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Mexican Style Rice

I always think it's funny when I discover how easy it is to make some things from scratch. Especially the things that I have depended on Rice A Roni for all these years.
One such example, is Mexican or Spanish Rice. I have always used the box rice mixes to make these, until a wise woman taught me otherwise.

So, here's how I make it now.

In a sauce pan, combine and brown over medium/high heat for about 4-6 minutes:
1 cup white rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, cut small

Add water and one can of diced tomatoes (with liquid) to equal 2 1/2 cups liquid total.
Add any seasonings if desired (garlic, salt, red pepper, chili powder).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all moisture is absorbed.
Stir and Serve.

I'm aware that this photo below is NOT dairy free, but I thought it looked so visually appealing, I couldn't help putting it on here.


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Preheat OVEN to 400 degrees.
1 ½ CUP sugar
½ CUP shortening
½ CUP margarine (softened)
2 eggs

2 ¾ CUPS flour
2 TEASPOONS cream of tarter
1 TEASPOON baking soda

Add more flour if needed to be able to make firm balls out of the dough. Shape dough into 1-1½ inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe makes about 48 2-inch cookies.
Estimated prepare and bake time is 30-40 minutes.
NOTE: An additional 1/2 cup of flour may be added for more fluffy cookies (as shown in photo).