30 December 2009

Fast and simple

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Since X-mas we've been trying to reduce protein and sugar incomes so our bodies don't suffer anymore than they already did.

This was a fast to cook and assembly meal and I just added the carrots for extra vegetable/color

There's beef with onions and tomato sauce on top of a leaf of lettuce. Then there's broccoli carrot and rice. We had the same thing for dinner along with a tomato soup bowl.

I'm looking forward for next year's experiments. I hope I finally get my bento boxes (you have no idea how many setbacks I had on getting these >.<) and might buy some bento books. Where I live there's not one single store that sells anything bento related in the whole country.


So, some of my year's resolutions will be:

- Assembling proper bentos;

- Improving my photos of food & background;

- Losing the extra weight from christmas;

- Getting my cat fully healed (she's getting better really slowly and I'm stating to worry if her belly's fungus will ever disappear);

- Get the car back!!;

- Finish my degree so I can get another one;

and some more I just don't feel like writing for now ^^ Wish you all a Happy new year and hope all your resolutions come true!

28 December 2009

Snowman

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I still haven't given up! Turns out I looked at the ingredients and by instinct did it:




There's not much to say to it, but the fact that made me happy to create something out of nowhere. I steamed the veggies, cooked some couscous, fried a chickpea burger and put some fresh cheese on top of the couscous.

Unfortunately my bf couldn't eat it all because of X-mas excess of food. His body is refusing any more to get absorbed.

In the meantime, since the year is almost finished I thought I'd start thinking of next year's resolutions and To-do's. Do you have any you'd like to share? I'd love to see what resolutions you have for 2010. I'll post mine a little later on the week ^^

26 December 2009

X-mas meals

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And here is most of my meals for X-mas eve and day, I thought I'd share them because even for me, it was a different kind of X-mas meal than I'm used to at my home town. In Portugal there are variations of what should go to the table according to the region: some cook turkey, some lamb, salted codfish, cow meat marinated in whine and garlic, and so on... This was my grandparents' version:




There were some home-made olives, salad, cooked shrimp, whine and the seafood soup at the center
- For x-mas eve, we had seafood soup, salted codfish cooked and then baked with mashed potatoes and a few more treats on an extra table (because the dinner table was just too small (or full?:D)




The seafood soup
I forgot to take a picture at the codfish and mashed potatoes at the beggining, but I still wanted to show you (If I could I'd get you to taste a bit, it was really good) This is what was left when I remembered:


And this was the worse part, or the best:




"The extra table"

Back row: a sweet my grandma made out of almonds and sweet potato, dark dry figs, almonds and raisins, white figs.
Bottles: 2 different home-made liquors, one out of goat milk and the other one out of figs.

Front row: 2 types of olives, bolo-rei and pumpkin puffs. I couldn't find a better translation for the puffs but in portuguese it's called "filhoses".


By X-mas morning the puffs were gone and for lunch we had roasted chicken with potatoes:




We could only eat one for lunch (5 people)
I took this one just for reminding myself how I should roast mine:


This next week I'll have soups and very little or preferably no sugar and minimum amounts of food so I can burn the weekend's.

23 December 2009

A few words/news

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I'm sorry I haven't written any posts but this while Christmas time and my sudden too short budged until the end of the month kind of gotten my mood down. It is very complicated for me this time of year because I love my family but I also love my bf and for reason's I can't specify, I can't have them both. Also not having a car anymore... Well, let's say it's been a chain of turn-off events that have succeeded in preventing my posts. I did try something a few nights ago but it didn't taste as I expected and I only took a picture at it after it was cut:


I had leftover curry from the day before and my failed attempt to make gyoza dumplings frustrated me so much I went insane and tried making a big gyoza. (I just divided the dough and put half on top, half on the bottom, like a pie!) Turns out the dough gets really hard to chew after baked, but the curry was still nice.


I'm not sure I'll post much for a while, but I'll make sure to take pictures at Xmas' foodies, not made by me but grampa doesn't really mind I take pictures of his doing.

Also, I'm expecting a book I won (Special thanks to Pikko for hosting the event) and some goodies from Japan which should arrive around February! Let's see if I finally dive into Bentoing more seriously and make sure to include meals for me too!

Oh, and whenever I make Farinheira again, I'll make sure I make a How-to post for those who keep looking for it, or you can just leave a comment and I'll tell you everyway I know to cook it.


