Sunday, December 23, 2012

Apricot Raisin Cake

Apricot Raisin Cake

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which means I will be handing one of these cakes over to each of my Nans. Apricot cake just happens to be their favourite Christmas cake and for the past couple of years it has been my Christmas gift to them. Not only is this cake moist and delicious, but it's comprised of simple ingredients. I found this recipe on Rock Recipes which is a blog by a fellow Newfoundlander. I would highly recommend this site to anyone! Some amazing recipes on there.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ice Cream Cookies a.k.a Homemade Long Treats

Ice Cream Cookies a.k.a Homemade Long Treats

Who doesn't LOVE ice cream cookies?? That's right no-one! Even if you think you don't, you do. Especially if we're talking about THESE delicious morsels! They're super easy to make, and a great addition to your Christmas baking! Why? You ask? Because they hang out in your freezer and don't occupy your valued fridge space or cupboard space like the rest of your cookies. If you're running out of space, or just happen to LOVE ice cream cookies, whip up a batch of these and I guarantee you'll be glad you did!

Side note: I feel I wouldn't be a decent person if I didn't first warn you, these are like hard drugs... once you start on them, that's all of it! You won't be able to stop! My husband is officially an ice cream cookie addict. Just remember, I warned you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pineapple Squares

Pineapple Squares

Tis the season of cookies and squares, and although these don't pop into my head when I think of Christmas, they’re a welcome addition to any festive platter nevertheless. Not only are they light and fluffy and refreshing - making them the perfect cap to those heavy Christmas meals - but they're also super easy to make. Not to mention, versatile - if you switch out your square pan for a round pan, you've got yourself a fancy little pie! ;)

Tip: If you’re a bit paranoid about using raw eggs in the recipe, leave them out, or better yet, skip the middle layer altogether and just double up on the top whipped layer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Pep Talk!

Christmas is amazing for so many reasons, but for us fatties and closet fatties alike, one of the best parts of the season is the grub! I mean everywhere you go there's a platter of food in front of you; from cheeses to fruits to crackers to cookies to fruitcakes to chocolates and candies, it's a smorgasbord of treats that will tempt even the most hardcore healthy eater. This doesn't even include the chocolates you get as gifts, or the special drinks and booze you will consume while being merry. Oh! and let's not forget the celebratory meals like Christmas Dinner or New Years Dinner, or the fact that you have a constant source of junk in your house, 'cause God forbid you not have anything to offer visitors should they stop by.

You may as well admit it now, you're probably going to be a little cushier by the new year... but then again, that's what New Year's resolutions are for, right?! Christmas is really the one time each year (aside from the scattered vacay) that you can indulge yourself without guilt. You are alive. You are with friends and family. Friends and family that have baked you all kinds of treats (or at least spent the money on them), to bring YOU joy as you visit. So don't deny them the pleasure of making you happy with deliciousness, and more importantly, don't deny yourself. It's Christmas for god's sake! Cut yourself some slack! Now get out there, spread some cheer, and have a very Merry Christmas!!

Spread of Christmas Goodies - Christmas Pep Talk
The reason I get a little 'cushier' during the holidays, Mom's Christmas Spread (2011)  Top plate: Newfie Hor D'oeuvres, Sociables Crackers; Middle Plate: Baguettes; Bottom Plate: L-R Moirs Cake, Shortbread Wreathes, Dream Squares, Boiled Fruitcake, Date Squares, Dominoes, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and in the middle Dutch Dainties.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fruited Marshmallow Dessert

Fruited Marshmallow Dessert

If you're ever looking for a last minute, quick-fix dessert, this is it. Not only does it take a very brief time to prepare, it's simple and tasty. I've never met a person who hasn't loved it. Bonus is, they usually assume you've worked hard to make it! So simple and so delish.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

slice of cake - Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I’ve always loved Pineapple Upside Down Cake and now I understand why! Turns out it’s nothing but butter and sugar... and a little bit of shortening… oh! and canned sugary pineapple! Mmmm sugar coma’s are the bomb! :) In all seriousness, it’s obviously not the best thing for you, but who cares? as long as you’re not stuffing it in your face every other day, one piece, once or twice a year won’t hurt. It’s a treat, and a delicious one at that, indulge yourself!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

