It’s getting frosty. The temperature inside the chicken coop this morning was 31 degrees and the hens were not interested in going outside before sunrise. (Mama needs to buy the girls a light bulb.) Outside, it was 28. I have no childcare today (because all the grandparents are on vacation) so Neri and I are being homies. All I want to do is walk in the sunny foliage and eat warm bowls of delicious carbs.

I’m trying to walk a mile a day so I don’t, you know, like just drop dead of total lack of exercise. My friend Michelle took us to Campbell Creek Estuary, which I hadn’t been to since before it was a park. What a gorgeous place.

This is what the children did when I tried to get them to slow down for a photo.

This is what the children did when I tried to get them to slow down for a photo.

Here's Michelle, needing sunglasses.

Here’s Michelle, needing sunglasses.

Neri of the mudflats.

Neri of the mudflats.

And, after our crispy-leaf, brisk-air, sunny-day walk, Neri went to sleep in the car. I came home and warmed up some delicious chicken and rice leftovers. At the moment, I’m eating them while I write in my car, in the driveway, while the baby sleeps in his carseat. #mamalife.

Before I get called out by people with Filipino grandmas, let me say that this chicken and rice dish is not chicken adobo. If it were, I’d use better vinegar, reduce the sauce and fry the meat after I boiled it. This is my own creation. It’s just adobo-inspired.  It is super easy and satisfying. The leftovers are THE BEST. I always make extra for lunch the next day. It’s a great dish to bring to someone who just had a baby.

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Adobo-style chicken and rice

(Serves 8. This recipe is gluten-free.)

About 3 pounds organic chicken thighs

2/3 cup low-sodium tamari, or if you aren’t gluten free, soy sauce

2/3 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 cloves garlic, crushed

A couple of inches fresh ginger sliced into rounds

A couple pinches red pepper flake (optional)

Two bay leaves

Water

2 cups uncooked jasmine rice

Lime wedges, green onions and cilantro for serving. (Optional)

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a dutch oven or other good soup pot. Add all the other ingredients. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, uncovered, turning chicken occasionally until the meat is really tender. In the meantime, cook the rice. When the rice is done, you can serve it with the chicken ladled on top. I prefer to dump the rice right into the chicken, mix it together and let it stand for 30 minutes so the rice absorbs the liquid. (If it’s still soupy, just give it more time. Or eat it and enjoy it totally absorbed the next day.) And done. Now go for a walk before it gets dark. 🙂