All posts by Kathy Griffiths

Green Rice | An Authentic Mexican Food Recipe

greenrice2Oh my gosh… this Green Rice recipe is to die for if you like authentic Mexican Food.  I snagged this Green rice recipe from a wonderful Mexican Food restaurant in Mesa, Arizona.  (I won’t mention the name because I kind of took the back door approach in getting it.)

To say the least… if your want something a bit different than the regular Spanish Rice… give this wonderful Green rice recipe a try.  I can guarantee… you won’t be sorry.

The photos are a little “white” but what can I say…when it’s about rice.  Don’t let the flatness of the photos fool you.

Let’s go!

The ingredients are simple:

1/3 Cup of Olive Oil. (I like the Extra Virgin because it has more flavor for this recipe.)
1 Large Onion (chopped)
2 Cups of Raw White Rice (I prefer long grain rice.  This is not instant.)
1 to 2 Cans chopped green chilies  (I like a stronger chili flavor… so I always use two cans.
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Cans of Chicken Broth (You will need 4 Cups of liquid… so if you are a little shy with the broth… add water to make up the difference.)
1/2 Cup of fresh parsley (chopped)  (If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand… use 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley for the rice and garnish the top of your dish with something else.
** I have substituted the parsley with fresh cilantro before….  and it’s excellent.

brown-onions
Pour 1/3 Cup of Olive Oil in the bottom of a large deep fry pan or in a 4 Qt. pot.
Add the chopped Onions and saute.

add-raw-rice
Add 2 Cups of Raw rice.  Brown the rice until golden.  This only takes a few minutes.  Stir frequently so the rice won’t scorch.

chilies

Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder… 1 teaspoon of salt…. and one or two cans of diced green chilies…depending on your taste.

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Add 4 Cups of liquid… the chicken broth and water.

Bring to rolling boil.  Place the lid on your pan and move the pan to a burner turned on low so the rice can steam for 30 to 40 min.  The time may vary because of your stove.

cut-the-parselty

While your rice is cooking.  Put your parsley or cilantro into a cup and cut into small pieces with your scissors.

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When the rice is done… toss in 1/4 Cup of parsley or cilantro.  Toss the rice until it’s fluffy and separated.

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I put my rice into a bowl and pop it into the microwave to reheat…just before serving.   Then I garnish the top with fresh tomatoes and the rest of the parsley or cilantro

Take this Green Rice recipe to your next potluck supper and watch them rave.

Enjoy!

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

P.S.  I have a confession to make.  I always double this recipe because a single recipe of Green Rice in not enough for my family and friends.

Canning and Preserving For Long Term Storage

whole-tomatoesBoy, the canning season is upon us… for those who like to preserve goods for the winter and long term storage.  I’ve been waiting for the tomatoes to appear in abundance so I can get my tomato canning completed.  The weather here in Utah has been so cool that everything is ripening two weeks late.  The peaches are just beginning to appear also.

If you’re into canning and preserving… check out my new site  Canning and Preserving.  I’ve dedicated the site to my grandma Ella and my momma, Evelyn, who were the best canners in the world.   They were both from Georgia… so I’ve added a little southern flare here and there to make it interesting.  Also.. if your are into using herbs…. my sister Sheila’s site is the place to go for Easy Herb Gardening. Lots of good ideas there.

Well, off to see if there are any ripe peaches available for making peach slush or cobbler.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Canning and preserving food for long term storage is part of my family’s traditions.  I notice that it’s not as popular as it once was.  Do you can and preserve food?  How to you prepare for long term storage?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Democracy Or Republic

Amid all the political fervor in the last year, I’ve become very interested in the founding of our nation.  I’ve seen HBO’s John Adams at least six times.  To bad I wasn’t this interested in history when I was in school.  My American history teacher would have been please.

[Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris...

None the less… this zeal has put so many things into perspective for me.  I’ve come to more fully appreciate our Constitution and living in the United States Of America.

I have made several trips to China and was so grateful to return to this nation.  When we landed in San Francisco, I had to resist kneeling in the terminal and kissing the ground.

Growing up… I recited the Pledge of Allegiance everyday during my grade school years.  Never quite understanding what a Republic was.  I was always told that we were a Democracy and I meshed the two words together in my mind.

A number of years ago, I came to learn that they are not one in the same.  We are not a Democracy but a Republic and they are very different.

I could explain what a learned… but I ran across a Video that explains the difference better than I ever could.

Take a minute and do yourself a favor and watch this outstanding video to get a better understanding of the types of governments that reside on this planet.  We are so blessed to have a Republic as our forum of government.

Once you’ve watch it…. forward the link to this blog post to a friend.

Til Later,

Kathy

P.S.  I’ve sent this video to my kids and grands.   We must preserve our Republic as was set up by our founding fathers.  Why? It just plain works!

Oh Say Can You See… – 4th Of July

“Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light…..”  Miss Hyatt, my second grade teacher, had the greatest impact in teaching me about patriotism.

She was a patriot from the word go.  She loved the flag, George Washington, The Constitution and all the patriotic songs.  So… we learned all the songs… from the Star Spangle Banner, My Country Tis Of Thee, to American The Beautiful and… everything in between.