White Chocolate Candy Cane Whip

I first concocted this recipe last Christmas while messing around in my kitchen. Not sure how it came to be, but it was a big hit. It tastes like Christmas. It looks like Christmas. Best of all, it's completely versatile. You can use it to ice your brownies, top your ice cream, or top special Christmas waffles on Christmas morning! There's also the eat-it-straight-out-of-the-bowl-option that I'm a fan of ;) Regardless of how you eat it, you will love it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Ultimate Fun Foodie-Friendly Gift List

All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey

I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. Because of this, I feel we lose track of time a little easier. One minute you're complaining about the neighbour across the road with their tree up November 1, then the next you're fighting your way through crowds December 20th, wondering where the time went, desperately searching for those 'last few items' on your list. And let's be honest with ourselves, those 'last few items' are never as 'few' as you thought they were!

So with December 1st just days away, I feel it's necessary to remind you all that if you haven’t already, now is the time to tackle your Christmas shopping! Lucky for you, I just happen to have compiled a list of pretty wicked foodie-themed gifts.  There’s not a person I know, foodie or no, that wouldn’t love at least one item on this list. So have at ‘er and happy hunting! I hope you find some great ideas ;)

Oh and have a listen to Mariah as you browse, one can't Christmas shop without Christmas music, am I right?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stip T's - Sesame and Coconut Crusted Turkey Strips

When I was a kid, the only thing I ever ordered anywhere I went was chicken fingers and fries. The Monkey Finger Platter was a favourite of mine at Jungle Jim's, and classic 'Bay' chicken finger platters would make my day! I kid you not. Now that I'm older, and am exploring new foods and dishes, chicken fingers and fries are a rarity. With that said, when I do get a craving for chicken finger deliciousness, I follow this recipe. Some of the best fingers I've had! Highly recommended as a healthier alternative to the deep fried version. Love the toasted coconut! Thanks again to Looneyspoons for another AMAZING recipe. Can't praise them enough!

Strip T's & 'All That Jasmine' Rice, another Looneyspoon's recipe.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple-Blueberry Crunch


After a meal of soup failure - by failure, I mean a soup that tasted like nothingness, with rice that literally sucked the remaining pot liquor dry (didn't even know that was possible)?! - I was left with a tremendous need to redeem/comfort myself with deliciousness.

Enter Crunch. One of my all-time favourite desserts. It's sweet, delicious, a bit 'crunch'-y and oh-so-satisfying, especially after a savoury meal (or a failed one in this case). Like many of my recipes, this was a favourite growing up. Typically, we would have either blueberry or apple crunch, but last week, with both on hand, I stared destiny in the face and created my new favourite version, Apple-Blueberry!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fish 'n' Brewis

It doesn't look like much, ladies and gentlemen, but don't let this picture fool you, behold the deliciousness that is Fish 'n' Brewis. 'What is this masterpiece?' you ask? Well my friends, it's a very simple, very delicious, combination of 3 ingredients: Codfish, Hard Bread, and Scrunchions a.k.a. tiny fried pieces of pork fat. Next to Jigs Dinner, this is the quintessential Newfoundland food.

Now, I will admit, like most Newfoundland dishes, there are a few varieties. Some people like to mash potato into the mix, or substitute the scrunchions with fried onions (a much healthier alternative). There's also some discrepancies in the naming, I like to call the above fish 'n' brewis, while my husband and his family refer to it as Fisherman's Brewis and call Fish 'n' brewis a decomposed version of the dish served with potatoes. Either way, this is what comes to mind when I hear the words fish 'n' brewis, it is the best, and my favourite way to eat it... not that I'd turn down the other stuff ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Food Challenge *Updated*

As I've mentioned before, I've really only started exploring new foods and flavours over the past few years. This means, there is still so much left for me to try! Over the summer, I crossed 10 new foods off my Food List Challenge, plus several more items not even on that list. Since giving myself a deadline was so successful, I figure it's time for another one. This time, the goal is a little more specific - I must try a minimum of 3 new foods, and attempt cooking 2 new dishes that I've never cooked before! Below is this month's proposal. Wish me luck people, I'm late starting so there's less than 4 weeks left!

