Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a couple of things...

Today's Recipes: Mushroom Risotto

I feel like I have a lot to tell you, but it's not a cohesive story. So, it'll be more of a list...

1. The Ginger Cat Saga seems to be over! At least the part where they 'do it' behind my air conditioning unit. They still pass through the yard occasionally, but we're coping with that.

2. I TOTALLY 'Dog Whispered' Keely, and it WORKED! I have been trying to teach her to walk next to me without pulling since the baby was born. So that's seven months of frustration on both our parts. I spend my whole walk correcting her, and she spends her whole walk pretending that she's not even with me. She walks at the end of however much leash she can get. I give her 2 inches of slack, and she strains to the end of it. I drop the lead to pick up poop, and she's at the end of it acting like she's trying to escape. Well, this weekend, Don & I were walking with Lily and Keely. He was holding Keely, and she was acting worse than usual since he has never worked on this with her so she thinks she has free reign with him. I got fed up, and took her lead. Then I unclipped it from her collar, made a slip loop at the end, and put it on her neck (way up by her ears) like I've seen 'on the tee-vee'. Holy Cow! What a difference! Within seconds, she was calmly walking beside me without pulling. It was like magic. For today's walk, I did the same thing. We had a little bit of a power struggle, then she gave up and did as I asked. It was nice! She's not perfect - but honestly, who is :-P - and we'll need to continue our work, but this is very exciting!

3. Lily and I went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. We forgot to tell you! It was big fun. We've been before (like when Kittyn was here), but never by ourselves. It had rained for most of the week, so some of the growers couldn't even get here, and the rest were low on stock since the weather had been too bad to harvest. We bought eggs,

crimini mushrooms, ginormous green onions, feta in olive oil with herbs and Blackberry Peach Chipotle Sauce. We can't wait to go back this Saturday for spinach, crazy colors of broccoli and cauliflower and possibly some olive oil made 20 minutes from here... even though I just bought a new bottle of our usual brand...

4. I made a delightful Mushroom Risotto for dinner on Monday! It was totally improvised - we needed dinner, and I needed to NOT go to the grocery store - but it turned out beautifully. I'm going to give you the recipe (since that's what I do), but I'm warning you that I am NOT a pro. There are LOTS of recipes for basic (and not so basic) risottos out there, and if you've never made it before, maybe you could check a few of them out to see how my directions compare to theirs. Alternately, if you ARE a risotto pro (Diane), and you see and room for improvement in my method, PLEASE let me know as I love to improve!

Rachel's Mushroom Risotto

olive oil
2 big green onions (or 2 or 3 shallots or 1/2 a med onion) - finely sliced
1/2 Lb crimini mushrooms - sliced
1/2 Tbsp ground cardamom
3 large garlic cloves - thinly sliced (or minced)
1 qt mushroom broth (or vegetable broth or chicken broth)
1 1/3 c risotto
1 c frozen green peas
1/2 c Parmesean cheese - grated

in a heavy bottomed pan, sauteƩ the onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes then add the mushrooms. cook until the mushrooms are done. mix in the cardamom and set aside. heat the broth (I use my tea kettle and keep it over a low heat until I'm done) - the broth needs to be hot for the entire process. using the same pan that you sauteƩd the mushroom mix in, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium high heat. when the pan and the oil are hot, add the risotto and cook until the grains become semi-translucent. begin adding broth a bit at a time - I add no more than enough to just cover the grains. let the broth absorb - stirring frequently. wait until the previous amount is fully absorbed before adding more. once all of the broth is absorbed into the risotto, add the mushroom mix back in, mix in the peas and warm through. add the cheese and serve immediately.

- notes: I've tried heating the broth in batches in the microwave - it bites. It's never hot when you need it, and you're neglecting the risotto, so it can stick/scorch. If you don't like the tea kettle idea, I would suggest heating the broth in a pan on the stove and ladling it in as needed. Also, I choose peas because I thought their slight sweetness would be a nice counterpoint to the earthiness of the mushrooms. I was right ;-)

I have to show off my farm fresh green onions and crimini mushrooms!

I had a picture of the risotto, but it did not do the dish justice... phooey...

Time to rock the baby to sleep! if you could read the Ferber book on sleep and tell me what it says, I would be very grateful. I bought it last week but have been to tired to read it :-/

Check out what I did to her sweaty hair today !


  1. Love, love, love your new site! Also - am going to try the risotto recipe this weekend. We used to make risotto all the time, then just stopped.......not sure why. I love risotto because it is diverse but actually quite simple to make - just takes patience! I so want to go the Farmer's Market with you next weekend - perhaps EasyJet or Southwest is having a weekend special?!

  2. Rachel, your risotto sounds wonderful! And I'm sure it was delicious :) Love the new look to your blog, too. Lily Ruth is absolutely gorgeous (as are you) and what a gift to her, your writing this blog. She will treasure it someday. I so look forward to meeting her!