up to 30 new recipes!

wow, i’ve now accomplished 30 new recipes for the year! i can’t believe it!

what a great challenge–this is something i’m so excited about and so happy to see how far i’ve come. it is also really wonderful to have such a supportive husband–especially for those meals that we decide we don’t need to try again! what a guy!

my 29th and 30th recipes are both italian inspired.

besides the exciting fact that this dish was the inaugural use of the cast iron pot (and we had both been dying to use it!), the “tuscan” chicken left a lot to be desired. in fact, i spiced it up quite a bit to bring out some flavors because the original recipe seemed so bland, but it didn’t help as much as i thought it would. i think (hope) with even a couple more modifications it will be a great dinner option. i’m not sure if we weren’t fans because we didn’t cook it in a crock pot, or if it is the recipe, but either way, we’ll find ways to make it even better for the next time! 

i also had my first try at making risotto. let me tell you, not easy. but, i can say i’ve done it now, and have a decent idea of the technique and how it is supposed to taste. i used this simple risotto recipe from nigella lawson on foodnetwork.com and it came out wonderfully, thank you nigella! also, a shoutout to the wonderful calphalon pan we have–it was $20 at homegoods and is one of my favorite pans to use.

lemon risotto

2 shallots

1 rib celery

1/4 c. unsalted butter

1 T. olive oil

1 1/3 c. risotto rice (we used arborio)

1 qt. vegetable stock

1/2 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced

needles from 2 small sprigs of rosemary, chopped

1 egg yolk

4 T. grated parmesan cheese

4 T. heavy cream

black pepper

sea salt

finely chop the shallots and celery. heat the half of the butter, oil, shallot and celery in a wide saucepan and cook to soften, about 5 minutes. add the rice and stir to coat the rice with the butter and oil, making sure it doesn’t stick. in another pot, heat vegetable stock (we used chicken) to just short of boiling.

put a ladleful of the stock into the rice and continue to stir while the rice cooks and absorbs the moisture. continue adding vegetable stock to the rice until the rice is cooked to al dente. mix the lemon zest and rosemary into the risotto. in a small bowl combine the egg yolk, cheese, cream, pepper, and salt and mix together. once the rice has completely cooked, remove it from the heat and add in the egg/cheese/cream mixture and the remaining 2 T. of butter. serve with parmesan.

ok, so this seemed really intense to me just to make as a side dish, but when your husband says its the best risotto he’s ever tasted, that is considered a success my friends!

the lemon and cheesy flavors really came through in the recipe, and i think the only thing i would do differently for next time would be to add a touch more rosemary so that came through a little more as well. overall, great meal and great experience! never making this before and having it turn out as such a success brought a smile to my face! also, yay for using our new cast iron cookware and my favorite saucepan!

hope you have the same success!

matt & rachel



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  1. One of my friends in on Master Chef this summer, and this week they had to make risotto. I didn’t know it took so much time/technique! Sounds like you could have been a competitor ;)

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