Monday, August 25, 2008

Wow! Michelle, You Rock!

I am watching Michelle Obama speak at the convention and I must say she is fantastic! She is so real and warm. And she seems to be completely untethered by notes and totally at ease. What an asset to Mr. Obama.
Anybody else watch her? What did y'all think?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Habanero Salsa and High Blood Pressure

I want to write about 2 things today.

First, a warning. When you are at Qdoba and they ask what kind of salsa you want--mild, medium, hot or extra hot--think twice and think hard before getting extra hot. They are telling the truth. It is habanero salsa and it is the hottest salsa I have ever tasted. It was literally painful to have it contact my tongue. And I continue to suffer as it makes its way through my intestinal tract. Mind you, I am a spicy food lover. My spice-o-meter is generally set for very high tolerance, so I'm not just whistling dixie here. Don't suffer--I have done that for you.

Next, on a more serious note--I went to the doc for a sore shoulder 2 weeks ago and was shocked to find that my blood pressure was 160 over 90. Yikes.
Sometimes being in pain can cause your bp to be high. I went again today and it was still 154 over 84. Ten minutes later it was down to 144 over 80. Later, at CVS, it was 133 over 78. I am very skeptical about taking the medicine that the doc has prescribed. Do I have actual high blood pressure or just "white coat syndrome?"I have agreed to take medicine for a month to see if it helps, but I'm not very happy about it! I mean, I definitely don't want to have a stroke, but I don't want to be old and taking 40 pills a day, either!

Sheesh, middle age is full of hurdles.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quinoa Risotto, Recommended by Gordon Bass

Gordon Bass should have his own cooking show. First of all, the camera loves him. He has done so many commercials --you can't turn on your TV without a Gordon Bass sighting. Secondly, he is a fantastic cook and has a passion for food that I have never witnessed in any other human being. When Gordon describes a great meal, he makes it sound pornographic. Of course, the show would have to be on cable or public access TV because Gordon swears like a sumbitch. But ain't he a handsome thing?


2 T butter
4 T olive oil, divided
12 oz assorted wild mushrooms (such as chanterelles, stemmed shiitakes, oyster, and morels), thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups quinoa (about 13 oz), rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 8oz package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shaved Manchego cheese

Melt butter with 1 T oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms; Saute until brown and tender. Add garlic; Saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining 3 T oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa; saute 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups broth; cook 10 minutes. Add asparagus and artichoke hearts; simmer until quinoa and veg are tender, stirring often and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfulls as needed, about 7 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and reserved mushrooms. Stir until cheese is melted and mushrooms are heated through, about 2 minutes. season to taste w/ salt & pepper. Divide risotto amoung bowls, garnish with shaved Manchego and serve.

Note: I halved this recipe upon Gordon's suggestion and it still made 4 generous servings. It is delicious! My first time cooking quinoa, but not my last.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh Dearie Me

These little brothers were at the back door of our office this morning. So sweet. We have no clue where they came from! They had a very busy morning of romping all over our office, and then they spent 2 hours fast asleep in my office mate's chair. By the end of the day, one of our box office employees was taking them home with her. She fell in love with them at first sight. I'm tellin' ya, these kittens were all that and more. I could barely resist them. I hope they all live happily ever after!