I'm back! I did not go anywhere physically, just mentally. I'm happy to say the past week has been an amazing week in the life of Andrea. On Tuesday, I finally heard back regarding the teaching position I applied for at BCIT and I have an interview on Wednesday. Thursday was my birthday and I went out for an amazing dinner with Mike to Nook. The following day was my PhD defense at which I was somehow miraculously, surprisingly not nervous. My defense went really, really well. Dare I say amazingly well. So well in fact that one of my external examiners has offered me an employment opportunity. I do not want to jinx anything so that is all I will say for now, but it is something I am extremely excited about.
After my defense I was spoiled by my loved ones. My supervisor took me and my lab members out for drinks (prosecco, winter ale and tequila - yikes) and snacks, I had fancy champagne with friends afterwards, was taken out for a lovely dinner at Campangolo, received flowers (you can see them in the pictures here) and even had a delicious chocolate cake made for me.
Now that the major deadlines in this phase of my life are wrapping up I should have more time to spend here - relaxing, cooking and eating - three of my favorite things to do. Tonight, I made my first real meal in over a week. Last Saturday (over a week now) I did somehow manage to get to the farmers market but the things I purchased have been collecting dust in my fridge. Today I used the shiitake mushrooms and leek that I bought at the market in this very simple and quick orzo dish with sun-dried tomatoes.
Mushroom, leek and sun-dried tomato orzo
Winter/autumn seasonal: mushrooms and leeks
~ 1 cup vegetable stock + 3 cups water
1 cup dried orzo
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms (shiitake and brown cremini mushrooms)
1 leek chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup diced, oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes
Goat cheese and grated parmesan to garnish
1 - Cook orzo according to package directions in boiling stock and water. Drain well.
2 - Meanwhile, heat oil in large pan to medium-high heat, add chopped mushrooms, leeks and onion.
3 - Saute until starting to brown, stir in garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt (to taste) and balsamic and continue to cook until onion and leek are soft.
4 - Stir in half of the vegetables with the orzo. Spoon onto a plate and top with more sauteed vegetables plus goat cheese and parmesan.