Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spinach Tomato Risotto

Here’s a quick and easy dinner idea for those busy nights. This spinach risotto can be used as a side dish or main course; add some chicken or sausage if you want meat! These ingredients are staples at our house; they last so long. This meal is both nutritious and filling.

Spinach Tomato Risotto
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 lb spinach, fresh or frozen, defrosted
  • 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup risotto
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 teaspoons oregano 
  • olive oil

1. Preheat a large pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, pepper and onions. Saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. 
2. Add canned tomatoes, oregano, spinach, and some vegetable stock. Place mixture in blender for just a few seconds for a smooth texture. 
3. Place back in pot. Add carrots, remaining vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
4. Add risotto cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until risotto is tender. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventures in Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

-I recently discovered a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and decided to try it out. They look absolutely delicious! Let me just give you a little background on my baking skills... everything comes from a box.  I had to make a few alterations because i didn't have all the ingredients, but I think they turned out pretty tasty.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
8oz Salted Butter
3/4 cup Organic Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons Organic Agave
1 1/8 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons pastry flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bar semi-sweet chocolate


- Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking sheets.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment cream butter and sugars.
- Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
- Reduce speed to low and add flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop to scoop cookie dough onto sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly brown, but still soft, about 15-20 minutes.



Some things I learned...

- I found that gathering all my ingredients, and portioning everything out into separate bowls before starting makes the process much faster and less stressful.
- Cutting the chocolate into astrips with a knife makes a nice ripple effect.
- Refrigerating the dough for a day or 2 makes all the difference. After I mixed the dough I baked 2 cookies to try them out they tasted pretty good but the edges were a little crispier than I would have liked. The refrigeration also makes the dough easier to work with.