Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stewed Chicken - and a new name!

From barely audible Mayan, to stewed chicken.
Now, an interesting story about the chicken while I was cooking it. My sweet landlady passed by the open doorway of my apartment. It was hot as a MOFO, and I had to have some ventilation.

Anyway, she passed by and said, "That smells good!"
I couldn't resist and came out and said, "Thanks!"
"Whatcha got cooking there?" she asked.
"Stewed chicken," I replied.
"What all do you put in there?" she asked.
"Oh...ummm...well...Season All, Complete Season, a bit of chili powder, black pepper...onion, garlic..." I hemmed and hawed..."well...it's not like I have a recipe!"
She smiled and said, "So, a little bit of this a li'l bit o' that?"
I nodded. Then I went inside and grabbed my stuff that I used.

She stood there while we chatted, and I explained to her that I was cooking two and a half chickens. She wondered why, and I explained it was my donation to the Lions Club, as they were having a fundraiser for the community's beloved Reds. I usually donate a couple stewed chickens for the Lions when they have their functions. I can't donate my time because I am useless - unless I am eating or drinking, or sleeping.
I know, I am a bad person.
I am working on perhaps dedicating a couple hours a week to some charity.
Not the beer fund. Not my gut. I'll keep you posted on that.

So, back to the stewed chicken:
She thought it was all about seasoning the chicken, and putting it in a pan, covering it with water and letting it simmer for hours till the meat fell off the bone.
Isn't that soup?
I thought that maybe I had it all wrong and had the name of my chicken wrong, so, I renamed my pot of chickens "Gravy Chicken!"

Here's what I did: (Click for larger view - coz Blogger sucks...)
After seasoning the chicken and having other ingredients on hand and ready to go, I put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pan, and heated that up real nice. Then, I added the onion, garlic and bell pepper chunks and sauteed them real nice. The smell? Oh. The smell! Gorgeous!
Once the veggies had sauteed for a while, with the onion caramelizing a bit, it was time to throw in the chicken! :) mmm...
So, this chicken, oh...it SIZZLED when it hit the pan. It looks quite crowded in there. That's fine. It means that when covered, it will steam real nice and slow, and create its own gravy. Lemme tell you, when that gravy simmers down, oh...heaven! (I'm twitching here!!)
I want to sing a song to this chicken, I love it so much!

So, after crooning a few love songs to the chicken, cover it and let it steam away, sizzling and smelling all divine and stuff. Give it about 20 minutes, stirring and shifting the meat every so often, making sure it's not sticking too much! If you worry that it's sticking, well, then, lower the flame to low. This particular chicken vacillated between medium flame and low flame.
While that sucker cooks away in its own juices, it's time to break out the recado! This block is quite large, but remember, I was cooking more than one chicken at the time! In this case, (1 3lb-chicken) a good, 1-inch block is excellent for a deep colored gravy.

I added some water to the bowl that held the seasoned chicken. There was some leftover spices at the bottom, and adding water to it, means I get to use every bit of those spices! Break apart the recado, making it melt into that liquid. The best way I found to do this was to use my thumb, index and middle fingers and sort of mush it around in the water, rubbing until it dissolved thoroughly. The liquid turns a gorgeous red hue. ooh...so exciting! (See pic below, top right corner!)
By this time, the chicken is sizzling away in the pan. It's juices will have dried up somewhat. If the pan still looks like it's got quite some liquid, don't add too much recado-water. Wait till the liquid in the pan has evaporated slightly, which means you might have to take the lid off the pan. Oh darn, you gotta smell that divine goodness! Then, add that recado-water and cover up the pan once more, and let that sucker do its magic!
See this? I am sure love songs have been written in ode to this meal! MMM...

About 20 more minutes of simmering away, and that chicken is good to go. Yes, I cooked the dark meat, skin on. It's fine, just strip the skin off when you're serving it. No problem! AND...just for added naughtiness, I put in a little bit of coconut milk in the stew. Just because. Yea. So the Belizean food police will arrest me. So what. It was GOOD!!

