Archive for December, 2009

Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

This recipe came from, while I was searching for a way to use up some Minnesotan wild rice. In addition to maple syrup and maple sugar, sometimes our roommate brings wild rice back from the north woods. And we approve. 🙂

Big surprise here: I don’t like asparagus. But David does, and Leah does sometimes, and I can pick around it easily enough, so I made them this dish anyway.

It was good, and came together easily, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. I was a little disappointed that the barley pretty much overpowered the wild rice. On the other hand, I had never eaten barley as a side dish like rice, and it was pretty tasty. Like rice, but nuttier. I enjoyed it. The other thing this recipe had going for it? A half a cup is only one Point. That’s a pretty good deal for a side-dish.

barley & asparagus

Wild Rice & Barley Pilaf

  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup uncooked barley, pearl-variety (not quick cooking)
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme & sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces of asparagus spears (thin) cut into 2-inch pieces

1. Bring the broth and rice to a simmer in a large saucepan; cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the barley, shallot, salt, thyme, sage and pepper. Cover and continue simmering over low heat for 25 minutes.

3. Stir in the asparagus, cover, reduce the heat even further and simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Set aside off the heat, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Note: Next time, I’d halve this recipe for sure. It made a TON, at least 12 servings.

Happy Birthday to David!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I must really love my husband.

Because it is his birthday, and because he bought three of these on Sunday, I’m making his favorite cake ever tonight.


Even for an Alton Brown recipe, this cake is pretty labor intensive. I learned a bit from last time though, and have broken the tasks up over the past few days. Monday night we drained, baked, cracked, peeled, and shredded the coconuts. Last night, I made the coconut milk and coconut cream for the cake, and baked both cakes. Tonight, they’ll be cut into four layers, drenched with coconut water, and I’ll be making the frosting that holds the whole thing together. Stay tuned for pictures and the full recipe. In the meantime, you can check out how Alton does it. It’s a lot of work, but I have to grudgingly admit: it’s kind of worth it. This cake is amazing!

I haven’t made my own coconut extract yet, but due to an unfortunate incident with Leah not knowing that we were saving that measuring cup full of dirty [coconut] water, I have a ton of extra coconut around. I might try to make a batch for next time.

Anyway, assuming that all goes according to plan, I’ll be back here with pictures of the finished product soon. In the meantime, let’s all wish David a happy birthday! 🙂