Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Being pulled in opposite directions

I am sure it is built into the species, but when snow starts falling, I start scanning for things to put on the stove ... beef stews, pots of soup.  BUT I am leaving town soon so I have to curb my urge to cook through the storm.  I need to use up what will go bad while I am away.   

First candidate is the box of honeybells in the guest bedroom.  I extracted as much juice as I could hold in the freezer, and went hunting for a recipe ...  VOILA  Citrus Scented Quinoa.  I will give you the recipe as I found it, however I left lots of things out of it.  I did not make the balsamic syrup. Also, I did not add the white wine and lime juice.  But I did use the three cups orange juice with pulp and I tossed in the raisins while it was still warm. And I added a chopped red pepper that would have gone bad.  I also did not add the tomatoes and greens and cukes.  Another day ... another storm

Citrus-Scented Quinoa and Raisin Salad Recipe

***Balsamic Syrup***
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
8 ounces quinoa
3 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup natural raisins
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
Salt and pepper
1 cup seeded and diced cucumber
1 cup diced ripe plum tomatoes
1 1/2 cup mixed baby greens


For balsamic syrup, combine vinegar and sugar in heavy saucepan and simmer on low until reduced by half. Cool and pour into a plastic squeeze bottle; chill.

For salad, saute garlic and onion in half the olive oil over low heat in a hot skillet for 1 minute. Add quinoa and saute 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.

Stir in orange juice, lime juice, thyme and wine; simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes; then, chill thoroughly.

Then, combine chilled quinoa mixture, raisins, almonds, basil and remaining olive oil in large mixing bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper and mix well.

For each serving, set a ring mold 4-inches in diameter by 6-inches high on serving plate. Layer ingredients into the mold starting with quinoa salad, then diced cucumber, follow with diced tomatoes, and top off with mixed greens.

Remove mold and drizzle plate with balsamic syrup. Repeat until all plates are prepared.

Things that go POP in the night

Around 1:00 am I heard a big popping sound in the backyard accompanied by a bright flash of light ... and then the electricity went out. Tree limbs crashing into transformers was my first thought. So I called the power company. I awoke to a 50 degree house and still no electricity, but God Bless Dominion Power, by 9:00 am while buried beneath comforters, I heard the heat come on. Somehow I had not imagined the need to "shelter in place" without electricity.

Then I read Fernando's blog this morning and realized that maybe what I saw and heard was Thundersnow. 

Friday, February 05, 2010

"shelter in place"

I have just returned from the grocery store where I snagged THE LAST PACKAGE of ground beef. "Oh am I taking too many?" she asked as she loaded 10 packages into her cart. "It is for my Superbowl Party that probably won't happen."

What is this mania that has taken over Harris Teeter before 7:30 AM on a Friday morning? It is THE WASHINGTON SNOWSTORM. And when you pair that with Superbowl weekend, the only worse scenario I can imagine is if the Redskins were playing in it.

I have been eying this storm for nearly a week as it gathers moisture from as far away as Hawaii. Having been raised in New England, I am pretty low key when it comes to snowstorms, but the absence of sufficient snow removal equipment in the DC area makes this upcoming storm a problem for us, for we were planning to drive north for a ski vacation in Maine tomorrow.

But with email alerts from our local jurisdiction that use the admonition "be prepared to shelter in place for 3-5 days" or the AccuWeather overlay on DC describing accumulation as EXCESSIVE, there is little chance we will get out of here before late Saturday night.I suppose we COULD get out of Dodge this morning, but then we wouldn't be here to shovel the roof off and we need to do that in a snow like this to avoid ice jams and leaking.

So in anticipation of an unplowed street, we are toying with the idea of packing the car this morning and moving it to a street that is more regularly plowed.

Let me end this entry with a little shameless plug for my new favorite DC Area weather blogger, Fernando. Check out his blog Potential Vorticity for the latest meteorological updates.