OH...almost forgot...it must be accompanied by fried plantains...you know, for extra cholesterol and calories! :)
This is how this meal is typically served! nom nom nom nom
Rice and beans, stewed chicken, fried plantains, potato salad and Coca Cola (tee hee...). I threw in a bit of avocado and tomato salad for the heck of it. Coz, that's how I roll!
Then, I added this on the side, for the not so wimpy! :) This Habanero Sauce recipe I shall upload next! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Altun Ha

I SUCK!!
SHeeeeeeeeeeeeet.........
U have to STRAIN to hear what the heck I am saying...I promise you, I was speaking! :(


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Mayan Ruin

So, here is a post I was gonna share with y'all a while back...it was my honey's staff trip to one of the Mayan Ruins in Belize (Altun Ha). Yea...Suya Tours gave the entire bank staff a free trip as a Christmas present for 2008. They cashed in on the holiday weekend, and away we went. As his beloved other half, I got to enjoy the perks of that trip too! :) whoo hoo!
Of course, I had to take random shots of silly things...and not so silly too...

Not so silly: the love of our beloved Belizean Belikin. Even cooler, we were on our way to see the ruin that is featured on the bottle as part of the logo! It wasn't even 10 am yet!

Silly me...I was so caught up taking video of the site that I didn't get a chance to take a hike. My thighs thanked me the next day!
Not Silly: I want chairs, just like this, in my yard when I have a house. They are beyond frikkin cool! Not so silly: I do love a guy who likes his plants! He's got that look on his face like: SCORE!!
SWEET: My boo boo's best friend and his 6 year old. The water was frigid, but with her daddy, all was well! so, so, so sweet!


Silly: I mean, boys, in a pool, playing like wittle boys...and having fun. Nice huh?
Seriously? The hot tub was delicious. But then we all felt like we were stoned when we got out. I mean, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude...like...ohhhhhhhhhhh...maaaaaaaaaaaaann...but, it was a nice experience. Not something I plan on doing anytime soon. Unless I was staying at the resort. Then I could have headed right to bed. Instead, we had to get on a bus and then on a boat to get back home...not fun, not fun at all...either that, or I have been raised so poor that I don't know a good thing when I am sitting in it? lol...

PSST: If you're nice, I'll post a video where I narrate in Mayan...(Yucatecan Mayan) That's my village's language. Grew up speaking that, Spanish, English and of course, Creole...fun times, fun times...
also...be sure to check out my stories/essays on www.ambergriscaye.com/tiachocolate

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Answer to "Guess This Photo"

Well...it wasn't a shark...if you guessed this:



then...ding ding ding! You are the winner! of...umm...er...bragging rights? Now you can say, "Nea nea nea nea boo boo...I was right...it was a dolphin!" And then you'd still be wrong because there were TWO! Heehee...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guess this photo

dun dun dun dun dun dun...
Well...what do you think it is? :)

Now...this creature...we can all safely say, is The Creature from the Black Lagoon...or...(HAHA), The Black Creature from the Lagoon! (oh...GOOD one...I crack myself up!)
Le boobays are lopsided...but, that is a camera trick, one that cannot be reproduced...I believe I am more or less even! :)
And that water...scrumptious. Once again, my love for San Pedro (Ambergris Caye to be exact) has been restored. I know now why I can't wait to get back home. This is home; I don't want to leave for more than holidays or a week!

Friday, March 13, 2009

GOOFBALLS

video
ah...yes...these boys sure know how to shake it! :) Tee hee hee...but ask the love of my life to dance with me and he's so shy...I have to pour copious amounts of alcohol in him before he'll become twinkletoes...men...!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adoration

This is such a schmarmy post...but I thought about it, and quite frankly, do I give a care what you think? (well...I do...to a certain extent, but considering that I am all for uniqueness and being your own person, well...I don't either!) Yes, that's me, a study in contrasts!
I just HAD to post about the love I have for my man.
Today, I woke up and felt such a rush of strong feelings, a butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling that I just absolutely love him and missed him terribly since he wasn't curled up next to me (why did he have to be responsible and go to work on time?), that I had the goofiest smile on my face!
So, I decided I would bake cookies for him, so when we get home tonight, he'll have cookies and curl up on the couch with me and snuggle and watch CSI together. Because he decided to hand over control of the remote to me on certain days, during certain hours, and he will watch my shows for me if I am not around, and then he'll tell me what happened. Cynics might say that five years of being together will teach you that, but really, he's just always been that considerate and sweet.
Brace yourself people, I LOVE MY MAN!