That should be all thanks for reading and Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!!



09 December 2009

Leftovers & Veggies

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I thought I'd be able to get creative after a great day in the kitchen, but I ended up just caring for the healthy rather than the cute.


This is the first time I've ever put peas on his lunch because he said he hated them 2 years ago :P I guess that's changed because he didn't complain. When I made this, I wanted to put some kiwi on a cup but since he wanted to microwave his lunch, I put it on a small tupperware aside. Maybe I'll get this solved after I get a little something I'll be sure to show here and talk about it! Until then, we'll just have to wait and stick to the tupperwares and separating microwaveable from non microwaveable.

08 December 2009

Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni & Miso Tofu

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I finally got my hands onto Ricotta cheese!


I haven't done much cooking lately because the bf was away and then we had visits, so I finally got a chance to do something.

I finally checked on the ricotta cheese price and decided to buy some to try this recipe. I have tried it in several vegetarian restaurants and was always curious to make them.So I grabbed the cheese, some spinach, an egg, mixed and seasoned it:


The challenge on filling the cannelloni came when I tried to do it with a spoon. It wouldn't go in as I expected and had some air bubbles inside the pasta. To fight that, I grabbed a freezing bag what wasn't gonna be used ever again due to sealing problems, filled it with the spinach-ricotta mix, cut a small hole on one of the corners and squeezed this inside the cannelloni. It became a lot faster and fun! I was hoping the mix would never end and I'd keep filling the pasta :D

I would recommend using also tomato sauce on top of the cannelloni, I found it kind of boring after the 4th bite or so. It had a very soft taste and i missed some surprise in the middle.This is something you can make a lot you can freeze it in individual portions for when you want to bake it. I made 2 layers of cannelloni but they always stick and I couldn't take them out without ruining the presentation. You can just prepare it in one layer with individual portions, that way it'll look very pretty even after on the plate.

Also, this week my mum bought some hard tofu for me.I was raised eating hard tofu but recently I had 1 year of eating fresh made tofu so I was very surprised by the hardness of the tofu. I'm not really sure how they process it nor the original name of this type of tofu but the store names it "Tofu cheese".


I wanted to mix the soft taste of tofu with something strong so I'd have a mild flavour, so I went with miso. I found a recipe in here and followed it, except for the rice vinegar, I couldn't get any.

The miso marinade was too strong and I ended up having to remove some of the paste on top of the tofu when I reheat it.



It was a very pleasant day in the kitchen and I even organized a shopping list with articles I can only get at a small chinese supermarket. I hope they still have those fried tofu skins (aburaage)!


01 December 2009

Onigiri

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As I was making dinner for myself, I entertained myself doing tomorrow's lunch, about the third one I make for myself:


half an egg, some sauté'd vegetables, fried shrimp with garlic and the last piece of japanese rice I had in the freezer. It was kind of...not cute whatsoever so I shaped the rice and cut some nori. Next time I'll remember to cut the nori but not to put it in there before morning! But now it's done, I guess I was in a rush to take the picture and forgot that part. I didn't fill up the tupperware because it's quite big (about 1000ml) which I don't fill for my bf, so I put in a little less for me than his usual.


Let's see if I keep the "cooking for myself" mood :D I'm quite enjoying it.

28 November 2009

Little Nest

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I am pretty bored today, and my attempts in the kitchen have been a failure because I'm alone. It seems I can only cook well when I have someone else to eat what I'm making. So I decided to contradict that and tried this out:


I'm not really sure why it came into my mind but I made a list of things I had home and the idea popped into my head. Why not? So, this is my dinner with a couple more things, but I wanted to cook this in specific.

It actually turned out differently than I expected so I had to put the peas by the side instead of in the egg because I used small eggs which have almost no white part.

24 November 2009

Burger Cooking

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Remember those burgers I made and froze? Already made use of some of them:


The left one is mine, the right one his. This was about the second or third time I cooked for myself but ended up not eating this time.

Both types of burger tasted heavenly!And looked quite good too.


Of course the meat ones got a bit too small, I hadn't tasted a juicy meat burger in a long long time, tender meat, onion flavour... I'll try making them a bit bigger next time!


I am never ever going to buy hamburgers again after making these. They consume some time but the taste and to know what's in there compensates for the time used.