I will be forever grateful to Miss Hyatt and her tenacity.  She created in me the desire to know more about the early history of this country.  I have always loved the historical stories of those early pioneers of liberty.

founding-fathers

After watching the HBO presentation of John Adams this past year, my interest in learning more about our Founding Fathers has been renewed.  (If you haven’t seen it yet… put it on your viewing list.  It’s a must.)

I admire John Dickenson, who courageously stood for his conviction, being unmoved, even though it was not popular with the Continental Congress.

I’m impressed with Dr. Benjamin Rush for his diligence and kindness.  He and one other doctor were the only ones who stayed in Philadelphia to to administer help those who were ill with yellow fever.  He did so, knowing that there where those who sot to take his life because he had signed the Declaration of Independence.

I revere Thomas Jefferson, who at the age of 32, penned the Declaration of Independence with such perfection that it stands today as one of the greatest documents ever written.

I could go on and on.  On this day… I’m truly grateful for those who risk they homes, property, and lives to bring us today’s freedom.

I found this video that expresses what I feel today.  It’s short and touching.

Til Later,

Kathy

P.S.  Today at church, a young Marine, just returning from Iraq, bore his witness to the work of freedom in that far off land.  It was heart lifting.

Where Is Miss Manners?

Where is Miss Manners when you need her?

Remember when dinning manners were taught in school as well as home? Remember when your mom use to say, “Where are your manners!” when you talked with your mouth full? Remember when it was frowned upon to lick your fingers at the dinner table?

miss-manners

Well, this week I’ve seen it all in a local buffet restaurant. From licking a plate, to licking fingers to licking a whole hand. I thought by the time I got out of there I would be nuts. (It wasn’t just one person, it was several adults and children.)

Do you remember the Miss Manners column in the local news paper? Everything from table manners to dating etiquette was written about. We need that column today! Bring Miss Manners back!

I remember being taught table manners in Jr. High school. Everything from how to put your napkin in your lap to which piece of flatware you used first. In fact, table manners was one of my favorite lessons.

My folks expected good dining manners at home so the Jr. High lessons were just a bit of frosting on the cake. At home, we didn’t slouch or put our elbows on the table. The proper way to cut our food with a knife was taught in our home. In other words my folks taught and expected proper table etiquette.

As I look around and see a decline in general respect, it has certainly spilled over to the dinning room, at least at the restaurant this week.

However, in perspective, more folks were on top of their dinner manners that day than were not. Most adults and children were respectful and showed excellent table etiquette. Thanks goodness.

It was a reminder to me to be aware of my own table etiquette and general respect for myself and others. Teaching table manners begins at home and example is the best teacher. I don’t want my grands witnessing poor manners and table etiquette from me.

Just a little rant for today.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

P.S. Are you Miss or Mr. Manners in your home? I bet you are!

Selecting Summer Flower Garden Plants

The best tip I can give your for selecting plants for your home flower garden is: Don’t choose over grown plants. Choosing the right plants for your flower garden in the beginning will make all the difference in the beauty of your garden later on in the summer. My sister, Sheila, and I went on a little flower tour of our local garden nursery. We were selecting plants for our own flower gardens and decided we would share one of our flower garden tips with you.

I hope this gardening video will be helpful to you in selecting your plants for your summer flower garden.

Till Later,
Kathryn Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. If you have any gardening tips your would like to share, please share them with us in the comments section.

Caring For The Elderly – Ease Into Care Giving

Caring for the Elderly may be your lot if your parents don’t pass away young.  At some point, you are going to begin helping them with the everyday affairs of life.

Your involvement may escalate as they grow older and have more needs.  You may find yourself a full-fledged caregiver for one or both of your parents if they reach a time that they cannot live independently.

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However, as they age, you may have to step in and make a few minor changes in their living environment so they will feel safe and comfortable.  It’s wonderful to see parents grow old together and still have the opportunity to live in their own home.

1.  If at all possible, create their living space on one level.  Stairs can be difficult to climb as well as a hazard for an elderly person.   It may even require a bit of remodeling to make sure the kitchen, living area, bedroom and bath are on the same level.  A laundry room must also be provided on the same floor.

2.  Reorganize drawers and cupboards so your parents will be able to find what they need easily.  Placing dishes, linens, and important appliances at eye level will eliminated the need for them to stand on a stool to reach them.

3.  Services like shopping, house cleaning, simple repairs can be handled by outside services that are set up for helping the elderly.  However, if they cost a bit more than your folks can afford, you may be the one taking on these responsibilities. Set up a schedule for these needs to be handled that will be convenient for you both of you.

4.  If your parents can be responsible to take their medications correctly, by all means let them do it.  However, if they need to be monitored, medications can be given by home health care professional who will drop in once a day to administer them.

5.  If necessary, put grab bars in the bathtub, and other places where your folks may need additional support.  Also, make sure they have enough light so they will have plenty of visibility.

With a little planning, you can help your folks keep their independence in their own home.  This will allow you to slowly ease into care giving before extensive care is needed in the future.

