- Date: Monday, September 3, 2012 -- 6pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Book: Gourmet Today
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B
I love orzo and I love risotto, so I picked this recipe last Labor Day because it sounded great! The idea here was to cook orzo the way one would normally cook Arborio rice to make risotto (adding the liquid a little at a time, stirring constantly). The liquid in this case was water, chicken stock, and white wine, and the "risotto" was seasoned with onions, thyme, Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. This dish was pretty good. Was it as good as risotto? No. Was it as good as orzo cooked normally and seasoned with the same things would have been? Also no. It didn't have the same creaminess as risotto, nor the nice al dente texture of well-cooked orzo. It was some combination of the two that I think didn't serve the orzo particularly well. That said, the dish tasted good. It's hard to go too wrong with orzo, onions, cheese, butter, and wine. But the dish felt a little gimmicky, and it would have been better with either Arborio rice to make a nice risotto, or keeping the orzo and cooking it in a more traditional fashion.
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All of our friends with kids have been telling us lately that we should take advantage of this pre-baby time: Go out to dinner! Go to the movies! Go on vacation! Vacation isn't an option anymore since for a long time now the doctor has said that I should stay close to Lansing since it's hard to predict when you are going to go into labor with twins. We did manage to go on a mini-vacation back in January though, before I was at a point in the pregnancy when travel was unsafe. We both were going to a conference for work in San Diego, so we decided to add a few days to our trip and have a short vacation in Palm Springs.
We travel all the time for work, but vacation travel is something that we very rarely do. The only vacations we have been on since our honeymoon (almost 4 years ago) were either weekend trips, or trips with our family. We haven't taken a vacation, just the two of us, in a long time. So it was a great luxury to spend a few days in Palm Springs. We stayed at a resort where we enjoyed some quality time at the spa. I got a very nice prenatal massage, and lounged for hours in the salt water pools. I ate a big, delicious salad and a hamburger poolside in the spa. Strangely, the hamburger wasn't on the spa lunch menu, but since it was on the regular resort food menu, I asked if I could order one in the spa. From the look I got from the spa attendant when I ordered my hamburger, I am pretty sure it wasn't the typical order of the Palm Springs spa-goer! It was delicious though. Pregnancy prevented me from being able to go in the steam rooms or hot tubs, but my special gentleman took advantage of those enough for the both of us!
After a day at the spa, the next day we decided to spend some time in the dessert. The driving was beautiful out there. We took some breaks to enjoy the scenery on our way to Joshua Tree National Park. Here I am, back when my belly was much smaller!
We had a great day at Joshua Tree. My special gentleman and I both love to hike, and neither of us had ever been to Joshua Tree, so it was exciting. Unfortunately, even at that point in my pregnancy I had a lot of trouble breathing, so hiking was difficult. We managed to go on a couple of very short hikes (around 2 miles) throughout the day, but a long hike was not in the cards. Instead we went for a very scenic drive throughout the park, stopping often to walk around, go for short hikes, or just sit and enjoy the scenery. Here we are together:
And here's a picture of my special gentleman, with a lot of cacti! It was unusually cold the week we were in Palm Springs/San Diego, so he was nice and bundled up.
Since our trip in January I haven't ventured far from Lansing. Although I have had to miss some work trips I really wanted to go on, it has been nice to be home.
While vacation is no longer an option, this weekend we did try to heed our friends' advice, and last night we went out for dinner and a movie. I am uncomfortable enough these days that even going to a movie hasn't sounded terribly appealing, as there is nowhere to lie down in a movie theater! It was fun to go out though, and the movie theater chairs were pretty comfortable, even with the enormous belly!