Tuesday, December 27, 2011

vanilla cake pops


I have wanted to make cake pops for sometime now, however I wasn’t keen on combining the frosting with the cake to mold cake balls. I usually scrape off the frosting, as I prefer the cake.


My two lovely stepdaughters know my love of cooking and bought me a Bake Pop pan for Christmas. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I was so excited over my gift and quickly put it to good use.  They said "it was a selfish gift...more for us than for you".

I made these vanilla cake pops and decorated them for New Years. I think they would make a great desert for a New Years Eve party. They are so easy to serve and very decorative.


Cake pop batter needs to be denser than your normal cupcake or cake batter. The dense batter helps the cake balls adhere to the sticks and keep their shape. The candy coating seals in the freshness of the cake batter.  Just wait until your bite into the smooth candy coating and discover moist vanilla cake. The mixture of cake and candy is sinful, however a cake pop contains less calories than a slice of cake or a cupcake.


Eat what you enjoy but in smaller quantities…that’s my New Year’s resolution!

Photos taken of Alice and Olivia and The Malibu Lumber Yard

The Malibu Lumber Yard offers some great high end designer stores, such as Alice and Olivia.  This store offers both casual and dressy clothing.

vanilla cake pops
Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Baking Pam
1 14 oz bag of Wilton Candy Melts in vanilla flavor (available from Michaels Arts and Crafts)
Edible sprinkles to decorate
A Bake Pop pan (available from CVS)
Cake pop stand (available from Amazon)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Put the flour, sugar baking powder, salt and oil in a bowl. 
  • Using an electric mixer beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. 
  • Gradually pour in half (1/4 cup) of the water and beat until the water is just incorporated. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and remaining water together for a few seconds. 
  • Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. 
  • Scrape sides and continue mixing for a minute more until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix. 
  • Spray both sides of cake pop pan with baking pam. 
  • Using a liquid measuring cup, pour mixture into cake pop pan (side without holes).
  • You will have enough mixture to completely fill all 18 holes. 
  • Put topside of cake pop pan on and secure with clips.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Let pans cool before removing top pan (if any cake has baked through the holes simply scrape off before removing top pan). 
  • Melt a small amount of candy coating in the microwave.
  • Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the coating, then insert into cake ball. 
  • Place cake pops into freezer for 10 minutes. 
  • Heat large batch of candy coating in microwave and prepare your topping bowls. 
  • Remove your cake pops from the freezer. 
  • Dip cake pops in candy coating. 
  • Sprinkle on additional toping of topping bowl. 
  • Use a cake pop stand or Styrofoam to hold your finished cake pops.
Enjoy and have fun decorating!




Sunday, December 18, 2011

chocolate chip bacon cookies



Are you ready to try the newest culinary hit of sweet and savory?  This is a great sweet and savory cookie recipe using brown sugar, mini chocolate chips, and bacon.


These cookies are out of the ordinary and make great little gifts.


Bacon adds the right amount of saltiness that makes a great combination with the chocolate.


These cookies grow significantly in size when cooking, so don't shape the balls too big.  Be sure to gently flatten with the back of a wooden spoon.

I went shopping at the Malibu Country Mart and one of the stores I stopped in was The Malibu Colony Company. This lovely and sophisticated shop offers an exclusive selection of fanciful and elegant gifts, jewelry and lifestyle items. They also offer a fashionable collection of home accessories, fine linens for the table and bed and furniture, all of which is presented in our wonderfully unique and charming setting in beautiful Malibu.

Out of all the beautiful items, I chose to purchase a cookbook, Off The Menu. The cookbook contains staff meals from America’s top restaurants. In this cookbook, I found a recipe for brown sugar bacon cookies. I thought hmmm…. sweet and savory, I like it!  It’s about time I jump onto the sweet and savory bandwagon. I do have to admit, the taste of sweet and salty does take time to get use to, but it’s worth the try. 

