Sunday, March 2, 2014

Recipe: Kale and Mushroom Risotto

I recently, thanks to one of the other blogs I read, stumbled upon A Couple Cooks, a great blog about (you guessed...) a couple that cooks.

Their blog has some wonderful recipes that seem to be fairly user friendly but at the same time appear more gourmet than your average beginner recipe.The first recipe we tried was the Mushroom and Kale Risotto. Kale is very in right now, which to me is a little funny because I've been eating kale since I was a small child. My dad always grew a nice crop of kale in our garden and it was a fall and winter staple in our house. I guess we were just ahead of the curve!

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of kale and this risotto did not disappoint! You can find the recipe here.

Starting the cooking process.

My new favorite Parmesan blend from my new favorite
grocery store, Trader Joe's!

The finished product.

We topped our risotto with red pepper flakes. (Can you tell we like pepper flakes?) This recipe made enough for us to have several meals, and I think it was even better the next day!

Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams

One of my favorite Italian meals is Spaghetti alle Vongole, or Spaghetti with Clams. It seems like each time I've traveled to Italy, I've spent at least one meal a day eating this amazing dish. My husband teased my sister and me throughout our last trip, because if I wasn't eating spaghetti with clams, my sister was!

Well, it's been so long I can hardly stand it a while since we've been to Italy and one day recently, I started craving my favorite dish. So, I did what any good foodie does, and I googled it. I found a great recipe, here.

Giada's recipe is perfect. I did make a few changes (added red pepper flakes and cut back on the parsley), but overall, I stuck right to it. If you like clams, give it a shot!

*Tip: Clams, like most bi-valves, tend to have a sand-factor. Though I can handle most anything, I cannot handle getting sand in my mouth when I bite into something. To remedy this, before you start cooking, soak your clams in ice cold water with about 1/2 cup of corn meal for about 45 minutes. Then, drain and rinse your clams and you are ready to go!

Chopping the garlic...this is not for those wary of garlic breath!

For some reason, the bugs felt the need to document this
(please excuse the bad hair and lack of makeup)!

Onions and Shallots

Beautiful bowl of clams!

The whole process takes about 15 minutes total...
so this would make an easy weeknight meal!

The finished product!

This was the first new recipe of the new year that we tried and it might be my new favorite. We've even decided to "add it to the rotation". Have you tried anything new recently? If so, what was it? Will you be adding it to your rotation?


Well, based on my lack of posts this year, I'm sure it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that this year kind of started out differently than I had imagined. Only five days into 2014, I got a phone call from my dad telling me that my sweet grandmother had, after almost 94 years, gone to heaven.

Though we miss her here, I feel a sense of peace when I think about the fact that she has been reunited with her husband, her son, all of her brothers, and many more members of her family. As a woman who lost her hearing at a young age, I know she is listening to the voices of those she loves and the hearing music she had missed out on for so many years.

She was a wonderful woman, with a deep love for God, her family, and friends. After years of struggling with poor health, she is finally in heaven, where I imagine they threw quite the party to welcome her home.