It’s A Yarda Sale

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True Story-

1. Saw Sign

2. Laughed Hysterically

3. Proceeded to buy their junk

~ Not my finest moment

Thank you for listening

Love, L.

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Perfect Rice…Every-time!!

Perfect-Rice

 

Hello Lovelies,

Rice…Such an amazing food. It is inexpensive to purchase, full of flavor and easy to prepare.

However, is it really easy to prepare? For a lot of people rice preparation is their achilles heel. Sometimes the rice is too hard, sometimes it’s too soggy and sometimes it just doesn’t taste very good.

All that is about to change because I am about to show you how to make perfect rice every time.

Follow along as I walk you through my no fail recipe that will even make “Uncle Ben” jealous…

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Here’s who’s playing the game today: Basmati Rice, Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Water, Onion, Cubanelle Pepper, Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning, Kosher Salt and Pepper. (Fresh Cilantro is optional)

Beep, Beep, Beep…Personal Preference Alert: There are many varieties of rice to choose from. In this recipe I use Basmati Rice. I suggest you do the same so your ingredients and technique are the same as this recipe. You can branch out later with other rice varieties once you have mastered the basics.

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To start, prep your veggies. Dice 1/2 an onion and 1 medium cubanelle pepper. Put aside.

A long time ago I discovered the cubanelle pepper and my life was forever changed. I have never been a big fan of red and green peppers, I think they’re flavor hogs. But not my darling cubanelle; he’s subtle with a slight sweetness, the perfect pepper. Just like my Papi’s the perfect husband…Aww – how sweet am I?

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Next, pour 2 cups of rice into a measuring cup.

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Now, drown the rice in water…

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Allow the measuring cup to overflow.

Reach into the measuring cup with your clean hand or a spoon, as you continue to run the water.

Move the rice around so the starch is released from the rice and the water begins to run clear.

What’s up with my sink in this picture? It looks so dirty. I promise it’s just the way the water streaks reacted with the flash on my camera. I know you’ve heard that excuse a million times. But it’s true…really!

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Once the water runs clear, it is time to empty the rice into a mesh colander to drain. Set aside.

Check out those bananas in the background, maybe I should make banana bread next?

Why am I distracted so easily? I have the attention span of a monkey…wait are those bananas? What am I saying?

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Now that your prep work is finished, it’s time to have some super rice making fun!!

Set a saucepan on medium high, on my stove I turn the knob to #8. Your stove may be different – it’s just a reference.

Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to the saucepan.

I always use salted butter in all my recipes just in case you couldn’t sleep wondering about that.

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Immediately add the onions.

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Then the cubanelle pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Side note: You can add your veggies immediately to your saucepan, in fact the sooner the better. You don’t have to wait for your butter to brown or bubble or sing or dance. Just turn on your stove and start tossing the veggies in the pan while yelling, “OPA”. It works – scientifically proven, somewhere I think…?? Why are you listening to me?

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This is what you want your onions and peppers to look like. I can’t explain how good this smells!!

Well, actually you know I could but I’ve rambled enough, so I’ll keep this train a movin’ instead.

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Add the kosher salt.

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Add the pepper.

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Add the Johnny’s Garlic.

Johnny’s Garlic is a mixture of herbs and garlic. I buy mine at Costco. If you don’t have any, you can use garlic powder. It won’t be exactly the same, but good enough for government work.

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There they are; all the spices getting to know each other. I love when my spices make friends.

Now mix them up and let them cook for another 2 minutes.

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It is time to add the rice.

Here is where the ancient family secrets come into play.

These next couple of steps are critical in separating rice from RICE!!

Prior to adding the water, you are going to fry your rice just a smidge. Please, listen carefully as these instructions are important!

Once the rice is in the pan, start stirring it around.

Turn the heat down a notch to medium and most importantly keep the rice moving so it does not burn.

Continue this for 2-3 minutes.

If prior to the 2 to 3 minute period the rice starts to stick to the pan or starts turning brown, then it is time to move onto the next step.

With this in mind, it is your judgement call. Watch your rice carefully because all stoves heat differently and all pans transfer heat differently. What works on my stove may be too much or too little on yours.

