I pledge allegiance to the mushrooms

First of all…where in the world have I been? Probably with Carmen San Diego and Waldo hiding from the masses as we stuff our faces disgustingly.  Well…not exactly but that’s what it feels like. I recently was bestowed the gifts of my own recipe book (to jot the random creations I concoct), a vegetarian cookbook and a book all about CHEESE.  Cheese is the reason I can never go hard core vegan. I love cheese (and I say this as I drool slightly). 

Moving on…lately I’ve had a dry spell with cooking. I’m trying to make it a goal of mine to try a new recipe each week and go to a new restaurant at least once a month. Reasonable? I believe so! I’m hopeful that I will discover something fantastic especially since I got an issue of New York Magazine which covered the top 101 restaurants of New York City. Though I’m not in the financial place to go to some of this four to five star restaurants requiring reservations at least one to two months in advance, there were a few that were noteworthy and I plan on putting money aside to go and let my palate be my guide. 

I am allowing my stomach to be my motivation to cook though my family doesn’t really seem interested in testing out my recipes.  I’ll have to make smaller portions since I’m afraid I’ll be the one person (besides my boyfriend) who will be the guinea pig of my recipes.  

Lately I’ve experimented with baby bella mushrooms. A dear friend of mine created this fabulous side dish with an array of mushrooms seasoned decadently with cilantro and garlic and reduced with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  She usually serves it with her vegetable lentil soup (which I might add it incredibly delicious). I’ve jazzed it up a bit since I like to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that while I’m cooking. It tastes better and better each time I make it. 

I sautee chopped baby bella mushrooms (sometimes I toss in a few shitakes for added heartiness and flavor) in some extra virgin olive oil and diced garlic. As it sautees I add about two tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro (sometimes I add more cilantro since that is one of my favorite herbs besides rosemary).  As the cilantro wilts slightly and the mushrooms have soaked up the flavors I add balsamic vinegar.  I add enough so that it can reduce by half and develop a sweet but tart flavor which compliments the mushrooms, garlic and cilantro perfectly. 

Speaking of balsamic vinegar…I just bought a huge bottle since I ran out making a ton of mushrooms these past couple of weeks. Hmm. I’m thinking of making the mushrooms and serving it over some egg noodles for dinner tomorrow. Yum.

Now for my early midnight snack…some cereal. Writing this post has stimulated my appetite. 

Peace, Love and No Beef.



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