I adapted the recipe by adding chocolate chips and bacon topping.

chocolate chip bacon cookies
Adapted by Off The Menu

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 pound bacon, finely chopped (1/2 cup will be used in the cookies, the remainder will be used as topping)
½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a large mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping sides as necessary. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. 
  • Add the flour mixture a little at a time until incorporated. 
  • Fold in ½ cup of bacon and mini chocolate chips. 
  • Using a tablespoon, shape dough into balls and place 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Flatten each cookie slightly with the back of a wooden spoon. 
  • Bake for 14 to 18 minutes until golden brown; half way through cooking, add bacon bits on top of each cookie and push in as needed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

banana oat streusel muffins

Thinking of something easy and tasty for breakfast on Christmas morning? Try these healthy and moist banana oat streusel muffins. The cinnamon and nut streusel topping adds an extra layer of flavor, which makes muffins go from ordinary to extraordinary. 


Not only do these muffins contain healthy ingredients of banana and oats, they also are made with light olive oil rather than butter. These muffins don’t require a heavy amount of butter, since a small amount of butter is added to the topping.

Omit the topping if you want to go healthy all the way. They are still just as delicious. 

Photo taken at Malibu Lumber Yard
Happy Holidays and Peace in Malibu
banana oat streusel muffins
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quick cook oats
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
4 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, beaten
4-tablespoon light olive oil

Directions:
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake tins. 
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. 
  • Mix well and make a well in the center. 
  • Add banana, egg and olive oil. 
  • Stir with a wooden spoon just until well combined (do not over mix). 
  • Spoon mixture into the cupcake tins. 
  • Stop and proceed with streusel topping. 
Topping

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup finely chopped nuts 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1-tablespoon butter 
Directions:
  • In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients; sprinkle evenly over batter in muffin cups. 
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

oatmeal craisin m&m cookies

I wanted to make oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, but soon discovered that I did not have raisins or chocolate chips. What I did have were craisins and dark chocolate m&m’s.


What a wonderful and tasty substitute To my surprise, these cookies tasted and smelled like Christmas.


Try using an ice-cream scoop to get cookies evenly sized.

photo taken in December of Coffee Bean in Malibu

Photo taken in December of Malibu
These tree decorations kind of look like m&m's.

Malibu Christmas Tree
oatmeal craisin m&m cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1-teaspoon baking soda 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher sale
2 eggs
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1-cup craisins
1 cup dark chocolate m&m’s

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. 
  • Add brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
  • Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. 
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. 
  • Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. 
  • Stir in remaining flour. 
  • Stir in oats. 
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoons or tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • Bake for about 8 minutes or until edges are light brown and centers appear set. 
  • Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

olive oil and sage roasted chicken

One of my favorite dishes to cook is roasted chicken; It’s simple, taste delicious and is comfort food at its best. This roasted chicken is a timeless classic and is so moist and full of flavor. You won’t be able to stop eating the roasted potatoes which are crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside. This dish won’t disappoint.
 Chicken is rubbed all over with olive oil and a whole lemon is stuffed inside the cavity for extra moist meat.

I picked up this olive oil at Malibu’s Farmers Market. Malibu Olive Oil taste great and is magical when used for cooking your favorite dishes.

Malibu Olive Oil Company is a family owned business that distributes California Organic Super Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Malibu Olive Company currently has 350 olive trees under cultivation.
 
olive oil and sage roasted chicken
Adapted from Jamie’s Dinners
Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
Sea salt
Olive oil
½ cup butter, softened
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 sage leaves
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
3 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 lemon
 
Directions:
  • Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of sea salt. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 or more hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large pan, cover potatoes and whole lemon
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Rinse salt from chicken and pat dry
  • Mix butter and garlic
  • Carefully lifting skin from breast and legs, rub all of the butter and garlic mixture inside
  • Add sage leaves under breast skin
  • Rub olive oil all over chicken
  • With a fork, poke several holes in lemon and stuff inside the chicken cavity
  • In a roasting pan, add chicken and potatoes
  • Sprinkle potatoes with olive oil and rosemary
  • Cook for 1 hour, basting chicken with juices every 15 to 20 minutes and turn potatoes to evenly brown.  Chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear

chocolate chip pumpkin bread


Not a Thanksgiving goes by without my chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  I make this at least 3 or 4 times through the holidays.  This pumpkin bread has a slight taste of spice from nutmeg and cinnamon.  It's very moist and the chocolate chips add a perfect amount of sweetness.