BE ATTENTIVE WHEN YOU COOK!!

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Time to add the three cups of water to the rice.

Typically, the water to rice ratio is 2:1. I don’t use this formula, I use 1 1/2 : 1 as my ratio.

Aren’t I quite the rice rebel? This is as good as my rebellion gets…

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Turn the heat to high and let the rice boil (uncovered) for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

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Give your rice one last stir and immediately place the lid on the rice – TURN THE HEAT TO LOW!!!

Do not forget to turn the heat to low or you’ll have a bubbling mess all over your kitchen!! I speak from experience here, lots and lots of experience…Ugh – I’m having flashbacks!

Set a timer for 20 minutes and do not peak!!

Did you hear me? Resist the urge to peak!! Do not peak, Nada on the peakage, Nope to the looking, Nix on the gawking, No can do on the observing. I could go on…but why, there’s just no need for that! Capiche?

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Hence, the reason you don’t peak, observe above.

Once your timer goes off … do NOT remove the lid just yet. Patience young grasshopper…

Pull the rice off the stove and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Then, finally you can pull the lid off the pan and there you have it – perfect rice.

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With a fork fluff the rice. The veggies will have congregated around the edges so you’ll want to incorporate them back into the rice.

Serve immediately.

If you would like, you could mix some cilantro into your rice for added flavor. Please note though, cilantro is an herb that people either love or hate. If they love it they REALLY love it, but if they don’t, it grosses them out. Check first – you’ve officially been warned; which is much more official than unofficial, so officially you been schooled and officially warned – unofficially – Thank you for your cooperation and understanding…

Until next time…I’m officially off the air.

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

Rice

Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice
3 cups of water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion – sweet
1 medium cubanella pepper
1 bunch cilantro – fresh (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp johnny’s garlic
Method

Dice onion and cubanelle pepper. Set aside.
Rinse rice thoroughly, drain. Set aside.
Heat a saucepan on medium high heat.
Add the oil and butter.
Immediately add the onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the kosher salt, pepper and johnny’s garlic (which can be substituted with garlic powder); cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice – stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Add the water – boil for 2 minutes.
Cover and reduce the heat to LOW!
Set timer for 20 minutes and DO NOT PEAK!
Remove the rice from the stove.
Keep the lid on and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Remove lid and fluff rice with fork.
Add cilantro to rice if desired.

Happiness Is Only a Mindset Away…

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Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language,

and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. 

The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things,

and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. 

~Elise Boulding

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Hello Lovelies,

I hope this Sunday finds you and yours happy and healthy.

Here’s my thought for the day – Enjoy simplicity.

I find simplicity especially necessary in a world that has inundated us with “things”.

Overstimulation from media, family, friends, work, social life and home life can become maddening.

Some time ago, we as a family decided to take a step back and try to “quiet” some of the noise.

Low and behold it has worked.  Immediately our close little family became even closer and the noise seemed to quiet itself.

My prayer for you and your family this beautiful Sunday is that you find just the right balance of simplicity to fit your life.

Until next time…Whatever’s good for your soul…do that!

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

To Fight or Not To Fight – That is the Question….

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Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to yet another beautiful day!!

Here’s a quick little (I like to think inspirational) story…

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I walked outside yesterday to let my dogs out and next thing I know my feetsies are soaked.

I looked down and was like, “What on earth?”

And then that ugly feeling overtook me…

You know the feeling..when you remember what it was you were suppose to remember hours ago, but clearly did not.

Like…Let’s say – in this particular case…TURN OFF THE HOSE that was filling your pool!!!

13 hours – 13 long hours our hose ran when it was supposed to only run for 30 minutes.

So, I texted my husband with these two photos and asked him if we forgot something.

This is yet another reason why I love my husband so very much.

His reply was, “Looks good, maybe just 5 more minutes then turn it off.”

He cracks me up!!

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Choices – Life is full of choices.

I’m not going to ask you how you would have responded because it is none of my beeswax.

But it is good food for thought – Think about it….

Blame fixes nothing, fights make people sad and mistakes are only human.