Until then, I'll try not to devour these while my sweet is away :P

23 November 2009

Garlic Chicken

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This was based on grandma's recipe:


This is a very tasty dish and quite cheap (if you can get cheap chicken) due to using very few ingredients: Garlic, olive oil, lemon and chicken.

Portuguese really like sauce on top of the rice and even tho it looks a bit less organized, it tastes really good. As I had to put some vegetables there, I decided to go with a salad since I want to use up all of the lettuce as soon as possible. It's a shame this is already gone. I managed to brown the chicken so well (I was so proud!) and not burn any garlic that I couldn't get enough of the rice and garlic.

This week my sweetheart is going back to the island for a week so, maybe you'll see a few less posts (or maybe more, who knows) of his lunch.

22 November 2009

Hamburgers & Chickpea burgers

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Another crazy idea for the weekend experiments:

I kept on complaining about the huge hamburgers that take too long to cook on the inside and they don't fit well in the frying pan! So I decided to fix it, as always, if I can't get it the way I like, I'll make it myself.

This was quite the challenge because I had never made anything close to these and cooking a batch of things scares me a bit because if one goes wrong, all of that will. I spent some time giving it some thought and my aunt, who is a vegetarian, suggested I made chickpea burgers too because she wanted to eat some of my food without meat in it.

Again, I have to thank JustHungry for the hamburger recipe. I changed it a bit since I fear the use of flour on hamburgers. I hope they still come out okay without it.

For the chickpea burgers I replaced the meat and milk, for ground chickpeas and soy milk. All the rest is the same. Oh, take a look at my homemade breadcrumbs xD


I just finished freezing and bagging them but I haven't cooked them because we had something else for dinner. It is a very entertaining process and I ended up making a lot of hamburgers without realizing. I made 33 meat burgers and 23 chickpea burgers. I hope it saves me more time than usual to make lunches ^^

19 November 2009

Fishfingers

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Again the kitchen panic of "Where's my..." "Why's this here?" I ended up making something simple:


Some salad, fish fingers and the japanese rice from the freezer (still kind of onigiri shaped)

When I start seeing too many dishes to wash I prefer defrosting to cooking because it'll only add more to the pile and i dislike washing dishes.

I don't have to cook tomorrow because my bf is having lunch with his colleagues so I wont be posting tomorrow.

Enjoy your cooking ^^

17 November 2009

No veggies

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My boyfriend was saying for a while (almost everyday) "please make me a dish without veggies" and since this week's been chaotic in the kitchen I made something simple: beef with garlic spaghetti.

I have too many things that don't belong or I don't use, that were brought up home (I am thankful for having free food, but I start panicking because I don't like throwing food away) so I couldn't plan for this week and thinking up of a dish on the day is not my idea of making healthy meals, I'm sleepy tired and just want to cook something fast and simple.

I'm not sure if I'll post something else this week but I'll try!

16 November 2009

Cabbage leftover

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Yes, we did have too much cabbage left from saturday and I didn't know what to do with it. This is what I turned out to make:

 
I sauté'd it in a pan with sausage added some soy sauce and voilá. I was too sleepy and my fridge was a mess! (It wasn't really, but the things were not on my usual places so I got lost. Never mess up a woman's fridge, it'll give her headaches!) I defrosted some japanese rice, cut some carrot slices on top and tried making a tomato flower, which didn't work but I still put it there.

We still have cabbage leftovers >.< We'll see what I can used them in.

15 November 2009

Portuguese dish #2

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We went out for lunch today and I couldn't resist to take pictures.


It's called baked cod with punched potatoes. It's served with olive oil, which is fresh on this season and minced garlic on top. This is one of my favourite dishes, not because of the cod, but because of those potatoes *drools* I can still taste them in my mouth.

I had that with 2 more people and the bf had this:


This was a huuuuuuge steak as you can see, I'm not sure if you can realize the dimension of this. Some of the rice and potatoes were already on his plate when I remembered to take a picture. Of course he didn't manage to eat it all, so I was able to taste a little bit of that delicious tender meat.

Of course, again, we couldn't eat anything for dinner, so we had some soup and a little salad.

14 November 2009

Portuguese dish

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What we had for lunch today with some visitors:

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This is something my grandparents used to eat on their childhood, after going to church on Saturday morning, for lunch. They're usually served with cabbage leaves and some potatoes, carrots or just bread (due to the lack of resources back then) topped with olive oil. It's not very common to see people eating these blood and rice sausages because they're very high on calories and have a lot of fat content. I personally love them but it's something I eat once a year or less.

