Win $20K in cash AND a $50K cafeteria makeover!

My kids are home with me this week. There’s this weird thing in New York City Public Schools that I did not have growing up in Buffalo, called February break. My kids still have Christmas break in December, and then Spring Break in April, so I think this whole February break thing is overkill. Couldn’t they have a week off when the weather doesn’t stink?

So, indoor projects are always good. We play Kinect, we watch movies, and today, we’ll be cooking a rice dish and videotaping it to enter an amazing Uncle Ben’s contest.

PrintBen’s Beginners is giving away a huge grand prize: $20,000, an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show, and a $50,000 make-over for the winner’s school cafeteria! I can’t tell you how much that would mean to my kids’ school.

Entering is really easy. It involves making a short video of you and your kid making a rice dish. BUT, here’s the catch: the deadline is in five days. I meant to post about this a few weeks ago and forgot. And, frankly, I don’t know why I’m lessening my chances of winning by sharing this with all of you anyway, except that I really love the people at Uncle Ben’s (they hosted my daughter’s class for a cooking project with Angie Harmon and Chef Cricket Azima last month, and it was a ton of fun).Uncle Ben's PS 11 Pictures (82)

I strongly suggest that you check out the FAQ page and official rules on the contest facebook page, because it gives some specific guidelines and good tips for making your video.

And now, I’m off to cook with Fiona! We’re still trying to decide what our recipe will be. I wanted to make one of the dishes that we made at the event, Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad. But Fiona absolutely loves chicken and rice soup and is pushing for it. While I’d rather make something I can eat (I’m a vegetarian) I’ll probably let her win this one, since I’ve made the Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad already. Plus, I’m going to make her do most of the work. :-)

Here’s the recipe for the rice salad though, it’s a good one. It keeps for several days and since it’s best served room temp, it’s a great dish to bring to parties and pot-lucks. I leave out the raisins, because I don’t like them, and I only make half – the recipe as written is really big. Enjoy!


Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad

by Cricket Azima


For salad

  • 1 1/2 cups Uncle Ben’s Rice, uncooked
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 15.5-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint, or to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste


(everything after the rice is a kid-friendly step)

  1. Cook rice according to package directions and let cool. Place in large bowl
  2. Add carrots, yellow peppers, red kidney beans, raisins, and peas
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together
  5. Pour dressing over rice and gently stir
  6. Serve chilled or room temperature

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  1. says

    I feel your pain on the school vacations–my kids have their THIRD vacation of the school year next week! Then they go back for about five weeks and then get yet another week off for Easter. It’s so hard to get into the rhythm of the school year with the constant breaks.

    I would eat that salad right up. If it wasn’t for DietBet.

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