Monday, November 20, 2017

Cut-Rate Entertaining

So tonight I did what I know I shouldn't - I tried another "copycat" recipe from the Internet, this time for Nando's amazing Portuguese rice. However, unlike my previous attempts to imitate beloved restaurant food (and don't think for a second that Brian isn't still scarred by my attempt at Panda Express Orange Chicken), this rice turned out not quite the same as the restaurant version, but...close. Very close, is what I thought when I tasted it. I would call it a win, but Susie deemed it unsatisfactory. Rachel ate her rice uncomplainingly, but she hasn't had the real thing yet, so her opinion doesn't really count.

On the left is my home-mixed bowl of the special
piripiri seasoning - cuz I'm a pro, I guess

So, yeah, back to Nando's for more research, I guess. Luckily, one just opened nearby. People, words cannot express (although you know I'll try) how good their chicken is. I mean, you take a bite and suddenly you are no longer an adult, assessing calories or fat or whatever else we adults think about to ruin our meals. You're a kid, with a piece of chicken in your hands, and nothing else exists in the world at that moment.

It's that good.

Susie (my chicken-deprived vegetarian) ate the rice that came with it and was suitably impressed. Also, the fries - OMG, the fries.

Just try Nando's, okay? Trust me on this one. NOT a paid post here, although if Nando's wants to throw some free chicken my way, I wouldn't say no, that's for sure.

I'm off to cook some more food now. Thanksgiving waits for no blogger, and there's no way I can get the entire dinner done in one day. Tomorrow is cranberry sauce and cranberry bread. Wednesday is stuffing and sweet potatoes. Thursday is turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Somewhere in there I run around like a maniac trying to find enough decent-looking (i.e., not torn or stained) napkins and figuring out if I need to serve the kids on paper plates again this year so the adults can dine in relative splendor on the cut-rate dishes I've picked up at Target over the years. The ones that are now all chipped, actually, because that's what happens when you have kids wash dishes in a kitchen with granite counters...

Seriously, I don't know why people even accept repeat invitations to this house. Maybe I could make it a BYOPlate event this year?


  1. Maybe the chips male them more charming? You could say you bought them at a French flea market on your last trip to Paris.... Dollar store sometimes has basic plates that have worked wonderfully for me in catering jobs. Just saying..

    1. Dollar Store - totally trying that! Big Lots used to have dishes, but the one near me just closed.

  2. Crap. The header of your blog drops down over my comment while I type on my phone. Make not male!

  3. So many people now just eat off paper plates from a pre made dinner from the grocery store. Cooking is becoming a lost art. Also real plates.

  4. I have *totally* done, not bring your own plate, but, uh, "cooperative" efforts towards there being enough water glasses and flatware and chairs (or chair-like substitutes) for everyone.

    With dish-breaking children, bring-your-own-[breakable-thing] may not be as good of an option - dollar store (or thrift store - one thrift store I used to go to had full-ish sets of "fancy china" for probably cheaper than $1/plate) sounds better! But no shame in bring-your-own[thing] - some hazard, but no shame. :-)

  5. I have no idea about Nando's as we don't have them here - but I did look through their website and noticed that they offer up their recipes

    They probably don't tell you all the secrets but it might get you a little closer?

  6. Excuse me, but aren't you an ikea junkie? They have awesome white plates and bowls at about $1 each! Hard to chip or break (we've tried!).

  7. I am catching up here - commenting in reverse. I am so curious what this Nandos is all about. What kind of food is it? American? Italian? Don't think we have it here in Chicago.