Many years ago, my Aunt Sandy gave me a cookbook, The Congressional Club Cook Book. This cookbook was published in 1970 and contains recipes submitted by wives of Presidents, Vice Presidents, Past Presidents, Justices of Supreme Court, Foreign Ambassadors, Cabinet, Governors, Senators, and Representatives of the United States. In that book, I found a recipe for pumpkin bread and added chocolate chips.


This pumpkin bread recipe is so easy; everything is added into one bowl and mixed.

Photo taken at the Malibu Lumber Yard
The Malibu Lumber Yard may host some fabulous high end stores but it also has created a place for socializing, enjoying the fresh salty air and even a little education on life under the sea. The center showcases three of the largest free standing aquariums in Los Angeles. Each aquarium is home to a different sea environment, providing an interesting place for kids and adults to observe the differences in sea life.

chocolate chip pumpkin bread
Adapted from The Congressional Club Cook Book

Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well
Pour into two bread pans
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick or knife in center and it comes out clean

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

gorgonzola mac n cheese

For date night, the hubby and I love to go to Mastro's in Beverly Hills.  Without fail, we get the bone in fillet mignon, steamed brocolli and gorgonzola mac n cheese.  Oh yes, and the butter pound cake for desert, but I'm saving that recipe for another post. 

The mac n cheese is my favorite!  I was so excited when I found out that Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 had the recipe.  I immediately ordered it on Amazon (click Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 to order yours).  His recipe is not exactly the same as Mastro's, but it is close enough.  It now has become a family favorite.  This is really an easy side dish to make.

This gorgonzola mac n cheese has a creamy cheese sauce and is topped with a bubbling layer of cheese which adds the right amount of sharpness to tantalize your taste buds.  The aroma of hot, melted mozzarella, fontina and parmigiano-reggiano cheeses has you quivering with excitement when removing from the oven.
Photo taken of Malibu Coast
Sometimes you just have to leave the beach and go inland to dinner.  Luckily, inland sometimes means "Beverly Hills" for a date night with the hubby.

I've had a few requests for this recipe and my family loves it. This is my adaption of the recipe in Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3:
gorgonzola mac n cheese

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups small uncooked elbow macaroni
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmigiano-reggiano
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Directions:
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil and cook the macaroni until tender, about 7 minutes. Strain the pasta.
  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 30 seconds, then whisk in the milk, adds the gorgonzola and salt. Cook until bubbling, stirring often, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce
  • Pour the cheesy pasta mixture into a buttered oven-safe casserole dish. Combine the shredded cheeses and spread the blend over the top of the pasta.
  • Broil the pasta for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned in spots.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

curry butternut squash soup


 Curry butternut squash soup is a favorite of mine.  This soup is so velvety good with just a hint of curry.  It's very comforting on rainy days and makes a perfect lunch or addition to dinner.  Not only is it great tasting, but it's so simple to make and freezes well.

 Prepackaged butternut squash makes cooking this soup so simple and fast.  Be sure that you purchase at least 2 1/4 pounds of squash.
Photo taken from my home
Yes, it does rain in Malibu and this sky looks fierce, but oh so heavenly too.  This is one of those days that you just want to stay in, watch movies and have a nice warm bowl of comforting soup.  I only get about 1 or 2 of these days a year.
 
curry butternut squash soup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 ¼ pounds of butternut squash, cut into large cubes (I purchase prepackaged bags found in the fruits and vegetable department of your market. However, be careful as most prepackaged bags of butternut squash comes in 15 ounces – 2 bags will not be enough)
1 quart of organic chicken broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ cup whipping cream
Kosher salt

 
Directions:
  • In a large heavy soup pot with lid, add oil and heat
  • Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 3 minutes
  • Add butternut squash and chicken broth
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes, until butternut squash is tender
  • Remove soup from heat
  • Add curry powder
  • Use an immersion blender to puree into a smooth texture
  • Add whipping cream and stir, salt to taste
  • Garnish with crème fraiche and caraway seeds or croutons

vanilla creme brulee




Crème brulee is cold, creamy custard with a crunchy caramelized sugar topping. It is both light, rich and bursting with vanilla flavor. This desert dish is great for serving to company, because you can make it a day ahead.




