Rice and Jeans

food, fashion, and life in Belize


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Baked Eggs

Here is a very easy recipe that you could make for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It’s from Allrecipes.com, I randomly saw it in one of their Daily Recipe emails.  It’s called Chef John’s Baked Eggs.

It’s extremely easy!

First get an oven safe dish.  Spray lightly with cooking spray, then spoon a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom.  (Their recipe didn’t say to spray the dish, but I am OCD about my Rachael Ray dish)

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Then sprinkle it with some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and parsley.  Now use the spoon to make little nests for the eggs.

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Crack the eggs in another container, and gently slide them into their nests.

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Put all your eggs in one basket.

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Cover with a layer of Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with some olive oil and heavy cream.  Add a little more parsley for looks.

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Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes.

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It’s best served with crusty bread, but mini croissants scavenged from the bottom of your freezer will do.

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YUMMY!


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Heart Inside a Bundt Cake

This is the cutest, awesome-est, bundt cake I have ever made!  I saw the idea and method on Pinterest, but it was for hearts inside cupcakes.  It’s basically the same method that I used to get the heart inside this bundt.

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I used Ina Garten’s (aka Barefoot Contessa) recipe for Plain Pound Cake, which was VERY delicious by the way.

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Mix up the batter, then separate about 1/3 of the batter in a another bowl and add red food colouring.

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Then bake the red batter in a square or rectangle pan, until the toothpick test comes out clean.

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Then take it out and let it cool (which could mean, place it under a blasting fan, and get impatient that it’s not cooling fast enough, so throw it in the freezer on top of the ice cube bin.)

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Then use a cookie cutter to cut out as many hearts as possible.  Of course, eat the scraps.

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Put about half of the left over batter in the bottom of the bundt pan.

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Then arrange the hearts UPSIDE DOWN in the batter.  This is very important that you place them upside down, because the bundt cake will get flipped over when it’s done.  Try to put them at close as possible and try not to let them touch the edges of the pan.

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Cover them with the rest of the batter, then SLAM the pan several times on the counter to get the air bubble out and make sure the batter goes all around the hearts.

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Let it cool and flip out the cake.

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Make the glaze, I used this one.

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Drizzle on the cake.

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Decorate however you want.

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Then tell everyone there’s a surprise in the cake…they will all think it’s a plastic baby.


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Zucchini Fritters

This is a very easy recipe that I randomly discovered a few years ago in an Allrecipes Cookbook, which I also randomly bought at Marshalls one day.  Luckily, they also have it on their website here.  Although they call them Zucchini “Patties”, but I like “Fritters” better, because they remind me of conch fritters.  They could also be a good vegetarian version of conch fritters.  Here’s my version of their recipe:

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Grate the zucchini, I leave the skin on because 1. I’m lazy and 2. Speckled green batter looks more interesting than boring one-coloured batter

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Then I put the grated zucchini in this nifty contraption called a potato ricer.  You are actually supposed to put potatoes in there and smash them through to make the smoothest mashed potatoes ever.  But it also doubles as a zucchini water-squeezer-outer.  Then I measured how much zucchini I had and adjusted the recipe amounts using Allrecipes convenient little “change serving” button that allows you to automatically increase or decrease the ingredients like magic.

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I ended up with 3 cups of zucchini.

So I had to add:

3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup flour

1/2 of an onion chopped

And whatever cheeses I had in the fridge that added up to 1 1/2 cups grated.  This time, it happened to be parmesan, gouda, and sharp cheddar.

Salt and pepper to taste, and I like to add a sprinkle of garlic powder.

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Stir it up.

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Fry in vegetable oil.  Scoop into pan by spoon and then flatten them out.  The thinner they are, the crispier they will fry up.

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The thinner they are, the crispier they will fry up.

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Drain on paper towels.

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Serve with ketchup, marinara sauce, sour cream, or “yum-yum” sauce – which I will share the recipe for in my next post!! Stay tuned!


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Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms

It was a dark and stormy night, a frigid 65 degrees!  Freezing Belizeans needed something warm and delicious in their bellies

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Here is a step by step tutorial on how to make this creamy chicken with mushroom dish.

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You can use whatever part of chicken you want, but it’s best if it has skin and bones. I got the package called “chicken cuts”.  It had some strange looking “cuts” of chicken, for example, I swore one piece looked like a thigh, yet it had an appendage of rib bones(?).  But anyway, try to cut them about the same size, dry the chicken off, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Then sprinkle a little flour on it.

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Now brown the chicken in olive oil.  You may have to do more than one batch to avoid overcrowding of the pan.

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While the chicken is browning, wash the mushrooms.  Yes, I said WASH.  I know the usually say “don’t put them in water” blah blah blah, just “wipe them”

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See that dirt? That’s why I wash them. I don’t care if they get “rubbery”, I don’t want to eat soil.