November Foods to Try

1) Fish Tacos 

Photo Source

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What to do with leftover Halloween Chocolates?!

It doesn't say much for me, that my husband came home to an empty cauldron of treats and assumed without a doubt that I ate them all... it's not like there were 5 missing... there were like 40 or more gone! lol

In the meantime, he was relieved to find out I hadn't fully lost my will, and was pretty impressed at what I had come up with! So without further ado, I present to you the discovery of the century, the realization that will rock your world! The solution that will prevent you from munching yourself into tight-fitting-used-to-fit-perfect-pants, the answer to the age-old question 'What do I do with all of these leftover treats?!'

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brain Dip

What's a Halloween party without Brain Dip? I'll tell you... a sub-par Halloween party, that's what. This past weekend, we hosted our 7th Annual Halloween Extravaganza, and this dip was the star of the show. There's just something about Halloween that brings out the gore in everyone, and nothing is quite as satisfying as lopping some brain onto a cookie and indulging yourself. With that said, it makes it easier if said brain dip is the most delicious thing you've ever eaten!

Shout out to Slice & Dice for the recipe!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Costumes for Food Lovers!

Halloween is my favourite! Each year we throw a major party at our house with food, drinks, decorations, the whole works! If you're off to a party this weekend and have yet to figure out what you're wearing, below are some fun food-related costumes, as well as some homemade ideas!

For the Candy/Chocolate Lover

Tootsie Roll

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moose Stew

I know Newfoundland isn't the only place in the world where people hunt and serve up moose. I also realize they were foreign to the Province once upon a time, and were brought here wayyyy back when. But that doesn't change the fact that it's a delicious, lean, meat that can be prepared in many delicious Newfoundland dishes. Now you may remember the moose recipe I posted a while back for Moose Burgers (my fav way to eat moose by far), but this recipe is up there too, Homemade Moose Stew!

Monday, October 15, 2012

'Pocket Like it's Hot' sure thing Snoop!

Not sure how many of you have seen this yet, but this is a new commercial for Hot Pockets. I've never been a big fan... preferred pizza pockets myself, buttttttt I suddenly have the urge to run and buy some... good work guys!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gourmet Garden - My New Best Friend

Nigella Express was one of my favourite cooking shows while it was on, aside from the fact that Nigella herself was nothing less than fabulous, she taught everyone shortcuts and other unique ways to speed the cooking process along. She created delicious and beautiful dishes with very little effort, in other words, she was everyone's idol! This product reminds me of something I would see on her show, the burst of flavour and freshness of herbs, without the nasty task of chopping them ;)

I bring to you Gourmet Gardens, a.k.a my (and your) new best friend.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Squash Salad

I've never been big on salads. Sure, I enjoy the odd Caesar, and I do love Wendy's apple chicken pecan salad too, but I've never been the type to crave salads (unless we're talking cold plates here, but that's a whole different ballgame altogether!)

Either way, my opinion on salads changed yesterday when I cooked up a warm squash salad, something I literally dreamed up a few nights before. If you're anything like me and you don't enjoy cold salads on a cold day, this is the perfect salad for those cooler Autumn days. It actually felt like comfort food - a salad?! Yeah, I know right?! Weird! Needless to say, I will be making this over and over this Fall.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Curry Chicken

I'm sure I'm not the only one who plays 'clean the fridge' while cooking. You know the game, you have a bunch of veggies left in your fridge you'd like to get rid of, so they magically appear in whatever you're cooking! Sometimes it works marvelously, other times, not so much... last night I played, and last night, my friends, I won! I introduce to you a delicious, creamy, pumpkin-ee concoction with tender chicken and veg!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thai One On - Exotic Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Shrimp

I can honestly say this is one of my absolute favourite soups! The first time I made it, I was a little intimidated by the various flavours I was adding, and had concerns it would be a bit much for me, but once I actually tasted it, I wanted to keep going back to the pot for more! Soooo good! trust me on this one, you'll love it! Oh and you can thank the Looneyspoons for the recipe!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Melancauli Baby - Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Swiss Cheese and Wild Rice

Despite the summer-like weather we've been experiencing lately, my mind is still in Fall mode. This means Halloween party preppin', Fall clothes buying, and Fall food eating. Today I bring to you, courtesy of the Looneyspoons Collection, a delicious cauliflower and leek soup just perfect for cooler weather.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cake Mix with a Twist!

