Spicy Ricy Salad

Despite being 32 years old (and I may have just typed 33 because, honestly, I have to think twice these days) and despite being married to the most responsible guy alive, and despite my very mature home ownership stature, I do still secretly harbor the joys of a seventeen year-old, and that is the joy of dropping my parents off at the airport, driving home, pulling into their driveway, and taking over their kitchen. 

Stop, I love my parents!

 A Brooklyn Bridge birthday selfie for my Dad's 65th.

A Brooklyn Bridge birthday selfie for my Dad's 65th.

No doubt they are wonderful people for housing us these last five months while we waited to sign our names over and over and over again (for three hours in a windowless room with no coffee or snacks…) but cooking in their kitchen – with them present – was never easy. There’s the looking over one’s shoulder. There’s the picking up of ingredients and exclaiming, “What’s this?” when, oh my goodness, you know what this is. There’s the “helpful tips.” (!) There’s the turning down of flames, the turning up of ovens, and the cleaning up around you. And, my god, someone is always trying to throw something in the garbage can; the garbage can that needs to be wheeled out from behind a lower cabinet that sits smack dab between the stove and the sink. My parents’ kitchen is a comfortable kitchen but it is by no means big. When one person is in there, a good spot for you to be is on a stool on the other side of the counter. “Step away” has been said a million times, nastily, in this kitchen. 

So, Happy Birthday, Dad! While you and Mom are snacking on beignets and po’ boys in New Orleans this week, I’ll be cooking in your kitchen completely undisturbed. And without the television blasting – why is it always blasting? - Entertainment Tonight every night after work. 

This recipe is delicious and 100% inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers at Flourishing Foodie.


(Serves 4)

1 cup long grain brown rice
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup raisins
1 cup raw cashew pieces
1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
4 scallions, chopped


1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Sriracha


Brown rice! (Takes a while.) Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes, covered. When it's done cooking, give it a fluff. Put it in the fridge to cool down. 

Throw your cashew pieces, raisins, and chopped pepper into a bowl. 

Mix and shake up all of the dressing ingredients. 

Pour the dressing over the rice and chopped foods. Combine and stir with a big spoon.