Thursday, January 3, 2013

My first non-fiction read in years ... and my first attempt at Mexican rice

For the past, oh, ten years or so, I've dedicated my sparse reading time to middle-grade and young adult novels. I had BIG PLANS this Christmas break. Finish ENDLESSLY and CINDER and read a partial and a full manuscript from two very dear friends.

But then I got distracted. By the first non-fiction I've read in years.

BLIND DESCENT is terrifying because it's true. Because the suffering and the deaths, the darkness ... real. Real. Real. Real. It doesn't scare me in the same way that a fictional ghost or zombie story may. Maybe because the scary parts of BLIND DESCENT ... the blow is softened by how human the story is. Humans are relatable - their drive and passion and suffering - even if you have no interest in exploring what appears to be Hell.

Anyway, there you have it. Oh, and here's a Mexican rice recipe! The first time I've ever made it and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Mexican Rice


  • 2 cup medium to long-grain rice 
  • 1 small-medium onion (I used half a red onion and half a sweet onion because I had some leftover, but I think sweet or yellow would work best) 
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (minced) ( measurement depending on how much you love garlic)
  • 2T olive oil 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
  • chicken broth - how much will vary depending on your rice so read the cooking instructions and replace how much water is needed with chicken broth 
  • pinch of oregano (Mexican oregano is the best if you can find it) 
  • salt


Heat the olive oil in a skillet until it shimmers slightly. Then, brown the rice, garlic, and onion until the rice is toasted (light brown) and the onions are soft (4-5 minutes).

Throw everything into a rice cooker if you have it (or not, cook the rice per the package's instructions). Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, and oregano. Add a couple pinches of salt. When the rice is done, you can always add more later to taste.

I use "Better than Bouillon" chicken base so I can control the quantity of stock I make 

This is what it looks like all combined ... 

This is my rice cooker. It's Japanese -- easy to use and awesome. I highly recommend it. It "sings" to you when the rice is done. Japan invents the *best* things!

Fluff the rice when it's done and serve with diced avocado (a must in my house). You can also make it "supreme" and add a dollap (I love this word!) of light sour cream (or Greek yogurt, it basically tastes the same) and some cilantro.

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