California Adventure

jen's splash

RECIPE: Orzo with Riesling, kale and walnuts.

First of all: happy (recent) birthday to me and my awesome twin, too. The birthday themes? Food and great people. Pre-birthday involved my fave local/fresh/organics restaurant. And the morning of my birthday, Ken brought over a bag of local pastries. Yippee.

The day finale was a flight to see a good friend in Hollywood for the weekend. His birthday present was tickets to see him! (I brought some of that fab biscotti, but I’m guessing that’s not quite a fair exchange.) We went straight from the airport to dinner.

Followed by several pitchers of margaritas. This photo is us post-tequila, right before we walked home — leaving the car parked until morning. (I know! I managed to lose an earring on the flight … which is my favorite. Sigh.)

Morning, or more like early afternoon, was destination Disney.

SO FUN! Good people. Sun. And the happiest place on Earth, after all. Right? (The free admission tickets didn’t hurt either.) Sure, the Pocahontas song has now been in my head for days (don’t get me started on how sad THAT flick is). But Ken even won a Dumbo, above!

Other bits: My brother sent me a cake carrier, for those dessert delivery moments in life. Hooray. I also received a recipe book holder.  I opened a cookbook to test it out and it opened to this recipe: orzo pasta splashed with Riesling and tossed with kale and walnuts.

So I made it.

RECIPE RATING: 3 of 5 glasses of white wine. I threw some feta on it to bump up the protein. And I actually enjoyed it better for lunch as leftovers, as a cold salad. I do, however, think it needs something else. Lemon? More wine? More pepper? Let me know what you think.

And here’s the obligatory feet photo, which you’ve come to expect: me after breakfast on the Cali beach. My birthday rating? A solid 5 out of 5. And my brother? Apparently enjoyed a helicopter ride. Awesome all the way around.

Orzo with kale and walnuts
Author: Jen
Serves: 4
Adapted from an entree in The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook
  • 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely dices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 C Riesling
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 C orzo pasta
  • 2-3 C finely chopped kale (I just used one bunch: washed, stems removed and chopped)
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • OPTIONAL: Feta cheese on top. And maybe a squeeze of lemon?
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic, pepper and cayenne. Stir until onion is soft and lightly browned.
  2. Add wine and water and stir. Add salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the orzo pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the pasta. (About 13 minutes)
  4. Stir in the chopped kale and cook until soft.
  5. Top with walnuts — and maybe feta and lemon!


This entry was posted in 3 Wine Glasses, Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Side Dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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