Over the years that Jorge and I have been married, we have created our own holiday traditions.  Thanksgiving is the traditional turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes, etc.  Christmas is a traditional Puerto Rican menu, although I admit that from time to time I will add one of my childhood favorites to the table.  Christmas Eve this year was a simple menu:  Pernil, Arroz con Gandules, and Tostones.  Trust me; it may not seem like a lot, but we love pernil and arroz con gandules so much that we don’t need any more choices.  If you are not familiar with Arroz con Gandules, it is a traditional Puerto Rican dish served on the holidays and special occasions.  It’s a little more than the everyday Arroz Amarillo, and of course, muy delicioso.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp BADIA Amarillo food coloring
1 Tbsp GOYA® Adobo con pimiento
1 packet GOYA® Sazon
1 packet GOYA® chicken bouillon
3 Tbsp GOYA® Recaito
1/4 c onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c medium grain rice
4 c chicken broth
1 can GOYA® Spanish style tomato sauce
1/2 c diced ham
2 cans (15 oz.) GOYA Green Pigeon Peas (Gandules), drained
4 Tbsp Alcaparrado
1 Tbsp cilantro, minced

A caldero is the traditional cooking pot used for cooking rice and other foods in Puerto Rico.  Basically, it’s a Dutch oven.  When I’m cooking for the holidays or a large group of people, I use the medium size caldero.  If it’s just us, I use the small one.  Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the Amarillo, Adobo, Sazon, Recaito, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and ham.  .  Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.Add the ham and stir for 1 minute. Add the gandules, stirring for 2 minutes.   Add the chicken broth.  When the broth comes to a boil, add the rice.  Turn the rice down to low.  When the water has evaporated until it is level with the rice, add the alcaparrado, stir once, put the lid on and turn heat as low as possible.  Let rice simmer approximately 30 minutes.  Now, you don’t want your rice to be too wet.  This should not be a sticky rice; but, of course, you don’t want it to stick and burn.  The only way this will work is to LEAVE THE RICE ALONE!!  This is very difficult for me.  My usual approach to cooking is to hover over the stove, checking, stirring, sometimes even praying.  With yellow rice, you can’t do this.  Well, you can pray, but you need to do it from a distance.  I have learned that when I turn it down and put the lid on, it’s best to just leave the room.  Really.  You have to do this. When rice is almost finished, add the cilantro, and stir once.  Leave on heat for another 5 minutes.

I regret that I did not get a picture of the rice, but everyone was hungry and there was no chance to point and shoot without someone sticking a fork in my arm.   LOL  



Plain Promise (Daughters of the Promise, #3)Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Upon reading Ms. Wiseman’s debut novel, Plain Perfect, I thought that here was an author with a fresh new approach to the Amish fiction genre. Unfortunately, she seems to have found one formula that worked and isn’t about to stray from it. There is no reason to add a “spoiler” to this review; anyone over the age of 12 will know the ending before they finish the first two chapters. Having said that, I still, for some unknown reason, like Amish fiction well enough to keep reading her series. I just hope that at some point she will do what I expected from the beginning, and develop some new ideas. How many more “Englischers” can she imagine converting to the Amish faith? I’ll stop now; I’ve started reading Book #4 and I must get back to it. Something interesting might happen this time……

Paperback352 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Thomas Nelson (first published September 29th 2000)
1595547207 (ISBN13: 9781595547200)
original title                Plain Promise (A Daughters of the Promise Novel)

series                         Daughters of the Promise #3

DISCLAIMER:  This book review was unsolicited and uncompensated.  The views expressed here are strictly those of the blog author.

  Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.  Author Unknown