This is how it looks on the inside:

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We also got fresh olive oil, homemade, and I love it when it still hasn't settled so I thought I' show you how it looks like.

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Even with the flash, you can clearly see it's not clear and in cold weather it tends to coagulate and look really bad. If i can make it freeze I'll make sure to take a picture.

This year my family got 40kg of olives: 12kg to eat and the rest to make the olive oil. Here's a little sample of the olives already sliced, cooked in garlic, salt and bay leaf. They're stored in the cooking water with all the other ingredients in.

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The sausage with potatoes and cabbage is a very heavy dish. We ate about 3/4 of one of these sausages and refused to dine anything other than a light salad and an (smaller) egg. Sometimes the egg I use is smaller than most eggs. It's not a quail egg. There's a variety of small chicken that lay eggs half the size of normal chicken eggs, but they're nearly double the size of quail eggs. I got some fresh ones yesterday so we used them as they're from family members.

I might show you some more Portuguese cuisine tomorrow so stay close ^^

11 November 2009

Meatballs

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I was dieing to try out basmati rice so I made something with a delicious sauce to go with it:

PB110001

We hadn't eaten meatballs in a long time, mostly because they're a bit more expensive and I can't do much with it except for tomato sauce with them. Maybe next month I'll try to make my own, since I will probably get a little "gift" supply of meat soon.

What I really like about the basmati rice, is it's lightness. It has no stickiness and it feels so soft and light in your mouth and stomach. Despite eating a lot, I don't feel bursting like with japanese rice. I love them both, for different purposes, but 'm not sure wich one goes best with curry.

I ran out of "to-sauté" vegetables and the bf (I still have to find him a nickname because he doesn't like reading "the bf") is getting tired of carrots and green peas. It's a little hard to find vegetables to go with the food because he doesn't like beans nor peas. I can live without beans but peas... I love their sweetness.

Is there any way I could maybe mask these vegetables on something? I already did on soup, but after eating soup for a meal, he'll complain he doesn't want soup everyday.

When I was loading the pictures to my pc, I found some that I had no idea were they were and I just have to post one of those:

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That's err... me sleeping with the cat on top. There probably was one underneath my legs like usual. I sometimes get these on my camera because the bf loves to take random pictures whenever his mind says so. It was probably 5 or 6 am I'm can't be sure (I was sleeping)

I might post something on Friday, tho not really sure. Thursday is hard to make something look good on any plate.

10 November 2009

Oven baked lunch

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Good morning everyone!

I didn't know what to call it because it doesn't really have a name:

PB090001

It's true, I could've made it prettier but it tastes so good I slacked on the presentation a bit.

When I got home yesterday, it was very cold, specially in the kitchen... I just washed and cut the veggies, put them in a tray and oven baked everything with a bit of olive oil and salt. I usually add 2/3 garlic cloves to the olive oil for flavor but you have to be careful with garlic, if it burns the food will taste bitter. So here we have:

- Potatoes and carrots;

- a bit of sweet potato;

- whitefish/hake;

- Zucchinni;

It's not that fast to cook, but it's fast to assembly and gives me the time to run back to the bedroom to warm up.

09 November 2009

Hamburger & Tonkatsu

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I couldn't help playing around with the food:

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I had to use up the corn I had on the fridge (next time I'm buying frozen corn it lasts longer and I don't have to "use up" on everything I eat until it's gone)

Since the bf wanted hamburger, I just put some veggies with it and I really lack the abundance of veggies on fall. Squash is expensive and we can't eat it that fast. Plus, this week the supermarket's veggies were really really bad so I didn't buy any! I have no idea how they can present food that's rotten, or dried out, it's a lot different than back in Madeira. (I had fresh veggies T.T)

I made an apple pie again, this time with a different crust than the first one and a double apple-layer:



PB080048

We spent the weekend going out to either buy things or for classes so I didn't cook much, but I'll show you my lovely cats gathering with cold weather. One of them has a small problem being solved so she has that around her neck, but she'll be fine with another 2 weeks treatment.

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The white and black one is a male and the other two female.They're between 5 and 8 years old.

05 November 2009

Chicken Teriyaki

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And the teriyaki is here again!

