Bad blogger

I have been a bad blogger these past few weeks.  I apologize.  I have my kids home and my husband around, and I just want to spend my time with them most days.

However, I am still solar cooking!  Most things are oldies but goodies, but I should share how they are working out.

Chili – yet -just as good this time as it was the first day I solar cooked.  I can’t recommend this recipe enough!

Cupcakes – I made the Bob’s Redmill Vanilla Cake ones this time, and they turned out better then the chocolate ones.  I make them as cupcakes so that they will fit into the oven.  I have to put a black towel over the muffin tin so that they will cook, and I’m having trouble with the towel getting into the batter.  I may need to try toothpicks to alleviate this problem.

Rice – I bombed this.  I have been cooking later in the afternoon as the sun is staying up longer and I have been able to cook after 3:00.  However, the cooker just didn’t boil the water, so I had to regroup for this.  Next time I’ll cook it earlier!

 

And then we went on vacation again (a bit a fiasco for another time) and once again the solar oven wouldn’t fit in the car.

The cooker itself is holding up well, though it is getting a bit dirty inside.  I may need to try cleaning it again.  Hopefully I will remember not to use vinegar, as the last time I ended up with vinegar tasting food!  Yuck!

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Chickpeas and Curried Rice

I attempted rice again in the solar cooker. The first time it came out so yummy and fluffy that I was excited to do it again. So excited, in fact, that I left the rice out there for almost 2 hours. It was…crunchy. I guess I should add rice to the list of things where time matters.

However, my recipe called for mango pieces mixed with the rice, so it moistened it right back up.

This recipe comes from the China Study Cookbook.

Curried Chickpeas and Rice

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 mango

4 tomatoes, diced

1 cup chickpeas

1 Tbsp curry

Cilantro

Cook the rice. Cut the mango and stir it into the rice.

In a saucepan, combine diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and curry. Simmer 4 minutes.

Serve with the tomato mixture spooned on top of the rice. Garnish with cilantro.

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Rating: yummy!

Rice Cooker Farewell

It was a wedding gift. And to my great-aunt who gave us her own rice cooker out of the 70’s, I am very grateful for the 8 years of use we have gotten from it. However, I am delighted with the prospect of not having to use it anymore!

You see, while it cooks the rice just fine, it doesn’t kick down to warm when finished, so the rice keeps cooking till you finally smell it burning. It’s gross. Burned rice does not make a pleasant smell or dinner. However, I tried making rice in the solar oven yesterday, and it came out great!IMG_20140314_125456123

We are partial to brown rice, as it’s an easy and gluten-free whole grain. I made one cup of rice in my solar oven by following what were originally crock pot instructions. Add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice, put the lid on, and cook for about 2 hours. My rice turned out fluffly and nice. Maybe someday I’ll attempt pasta too?

Rating: success! Bye-bye rice cooker!