I will be the first to admit that when it comes to side dishes, they are usually an afterthought in my kitchen, for a variety of reasons. The first, the kids (surprise, surprise) are a little picky when it comes to vegetables. Well, not my sixteen-month-old daughter. She pretty much eats anything that's not nailed down, including sticks she picks up from the deck and the occasional rock she finds in the garden. I'm still working on the what-is-food-and-what-is-not debate with her. My nearly-seven-year-old son, on the other hand, wants no part of any vegetable that is green, unless I heavily disguise it or hide it. It's a new phase, what can I sa?. One that pains me so, since I love most green vegetables myself, but I digress. When it comes to rice, however, he's like Hoover on a mission, so I can usually add a few, cough, cough, vegetables in the rice and he'll be happy enough to see the rice that he won't stop and pick out the other offending colorful particles, thank goodness.

Enter Mexican Rice. I have a few different versions that I make, but this one that I found on All Recipes is one of the stand-bys. With just a few simple ingredients and a recipe that doesn't need a heckuva lot of babysitting, and you're rewarded with a perfect side dish that is family-approved. Given my propensity to sometimes ignore side dishes in favor of a taking the easy way out, I'm all for that .