Tag Archives: camera

Pea & radish risotto

More continued fun with the camera at breakfast time. Smile

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That would be a variation of Ashley’s amazing buckwheat bakes. If you haven’t made one yet, check out her recipe page for a whole section dedicated to them. I made a bunch of modifications to this morning’s bake but it included banana & blueberries on the inside with an almond butter, coconut butter and almond milk frosting on top. Worth every one of the 30 minutes it takes to bake!

This weekend was kind of a wash weather wise. Yesterday, it was cold and rainy and today, while a little warmer, was still gloomy. Instead of normal summer foods I was craving something more comforting. Risotto is one of those dishes that defines “comfort food” to me. My mom makes a wonderful dried porcini mushroom and sausage risotto in the winter that is creamy, cheesy and everything risotto should be. So many times I’ve ordered a risotto dish at a restaurant only to be served something that is masquerading as a rice pilaf. The difference is in the method. People say risotto is time consuming but it’s really not. Rice takes the same amount of time to absorb the necessary liquid whether you set it all in the beginning and walk away like a typical rice dish or, you slowly add the liquid in stages like a risotto. Risotto is not any more time consuming, it just needs a little more tlc. And I can assure you that added tlc is more than worth it when it results in this.IMG_0291

Since it’s at least supposed to be warm weather season, I decided to keep this risotto on the lighter side with peas and radishes. This was served as a side dish to some grilled steaks but could definitely steal the show as main course if you wanted it to. In fact, it would be excellent with some grilled shrimp as a stand alone dish.IMG_0204

I actually found some brown Arborio rice at the bulk bins last time. This was the bottom of the container though so it was mixed with a little bit of regular, longer grain rice that was left when I poured it in. They technically have different cooking times, like different shaped pastas would, but I just rolled with it. I wasn’t about to pick apart the different shaped rice.

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Aren’t those radishes cute with their little tails? They kind of remind me of tadpoles.

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Anything that starts with butter has gotta be good, right?

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Some diced onion, garlic and shallot.

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You know where this is going…sauté.

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Once the mixture has softened, add the rice to toast and absorb all the oil & butter.

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And if you haven’t yet been convinced to make this. Maybe this will help.

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Some for the risotto, some for you. It’s only fair.

After the risotto absorbs the wine (anywhere from about 1/4-1/2 cup will do)  slowly ladle some heated chicken broth (or veggie) into the pan with the rice until it just covers it. Once it’s almost completely absorbed, add more until all the broth is gone and the rice is fully cooked. Here’s where I’ve heard many an Italian swear by different methods. Some say do not touch or stir the rice at all while it’s going through this process. My mom and family fall into this group. Others say to stir every now and then during the cooking process to release the starches in the rice which makes for a creamery risotto. I’ve tried both and actually prefer the latter. Sorry mom. This works especially well with white rice as it breaks down easier than brown.

While the rice is cooking, prep the veggies.

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And grate the cheese.

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When the rice has absorbed all the liquid and it’s fully cooked (taste test here, ours was a little al dente last night) add the frozen peas, radishes, some fresh chopped herbs and grated cheese.

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Season to taste and top with some crumbled bacon.

Why?

Does bacon even need an explanation? I didn’t think so.IMG_0287

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Pea & Radish Risotto

Makes 6 side dishes

  • 1 1/4 cup brown Arborio rice
  • 40 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup diced radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & mint)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked well until crispy (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat chicken broth in small sauce pan over low heat. In large skillet, heat evoo & butter on med heat. Add shallots, garlic and onion and sauté until softened. Add rice and toss to coat. Let rice toast for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and stir rice until wine is completely absorbed. Slowly ladle chicken broth into rice until just covering the top of the rice. Let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring occasionally. Once liquid is mostly absorbed, add more broth again covering only to top of rice. Continue until broth is used up and rice is fully cooked. Add radishes, peas, herbs and cheese to cooked rice and mix. Season with salt & pepper and top with crumbled bacon.

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17 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Recipes, Side Dishes

Camera crazed

This might be the only time that I was actually happy with a gloomy, rainy Saturday. The weather gave me a great excuse to get a ton done at home and play with my new camera all day. I usually never read manuals but there are so many settings and buttons on this camera that I figured I needed a little help. I really want to learn how to use the camera, not just shoot in automatic programmed modes otherwise it’s barely worth the investment in my opinion. So, I stuck the instructional CD into my computer and then proceeded to lose 3 hours of my life on the couch yesterday morning while trying to read and comprehend everything it outlined. Bad idea. I don’t learn well by reading, I need to actually do it. After 3 hours my head was spinning and I was getting frustrated by how little sense it all made so I took a break and cleaned the entire house, did NWOLFW and went for a 3.5 mile run. By that point I had calmed down a bit about all the camera lingo and decided to just go outside with my lunch and play around. Everything here was shot in manual. I had apertures, shutter speeds and ISO all confused and it’s pretty evident in the first few takes. Over exposed, under exposed, etc…

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Getting even more frustrated at this point now that the pictures are looking worse than with my point and shoot.

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Then I figured it out! I hadn’t realized that as you adjust the ISO, shutter speed and aperture that it shows you the exposure meter and it should be somewhere close to the middle. Mine was not. Hence the either really bright or really dark pictures. Once I figured that out things started to get better.

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And then I had some fun playing around with the depth of field.

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Focused grill, slightly blurry grill, very blurry grill. Woohoo!

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Love this one.

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Flowers got a little boring so I decided I needed to cook or bake something that I could photograph. But, I didn’t really feel like cooking or baking anything. Then Averie’s raw chocolate chip dough balls popped into my head! Except, I didn’t have any cashews so I subbed them out for almonds instead. The rest of the recipe is exactly the same so check it out on her site if you’re interested. It’s like a  dough ball meets Larabar and the result is pretty darn tasty.IMG_0154IMG_0156IMG_0160IMG_0164IMG_0170

And now I’m hooked on 2 things:

-photographing everything

and

raw dough balls (I have a ton of variations I now want to try after tasting these)

If you have a DSLR what are some of your best tips? Do you shoot in manual? Any good photography blog posts out there you recommend?

22 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Raw

Loved

By parents who invited us over for dinner because they knew I’d be driving past their house from the airport after a long day of travel and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was worry about dinner.

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Ginger’s tongue behind the bowl of ice cream cracks me up.

And by this guy.

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Who surprised me with this when we got home.

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Which was really this.

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Notice the workout outfit. I had every intention of doing NROLFW last night. That flew out the window when I saw the camera. One more rest day in the grand scheme of things won’t hurt. Winking smile

Now, If you’ll excuse me I have manuals to read, software to install and lots of pictures to take…

15 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Family