Memorial Day Weekend & Wild Rice Casserole

Fact: I am a deadbeat blogger.

I can’t tell you how many times I say to myself that I will update my blog with all the things I’ve been cooking up and the fun things I want to share! I must be more diligent. Anyway. It’s time for a Memorial Day Weekend recap and a slow cooker recipe!

I’ve been looking to this long weekend for ages. I really needed that extra day off to relax and do the things that I don’t get to during the week. Things at work haven’t been too stressful, but not much has been going on with my job search. My focus hasn’t been on securing a new job and, strangely enough, I’m ok with that. I mean, I’m not being negligent here. I’m really looking forward to taking a little break and then really going balls to the wall with a search when my head is a bit more clear.

Onto the weekend recap! On Friday I was able to get out a bit early and meet Becca and her friend Jason at Cactus Club. It was quite a delight and a joy to sit on a patio in beautiful weather. We jetted to Dillon’s for a beer and then I had to scoot to Union Bar and Grille for Ryan’s birthday dinner. It was absolutely delicious! I have no idea what we had for dinner or what I ate, for that matter. I didn’t feel like being “that guy” who was taking pictures of food and documenting it for a later purpose. Also, I was a little drunk 🙂 After dinner cocktails were had at Rocca, a place I hadn’t been on a Friday night in ages. Our level of classiness took a nosedive as we ended the night at Machine. Randomly enough, I ran into a student tour guide that used to work in my office while at Machine. It was lovely to see him, but weird to see him at a place like Machine.

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning for my deep tissue massage at Violet Skin Boutique. I’ve had a lot of neck pain/tension lately and I wanted to get it relieved, at least slightly, before my 5k next week. My appointment was with Carrie and, I must say, she was nothing short of amazing. She worked out all of my knots and gave me a really thorough full-body deep tissue massage. I left Violet feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I’d definitely go back again for a massage or even try another treatment. Post-massage, I met up with Jessica, her cousin and roommate at 647 for brunch before hightailing it downtown to meet Jamie, Stuart and Jason for a light lunch for Jamie’s birthday. The rest of the day was spent meandering home and doing a few errands.

I woke up on Sunday and felt like taking a Peter day. I cleaned, crock potted and did laundry. I recently purchased a slow-cooker recipe book on clearance at Borders, Slow Cooker Recipes for All Occasions. It has some really great recipes, and I’ve even managed to try two of them already. This weekend’s culinary delight was Wild Rice Casserole!

Wild Rice Casserole

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large green pepper, finely diced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese (I used Shaw’s Mexican Blend for some spice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups wild rice, cooked according to package instruction

Before getting down and dirty with the crock pot, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften.

Add garlic, tomatoes, oregano and paprika. Continue to sauté until heated through. Remove to large mixing bowl to cool.

Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat; whisk in flour. Cook and stir until smooth and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Whisk shredded cheese into boiling milk to produce rich, velvety sauce.

Combine cooked wild rice with sautéed vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the cheese sauce and mix gently.

Grease the inside of the crock pot stoneware. Pour the wild rice mixture into the prepared stoneware and. Cover; cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.

It was quite delicious all hot and gooey right out of the crock pot. However, it’s been in the fridge for a couple of days and I’ve eaten it both cold and warm. Last night I warmed it up and sprinkled some mozzarella cheese on it, then topped it with salsa. Delicious! This would also be a great filling for stuffed peppers/tomatoes.

Memorial Day weekend wrapped up with a nice jaunt to Perkins Cove with my friend Chris. We frolicked, walked along Marginal Way and had DELICIOUS lobster rolls at Barnacle Billy’s.

An amazing end to an amazing weekend 🙂

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