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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Asian Chicken Wings

Yesterday me and my boyfriend made a trip to my mom’s to cook her a yummy dinner.  I was kind of stumped on what to cook her, but I finally decided that some Asian Chicken Wings would definitely hit the spot.  Sometimes I get these weird wings cravings (maybe I’m the only one?), and I don’t know of many good places around here that sell them, so I resort to cooking some yummy ones.

Asian Chicken Wings

Courtesy of Better Home’s “Anyone Can Cook” cookbook!

12 chicken wings
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
6 slices ginger
2/3 cup of soy sauce
1 ½ cup of water
3 leeks, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, small pieces (leave in seeds if you want heat)


  1. In a large pan, add in the leek, ginger, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and water and bring to boiling.
  2. Once it is boiling, add in the chicken wings (I cooked these in two separate pots and used double the ingredients, but I’ve cooked this in one large pot before with the suggested ingredients and it worked fine) and bring back up to boiling.
  3. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover the wings.  Occasionally, rearrange the chicken wings so they will all evenly cook in the sauce.
  4. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.

I paired this delicious dish with some Creamy Four Cheese Rice-a-Roni (I’m a Rice-a-Roni-holic) and some roasted vegetables.  It was definitely a successful dinner!