Rice and Jeans

food, fashion, and life in Belize


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Happy Birthday Belize!

I have been a bad blog mother! Neglecting u for months, I’m sorry😞. Last night someone came up to me and said she reads my blog and follows me! OMG I was so flattered!! 😍😍😍 and she inspired me to stop being lazy and come post my Independence Manicure 2014.

So here it is, my deconstructed Belize flag manicure.

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Follow me on Instagram @mallorcah
Happy 33rd Belize!! Bring on the fireworks tonight!


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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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Royal Jaguar Nails

People usually call it leopard print, but I’m in Belize – we have jaguars! Rarrr!
I did this design to match my outfit that I wore to the Belize Cancer Society Benefit last Friday: A “jaguar” print high-low dress with my favourite royal blue/cork pumps. The theme was “Brazilian Night”.

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Here’s the tutorial:

First, base coat, as usual.

Then paint the ring finger in a beige colour, I used China Glaze “Classic Camel” which has a hint of shimmer.

I used China Glaze “Frostbite” for the rest of the nails.

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Then, using a large size dotting tool, make dark brown dots on the beige nail.

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Use a black nail art polish (with the thin brush) to make 2-3 smaller blobs around each brown dot and a few single random blobs to fill in the spaces.

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Add black rhinestones to the single random blobs while they’re still wet.

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Add a top coat.

Then take pics with a huge Henri Bendel ring on top of the jaguar dress!

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And here’s the whole outfit.

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I promise I will learn to take better outfit pics, I swear!


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Begging for Bread

Heat and humidity are a destructive combination. But let’s also add salt to the air for the people along the coast, just to make it more interesting. Belize’s climate is a hostile situation for many things:  Cars, outdoor furniture, wood, humans, anything metal (yes that includes costume jewelry, belts, and metal parts on purses), and, the most popular victim, shoes.

It was a Thursday night, I was all dressed up in my new mint skinny jeans with my perfectly matching Jessica Simpson wedges (which were only 2 months old at the time). I was walking out the gate to the car, when I tripped on something. I looked down, didn’t see anything.  But it was dark, and the street is not exactly smooth, so I blamed it on the loose pebbles. Continued walking, tripped again! WTF! It was then that I realized the culprit:  the sole of my right wedge was dangling, yes, it was “begging for bread”.  And upon closer inspection, the left wedge was also getting hungry.

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DAMMIT!  My outfit was ruined, I had to fall back on my Nine West orange espadrille wedges and pretend I was “colour-blocking” on purpose.  I had only worn these shoes 2 times, so  I was very disappointed in Jessica.  I’ve had Payless shoes that lasted longer than this!

Here they are laughing at me:

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So I banished them to the step!  And they sat there in time-out for a couple months watching me wear other shoes that DIDN’T fall apart.  Finally, I decided I needed to have them back in commission.

From experience I knew that Krazy glue just wouldn’t cut it.  The wedge was hard plastic, and the sole was rubber.  There was Gorilla Glue, but that would require clamping because apparently it expands as it dries.  This job called for epoxy.  I only had black epoxy on hand, but it was OK because the sole was black and the wedge was dark brown.  But, obviously you would want to use a clear epoxy for other situations or if you are very messy.

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So, just finish peeling of the dangling soles.

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And clean both surfaces with acetone.

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I used nail polish remover.  Remove any dirt and old glue.  Careful not to ruin the nails!

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Then read the instructions properly, mine said mix equal parts of A and B together.  Make sure to use a disposable plate and mixing tool.  I used the end of this cheap paintbrush.  Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.

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Mix it together thoroughly, and try not to breathe because OMG it smells like death in a drain mixed with swamp!

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Now, you have about 4 minutes to work with it until it gets hard.  Quickly, but neatly, spread a thin layer on the bottom of the wedge.  I used this piece of cardboard to do the spreading.

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Not too thick or it will cause oozing.

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Then press the sole back on, carefully lining it up with the edges.  Quickly wipe away any excess.

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Wait four hours for the epoxy to cure.

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And voila! Good as new.  In fact, better than new! The straps will probably bust off before those soles go anywhere again!


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After Dinner Mint-icure

September celebrations are over, but it doesn’t quite feel like fall yet. Oh wait, it never will, the choices for seasons in Belize: “wet” or “dry”.  Well, I decided to squeeze in one more “summery” manicure, before I get all excited for Halloween manicures! I’ve been having an obsession with the colour “mint” lately.

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So I had to go with mint for my theme, but not just any mint,

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After Dinner Mints!

aka Minty Moos (so named by my grandmother).  I have also named my Mint robot floor cleaner “Minty Moo”.  He’s just so amazing.  I think he’s almost alive (after watching Wall-E), and he deserved a name for all the dog hair and dead spiders he picks up.

OK, back to the subject.

Always base coat first! I don’t like to show this step because my nails are grossly stained from never-ending nail polishings.  Base coats claim to prevent staining, but I have yet to find one that does.  I use it mainly for adhesion of the nail polish, to make it last as long as possible.

Then 2 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet”

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Then accent nail of Sally Hansen Gem Crush in “Big Money”, which is a pale (maybe 10K shade) gold glitter with bigger lavender flecks in it. 2 coats.