I do, I do, I do...BECAUSE: He is the sweetest person, cute as all get out, and so nice. I want to have TEN boys, who will grow up to be just like their father, so that I know at least TEN girls (or boys) will be extra happy and blessed in love. (scratch that...one boy will be enough!) They're gonna be cute as hell, I know that!
does he not have the most beautiful eyes in the world? that's what having an englishman for a father will do to ya!
Because: He loves my cooking (has gained so many pounds and has not complained ONCE) and thinks I am cute...and calls me cute pet names and gives me butterfly kisses, gecko kisses, and my personal favorite, helicopter kisses.
I lucked out when God was handing out boyfriends, and (I'm tearing up now), if I ever lost him, my life would, quite simply, be over.

And, because today, I had lunch with him. We haven't been able to go to lunch together in a while, and we played hooky from his mama's cooking and instead went to have THESE!
And he even paid (hehehe). Like I said. I love my man!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WHY??????

So, this is a post about how much I wish I was a mother, and how much I want a home, and how insanely emotional my weekend was!
Why I want to be a mommy:


My boo is darling, he's so handsome, this little cutie fell for him too!

Why I want to have a home:
The current place I am staying at, has been SOLD...it sold in THREE days! (Despite the shite economy...oh well) Wow...luckily I get to stay on and rent my apartment, but it was a hairy hour when I was told I had five weeks to find a new place...so...the new owner, who is a man...gets this T-Shirt message...hehehe...don't kick me out...but I thought the saying sums up how I felt at the moment!
But, it renewed my hope that maybe this will be my new backyard view, and I want it complete with a palapa and small dock. Only thing missing from this palapa in the neighbors dock? A HAMMOCK!! :) mmm...I want a house so bad I can TASTE it...dang!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Job

Thanks for commenting so religiously Rebel. I was seriously slacking off for a while there, but I gotta respond. I work at a newspaper! :) The San Pedro Sun is our baby. I do graphic design and layout for the paper. And it's time consuming, but so worth it when the readers comment and tell us how much they enjoy reading it! It is a weekly paper, so I literally lose so many days out of the week...we looked up recently and realized that it was MARCH! But it felt like we just put out our New Year's Issue...
Anywho, this insane, but cute, dude is one of our main reporters.
In the background is another of our reporters. This was taken at 3:30am Wednesday (or was that Thursday?). Elections had just finished about an hour earlier, and we were about to head home. But, we love each other so much we hung out and took funny pictures instead! hee hee!

He is just a nut...but we love him for it. This past week was our municipal elections, and this guy, who is totally into his politics and news was all over it! :)
Seriously, don't you think so? He kinda looks like her...him...whatever that is...lmao!
Got more pictures to upload on how COOL my job is. I could whine and complain that the hours are insane, but when you're surrounded by fabulous coworkers (including the bestest boss EVAH), it's hard to find something to whine about. Plus, late night dinners include THIS:
Oh. My. GAWD. Stewed. Chicken. with. corn rice.
Picking up the papers at the water taxi dock...yup...comes over by boat from the mainland every Thursday!
Check out the Cuban boat...some Cubans refugees landed on shore last year in THIS boat. I shudder at the thought of being on open waters for longer than a minute! Poor people. Makes you really think that things are THAT badly off that they'd rather risk their lives getting out!
He was a bit shy, but he helps us with the packages every week. Thanks man! Those suckers are HEAVY!
Tell me now, Yoko, is the paper fine? We ready to hand them out to the adoring public? :) Hehe.
Here it is, tha fruit of everyone's labor! :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sorry...sorry...sorry!!

I know I am hideously behind on posting...am working on putting out THIS:

The San Pedro Sun Newspaper (It's like my baby or something)

and am having fun with THIS:
mmm...yummy aren't they girly?