You will need to invest in a culinary torch before making crème brulee, unless you use your husband’s hand held welding torch. Yes, my butane fuel ran out and I didn’t have a back up. The welding torch worked perfectly, but I suggest you go out and buy the culinary torch for safety. My sister bought me the William Sonoma culinary torch as a gift and it is one of my favorite kitchen tools.
I make this crème brulee at the same time along with my chocolate mousse. Crème brulee uses egg yolks, while chocolate mousse uses the whites. That way, I don’t have to through any of the egg out and desert if ready in advance for the next night too.


Split a vanilla bean down the center. Use a small knife to scrape the beans out before adding to the hot cream.



The custards do require a hot water bath when cooking. Not for cleansing reasons…the bath provides a gentle, even distribution of heat so the filling cooks uniformly.



My husband and I love to take our boat out and cruise along the coast of Santa Monica and Malibu. This picture was taken in the early evening when all the birds were gathered on a rock about 5 miles off the Santa Monica coast. It’s so nice to come home from a long day out on the boat and know that desert has already been taken care of.

vanilla crème brulee

Ingredients:

Note: You will need 4 (4 ounce) ramekins for this recipe

2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split and inner beans removed with knife
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon sugar for caramelizing

Directions:


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees

  • In a medium saucepan, pour in cream and heat, just to point of boiling, add vanilla bean, stir and put aside

  • In a medium bowl, whish egg yolks and sugar until blended

  • Add a small amount of the got cream into the egg mixture, stir and keep repeating until the cream is gone. This is done to keep the hot cream from cooking the egg yolks which could cause curdling

  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring glass. This is for easy pouring.

  • Fill 4 ramekins and place in a 9 x 13 size pan and fill with hot water ½ ways to the top of the ramekins

  • Bake in oven for about 40 minutes, until custards are set but the centers should still jiggle slightly.

  • Remove hot water bath from oven and cool until ramekins are comfortable enough to handle.

  • Distribute 1 teaspoon of sugar on each custard; shake ramekins to spread sugar out evenly

  • Use troche one each custard until sugar is caramelized (nicely browned, but not burnt)

  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours for up to two days.





chocolate mousse


 
Chocolate mousse is such an elegant desert to serve and is very easy to make. Chocolate mousse gets its fluffy texture from egg whites. Egg whites are whipped into foamy peaks and then folded into a mixture of chocolate and whipped cream.
 
 
I like to make my vanilla crème brulee at the same time that I make this chocolate mousse. Both require 4 eggs, the mousse calls for the whites, whereas the crème brulee calls for the yolk. Therefore, none of the eggs goes to waste and you can please both the chocolate and vanilla lovers.  I think I'm ready for a romantic dinner party at my house!
 
Put the chocolate mousse into martini glasses and cover with plastic wrap for serving at a later time. This desert can be made a day ahead.
 
 
 
Martini glasses enlighten the elegance of this desert. I make my chocolate mousse with Ghirardelli chocolate for the sophisticated pallet. This chocolate mousse is rich with chocolate, but not too sweet, its texture is fluffy and light. Top the mousse off with more whip cream and shaved chocolate or white chocolate chips.
 
I adapted this recipe from Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy, however I use semi-sweet chocolate and less sugar and a bit more cream for extra fluffiness.

Photo taken at Malibu Lumber Yard
This photo was taken at the Malibu Lumber Yard. A shopping mall that contains high end stores and some places to eat. I love all the wood and the modern, but yet country feel that this little mall has to it. My favorite colors to decorate with are brown and white. The contrast is so dramatic, but yet comforting. 
 
Chocolate mousse
 
Adapted from Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy
 
Ingredients:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces (use can use chocolate chips, but I use Ghirardelli)
1 ¾ cup heavy cream
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
 
Directions:
  • In a small sauce pan, heat ¾ cup of heavy cream until simmering. Be careful not to boil.
  • Remove from heat and add broken pieces of chocolate, stir and let sit until chocolate melts
  • Transfer to a large bowl and let sit
  • Using a mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam
  • While egg whites are still beating, add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar
  • Continue to beat another minute then add sugar
  • Continue beating until egg whites are stiff and peak when mixer is lifted
  • Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until blended
  • Using the same bowl that you mixed the egg whites, pour in the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and beat on medium speed until it forms soft peaks – do not over beat
  • Fold the whipped cream into the egg white and chocolate mixture
  • Spoon the mixture into martini glasses or any other kind of individual containers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours



