Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Going Out of My Comfort Zone & Calories Don’t Count Over a Holiday Weekend

Let me just put it out there right up front.  I am not a cook.  The best thing I make is reservations!  Seriously.  I didn’t even know how to boil water until college and my best friends in college can attest to us eating a lot of frozen yogurt as dinner (when we were eating plain boiled white rice)

When I got married, my husband sent me to Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) for a few classes.  I can’t exactly say they were “fun” but they were an experience for me—one I desperately needed.  My parents and my younger sister were all blessed with the cooking gene so I never had to try.  I preferred to enjoy eating their delicious creations.

Now as a wife and mother, I do have to step it up a notch and occasionally feed my family a home-cooked meal.  My husband jokes that our toddler is always going to associated “Dinner’s served” with let’s go down to the lobby and pick up tonight’s take-out from the Seamless delivery man.  Ouch!

Sometimes I do get into a cooking spurt.  It usually starts when I discover an interesting recipe and IF it comes out good, then my confidence is boosted and I am eager to make some other dishes.

The weather this week has been dreary, wet and gross.  Ian and I had been stuck in the house way too much.  It was good “comfort food” weather and I felt somewhat obligated to make my family a rich, hearty homemade meal, especially when I saw a tweet for Heather Christo’s Red Wine Risotto with Bacon + Onions.

I’ve previously made risotto a few times but with underwhelming success.  The champagne risotto I did was a big disappointed.  Honestly, I would have preferred to just drink the bottle of bubbly!  When the sun broke through, I dragged Ian to the supermarket.  (Yes, unlike Heather Christo who used scraps in her fridge, I needed to purchase almost all of the ingredients)  We needed something to do anyway.  My husband was excited that I was cooking him dinner.

When he got home from work, the house had a wonderful aroma.  Have you been privileged to smell Chianti simmering on a stove top?  It should be made into perfume–that’s how wonderful it smells!  I also love the color the risotto turned.  (Unfortunately I did not take any photos—the only hat I wore that night was my chef’s cap)

Here is the recipe for Heather Christo’s scrumptuous Red Wine Risotto With Bacon & Onions, along with step-by-step photos.

I will note that I was unclear which amount of red wine Heather was referring to in step 6.  I poured the rest of the bottle of Chianti I was using but think I was supposed to use the red wine and chicken stock mixture because I had plenty of that left in the saucepan when I was done cooking the risotto.  Plus, it would have been nice to have some left over wine to drink with our meal.

Aside from the constantly stirring (which is the secret to making risotto) I found the recipe super easy to make.  I did cheat and used pre-cooked bacon.

The only disappointment was that my son refused to even taste it so I had to come up with an alternative meal for him (Grrrrr!  So much for a home-cooked family dinner)  Also, my husband and I enjoyed it so much that there wasn’t any leftovers.  The recipe is for 6 but I served this not as a side but as our entire meal.

While I’m on the subject of cooking and food, I need to make you aware of these sweet treats for your Memorial Day Bash.  It seriously makes me want to have a barbecue just to serve these!  I am now following @pardonmycrumbs and @LifesABatchNic and can’t wait to see what creations they dream up next!

Here’s another great idea that even I can do.  It’s perfect if you don’t wantt o show up empty handed.  Remember it for July 4th too!

Simply wash fresh strawberries, then dry them completely. Next, dip about 2/3 of the strawberry into melted white chocolate. Before the chocolate hardens, dip 1/3 of the chocolate-dipped strawberry into blue decorating sugar. Now you’ve got a patriotic strawberry!

Wishing everyone a relaxing, fun and delicious Memorial Day Weekend with their friends and family!  I’m going to take the long weekend off mostly because none of us should be on our computers the next 3 days!  This year needs to slooooooooooooooow down.  It’s gone way to fast.  I want to enjoy every moment of summer.


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