Rice-a-roni made without the box

ricearoniLast night, I begun working on a monstrous, impossible, ridiculous project (that I can’t wait to share with you guys) and the fiancee decided to dedicate about maybe 20 minutes of his time, before he decided that it was a crazy project and decided he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.  Once he threw the towel in, he decided he was hungry and that he wanted some of that “cheesy rice stuff.”  Well, we didn’t have any of that “cheesy rice stuff” (because the brand name Rice-a-roni is so hard to remember :P) so I made some homemade, copy-cat Rice-a-roni.  Which, in all actuality is just Rice pilaf.  Funny fact, when I was younger, I was absolutely crazy over Rice-a-roni – my friends would get me boxes of Rice-a-roni and Mountain Dew for my birthday…weird, I know.  I’m glad I’ve come to appreciate much more than just Rice-a-roni and Mountain Dew since then.  This is the most simple version of Rice pilaf that I make, and in the future I’ll post some different recipes of different Rice pilaf – but, lets start with the most simple of simple recipes.

Easy Rice Pilaf (Copycat Rice-a-roni)


1/4 cup orzoRice-a-roni Copycat
1 cup rice (not instant rice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water with bouillon cube)
Nature’s Seasoning (or just some salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder)

1. Heat EVOO over low heat.  Add in the minced garlic, and stir constantly for 30 seconds (to make sure it doesn’t burn).
2. Add in the orzo, and saute for another 30 seconds.
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients (rice, chicken broth, and seasoning) into the pan and turn heat to high, and bring to a boil.
4. Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover with a pan.
5. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and the rice is tender.  If you find that the rice isn’t tender, and there is no longer any juice, add in some more water or broth and allow to cook some more!

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Summer Lovin’


Okay, maybe it isn’t summer YET but it sure feels like it down here in the South.  Actually, I don’t think we ever left summer but for maybe two weeks.

Before my boyfriend and I enjoyed a long motorcycle ride, I felt a little spunky and decided to grill up some chicken and vegetables!  I paired it with my favorite rice pilaf recipe and BAM we had a great summer meal.

For the chicken:

I food processed some jalapeno, onion, vegetable oil, soil sauce, vinegar, natures seasoning, oregano, and garlic.  I let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge and then popped them on the grill!

For the vegetables:

I used a grill basket and wrapped some vegetables in tin foil in the basket with some EVOO, natures seasoning, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper.  You can use pretty much any vegetable you have on hand in this.  I happened to have some fresh garlic, orange pepper, and onion.  I really wanted to add some tomatoes and green beans but we didn’t have any fresh!  I should’ve put this on the grill before the chicken, because I didn’t let them cook down long enough but it was still delicious!

Rice Pilaf:

I can’t express to you how much I LOVE this simple recipe.  My boyfriend and I lick the pan we cook this in because it is so good (okay, maybe not).  I’m a big fan of Rice-a-roni and I find this to be even more delicious than that.  I take 1/4 cup of orzo and let it crisp up a little with EVOO over low heat.  I then add a cup of rice (not the easy cook rice, the real rice), and then add a can of chicken broth (or water with chicken granules/bouillon cubes), and then I season it with garlic salt!  I let it cook down for about 30 minutes covered and it is so good!