag around a little bit to combine your ingredients and allow the sugar to dissolve.

Now throw your salmon filets into the marinade.  (Okay, don’t actually throw them.  My cooking is always much more active in my head than it is in real life.)

salmon in bag

Close the bag making sure to keep out most of the air.

marinade bag

Make sure that all of your filets are well coated by the marinade and place the bag in the refrigerator.  Marinate your salmon anywhere from one hour (for a light taste) to all day (for an intense flavor).

Now cook your fish on the stove in an oiled grill pan for roughly 7-8 minutes per side at medium heat.  The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

You can also bake the filets in the oven in loosely-wrapped individual foil packets.  Using this method, place your foil packets on a baking sheet and bake the salmon at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Of course, I would prefer to be soaking up the summer sun while grilling my salmon outside, but I’m respecting the environment.  And today the environment is telling me that it’s freezing outside.


1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lukewarm water

A little less than 1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. black pepper

The Drop Box

Next week I’m going to see this film:

The movie will be shown nationwide for three evenings only: March 3, 4 and 5.  I plan to post a review of the film next Friday.

Have you heard about this?

Spanish Rice

I may be an unbored housewife, but I haven’t always had the capacity to waltz into my kitchen, open the pantry, and craft a gorgeously satisfying meal for my family.  (Okay, maybe that’s only how it looks in my head.)  Nonetheless, only five years ago, I could scarcely cook a thing.  As in, my Jersey Boy husband cooked almost every meal consumed in our home and then usually did the dishes afterwards too.

In those days, as a lawyer, I worked a lot.  My hours were unpredictable, determined by the demands of my clients, and I frequently arrived home long after dinner hours.  By God’s loving mercy, He gave me a husband who not only knows how to cook, but didn’t mind doing the heavy lifting in the kitchen (and looked good doing it).

Whatever the show Jersey Shore may have done to give jersey boys a dirtball image, my Jersey Boy more than redeems.  I don’t deserve him.

In those days, if I was cooking Spanish rice, it invariably looked like this:

boxed rice

Do you know how much sodium is in this stuff?


Not to mention some suspicious sounding ingredients.  Not so bueno.

After quitting my legal career to be a housewife I figured I should play the part – so I taught myself how to cook.  It was an arduous process, and many a dish ended up burned or just plain nasty, but I learned the craft…and now I adore cooking.

I adore the creativity that it permits.  I adore that my hours spent cooking for my family are peaceful and reflective.  I often pray while I cook.  It’s good for my soul.

I learned mostly from reading cooking blogs – The Pioneer Woman being foremost among them.  Her influence on me is probably obvious.  I found her simple instructions and big photos helpful (often necessary).  I could actually see what the food was supposed to look like.

So I try to do something similar here, in my own voice and my own style.  Thanks for the inspiration PW!

After I picked up the basics, I learned many of my family’s old recipes and honed my own style.  And here I am sharing it with you.  Isn’t life surprising?

Now, back to the task at hand – Spanish Rice.

These are the main ingredients:


Take a nice-sized sauté pan and heat it to high.  Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.  Add one tablespoon of butter into the pan, too.  The vegetable oil helps to prevent the butter from burning.

oil and butter

After the butter melts, add one and a half cups of uncooked white rice.

rice canister

rice in pan

Stir the rice until it is coated with the oil and butter.


Leave the rice on high heat for a few minutes, allowing the grains to puff up a bit and turn slightly golden.  Make sure you stir it periodically and don’t let it burn!  You want it just slightly golden – not brown.

During this time, sprinkle one teaspoon of salt onto the rice.  Next, sprinkle in one teaspoon of cumin.


Then sprinkle in one-quarter of a teaspoon of garlic powder.

garlic powder

Stir your seasonings into the rice.  Now add a can of this.


This is the mild version.  Use the regular version of Rotel for a spicier rice.

When you add the Rotel your pan will steam.  Don’t burn yourself!

rotel in pan

Quickly stir.  Now measure a little under three cups of water and pour it into the pan.

photo (107)

Now add two chicken bouillon cubes.


Bring your ingredients to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the bouillon cubes dissolve completely.

rapid boil

After your rice reaches a rapid boil, cover it and turn the heat all the way down to low.

Let the rice cook for 15 minutes.  When it is finished, stir and serve.

final rice

This is tasty Spanish Rice…and so much better than this:

boxed rice


1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. butter

1 and 1/2 cups uncooked white rice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. garlic powder (I used course garlic powder)

1 10 oz. can Rotel

A little less than 3 cups water

2 chicken bouillon cubes