Boxed cake mixes can save a lot of time in the kitchen, especially if you're doing an elaborate design with your fondant or icing. The only problem is, you're very limited in the flavour department. Sure, they've covered the basics, but what if you wanted to impress your guests with flavour?! Luckily, there are many ways to infuse boxed cake mix, below is just the start of what will be a long list of cake mix alternatives. I will only post once they've been tested and perfected!

Chocolate Orange 

  • Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 tbsp Orange Zest

1) Prepare cake mix using 2 eggs and only the water, leave out the oil. This creates a lighter and fluffier cake mix.

2) Once everything is combined, add orange zest and beat on high for 2 minutes, this allows the zest to really work through the cake.

3) Pour into greased pans and bake as directed on the box. (approx 25 mins for 2, 8 inch round pans)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Halloween Bucket Cake

This year, instead of making the same old Halloween cake, mix it up with this fun idea. Using inspiration from an Easter Basket from several years back, I decided to make a candy bucket. It's actually pretty simple to construct and can be made with fondant or icing, whichever you prefer.

Note: Sorry for the lack of photos, my camera sketched out on me and wouldn't let me load photos to my computer. With that said, I snapped some shots with my phone, so at least you can see the final product!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall is great for many reasons - TV shows come back in full swing, the air regains a refreshing and crisp edge, Halloween is on everyone's radar, and let's not forget, pumpkin spice lattes return to Starbucks! What's not to love? Well, I'm going to go with the cost of supporting a pumpkin spice addict! At $5 a pop, that's $35 a week (give or take a few bucks depending on your level of restraint and the size of your coffee!). I've already had 8 and we're only 13 days into the promotion!

Luckily for me (and my bank account), 4 of those were homemade. Incredibly, my amazing husband has tackled and perfected a delicious homemade version of the recipe. It may not come in a nicely branded cup, and no, you can't check your email while a barista whips it up, but you're going to pay about the same amount of money for 2 weeks worth of lattes vs. 1 day's worth. I'm not saying never go to Starbucks again, I'm just giving you another option in case you're trying to cut back on spending... that, or they just happen to be closed the next time the craving strikes ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meatballs in Sauce with Spaghetti

Spaghetti and meatballs is up there with some of my favourite foods; it's so good and always a crowd pleaser - I mean who doesn't love spaghetti?! Earlier, I posted a recipe for some delicious spaghetti meat sauce I like to whip up when I don't have the time for meatballs, but when I do have time to make them, they have to be my mom's specialty. This sauce is not your traditional tomato and garlic, rather it has more of a sweet and sour tang to it that goes great with pasta!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Food List Challenge Update!

It's hard to believe today is August 31st?! Where has the summer gone? If you'll remember 2 months ago on June 1st, I made a Pledge to increase the number of foods I've tried by a minimum of 10! Well yesterday, I reached my goal! Below is a recap of the delicious journey I've taken in food this summer.

Tom Yum - June 4, 2012

Po' Boys - Check!

Last night for supper, I cooked up one of the final items on my Food List Challenge, Shrimp Po' Boys. After hearing about them over and over on the Food Network through various shows like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, as well as Eat St. and other random restaurant shows, I have been dying to try one. Once I came across Emeril Lagasse's recipe for an authentic and classic po' boy I was ready to eat!

Pavlova - Check!