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Then I used these different sized nail art rhinestones that come in a wheel, and these crystal stickers that I think are really meant for scrap-booking. They come on a clear glue-like sticker, so just dig them off of the glue backing to use them. (not the jumbo sized ones obviously)

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While the glitter polish is still wet, place the stones randomly on the accent nail. I used different sizes of light pink, light green, baby blue, and lavender.

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Top coat of Seche Vite

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Mint anyone?

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Bang Bang Shrimp

Belize does not have any, and I mean ANY, of the restaurants found in the States.  Not even McDonald’s.  Well, we had a Subway for a second there, but it fell through.  So if you have a craving for something, you have to try to make it yourself.  Thankfully, pinterest and google are full of “copycat” recipes.   Here is my version of Bang Bang Shrimp, a delicious appetizer from Bonefish Grill.

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First, clean 1 pack of shrimp, and no, it does not come de-veined.  It comes with the shell, and that’s the only choice.  Well, the other choice is from the fisherman in a bucket with the head and feelers too.  This is the most time-consuming part of this recipe.  I recommend getting someone else to do this part, eg. husband, unsuspecting friend, anyone who wants Bang Bang shrimp.  You can either pull a Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence, “Wow these shrimp guts are so fun to cut out!”, or if that doesn’t work, you can always fall back on the Little Red Hen move “Who will help me clean these shrimp?”  anyone who replies “Not I”, no Bang Bang for them!

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One hour later, because I insisted that the underneath vein also needs to be cut out (Eww):

Season with

Salt

Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Paprika

Worcestershire Sauce aka “lea an perrins”

I don’t measure the seasonings, just sprinkle it on, not too much.

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Mix it all up in a container that has a tight fitting lid.

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Then add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch, put on the cover, and shake it up to evenly coat.

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Then leave it for a couple of minutes for the cornstarch to soak in, otherwise it will just float off in the oil.  In the meantime, make the sauce.

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1/4 cup Mayonnaise

2 or 3 tbsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce depends how hot you want it.

1/4 tsp Rice Vinegar

1/4 tsp Sugar

Confession:  I got the Sriracha at Sam’s Club in Chetumal, I don’t know if they have it in Belize.

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Mix it up, set aside.

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Now back to the shrimp.  See, the cornstarch looks absorbed, not as powdery white as before.

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Deep Fry in small batches.  I’m using my new Fry Daddy! 🙂

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Drain on paper towels.

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Then add the shrimp to the sauce, along with sliced green onions.

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Stir it up.  Serve on a bed of hydroponically grown bibb lettuce (the regular lettuce tastes like dirt).

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Now close your eyes and pretend you’re at Bonefish.  If only Corn Chowder with Lump Crab was the next course….*Sigh*

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Betta Hair…

No, I’m not trying to say “better hair” in Kriol, I’m talking about betta the fish!

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A few months ago, someone (who shall remain nameless) got me addicted to Pinterest. I kept seeing pins of these people with all different coloured hair. There were streaks, dip-dyes, “ombre” hair, my mind was blown. AND, they were quite normal-looking people, not punks or freaks or goths (no offense), and it looked SOOOO GOOD. I HAD TO HAVE IT!!

But, damn! I forgot….I live in Belize….can’t just go out an buy these things. Ugh!!! In the meantime, I googled, pinned, youtubed everything about how to do this craziness to my hair. Yes, I was gonna do it myself because, 1. I’m cheap!! and 2. I don’t trust other people with my hair. So, a few weeks later, I went to Chetumal (Mexico), the closest piece of civilization, 2 hours drive away, with the closest mall, the closest McDonald’s, the closest Walmart, the closest Sally Beauty Supply, you get the picture. I was able to procure all of my ingredients and tools for my crazy undertaking.

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I got this bleaching kit,and I got some Manic Panic colours: Atomic Turquoise, Hot Hot Pink, and I got After Midnight Blue later on.

So I did the bleaching kit to the ends of my hair. Oh, I forgot to mention, I have not dyed or highlighted or anything to my hair since 2003 (i think)…yeah let’s not talk about that…

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And it was HORRIBLE!!! I’m telling you, the ugliest, trashy-looking brass colour was lurking under my dark Chiney brown hair. Nope, I didn’t get the toner…from that store…2 hours away…in another country…damn!

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Anyway, I had to tell myself, keep going, “the end will justify the means” and “too late now anyway” and “ANYTHING will look better than that!!!” and “it’s just the ends, you can cut it off”.

So, I used the Atomic Turquoise with some Hot Hot Pink blended into the tips to make a purplish shade. And Hallelujah!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

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Most people’s reactions are “Is that permanent!?!??!” and “Is that your REAL hair?!?!?!”

My husband’s reaction: “I have to stop leaving you unattended upstairs”

My sister’s reaction: “It looks like Bitch Billy!!” which was her betta fish (aka Siamese Fighting Fish) about 15 years ago. Don’t ask me how he got that name…(RIP Bitch Billy)

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And last pic, a “fishtail” braid of course!!

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Let’s hope this doesn’t make me want to fight if I see other Bettas around!!