Saturday, July 14, 2007

Girls Night Out at Paper Source in Bellevue

My friends and I have this thing. We pretend not to be girly, we refuse to acknowledge that we like girly things and we pretend to be too cool for girls. The truth is that we are damn girly; let us ooh and ahh over kitchen stuff and were ecstatic. Leave us at Urban Oufitters and we will get lost in the clothes. This week we had girls night out at Paper Source. One of my friends heard they were having a girls night and she signed us all up. It was so much fun. First we got loot bags full of beautiful paper and things; origami instructions, lip gloss, recipes for drinks, stickers and a girly cd. The cd has songs like California Girls, Staying Alive and Tainted love. There was food from Mccormick and Shmick's. There were drinks, popcorn from the movie theater and lots of fresh fruit. There were craft demos. There was even a table where we could use all the craft stuff and make our own crafts. There was a raffle and I actually won something. I got a box for my pictures. Best part of all this: It was FREE!!!!

We had a blast and now it's time to toughen up. I think I will go clean the garborator.
Note: If you want to do something with the girls, this is really fun. Call them and sign up because I am sure there will be a waiting list for the next one.
Oh!!!!!!!!Don't forget to pretend to be macho later. It's part of the game.

Risotto Therapy

When I first started cooking, I looked for easy things to make. I obsessively watched Rachel Ray, trying to beat her at her 30 minute meals. Then I discovered the gracefulness of cooking, the art of it , the dance of it , the whole idea of focusing all your love in one place. You might think I am a freak but cooking has become a pleasure that I can afford to do endlessly without feeling the tiniest speck of guilt. This is of course as long as I don't eat endlessly.I realized I was hooked when I made risotto for the first time.RI- SOT- TO.The word rolls off my tongue softly and gracefully like when Nabokov chanted the word LO- LI- TA, in his controversial but extremely brilliant book.At first I just heard about Risotto. People would say : "Oh it's delicious but it's so much work!" The first time I made it, I had no idea how it was supposed to taste. I started with the basic, Risotto a la Milanese.The yellow, saffrony, creamy rice came out perfect the first time. ( This never happens to me!)I felt like I was eating a pot of gold.So for all those people who tried to scare me into making instant rice, you are missing out on something in this world. Risotto only takes about 30 minutes(including prep time), but a meaningful 30 minutes where all you do is focus on this one beautiful masterpiece of golden porridge-like, pasta textured rice.This is your time with your Risotto. No answering phones, No checking emails and no distractions.So... The next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed with work. Two words , Risotto therapy!
The technique in risotto is to have one pot of stock on the stove on a simmer so that it stays hot and to cook your rice in another pot by adding one ladle of hot stock at a time to your rice. Then, stir, stir and stir some more. Homemade stock is the best but if you are not ready to put that much effort into it you can use cartons of stock too. Just try not to use those cubes of soup powder, they taste really bland and are usually infested with M.S.G.The only inconvenience with risotto is that is tastes better when it's piping hot and just made. This is a bit more complicated for restaurants to make perfectly since it requires individual attention. This is one of those foods that taste just as great or even better when you make it.
So get some Arborio rice(the rice for risotto )and have some relaxing time with this creamy new friend.
Risotto A la Milanese Recipe