Saturday, 18 November 2017

I have been remiss in my duties. I logged into this blog app and it told me that my last entry was 7 months ago. That shocked me. It doesn’t even seem like I’ve been writing in Australia for that long. The passage of time is slow and fast at the same time.

Anyways, I had a request from my mother who recently visited to send her my recipe for my Mexican rice. Since she was also telling me repeatedly how long it had been since I’d written, I decided to combine the two tasks.

My Mexican rice has progressed from the original and become a combination of recipes and personal preferences. So this is very tailored to me and Fraser’s tastes, so adjust based on how flavorful you like your food!

You start with one whole diced onion (any colour will do, I prefer yellow though). Pour a quarter cup of good olive oil into a sauce pan and heat over medium. Add the onion at any stage. I like to add before it’s hot because then I can hear it start to sizzle and know how it’s progressing. This may not be cooking protocol but it satisfies my controlling nature. Depending on my mood and how tired my knife is, I’ll chop up a couple of cloves of garlic and add. It’s not necessary though. I just think garlic should be in everything that is not considered a “sweet” food. Add some diced capsicum to this. Again this recipe is very flexible and you can use any colour. I’ve done it without either onion or capsicum, it can be based on your crisper contents. Any other veggies you think would be yummy in a mexicano rice you can add once the onion and capsicum (aka peppers) are softened. So tonight I added a bunch of diced cherry tomatoes that were on the verge of going off. Personally, I don’t like any fruit or veg that are over-ripe so this kind of dish tends to occur when we have an excess of veg that need to be dealt with. Sautée until soft and then add the spices. This again is where you use your own taste preferences. I like food heavily spiced so I use a lot more than is normal. I add 3 tsp oregano, 3 tsp cumin, 3 tsp coriander, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chilli powder (ours is very hot so add to heat level you desire), 3 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper. This is all estimated since I kinda dump it all in and judge by colour of the rice. Then add between 1 and 1 1/2 cup of basmati rice. Cook for a couple of minutes, soaking up the oil and spices. Dump in 1 can (400g) of diced or whole canned tomatoes (if they’re canned then break up with a spoon).

IMG_1996Fill that can up all the way (if using 1 1/2 cups rice and about 3/4 full if only using 1 cup rice) with water and pour in. Add in a can of beans (400g) either red kidney or black beans, depending on what you have on hand or your preference. Cover and cook between 15-20 min. Add 1 cup of frozen corn about 5 minutes before you’re done cooking the rice. Don’t be afraid to lift the lid and stir. Some of my occasional add-ins include chopped jalapeños (fresh or jarred), tomatoes, coriander (fresh).

Tonight I served it with fried chicken breast and it was an awesome combo. Highly recommend.



I’ve been really utilizing our slow cooker lately. It’s really turned into my favourite tool. I love to cook but as my mom has always said, food that is prepared for you by someone else always tastes better. Well a slow-cooker has solved this conundrum for me! I cook in the morning and enjoy it and then eat in the evening but it feels like someone else did all the work. Double enjoyment!

So this recipe is dedicated to my Auntie Ruthie who also knows the beauty of the slow cooker and has taken such good care of my parents at her place. This is slow-cooker chicken and chickpeas curry…yummm. I will like the proper recipe below.

Heavily salt and pepper whatever type of chicken you would prefer. We used drumsticks and wings but I would change this after trying the recipe. Because of the long cook time, the bones degrade a lot, this adds a lot of flavour but you end up picking out cartilage and bits which I hated. In future I would use thighs and breast, but alas… Brown it in a heavy sauce pan covered in olive oil and salt and pep. Remove the chicken to plate.


Sautée diced garlic, ginger and onion in olive oil until soft in the same pan used for chicken. Then add curry paste (decide on type based on spice preference), we used vindaloo because we like it hot. Add the browned chicken.

Add canned tomatoes and chicken stock, stir and break up and cook for a couple of minutes. Then transfer the entire mixture to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 5.5 hours or on low for 3.5 hours. Then add the chickpeas and coconut milk and cook for a further 45 minutes. Serve with rice and fresh coriander for deliciousness.

To finish this post I want to put up a couple of pictures of grandma. I think about her a lot, but especially during November since it’s close to her birthday. She was an extremely abused woman and survived some incredible things. Her children all overcame obstacles and are all incredible people and she was THE coolest grandma ever. I miss her a lot but I am so glad she got to meet Fraser and give me her seal of approval on him. I almost hated the meeting between them because for the first time she wasn’t giving me 100% of her attention and was alternating between hugging and grilling him. She was the coolest lady and I think was incredibly misunderstood but without the tools to deal with her trauma and explain her failings to others. I really respect her accomplishments and learn from her mistakes. I know she’s at peace now and cackling down at me while I give Fras hell. I know she’d appreciate me keeping him on his toes while I take such good care of him. That’s something she passed to my mom. My father and me were incredibly spoilt but Shirl kept us honest and humble enough that it didn’t make us lazy or unappreciative of said spoiling. This has translated to all my aunts and uncles. They are the most selfless people, but they haven’t raised spoilt, entitled children. We’re all pretty ok (if I do say so myself).


2 thoughts on “Saturday, 18 November 2017

  1. Hey Joe
    That’s not nice getting mommy all weepy on a Saturday morning. That was soooooo beautiful and auntie Ruth will be so chuffed
    She so needed that right now as allher family are in Mexico. She wasn’t invited. Dad and I are headed downtown and to uncle Wilf’s place for coffee.
    I can’t wait to try those dishes. They look good enough to eat on the pictures
    You should post the water dragon and the garden snake.
    Have a nice day and evening
    Oh dad and I watched a very interesting doc last night called Joan Didion. One of my all time fav books is the year of magical thinking
    I have to read play it as it lays when I get my books all together. She is such an interesting woman
    Anyhow time for my second coffee
    Love mom

    Sent from my iPhone


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