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Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend....and fur-kid mum I love Quilting, stitching, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, blogging and making new friends...stop by and say hi!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Farewell Family Dinner

It has been a busy weekend in our household on top of hot and humid weather. Yesterday was just awful and I was out during the late morning and early afternoon at a venue without AC comfort.......ugh! it is so draining. The first thing I did when I got home was crank up two of our three ac units because the kiddo's were coming over for dinner and I was making "the best ever" Risotto. By popular demand, I may add.

I try and do a family dinner every second week when Red is home from work but depending on when others are working (or studying for exams), depends on how many turn up.  Last night was compulsory as my dearest Miss M is heading off on a big adventure so this is her farewell dinner and I really don't know when we will all be gathered like this again.

A few months ago she was awarded a Scholarship for her Engineering degree which is such a good thing as she had to give up her part time job earlier this year due to the demands of the course. Part of the Scholarship was providing vacation work and although it wasn't guaranteed, as she is only 2nd year, the company came through and offered her 3 month vac work.  She set off on the 6 hour journey this morning so I am a big bag of nerves today.

So to take my mind off that, why don't I tell you about the recipe I made. It is actually Manu's (from MKR) recipe, so it has got to be good! You can find the actual recipe HERE but as usual, I go my own way.

First I warmed up my stock on the stovetop and then browned off my chicken.  I don't add bacon because hubby won't eat it although I imagine it would taste even more awesome with it added in. After that I removed the chicken and because I was unorganised, I only now started to chop up the onion, chilli, garlic and rosemary.

I love chopping up ingredients like this.  I get the biggest, meanest, sharpest knife in the kitchen and after cutting the ingredients up smaller, I rock that knife back and forth over them to make it quite fine. I find this incredibly therapeutic.  I was a bit lazy tonight and used bottled garlic instead.....but wait, I forgot a crucial taste sensation.  The lemon zest.

No measurements here, I just go with my gut and I left the rosemary a little chunky till I took the photo. All of this goes into the same frying pan as the chicken came out of  and sautee until the onion softens a little.  The aroma that smacks you in the face at this point is absolutely devine.

The photo's get a little blurry here due to the steam. Enter the rice.  Now I have used all different types of rice for my risotto and they all work "okay" for this style of risotto if you have nothing else but of course, you get the best results with the traditional Arborio Risotto Rice and this is where I measured the required 2 cups and tossed it in with the onion mixture and made sure all the rice got coated with the onion mixture.

At this stage, I was ready to throw it all together.  Oh, did I mention this is not a traditional Risotto recipe. Yea, I am not fond of slaving over the stove waiting for rice to soak up the stock and I am not particularly fond of sloppy, al dente rice so this concoction is going in the oven to get nice and sticky while it takes on the flavours of all those seasoning herbs, spices etc.

Now the stock in that casserole dish has been heating gently while all this was happening, (I find that gives the cooking process in the oven just that little bit of a head start) and I just add the tomato paste (almost forgot that!), the chicken and the rice/onion mixture. Give it a stir, pop on the lid and into the oven it goes.  Now Manu does give you times in the recipe but you can usually smell when it is ready.

I served ours with a simple garden salad last night and you can add shaved or grated parmie cheese but it tastes good without. Let me know if you give the recipe a try and whether you enjoyed it too.

For dessert I served chopped strawberries with blueberries, a dollop of vanilla fro-gurt, salted caramel topping and a sprinkle of these chopped almonds and cashews I spotted at the supermarket.

 All in all, it was a lovely but it was gone so quick before I realised I had not taken a photo! Just the empty dishes to add to the pile. Hubby was washing up last night. He he he!

Well my girl has not called in yet but I do know that she may have reception issues where she is going so I will try not to worry too much. Going off to do some clutterbusting.  Lots to do before moving day.  At last she called and is all settled into her new accommodation. I can go to sleep happy now.



  1. The recipe looks good. I need to make a dish to take to a pot-luck and I wonder, if after the frying stage, that this could be made just as well in a slow-cooker?

  2. That is a co-incidence - we had risotto last night too! Ours was with chanterelle and girolle mushrooms.I'll have to try your recipe when we are ready for another risotto - it looks yummy. Glad your daughter arrived safe and sound. I hate it when I know my children are on the road in the UK and they have to let me know they are safe - but realistically, of course, most of the time I don't even know they have gone out!!

  3. MMMmmmmmm...that looks SO good. Glad you were all able to be together, and glad your daughter reached her destination safely. :)

  4. Oh yum, wish I had dinner at your place. Looks really delicious.

  5. well done to your daughter. I am sure the three months will pass quickly.
    your risotto looks yum, and the dessert was a winner judging by the clean bowls


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