Til Later,

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  My mom just turned 90 and is needing full time care.  I’m grateful to have 3 sisters that share in the care giving responsibilities.

Wheat Storage – Dry Beans and Rice Storage

Now is the time to invest your wheat storage and other long term dry food storage such as dry beans and rice.  These dry foods are the basics for emergency food storage.
wheat-1

The prices were sky high about a year ago, but the cost of dry foods are relatively low at this time.

A five gallon bucket of wheat (45 lbs.) is running $12.00 to $14.00 a bucket in comparison to $22.00 to $25.00 last year.  A  50 lb. bag of wheat costs around $12.98 rather than last year’s price tag of $25.00 to $30.00.

Pinto beans have dropped in price also.  A year ago I paid $25.00 for a 20 lb. bag and recently I paid $13.00 for a 25 lb. bag on sale.

Rice is was up last year to $18.00 for a 20 lb. bag.  Today, I paid $7.98 for a 20 lb. bag that is on sale.

Why stock up on dried long term foodstuffs?

Long Term Food Storage Shelf Life

Wheat:  The shelf life for properly storing wheat is…. well forever.  They found wheat in Egyptian pyramids that was around 2000 years old and it was still good.  It’s best stored in a temperature of under 72 degrees in a dry place.  It should be protected from freezing.

Pinto Beans:  Along with pintos, storing red beans and navy beans have a shelf life of 20 to 30 years.  As with storing wheat… it should be placed in a tight container and stored in temperatures not above 72 degrees and not below freezing.

Rice:  White rice, if stored properly and under 72 degrees will keep from 8 to 10 years.

Nutrition:

Wheat and beans can be sprouted.  It gives these foods additional nutritional value on top of what you get when they are prepared in traditional ways.

Bartering:

If times really get tough… and I’m certainly not predicting anything here…. you can use these dry foods to trade and barter for other items that you may need.

So… stock up your basic food storage and be prepared… long term.  It’s my understanding that prices will increase this year because of a number of factors… weather, and shortages.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  I just opened a can of wheat kernels that I’ve had for over 35 years.  Just perfect.

P.P.S.  We’ll  be talking in detail about how to prepare these dry foods for long term food storage.  Just wanted to give you a heads up on prices.

Spring Gardening Information – Gardening Advice

Spring is on it’s way and warm weather days are tucked in between cold days.  When the sun is out and it’s warm…it’s a good time to get out and do a bit of cleaning up.  A little spring gardening information is in order.

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1.  It’s a perfect time to for a general, over all clean up.  Rake up the general debris of branches, leaves and other litter that may have blown into your yard during the winter months.  Don’t worry about turning the soil just now…  just focus on the larger picture.

2.  The task of pruning shrubs and sheering hedges can be attended to now.  This will leave way for the new green foliage to appear in a few weeks.

A bit of gardening advice here.  Don’t prune flowering shrubs now…. or they will not bloom.  Allow them to bloom this season and then trim them back after the flowers have subsided.  The flower buds are formed during the winter so cutting them back now is not wise.

3.  Now is the time to add Preen weed control to your flower beds. The fact that you may have snow, or rain during the week after your application… will give the Preen a chance to dissolve into the soil.  Putting Preen on your beds now prevent weeds from sprouting early and bearing seeds before you have a chance to get out and turn the soil.

4.  If you have been burning wood in a fire place or stove, perhaps it’s time to clean up and re-stack the wood pile.  You won’t be using much wood from now on.  (It’s also a good time to clean out your fireplace or wood burning stove if your don’t plan to use it again until next fall.)

5. After your general spring garden clean up, it’s a good time too apply your first application of lawn fertilizer.  You may want to discuss the type of fertilizer you need for your particular lawn with your nurseryman.   They generally have folks who can give you responsible gardening advice.

Take advantage of the few spring storms that will still be coming your way to help your lawn fertilizer dissolve into the soil and give your lawn roots the nutrients they need.

There you go… that will keep you busy for a few weeks.  I love getting out and getting a bit of fresh air after being cooped up in my house all winter.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  If you happen to live in an area that is blessed with mild weather all winter long…ignore the above message… and spend your time counting your blessings.

Printable Mother’s Day Cards – Mother’s Day Cards to Color

Here are a couple of printable Mother’s Day Cards you can print in a snap. These unique cards are designed for your kids to attach their small school photos. Of course… they can color the card… or there is a pre-colored card available for them to just cut and give. I suggest the cards be printed matte photo paper or card stock.

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I just read that Mother’s Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States. The occasion is now celebrated not so much with flags as with gifts, cards, hugs, thank yous and other tokens of affection.

I’m pretty easy when it comes to Mother’s day. In fact this year, the mothers in our family will be sharing the day with my grandson Wyatt. He will celebrate his 14th birthday. We will also be celebrating Easter with the belated Easter Egg hunt… since the weather played havoc on April 3rd.

So… all in all… we plan to have a fine day. Hope you will too.

Black and White Cards

Pre Colored Cards

Enjoy!

Til Later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S. How are you going to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Does your family take the lead… or do you?