If you had told me 3 years ago I'd a) enjoy cooking, b) be able to make some pretty good dishes that did not involve frozen tortellini or grilled cheese ( no disrespect to the grilled cheeze. I luv me some GC), I'd have laughed at you. I'm not even sure how it happened. One day I was stalking a food blog, and over time it evolved into experimentation and a cooking confidence I had never felt before. I used to read cookbooks and if I didn't know what the ingredient was or it looked too hard, I'd skip it. Words really can't express how nice it is to look at a recipe now and know what I can tweak, what I can do without, and what I can substitute to get a different flavor without completely botching the whole thing. I'm no Giada (although I do have an epic girl crush on her), I'm proud at how far I've come. No complaints from M, either. ;-)
SO tonight I made zuchinni-chorizo orzo. M and I had a shredded zucchini dish with chorizo at 112 eatery on valentines day 3 years ago. While I haven't been quite able to replicate it, I love to putz around with chorizo. (which is a spicy mexican sausage.)
-orzo (or any kind of pasta, really)
-chorizo (I used the kind that looks like brats. not really "authentic" but it served its purpose)
and really that's it! For the basic dish. You can add whatever else you want so I added:
-onion (because I use it in everything)
-green beans (because I had some leftover)
Chop all the veggies and chorizo like so. Then, take a potato peeler and "shred" the zucchini into strips.
Saute the onion and green beans in about a tbsp of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper (as you've probably noticed, I don't use exact measurements of anything, really...which is ironic because that's what always intimidated me about cooking before)
After about 5-7 minutes, toss in the chorizo. Brown the chorizo for about 5 minutes-- the chorizo starts to "sweat" juices out which then serves as the primary flavoring for the veggies and the zucchini
Add the zucchini last, and cook for about 5 more minutes.
I then drizzled another tbsp of olive oil over the drained orzo, and added a tbsp of balsamic vinegar (olive oil and balsamic vinegar are 2 things I just always have in bottles on the stove) to flavor the noodles a smidge- it's not really necessary. Mix in the rest of the veggies with the noodles, and add salt and pepper to taste. Voila! zucchini chorizo orzo. easy peasy.
In other news, as previously mentioned, I have a lady-crush on Giada. Giada adds lemons to drinks and makes them pretty and fancy. SO I picked up 3 lemons at the grocery store last time I was there, and have taken to slicing them into my water. I use a half of a lemon for each drink (and will just refill the tumbler the rest of the night.. so a half a lemon per "night" I guess). SO tasty.
That's my sexy BarBri tumbler. BarBri is the review course for the bar exam... remember the review course (Kaplan, usually) for the ACT/SAT? same thing. Kaplan even has a bar review course, but BarBri is the most widely used. The class is M-F for 7 or 8 weeks, from 6-9:30. I told M that with work and BarBri I'd see him in August after I take the bar exam. He laughed. I was kinda serious. This is shaping up to be a fun summer!