Today is a good day.

The reasons:

It's Friday.
My boss is out for the day.
My inbox was empty when I came in.
My mom is coming for the weekend.
I just finished a v. delicious strawberry shake from Potbelly's.


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a super grain!!

The other night I was inspired to make something with quinoa - the super grain! Basically, quinoa has been around for a looong time, originating in the Andes where they've been using it for at least 6,000 years. And truly, when I was hiking through the Andes along the Inca trail, quinoa was a staple in just about every meal we were served. You can do all sorts of things with it and put it in almost everything, but I had some leftover mushrooms from another recipe I tried recently, so I thought I'd see if I could make a "risotto," substituting the über-good-for-you quinoa for the not-so-healthy-white-rice. And, in the style of The Pioneer Woman, here's what I did (recipe at the end):

I diced the garlic and shallot.

And then rinsed off the mushrooms (I used some white button mushrooms and a portabella I had leftover from another recipe, but I think any kind and combination will do!)

I chopped them.

Then, I sauteed the garlic and shallots (seasoned with salt and pepper) in butter. 

And threw in the mushrooms. 

 When the mushrooms started to cook down, I added the wine and quinoa.

 The last step is to add the cheese and the rest of the butter, once all the liquid has been absorbed.

 And enjoy!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups white wine or vegetable broth
Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the shallot and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the olive oil and mushrooms, season again, and cook for another five minutes, or until mushrooms have begun giving off their water. 
3. Add the quinoa and the wine/broth, stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook at a bare simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the cheese to taste until both have melted, season to taste, and serve hot.


Snowmageddon 2010

It is, inexplicably, still snowing. I know it's nothing like Washington, D.C. and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic, but this is the most snow Chicago's seen all winter. And the winter storm warning isn't even up until tomorrow! I mean, Ziggy, my building manager is outside right now running the snow-blower. It's 10 pm!

Oh well.

Nothing big to post tonight...I just didn't want to forget how to blog. Our Internet's been down for the last couple days, and it has been HARD. I never realize just how tied I am to my e-mail and Facebook and Google until it's taken away from me. Instead, I've been filling my time with my new obsession: The West Wing. So good! I'm about half-way through the first season and I'm completely hooked. So, I think, it's time for an episode or two before I fall asleep...good night!