Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hobby Lobby Coma & Mushroom Parmesan Orzo

Ever wonder how you ended up with 4 lbs of mushrooms?...No?...Well, I'll tell you how I did.  But first, let me talk about a little event in my life that I call the "Hobby Lobby Coma". 

When I was a kid my sister and I would go shopping with our Mother like any other family.  We started noticing that in certain stores my Mother would go into a trance-like state that at one time we deemed  "the shopping trance".  It would happen at places like Target or even the dollar store, where she would wander around aimlessly looking at every piece of junk in the place and totally annoy the "too cool" teenagers with her.  We had better things to do, like shop for flannel shirts and Doc Martens. My Mother took a lot of teasing for this, but it never stopped her. In fact, to this day she still has a strange place mat fetish that I will admit worries me at times.

You can probably guess what comes next...the daughter becomes the mother.  Now I get to annoy my husband by going in places like Micheal's and wandering around aimlessly with that same dazed look on my face.  He'll ask me, "So, what exactly do you need from here?"  I usually don't respond to this, I couldn't answer even if I tried.  All I know is I am at my happy place, looking at things and touching all the cool stuff that I had no idea I needed until that moment. This happens a lot to the women in my family at Hobby Lobby.  There has been a time or two (okay, maybe more) when I have gone into Hobby Lobby and the next thing I know I am standing by my car, and it is filled with all kinds of cool junk, and I am a little unsure of what just happened to the last 3 hours of my life.  This is the event known as the "Hobby Lobby Coma".   I am beginning to believe that I could be published in a medical journal if I did a little more research.

A similar thing happens to me when I go to Sam's Club.  I love to shop at Sam's.  The main reason is that I hate to go to the grocery store. If I can get something in bulk and keep it stocked in my house then that means I have to go to the grocery store that much less. But I have a problem when I go to Sam's, and I think it has to do with scale. 

Think about it, you walk in to a huge building, with huge shelves filled with huge products.  By the time you've been in there for 30 minutes or so, your sense of reality has been altered.  You buy things and don't realize that they are 100 times larger than what you can actually fit in your house.....or you end up with 4 pounds of baby bella mushrooms because you're thinking of making stuffed mushrooms...and evidently you're going to be making them for everyone in your neighborhood before it's all said and done.  It didn't even hit me what I did until I got them home and set them on the counter..... and then I realized my mistake.  I had a slight panic attack and then went to work rummaging through all my recipes to find anything to do with mushrooms.  I knew I had it covered one night because I could saute them with some steaks (which I shared the recipe for last week, - if you missed it click here).  Then I ran across my Mushroom Parmesan Orzo recipe and felt a little better because not only do you need quite a few mushrooms, but it's easy and delicious.  So, in case you ever flip out at Sam's Club and buy too many mushrooms, don't panic...you know I've got you covered.

Mushroom Parmesan Orzo

2 heaping Cups of sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 med onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 - 14 oz. Cans of chicken broth
8 oz. of orzo pasta
8 oz. of dry white wine (optional)
1 sprig of Rosemary
In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and olive oil until butter is melted over med/high heat. Add onions and saute until they are just softened.  Add garlic and saute just a couple minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until they begin to soften and wilt.  Add orzo and saute a couple more minutes until orzo is slightly toasted. Add one can of chicken broth, the wine, and Rosemary and let simmer until completely absorbed.  Check orzo for "doneness" and if needed add half of the second can of broth and let simmer again until absorbed.  Check orzo, it should be al dente when done.  Take off heat, remove Rosemary sprig and then right before serving fold in cheese and let melt. 

This is a great side dish, but here's a bonus...  You can make it a casserole too!

add 2 cups of cooked and cubed, boneless skinless chicken breasts to the mixture and spread it into a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. In the microwave melt 3 TBSP of butter and mix with 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs until completely combined and sprinkle over the top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until bread crumbs are nicely toasted on top. 

It's so good you may go buy 4 lbs of mushrooms on purpose!

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