Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Basmati Rice from Aldi

The Basmati rice is distributed by Aldi
We bought this rice because we were curious what kind of rice it was. Besides, we wanted to try something new. What we could read on the package encouraged us to choose the Basmati rice:
'Authentic Indian Basmati Rice. Naturally aromatic long grain rice. Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas.'
And we are not disappointed with the purchase - just the opposite: the rice is tasty, and when cooked, it is tender and fluffy, without the usual 'sticky rice' effect. According to what I have learned from the Internat research, the Basmati rice is also healthier than a regular white rice as its glycemic index is lower.
It does not take much time to cook it - I usually cook 1/3 cup of rice for the two of us (add a little oil, about a cup of water and a quarter of a bullion cube). When the water boils, it is time to cover the pot and cook the rice until the water is absorbed.  Usually it all last around 10 minutes. However, I observe the rice - stir it when it gets dry and check whether it is soft enough. If it is not, I add some more water (not much!) and cook, covered, a bit longer. When it is ready, just stir the rice with a fork and serve. If it happens that there is still some water at the bottom of the pot, I uncover it and stir the rice delicately with a wooden spoon (the burner is still on). It helps to get rid of the water as it evaporates while stirring.

Other advantages of Basmati rice (information from the packaging):
  • naturally gluten free
  • naturally lactose free
  • low sodium

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mastering Chicken Quesadillas

I have mastered making Chicken Quesadillas (thanks to a great recipe by Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman). The ones made at home are much better than the quesadillas served by a local food place. With Tex-Mex rice (made by myself also) and refried beans, these Chicken Quesadillas make a great dinner.

 What I use to prepare Chicken Quesadillas:

  • 1 chicken breast - diced
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1/2 onion - sliced
  • 1/2 - 1 green bell pepper - sliced too
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • shredded Mexican style cheese (Queso Quesadilla)
  • some oil - to fry the meat
  • some butter - to fry the quesadillas
  • a bit of hot sauce 

The rest of the recipe you will find here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Baked Mac & Cheese

before baking...
First time when I was asked whether I would like some mac & cheese, I did not know what the 'mac' stood for. When I learned that fish is traditionally served here with macaroni and cheese, I was quite surprised. I would have never thought of such a meal configuration before. Where I come from, fish is always served with potatoes - either fried (french fries) or boiled, but never with elbow shaped pasta and cheese! Nevertheless, the two and fish match quite well and I learned to like it. Mac & Cheese goes nicely with fried meat too.
I have tried quite a few mac & cheese recipes, including making it on the stove, but this one seems to be the best of all.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter Goodies & How To Sweep The Table Fast

The Easter goodies you can see in the pictures below are already gone but it is nice to think how delicious they were.
The cake was so good, moistened and not too sweet. It can be a really good birthday or any other holiday cake too. I did not have a kind of butter cake mix which was required in the original recipe, so I used what I had - a cake mix with 1/3 cup vegetable oil as an ingredient. That is why while making the cake I skipped butter of course. Besides that, I followed the instructions given by The Southern Lady  in her post. The Mandarin cake was a true success.
I used two round, 9" cake tins - my cake had two layers not three though. Another great recipe worth keeping!

Mandarin Orange Cake
These deviled eggs were my first try ever. Next time, to adjust the taste of eggs to our likes, I will certainly add some more mustard and sweet relish than the recipe says. We liked them anyway, but they could have been a bit more spicy.

This recipe also comes from the Southern Lady pages

After Easter:

Egg Leftovers - I used them to make a quick salad:
  • one big potato - peeled, cooked and diced.
  • 2 pickles - diced
  • 2/3 TBS mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • deviled eggs - leftovers - diced
You just need to mix all the ingredients and the salad is ready. I enjoyed it even more than the eggs themselves.

While having a meal, it often happens that some bread crumbs land on the table, making it a bit messy. To clear it, there is no need to remove the table cloth, you just need to find the right equipment.

before Easter...
A little table sweeping set is quite useful and convenient then. You just sweep the table/table cloth and all the crumbs go onto the little shovel, and your eating space is tidy again. My mum used to have quite a stylish table sweeping set, which she had received from her mother. It was made of metal, nicely decorated with a fancy pattern. The sweeping brush was a bit shorter and made of some very soft something. All in all, it looked more like a prop from 'Downton Abbey times'. Guess, maybe it was though not literally of course. The set I have is both simple and inexpensive which actually is a great advantage. Since it is not too big, you do not need much space to store it either.
The set found and bought at Dollar Tree

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Getting Ready for Easter

Time to start getting ready for Easter. I am going to be busy with baking and preparing for the holiday. More on the results of mu Easter actions soon....

Happy Easter to you all!