Celebrating National Rice Month with Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice, Rice, National Rice Month, Grains, Food Porn Friday

Image credit: Food.com

As a native Charlestonian, rice has always been our main sustainable staple for most of our dishes. As we come to the close of celebrating National Rice Month, we honor our U.S. rice farmers by featuring this tiny grain in a recipe for Easy Mexican Rice courtesy of Food.com. What’s your favorite rice dish? Bon Appetit!

Easy Mexican Rice
Ready in 25 minutes


1⁄4-1⁄3 cup finely chopped onion
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon drippings)
1 1⁄4 cups parboiled long-grain rice
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

– Over medium-high heat, sauté onion in olive oil until tender; add rice and continue sautéing for 3-5 minutes until rice becomes opaque.
– Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings; bring to boil then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked.
– Remove pan from heat; let stand covered for 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed; fluff with fork and serve.
Note: My best ever success with this recipe was achieved using bacon drippings for sautéing, rounded measuring scoops of rice, and only a half can (4 ounces) of tomato sauce with water added to almost fill the can.

Be sure to check out the National Rice Month Scholarship Contest sponsored by Think Rice. Entries must be received by October 31, 2017.  For more information about this contest, click here for further details.

Happy #NationalRiceMonth on #FoodPornFriday


Fiestas Patrias, Chile’s Independence Day Celebration

Ah, the jubilation, liberation, and celebration of declaring independence. Such declaration for change is of great historical significance for generations to commemorate in years to come.

Fiestas Patrias is a Spanish phrase meaning “Patriotic Holidays” or “National Holidays”. Although in Mexico it refers to a set of Mexican holidays, in Chile it means the Independence Day celebration of Chile. This celebration lasts for two days, September 18-19.

Fiestas Patrias is often referred to as the Dieciocho, or “18th” within Chile. This holiday in Chile commemorates the proclamation of the First Governing Body of 1810 beginning on September 18. On September 19 the day is known as the “Day of the Glories of the Army”.

Independence Day in many cultures is observed with great festivities to honor this momentous occasion. In Chilean culture, traditional activities associated with the Dieciocho include Chilean rodeo, dancing the cueca (a family of musical styles and associated dances from Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia), going to fondas (places that sell food and beverages during the Fiestas Patrias), and barbecue.


Seduce Your Keys During National Piano Month

National Piano Month, Music, Piano, Keyboards

Image credit: Kai Stachowiak

Ludwig van Beethoven stroked them, Frédéric Chopin seduced them, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart tantalized them, Arthur Rubinstein caressed them, Ray Charles soulized them, Elton John rocked them, Alicia Keys set them on fire, Liberace dazzled them, and Yuja Wang fashioned them. The piano, an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers, is played using a keyboard. Accomplished pianists and musicians use the piano or electronic keyboards to electrify their audience’s musical appetite.

Seduce those piano keys with the strokes of sweet seductive harmony as we celebrate National Piano Month throughout the month of September. Whether you’re a concert pianist or electronic keyboardist light up your keyboards by celebrating all things piano. So tune up those Midnight Onyx and Pearly Ivory keys and make sweet melodies with each stroke of entertaining musical delight.

Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart. -Unknown

Celebrating Buwan Ng Wika with Chicken Adobo

In the Philippines, throughout the month of August, Buwan Ng Wika is celebrated to promote their national language. One of the most recognized and authentic Filipino foods is Chicken Adobo. Braised in vinegar and soy sauce with lots of garlic this stewed chicken dish is marinated overnight and slow cooked.

Check out this easy Chicken Adobo Recipe from the kitchen of Panlasang Pinoy.
Prep time
60 mins
Cook time
45 mins
Total time
1 hour 45 mins
This is a basic Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe. It makes use of simple adobo ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn.
Author: Vanjo Merano
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Filipino
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs. chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 3 pieces dried bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ½ tablespoon white sugar
  • Salt and whole peppercorn
  1. In a large container, combine the soy sauce and garlic then marinade the chicken for at least 1 to 3 hours
  2. Place the cooking oil in a pan and apply heat
  3. When the oil is hot enough, put-in the marinated chicken. Cook all the sides for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour-in the remaining marinade and add water. Bring to a boil
  5. Add the dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender
  6. Add vinegar. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Put-in the sugar, and salt. Stir and turn the heat off.
  8. Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 450
#HappyFoodPornFriday #HappyBuwanNgWika #BonAppetit

The Art of Arts

American Artist Appreciation Month, Art, Painting, Sculpting

Image credit: Lynn Greyling

Uncontained imagination, impressionism, and creativity through visualization, emotion and human behavior is the world of art we live in. Did you know that August is American Artist Appreciation Month?