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Apparently I made way too much teriyaki sauce and I don't know how to store it other than in the refrigerator >.< so I'll be making a lot!

On this one, I had to defrost rice because I ate all of the oven baked potatoes, I don't usually eat out of gluttony but I can't resist to those potatoes, specially while they're warm...

We also ended the veggies that were baked with the potatoes so I had to cut up some emergency veggies. We then have:

- Japanese rice with teriyaki sauce on top (bf loves it like this so I don't argue);

- Chicken Teriyaki;

- Cucumber (probably the last one of the season), carrot and corn.

It's not much, but I think it's only fair to show successes and failures when you're in the kitchen having fun.

I really did great with the teriyaki sauce today, it was the perfect texture, just like the one I was used to last year and those potatoes, oh the .... Where did they go? =D

Don't think I'll be putting much more this week, Thursdays are always hard to take a picture at something.


Oh, I forgot to take a picture, but on Tuesday the bf took the rest of the salmon teriyaki (he must really love teriyaki so much) with some rice and veggies.

02 November 2009

Gyoza dumplings

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I had this lurking on my "to do" recipe and I made it from scratch, meaning, wrappers too!

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It was quite time consuming but to see the results at first try was overwhelming and they taste great.

The rest was a little color adding to the tupperware and I have no idea what goes well with gyoza but the bf wanted more than just vegetables, said he'd get hungry after a little bit.

So we have:

- Japanese rice with corn on top;

- Gyoza with cow meat and cabbage filling;

- Baby carrots and round green beans.

I made a lot of them and we ate some before we froze the rest.

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These are the ones that got frozen and tossed in a bag afterwards.

The ones we ate, I remembered taking a picture on the frying pan but not on the plate, because the bf was too hungry to remember pictures

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For the gyoza wrappers I used this recipe:

http://www.lafujimama.com/2009/08/time-to-wrap-things-up-homemade-gyoza.html

For the filling I edited Just Hungry's recipe:

http://www.justhungry.com/2004/08/is_my_blog_burn.html


Thank you both for sharing these recipes!

29 October 2009

Salmon Teriyaki

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This is something I really liked to eat at the restaurant I worked on, but had never tried it at home. My first try has a bit too much soy sauce but the bf loved it.


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I packed a furikake pack to go on top of the rice. Then some saute'd vegetables because the bf was super hungry and I usually cook both dinner and lunch at the same time to let the lunch cool down and then store it.


This was just for the picture to show the wasabi furikake pack.
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I made something the day before but it had been a complicated day and the food was the one thing who had to pay for the bad day unfortunately:


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There's couscous, broccolli/cauliflower and fishfingers. I did not have the head to put anything else in it, went straight to bed afterwards.

I'll be cooking some fun things next week so check by soon ^^

27 October 2009

Bunny & it's Carrot

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No, I did not cook rabbit. But it's probably gonna be embarrassing for a 20year-old bf to take for his lunch!

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This came out of nowhere I hadn't planned for the bunny. When I thought about adding color to this, I found this little carrot in the refrigerator and the bunny idea came to mind. I looked over the web for various drawings of bunnies and ended up making my own cute bunny.

It's made from:

- Cheese;

- Turkey ham;

- Tonkatsu sauce and ketchup;

Underneath it there's:

- Japanese rice;

and under the raw carrot there's

- beef with tomato, onion and zucchini.

26 October 2009

Blue!

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Yesterday I was on a cooking spree! I even decided to dye an egg and some cauliflower blue ^^

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Tho, I forgot to and used the blue tupperware, which makes it a lot of blue for the eye, more than I expected when I started taking pictures and noticed.

We have:

- Hard boiled egg dyed with red cabbage;

- cooked cow ribs;

- Broccoli and cauliflower;

- Japanese rice with sesame seeds on top.

I started the spree with the pie, followed by a big pan of rice:

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I don't have a rice cooker and I know it doesn't taste the same, but I really like short grained rice and the restaurant I used to work in made rice this way and only used the rice cooker to keep it warm. It turned out really well, much better than the last 2 times so we used up some wamr before freezing the rest. Here is the rice in the freezer (I forgot to take pictures of it outside the freezer)

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1kg of rice gave about 26 portions of rice (I shape them in onigiris because it keeps the rice from getting squished and looking like purée. Whenever we want rice, we grab some and defrost it so it saves up a lot of time.