Monday, November 14, 2011

shrimp scampi tacos



The hubby and I go to the Reel Inn Fresh Fish Market & Restaurant almost every Tuesday for Taco Night (and date night). We both consistently order the shrimp tacos. The shrimp is juicy, cooked in butter and garlic. Cheddar cheese is melted on a soft corn tortilla that wraps around your shrimp like a snuggly warm blanket. Top it off with Reel Inn’s homemade salsa, consisting of the right amount of heat, and you have one of the best shrimp tacos around.



This recipe is my attempt to recreate the Reel Inn’s shrimp tacos at home. My hubby and stepdaughters loved my tasty shrimp tacos and now I will continue making them at home…except for Tuesday nights.


Photo taken of the Reel Inn, Malibu
Although, I can make shrimp tacos pretty darn close to the Reel Inn’s, we won’t give up our Tuesday Taco nights! The Reel Inn is very family oriented, with its chalk board menus, picnic style tables, vintage collections hung everywhere, ocean across the street, and its exceptional seafood, Reel Inn keeps reeling you in.

shrimp scampi tacos

Ingredients:
2 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups of mild cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup butter
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
½ lemon
Salt to taste
20 corn tortillas
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Salsa

Directions for shrimp:
*In large frying pan/skillet, melt butter
Add garlic and shrimp
Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side until opaque
Add salt
Remove and squeeze lemon over shrimp

*Note: If pan is too small for all of the shrimp, you can work in batches, repeating the process

Directions for tortillas:
Heat ½ of the tortillas on a large skillet or flat griddle
Turnover and cover with 1 tablespoon of cheese
Remove when cheese is melted
Heat the remaining ½ tortillas in the microwave until warm and soft

Directions for assembling tacos:
Take 1 microwave tortilla and lay on plate
Top it with a cheese covered tortilla
Add shrimps, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and salsa

mushroom risotto




Mushroom risotto is perfect for Fall weather. It is so warm, creamy, filling and engulfed in an intense woodsy mushroom flavor. Try serving mushroom risotto with roasted chicken for a satisfying and comforting meal.



Arborio rice is a short grain, fat and slightly oval-shaped and has a pearly white exterior. Originally grown in Italy, it is now grown in the United States.


Photo taken of mushrooms at the Farmers Market Malibu
 
Farmers Market Malibu is open every Sunday, rain or shine. The Market has a wide selection of organic food, crafts, fruits, local specialties, vegetables and flowers. My hubby and I enjoy going in the morning, walking around and tasting samples of local specialty food, vegtables and fruits. Afterwards, we make our final purchases, then head over to the food stands where a variety of foods such as Greek, Hawaiian, pasteries, candy and much more can be purchased. We sit at one of the tables and have ourselves a smorgasboard. Visiting the Farmers Market Malibu is a great way to start a Sunday, but ending it with a family dinner cooked with the fresh seasonal items purchased is even better.


Ingredients:

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 tsp olive oil (keeps butter from burning)

5 cups chicken stock

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 ½ cup Arborio rice

½ oz dried porcini (comes in a bag) mushrooms, cooked in broth, cooled and finely chopped

¾ cup white wine

2 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped

8 oz bella mushrooms, finely chopped

½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated



Directions:

Broth:

In sauce pan, heat broth to a simmer and add porcini mushrooms

Cook mushrooms for 3 minutes

Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, let cool and finely chop

Keep broth on low simmer



Risotto:

In a large sauce pan add butter and olive oil, heat until butter is melted

Add scallions and rice to the pan and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes

Stir in the rice and cook 1 minute, stirring often

Add finely chopped mushrooms, porcini, white, and bella, and cook for 5 minutes

Pour in the wine, cooking an additional 5 minutes to reduce liquid

Using ladle, add broth – this should measure about ½ to 3/4 cup of broth each time

Stir and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, until broth has been absorb

Continue to repeat this process until rice is just tender and has a creamy texture, about 30 minutes

Mix in the parmesan cheese, season with salt to taste, top with additonal parmesan cheese

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