Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More about colors...

In considering of the colors of some of the other rooms, I like the greens of the kitchen and other living areas. They seem to be a more 'olive' based green. I need to see the pasta tiles next to the wall colors as I'm not sure if the wall color will work. Plus in the kitchen there will be granite counters and one of those bell shaped exhaust units over the stove, both will be contrasting colors.
I also like the pale yellows of the downstairs bedroom. If Roger had used any more yellow I think I would have to change the name of my house from  Casa del gato azul to Casa Del Sol!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some other colors of the Rainbow...are in my house!

In some of the other photos that Arturo sent we could see other rooms that were painted other colors. I never wrote down any of the colors that were chosen last October when we did the marathon day of paint choosing. I should have because I don't remember them. 
My bedroom is painted green... I thought I had chosen a light gold which is what my bathroom is painted. (my bedroom in St Louis is painted almost this color)  Do I like the green? Not sure. In the photos it looks a little too 'minty' for me. Carlos mentioned that he thought the green of the bedroom was a very cooling color translating into "If I can keep her cooler, I won't spend as much on air conditioning". However I will reserve judgement until I see it in person. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The sun is shining in the Yucatan!

I was really surprised when Arturo called me via Skype this afternoon. He has been so busy with a wonderful new venture called " Real Life in Merida" Check it out, he has some great videos as well as photography all about his hometown of Merida!
Shortly after our conversation he sent me some new photos. Wow, I have the color of sunshine permeating my walls! Color really makes a big difference. I will be excited to see the other colors as they go up, especially the contrasting colors. I can't wait to see light and shadow play with the colors... in the meantime here is what it is looking like!
Upstairs terrace

Upstairs promenade

Bodega (storage room)

1/2 Bath

Downstairs promenade

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Arroz Con Pollo or Puerto Rican Cookery in the Yucatan

I never thought I would be posting recipes but the house is creeping along and I hate not to blog for weeks on end.... I miss it. I hope someone likes my recipes! The following recipe is my favorite 'company' dinner. I have been making it for almost the 35+ years CQ and I have been married. It is the most requested dish when we need to bring a dish to an event and even CQ's relatives love it. You can play with it and add other things like peas or corn, but I usually make it just like below. So try it and let me know how it turns out for you! Buen Provencho!

Arroz Con Pollo

2-3 cups uncooked rice (wash and drain your rice)
1 lb chicken parts – I prefer to use chicken legs only, you may want to marinade the chicken in Mojo Criollo overnight, if not available use garlic, oil and adobo seasoning.
1  small Spanish style Chorizo, sliced
1 small can tomatoes with jalapeƱos
2 tablespoons of whole Spanish Olives, with red pimento
1 teaspoon alcaparras (capers)
½ cup sofrito or about 4 cubes if you’ve used my previous recipe
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 – 2 envelopes of sazon a Puerto Rican seasoning. (this has the achiote which is what colors the rice the traditional yellow color)
½ cup vegetable oil
4-5 cups of chicken broth (I prefer low salt)

In a large caldero (this is an aluminum pot with top, the most traditional pot used in the Hispanic kitchen) brown the chicken parts in the oil, 5 minutes each side. Add the slices of chorizos as well as the sofrito cubes, sazon and black pepper.
Add rice to the pot and stir. Add the Spanish olives and the capers; also add the can of tomatoes with jalapeƱos.
Add the chicken broth until the water is about 1 inch above the rice, stir once only.
Boil uncovered, over high heat, until liquid is absorbed.
Once the broth is absorbed gently stir from bottom to top, just a couple of turns only.
Cover and continue to cook over LOW heat for another 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
A typical caldero
Hints . . .
Resist the temptation to stir. Too much stirring causes the rice to become "amogollao" or sticky.
It is traditional to cook the chicken with bones and all. People will just pull the meat off the bones with their fork.
If you have cilantro and more pimento add some to the top of the pot once it is done, for a garnish.
Don't let your rice get smoked from cooking at too high temperature.
For great pegao* just cook a bit longer keeping an eye on it.
For a lot of pegao use a larger caldero (it will just be half empty).

*pegao: Any rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot is called "pegao" and is crispy and tasty and a favorite of all true Puerto Ricans. (it carries all the flavors of a dish) However, not everyone is skilled is making pegao - it is an art….And any honored guests of the table are offered the 'pegao' first!