Monday, May 30, 2011

Simple Supper: Avocado on Toast

Yes, I say "supper".  It's very British of me... ok, midwestern, actually.  But what else would you call your evening meal that's more than a snack, but definitely less than a dinner?

This is what I had tonight:

Avocado on Toast with Ham
2 slices bread (my favorite: sprouted wheat)
1 medium avocado
1/2 lemon or 1-2 tsp lemon juice
2 slices ham

1. Toast bread.
2. Half avocado and scrape out of husk onto a plate. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice.  Mash with a fork till juice is all mixed in and avocado looks like guacamole dip.
3. Spread avocado on sliced bread.  I like it thick, so 1 avocado doesn't last more than two slices.
4. Place ham over avocado.
5. Enjoy!

In Chile, this is a common light supper accompanied by the ubiquitous cup of black tea. Mmmmm... :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Clean Teapot

I love tea.  I don't love the tartar-like substance that accumulates at the bottom of the tea kettle, be it stove-top or electric.  Here's an easy way to remove it:

1 part vinegar
4 parts water

Boil and then rinse with hot tap water. 
Exact measurements will depend on the size of your tea pot, but you'll want it at least half-full. 
For example, I have a 1.7 liter electric kettle.  I use 1 cup vinegar to 4 cups water and boil.  If the tartar is stubborn, I either let it cool and reboil or attack the softened tartar with a brush, depending on my level of laziness. 

Another tip: When making tea, fill your kettle just with the amount of water that you need.  You'll build up tartar more slowly and waste less gas/electricity.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rice Recipes

Chilean style
2 cups rice
3 ¾ c. boiling water
2 tbsp. oil
A little bit of finely chopped onion and shredded carrot (1/4 c. total)
1 ½ tsp salt

Heat oil in pan till shimmery on  top.  Add onion and carrot and stir.  Once onion is translucent, add salt and rice.  Stir to mix veggies with rice.  Pour in water (hot).  Turn down heat very low.  Cover pan. Cook 15 min.  Turn off heat and uncover for 3-5 min before serving.  To be really authentic, use a rice mold (or cup) when serving.

Rice Cooker style
2 cups rice
4 c boiling water
1 ½ tsp salt

Put rice in cooker.  Add water and salt. Turn on cooker.  Ready when button pops up or it beeps.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chilean Chicken and Rice

This recipe is less detailed than others I’ve posted.  I got it from my Chilean mami, Cecilia.  Each cook has their own version they know by heart and adapt according to what ingredients they have available and how many hungry people they’ll be feeding. 
These are the original notes she gave me, translated to English:
Garlic, onion, green onion, carrot – finely chopped. Heat everything in a little oil until golden.  Brown skinned chicken pieces on both sides. Add water till it barely covers the chicken. Cover and simmer for ½ hour.
I didn’t even include to serve it with rice, because that’s a given.  Here’s my conversion with measurements for newbies and type A people (you know who you are).

Cecilia's Arroz con Pollo al Jugo (rice with chicken cooked in its own juices - literally)
(4 servings)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 med onion, finely chopped
2 green onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced or shredded
4 pieces of chicken, skinned
2 cups of rice, prepared according to package directions or this recipe

In a pot with a lid, heat oil till shimmery (med heat).  Add veggies and stir occasionally till onions are just past translucent.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Add water (I also include ¼ c white wine) to pot to barely cover chicken.  Cover pot with lid and turn down heat to a simmer.  Cook 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Christopher Elbow chocolates ...mmm... rosemary caramel (that's the green one)

tea and biscuits

Jane Austen inspired movies

 the Getty


eating outdoors


café helado


open-air markets

grand canyon

san francisco

my brother and sister-in-law... and nephew Doug the Pug

ironic valentines

my mom

live band at a coffee shop

 my dad

reading poetry in a meadow


english landscapes


my sister

traveling by train