We Eat In

I am one of those people who thinks weekends mandate eating out. In a perfect world, one in which money grows on trees, and every restaurant is always open with no reservations necessary, I would probably never cook again. I would certainly never cook over a precious weekend. I just love to be pampered, what can I say! Is this is me admitting that at the core of my being, I am lazy?

Let’s get back to reality, my reality. Weekend may sing the siren’s call to dine out, but my wallet is not free-flowing. A dollar spent is a dollar gone. We eat in.

It was a beautiful day here in NYC, clear and sunny. The temperatures weren’t too bad for this time of year, either. The wind, however, well the wind whipped. Cold wind makes my tummy crave warm, salty, melty goodness.

Saturday evening at Restaurant Sarah (call ahead, this place receives rave reviews!), we had onion barley risotto, lovingly made by my own two hands. I adapted this recipe from a vegetarian barley risotto write-up I came across by The Food Network, subbing store-bought marina (clue #2 that I am lazy?) for home-made pesto, and condensing the steps down from a lengthier list into just a few. Chris and I both finished our servings with ease, and agreed that every bite was delicious. Now, an hour later, that barley sits in my belly oh so nicely, warming me up from the inside out.

Ingredients:

4 cups veggie broth

1 cup water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup feta cheese

Marinara sauce-I used Trader Joe’s marinara

Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1. In a skillter, sautee onion in olive oil until translucent.

2. While onion is browning, heat up vegetable broth and water in a large pot. Add onion to pot and bring to low boil. Add barley. Gently stir mixture and allow to boil for next 5 minutes.

3. Reduce heat and allow barley to cook until the majority of the liquid has been absorbed and barley is fluffy. This took about 25 minutes.

4. Ladle an even layer of the cooked barley into the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Spread a layer of marinara over the barley then add a layer of sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkle of feta. Repeat one time, adding more cheese to the top layer than the bottom layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Until money grows on trees, and all those restaurants I want to try stop being so crowded, I guess I can be happy dining in on Saturday evenings.

I am so getting popcorn at the movie though, and no one, I mean no one, can stop me!

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