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Take the browned chicken out, and set aside.  It doesn’t matter if it’s still raw with bleeding bone-ends, as long as the skin is nice and browned.  Don’t worry, we will put them back in the pot shortly.

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Now add a little butter to the pot and throw in some onions with salt and pepper.  Cook them until they start to turn clear.

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Now, add the shrooms.

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Cook them till they’re nice and brown.

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Now, we’re gonna add white wine.

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Maybe 1/3 cup? Depends how you feel…

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Cook until the wine reduces and gets thicker, then add a spoonful of flour.

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Then stir it all around until it’s mixed in good.

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Add about 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, and put the chicken pieces back in the pot.

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Now cover and cook for about 20 minutes.  (I didn’t really need to show this step, but I just wanted to show off my awesome new green dutch oven, love it!)

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Now stir in maybe 1/4 cup of heavy cream

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and sprinkle some parsley on top, because it looked a bit boring and all brown.

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Yumm!!!

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Serve with crusty french bread, or rice, or mashed potato, or pasta.  In fact, this would probably even taste good on top of torn up pieces of cardboard, it’s SO good. MAKE IT!!


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Ring Around the Scrambled Eggs

Here’s a very easy recipe to make scrambled eggs look fancy.

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First make your scrambled eggs any way you like them. I made mine with 6 eggs, splash of milk, onion, tomato, and cilantro.  Then, I discovered my Cheez Whiz only had 1 baby spoonful left, so I added that along with a very mashed Kraft Single from the bottom of the drawer, and a small hunk of cream cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Now bust the crescent roll dough out of that scary unpredictable cardboard tube.

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Try to carefully separate the triangles and arrange them like above, with the wider parts forming the inside of the wreath and overlapping each other.  Press the edges together a little bit to make sure they stick.

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Carefully, arrange the scrambled eggs in a circle on top of the dough.

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Wrap the points over the scrambled egg ring and try to tuck it under the dough in the middle.  If you can’t tuck it, just press it into the inside edge of the dough.  Then brush with a little bit of milk.

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Now bake in the preheated 375F oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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Let cool 2 minutes, then devour.

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Christmas Tree Pops

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Oh Christmas Tree,

Oh Christmas Tree!

…how icing are your branches?

I only knew those first 2 lines, shame on me!

However, I also knew I had to get this CUTE baby Christmas Tree silicone pan when I saw it.  Ok, ok, I got 2.  Well! what recipe makes only 6 cupcakes?

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But not only did I make Tree shaped cupcakes, I put them on a stick…making them 7 times cooler.

This is the recipe I used

Almond Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until well mixed with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Blend in flour and salt. Mix in almond extract.
  3. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 25 mins.

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Let the trees cool, then pop them out and cut off any extra cake…aka “Trim the Trees”

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I used candy melts to dip some of them.  Just melt them in the microwave with a little bit of shortening to thin it out.  Then place the bowl over the cutest baby crockpot filled with some hot water.  This makes a sort of double boiler, that will keep the candy melts nice and ‘melty’.

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I figured out it was best to dip the trunk first, then insert the stick and use a small spatula to kind of help it get coated.  Dipping the entire tree made it too heavy on the stick and ended up in deforestation.

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I used these big sprinkle thingys to look like ornaments on the tree.  I guess they could also pass for lights (wireless ones!) I also discovered later on that I had snowflake sprinkles and I used one for the star.

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This is how I had to stand them up to dry.  I saw this idea somewhere on pinterest.

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There’s the snowflake star!

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So after the batch of candy melts ran out, I was too sleepy to make more, so I decided to just glaze the rest.

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsps mik

few drops of Almond extract

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Let them dry and put them in nifty cellophane bags tied with silver string.

By the way I learned that Almond extract that says it’s expired from 2009 still tastes good!

Now, who wants one?


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Lemon Cream Cheese Crinkles

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This recipe is SOO easy, and makes chewy, delicious cookies.

You will need:

1  box lemon cake mix aka “Pack Cake”

1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Powdered Sugar for rolling them in.

Mix all of the ingredients together (except the powdered sugar)

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Then use a cookie scoop, and drop them into a bowl of powdered sugar

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Roll them around in the bowl, and try to make them into balls.

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Arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  I doubt you will find parchment paper in Belize, so if you don’t have a silicone baking mat, get one asap!!!  They are awesome! Nothing ever sticks to them, and you don’t even get the cookie sheet dirty.  I HATE gross cookie sheets, you know, the ones with burnt on crud that people just keep using…Well, these will prevent that.

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Bake at 375 for 12-15 mins.

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YUM!!

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AND this batch made 47 cookies!!

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I can’t wait to try them with different flavours of “pack cake”.  Red Velvet is high on the list!