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There is a book I love to read and reference often, it is written by Albert E. Cliffe and it is titled “Let Go and Let God”.

You don’t have to have a specific religious affiliation to read it or even have a belief in general, it’s just good common sense advice.

This is a quote from the book I’d like to share, “In our daily contacts, therefore, we should try to keep away from arguments of any kind.  Arguments create bad feelings and often result in a sense of humiliation.”

I like that.  I enjoy harmony and balance and laughter and smiling.

I do not enjoy fighting or crying or blaming or feeling bad so I avoid these.  It’s working out pretty good so far.

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Here is the added bonus…take a closer look at the above photo.

Did you even notice the clouds?

At first I didn’t either.  They took my breath away when I saw them.  I hope they do the same for you.

Until next time…You don’t always have to look up to see the sky.

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember to laugh at yourself or someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

Sweet Salami

Hello lovelies,

Get ready for a lip lickin’, gum smackin’, knick-knack, paddywack, give the dog a bone –  melt in your mouth delight!!

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Howdy, Howdy, Hiddy, Ho – Happy “I can’t wait to share on of my favorite recipes with you” day!!

This recipe is for sure one of my very favorites!!

Perfect for a light dinner paired with a crunchy baguette and a glass of wine.  Ohlala!

It’s also my “go to” appetizer for entertaining.  Everybody goes bananas for it!!!

The best part is that it is quick, simple and always delicious!!

So without further ado I present my recipe for Sweet Salami…

Sweet Salami Ingredients

To Make The Magic Happen, This is What You’ll Need:  Hebrew National Salami, Mango Jam, Brown Sugar and Honey Mustard.

Four ingredients – You’re welcome.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cutting Salami

Slice your salami into thin strips, stopping just before you cut all the way through.  Por favor.

Salami Cut

Your salami should look like this when you are finished slicing.

Again, do not cut all the way through.

Set salami aside and let him know you’ll be right back.

Adding Brown Sugar

In a mixing bowl add the brown sugar…

Adding Mustard

Add the honey mustard.

I always use Boar’s Head Honey Mustard.  Just a suggestion (that you should take).

Mixed Ingredients

Add the mango jam…

Whisk it all together so everyone gets to know each other really, really well.

Cut salami in pan

Place your salami into a small baking dish.

Adding glaze to salami

Go and wash your hands – not that anyone would know, but if you don’t that’s gross so please wash your hands!!

Pour entire mango mixture onto the salami with complete abandon.

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This is where the clean hands are important.

Dig right into the ooey, gooey mixture and pack it into all the nooks and crannies.

This mixture is so good you could lick your fingers, just wait until you are finished – thank you.

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This is what it looks like – it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

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There you have it.  All ready to pop into the oven.  One hour at 375 degrees will bring this recipe to perfection every time.

You will notice that the ends of the salami will darken quite a bit.  Don’t panic.  It is supposed to do that.  That’s the best part.  🙂

Toothpicks

If you are serving this as an appetizer cut the salami slices into quarters, put on a serving plate, drizzle the sauce lightly over the salami and serve with toothpicks.  I like the toothpicks with the colorful fuzzy’s on the end.  It just makes it fun to eat and who doesn’t love fun to eat food???

One a side note…You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it off.  The bake time stays the same.

Until next time…A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.  ~Humphrey Bogart

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

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Sweet Salami

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. Hebrew National Salami
  • ¾ cup Mango Jam (Preference Alert: Peach Jam also works)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. honey mustard

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Score into Salami, cut into Salami in narrow slices (3/16″) but not completely through to the bottom.
  3. Place into baking dish.
  4. Mix Mango Jam, Honey Mustard and Brown Sugar together.
  5. Spread on Salami – make sure to get into all the crevices.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven.  Let cool.
  8. Serve loaf whole or cut into bite size piece and serve with toothpicks.

How To Organize Your Utensil Drawer – Video

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Hello Lovelies,

Please enjoy my first “how to” video.  I am excited to share with you a few simple tips and techniques that make my life easier to manage.

I hope you have a lovely day filled with love, joy and peace.

Until next time…Be the type of person you want to meet.

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.