Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's fun to revisit things we love.  Like the picture of Thatbaby at Channukah last year compared with a picture of Channukah this year.

It's crazy the difference a year makes.  Last year he was barely able to hold his head up, this year he's like a real little person.

And speaking of Channukah, I'll do a real quick Channukah wrap-up.  The last two nights Thatbaby got a new towel, 2 pairs of pajamas (I love baby pajamas - they're so cute),

and a train set.

As for me, I got a Sephora gift card and another set of earbuds since Thatboy decided the last pair he got me weren't really for runners.

But back to the original topic at hand - revisiting with the familiar. Last week I headed for a Girls' Night Out with my friends at a wine bar. And I realized it had been far too long since I had used wine in one of my cooking adventures.  I love cooking with wine and the richness it entails, so I knew it was something I needed to revisit.  And along the vein of killing 2 birds with one stone, I thought I would revisit an old favorite recipe.

The first time I ever made risotto I made Giada's Dirty Risotto.  It was so delicious, and so easy, that I was hooked on risotto. I've had risotto failures in the past, but never with this recipe.  It was time for it to make another reappearance on our table.  I caution you not to change a thing about it - it's absolutely perfect as is.  Thatbaby loved every bite, and Thatboy went back for seconds.

 Dirty Risotto (from Giada De Laurentiis)
5 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
2 oz pancetta, chopped
6 oz spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 oz button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup chopped fresh spinach 
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
5. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total.
6. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan and spinach.
7. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.


  1. That looks fabulous! (and yay for new pjs, ThatBaby!)

  2. Totally going to vegetarianize this recipe! Looks fantastic.

  3. Baby pajamas are the cutest! Actually all baby clothes are the cutest. And I'm with Cate on this one!

  4. It's amazing, seeing that a year has passed with two almost-similar photos showing two very different That baby :D

  5. I have never made risotto, JR turns his nose up at it, but this recipe looks like something he would like!

  6. The risotto looks good! Gonna star this one because I'm getting tired of the one I always make.