American Artist Appreciation Month, Art

Image Credit: Fran Hogan

Who is your favorite famous American artist? Ansel Adams? Norman Rockwell? Romare Bearden? John Trumbull? Alma Thomas? Nam June Paik? Robert Rauschenberg? Frederic Remington? Lee Krasner? Andy Warhol? Jacob Lawrence? Helen Frankenthaler?

Caricaturist, American Artist Appreciation Month, Art

Image Credit: Richard Revel

The aesthetics of artistry and design include Postmodernism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, and Cubism through painting, pottery or performance art.

Pottery, art, American Artist Appreciation Month

Image Credit: Lubos Houska

Although we immediately think about a painter or sculptor when we mention the word artist, the scope of this genre is divided into many performance categories, such as music, dancing, acting.

Art, Performance art, American Artist Appreciation Month

Image Credit: Michael Drummond

So our hats, brushes, and paints off to everyone fitting under the umbrella of artist, as we celebrate American Artist Appreciation Month.

American Artist Appreciation Month, Art

Image Credit: Peter Griffin

It’s National Milk Chocolate Day on Food Porn Friday

Chocolate Cake

Oh yeah baby, listen up. I am going to get every single bit of my sweet tooth on, just because today is National Milk Chocolate Day. Oh, now there is no shame in my game because this is one of those decadent, luxurious moments of pleasure that I savor ever so slowly with that melt in your mouth sweet ooziness. Please excuse me, as I take a few moments to allow my mouth to water over these delicious, lip-smacking chocolaty…oh so wrong…but oh so right seductive confections!

Chocolate CakeNational Milk Chocolate Day, ChocolateChocolate CakeChocolateMilk ChocolateChocolate Ice Cream

Now, was that as good for you as it was for me? Ummmmm….good! Happy #NationalMilkChocolateDay on #FoodPornFriday!

Feel the Magic on National Merry-Go-Round Day

Merry-Go-Round, Carousels, Amusement Rides

Southport pier merry-go-round

I guess the kid in me always had a fascination with merry-go-rounds, also known as carousels. I don’t think it was about the ride as much as it was about the ornately decorated horses that were mounted on them. Although carousels are traditionally populated with horses, other animal figures like tigers, lions, zebras, barnyard animals or mythological creatures are also mounted on posts installed on many circular, moving platforms.

Looff Merry-Go-Round, Carousel

Bette Largent, president of the National Carousel Association, began the restoration of this 1909 Looff merry-go-round operating at Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington, in 1992.

Whether you are visiting an amusement park or festival, there is something so innocent, mysterious yet safe about climbing on one of these exquisite, sculpted, wooden pieces of art and riding like you don’t have a care in the world.

Carousel, Merry-Go-Round, Flying Hrses Carousel

The Flying Carousel is the nation’s oldest platform carousel and has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a national landmark. Constructed in 1876 by Charles Dare, it is one of only two Dare carousels still in existence.

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Walt Disney Carousel, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (formerly Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel) is an authentic carousel in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Santa Monica Carousel, Looff Carousel, Looff Hippodrome

The Looff Hippodrome and its merry-go-round on the city’s pleasure pier have been popular since they opened in 1916. At the city’s outer edge, on the rough-hewn pier, sits the Santa Monica carousel.

Armitage-Herschell carousel

Armitage-Herschell carousel, circa 1895-1900, was made with uniform horses.

Get in touch with your inner-child and climb aboard a carousel in your neck of the woods! Feel that childlike magic as we celebrate this amusement park attraction. Happy National Merry-Go-Round Day!