Yesterday was a big day for me, I crossed not only one, but two items off of my Food List Challenge. One of those items was Pavlova. To be honest I've always wanted to try it! I mean what's not to love? Meringue, whip and fresh fruit?! Not only is it very yummy, and not only does it look quite fancy and gorgeous, but it's actually quite simple to make. My recipe came from

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipes from Home

When I left for University and moved to the city, my mom gave me one of the best gift's a mother could give - a personalized cookbook of recipes from home! This 3 subject exercise book, divided into sections of meals, desserts and miscellaneous, included all of my favourite recipes from home, each of them handwritten with love by my mom. Even though I couldn't bring her with me to cook them all, at least I could have a taste of home any time I started to feel homesick.

Below is a selection of photos I snapped of my beloved book which I still use on a regular basis 8 years later! I've even added some of my own recipes over the years and consider it one of my prized possessions in the kitchen. As you will see, you can tell which recipes are popular by the stains on the pages ;)


Alligator - Check!

Last night for supper, I crossed another item from my Food List Challenge - Alligator! After questioning my Twitter followers on how to cook it (I live in Newfoundland and we definitely don't have gators here), to which the response was to make fritters (I purposely don't own a deep-fryer because I would deep-fry everything!),  and some online research, to which the overwhelming response was to cook it any way I would cook chicken, I decided on Cajun Alligator Rotini Alfredo (an altered version of Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo). Sounds good right?!

All the way from Louisiana!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blueberry Squares

This recipe comes to you courtesy of my wonderful mother, who, over the years, has had a knack of discovering and creating recipes I don't just love, I crave! These things are probably my favourite cookie ever - delicious cake with a fluffy meringue and blueberry topping - they melt in your mouth! I could seriously eat an entire tray in one sitting - no joke. So naturally, after a day of berry picking, I just had to make them, especially once I discovered my husband had never had them before?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dulce de Leche - Check!

Another day, another item crossed off the Food List Challenge! Today that item was Dulce de Leche, which as it turns out is one of the easiest things I've ever made! Who knew something so delicious and luxurious would involve such little effort?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

In celebration of the fabulous Julia Child, on what would have been her 100th birthday yesterday, I braved one of her most popular and favoured dishes - Boeuf Bourguignon!

Beautiful, dark, rich stew, served with boiled potatoes.

I was a little nervous going into the recipe, I mean there's a lot of steps and a lot could go wrong! But heeding a little advice from Julia herself, I decided to Be Fearless!

While reading up on the recipe - literally studying it as if it were an exam, I read through several versions floating around the internet. The version I found most comprehensive came from Julia herself in PDF's of pages straight from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Thanks to the KNOPF for posting these! I've re-typed the recipe below, but I'll admit it was fun reading directly from the book with Julia guiding me step by step.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Root Beer Float - Check!

Sooo we're nearing the end of summer (not sure when that happened!), and I'm getting closer to the Food List Challenge deadline I set for myself back in June. Just to jog your memory, it went a little something like this:

'The pledge I make today (Saturday, June 2, 2012), is that by the end of August (Friday, August 31st, 2012), I will have checked a minimum of 10 additional dishes off my foodie list. I challenge you to do the same!'

Refreshing, Homemade Salsa!

If you're looking for a delicious, homemade salsa, you've come to the right place. My hubby makes THE BEST salsa around. It's very fresh, vibrant and full of flavour.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Peppers, Mint and Apple, Orzo Salad

The rain may have kaiboshed our berry picking plans for today, but it didn't spoil our picnic! Well... I guess it sorta did since we ate it in our kitchen, but it was still quite the treat! You see planning for the picnic today really got my arse in gear to recreate the orzo salad we fell in love with on our Lighthouse Picnic. I'm happy to report it was a successful attempt, tastes delish if I do say so myself ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fun new kitchen items!

I recently celebrated a birthday and received some pretty entertaining gifts. There were some great new gadgets in there, as well as a super cute apron (thanks mom!!). Having seen many 'haul' videos by bloggers I follow in the makeup and beauty world, I was inspired to do my own version in this mini-kitchen haul blog-post!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Ultimate Boiled Dark Fruitcake

August 6th, 2011 was a day of wind, misty rain, fog and let's not forget, it was (in Newfie terms) 'nuff ta perish ya' (translation: really friggin cold!). Not exactly the weather I was envisioning as I planned for an August wedding. Regardless of the weather, we had the most amazing day with our friends and family and aside from having to brave the cold for the quintessential scenic shots, and having to stop for a much needed hair touch-up before the reception, the day went off without a hitch!

