Well, then. That was interesting... **UPDATED!**

Holy hell, you guys, the world has turned upside down. I ACTUALLY HAVE AN UPDATE. WITH PHOTOS.

I know, right? Here's the deal: I basically followed the same steps that I detailed after the first go round, except for the tomatoes, which had rotted while sitting on my counter. Regardless, it was just as delicious as the first batch. It's a pretty flexible recipe is what I'm trying to say; feel free to switch up the veggies, herbs, etc., as you wish. I bet it would be really tasty with spinach, mushrooms, and artichokes, not that I could get Mark to eat that version. Anyway, I love that it is a staple-based dish that you can switch up depending on whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. Hope you like it!

Picture it: a snowy morning in Lake Tahoe, in a beautiful ski house full of friends. You're stumbling up the stairs into the kitchen in need of coffee and a vat of Bengay. You locate the coffee, and just as you're taking your first sip, you notice your husband perusing your blog, which he had previously only known about in the abstract.

Choking on hot coffee is always an awesome start to the day, no?

Yep, I was (benevolently) outed on the Facebook. And it wasn't even so much an outing as it was a good friend posting a link on her wall that people should check out this great! blog! (she has always been very enthusiastic; she was a Tri Delt). This would have been fine, except for the fact that a LOT of our friends overlap, and the link popped up a photo of my house. Anyone who had ever set foot inside or even seen photos of my house online could have figured it out. Even Mark, who is so not a details man, managed to get it right away. I went straight to the Stat Counter to see how many people had clicked through. But, of course, right before this, I had switched up the blog design and accidentally deleted the Stat Counter code, so my paranoia was free to be dialed up to 11. I decided radio silence was the way to go, hence the longer than usual (even for me) absence.

Since the coast has been clear for a while, I thought I would pop back in to say hello. Full disclosure: it was totally the awesome dish I made last night that brought me back. As we've established, I totally suck at food blogging (read: I didn't take a single photo)*, but this was good enough not to wait.

I am a sucker for gooey, carby deliciousness, and this includes risotto. However, I am also a really lazy cook, and heating cooking liquid, ladling it into a pan of rice, and slowly stirring for a half hour or more is so not my idea of a good time. Risotto is such a pain in the ass to make that I end up never enjoying risottos I make myself.** We were having a dinner of grilled meat last night, and we're far enough into spring that fresh veggies are finally starting to look appetizing again, so I planned to jazz up some plain old brown rice with zucchini and onion. What ended up happening was a crazy delicious lazy man's risotto. Here's what I did:

Lazy Man's Risotto
1 vidalia onion, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 1/2 c grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic
S & P
fresh basil
grated parmesan cheese
grated romano cheese
brown rice, cooked
What? The wine is for the cook.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO over medium/med-hi heat. Add in the garlic, stirring until fragrant.
Mmmm, garlic
Add the zucchini and onion to the pan, stirring to coat with the garlicky oil. Season with salt and pepper, (and dried herbs if you're using them) and saute until softened, stirring occasionally, partially covered if you need to.

At this point, I made the rice. Again, I am lazy, so I never actually cook real brown rice; I use either instant rice or Trader Joe's frozen stuff. Both are equally delicious. Last night was the instant stuff -- bring 1 1/2 c of water to a boil, sprinkle with salt, add in 1 1/2 c rice. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Done!

When the zucchini and onions were just about done, I added the tomatoes and a little more salt and pepper. This would also be the time to add the basil if you're using it. (I used a dried spice blend last night and added that with the zucchini and onions.)
Penzey's Mural of Flavor. Weird name, awesome flavor.
When the rice is ready, fluff it up a little and then dump it into the pan of veggies. Stir to combine everything, and then start adding the cheese. Give it a good handful or more of parmesan and the same with the romano, stirring over med-lo heat.

As the cheese melts, it should develop a nice, risotto-y gooeyness. That's it! Cheese it up to your desired consistency and then dig in.
All of the gooey deliciousness of risotto...
...and none of the fussy pot tending. Excessive stirring is for suckers.

*Don't worry -- I have more of the ingredients and will totally be making this again later in the week. I'll update with photos then. Promise!
**One exception -- Trader Joe's frozen risottos, especially the asparagus one. Stupidly easy and so delicious.

Bonus points if you spotted the hideous onion goggles above. Just be glad you didn't have to spot them like this:
Thanks for the swell gift, Mark. They're suuuper flattering, no?


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