One of the things that made this day so special was the cake. It was perfect - simple, traditional, beautiful and elegant and most important of all, made with love by my Mom! Having never wanted a fruitcake as a wedding cake, my opinion quickly changed when a relative suggested my Mother bake my cake. You see anyone who has ever tasted my Mother's dark fruitcake can attest to how moist, sweet and delicious it is, it's really a cake even fruitcake haters love. Needless to say, after some light arm-twisting and a design plan, my Mom agreed to be our baker.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Glazed and Confused Carrots

If you're tired of plain ol' carrots on the side, spruce them up a bit with this glazed and confused variety. This recipe hails from one of my favourite cookbooks The Loonesypoons Collection. These 'babies' add a burst of flavour to any meal ;)

Chile con Queso

While searching for a savory dip to serve at a summer party, I came across this delicious recipe for Chile con Queso. Originally posted by Brown Eyed Baker, this Mexican dip was a nice break from the standard guac, salsa or 7-layer dip my friends and I usually have. It was a total hit, everyone wanted the recipe and I will definitely be serving this again!

Add caption

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lighthouse Picnics - Ferryland, NL

As I sit here sipping my tea, staring out the window at the first dreary day in weeks, I'm wishing I were back in Ferryland, sitting on the cliffs, enjoying a Lighthouse Picnic.

The Lighthouse Picnic is something the hubby and I have wanted to do for ages now, and it's something I've personally wanted to do since first seeing it on 'Places to Go with Sharon Snow', way back when it first opened.

So after years of hearing nothing but great reviews, and working through photo envy of friends who have gone, we finally got around to booking our own picnic. I gotta say, we loved it! The Lighthouse Picnic is definitely something to be experienced by everyone, whether you're from the province or just visiting. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Frozen Banana Treats

While searching Pinterest for some summery treats, I came across these quick and simple frozen banana pops (originally on the blog Recipes under 400). I like them because you can literally make them in ten minutes, and you don't have to wait a day or more before you can eat them (one of the reasons I've yet to make homeade ice cream - I'm more of an instant gratification kinda gal).

I also like the fact that they're customizable; the original recipe called for plain greek yogurt to be flavoured with cinnamon - I opted for vanilla greek yogurt and cinnamon coated praline pecans. It's really up to you, on how you decide to make them, you can even spruce them up with some chocolate chips, or toasted coconut, or both?! Which now that I suggest that, I'm wondering why I never thought of it earlier!

I made two different versions of this treat (only because I ran out of the praline pecans and needed to improvise). Option 1 was me improvising with chopped almonds and brown sugar, while Option 2 is the Praline Pecan version.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Greater Scalloped Potater

Brace yourself for one of thee most AMAZING scalloped potato recipes you've ever had. I'm serious. You're not gonna believe the flavour of these things. I admit, they're not the prettiest things you've ever seen, but the taste is out of this world. I've made it a couple of times now and each time I'm blown away by how good it is, in fact my hubby told me today that I make, and I quote 'the best scalloped potatoes ever, in the world!'. In the meantime, I may be able to pull off the recipe well, but the real praise goes to The Looneyspoons. Thanks again for yet another amazing dish!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easy Fried Rice

Fried rice is something I've always enjoyed. Not only is it easy to make (and fast), it's completely customizable to your own taste. The combinations are endless! Use whatever veggies you have in your fridge, any kind of dried fruit, and you can even throw in some nuts or seeds.

Overall, it's great to have with any meal as a side, and it's always a crowd pleaser! With that said, picky eaters do exist, so if you have someone in your family who prefers plain rice versus this variety, do what my mom has always done for my sister - prepare the rice as you normally would (I suggest keeping the raisins in the mix), then set some aside before preparing the fried version.