Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yaya is back so I made risotto

I gladly handed Yaya back her dish soap and sponges on Tuesday when she returned to work. Washing the dishes is not a chore that I will miss one bit. The girls were happy to have their Yaya to play with and I didn't feel too (maybe a little bit) sad that they wanted to show her all the games we've been playing since she was gone. I really enjoyed having my girls all to myself the past week and sometimes it's hard to share them. It's a double edged sword because when I have the girls all to myself I burn out on playtime quicker but when Yaya's here I have to deal with the jealous feelings I get when they want to play with her.

After not sleeping the night before (I finally fell asleep at 4AM-it was terrible), I was surprisingly chipper and upbeat for the day (maybe it was the hunk of 70% dark chocolate I had at 9AM. I figured I was feeding a chocolate hang over). I made dinner and let the girls play with Yaya. It was super nice having them occupied so I didn't have to hold Bella while at the stove or rush to open and close the oven without her running in to me. I always set my expectations too high for what I should accomplish on my own when Yaya is gone. I have to prove to myself that I can do it all, all on my own. And I do but stretch myself a little too thin in the process. I made elaborate dinners every night when she was gone and found it extremely difficult to do so while keeping the girls safe and occupied. Now a more realistic mother would just make the call to keep dinners simple or even order in, but no, I was going to do it all, all on my own. Anyhow, having Yaya here to watch the girls while I cooked is a huge luxury.

I've been a little obsessed with risotto lately. This was the second risotto dish I've made in the past week. It's a little tedious and time consuming, ladling the broth a cup at a time into the rice mixture and stirring at a low temp until it's all absorbed. I guess something about the stirring and watching it absorb and adding more liquid until the mixture is creamy and delicious just works for me. I made asparagus risotto this time. If you haven't attempted risotto at home you should. It's can easily stand on it's own as a main dish. Just give yourself a good 30-40 minutes.

Here's what I did:
Roast a half pound of chopped asparagus in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper until tender. Set aside.

Heat 6 cups of chicken broth until boiling and then keep it at a low simmer on a back burner on the stove.
In a second large sauce pan heat 1/4 olive oil, add 3/4 cup chopped onion and two cloves chopped garlic. Cook 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add 3/4 cup white wine and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup simmering broth to rice mixture and stir until absorbed. Keep the burner on Med/Low so the liquid absorbs slowly. Add liquid cup by cup, absorbing each cup all the way into rice mixture before adding another. The rice will become creamy. The rice should have no crunch when it's done. If you still need some liquid but have used all the broth just add a bit of water and let it absorb at the end.

When the rice is creamy and no longer crunchy turn off the burner. Stir in a pad of butter, roasted asparagus, fresh thyme, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.We attempted having Bella join the nightly bedtime story in Addie's bed. Addie's had a bedtime story every night since she was like 4 months old. Bella on the other hand has never been a bedtime story kind of girl. When she was little it was impossible to get her to calm down and stop screaming. Stories were the last thing we were worried about at 4 months. As she got older we read a story at bedtime here and there but it usually revved her up instead of calmed her down. Bella loves sitting down with a pile of books to look at on her own but the minute you join her and start reading and restricting her page turning and independent discovery she looses interest. She just wants to do it on her own. Last night she as so thrilled to be in Addie's bed snuggled up with Dad that she just giggled and rolled around and played. She could have cared less about the story but it was cute to see the girls in bed together. Addie's special bedtime story was interrupted so she insisted on another quiet story after Bella and I retreated to her room to get down to the business of getting her asleep. I think we'll keep on trying the group bedtime story thing. Bella will figure it out eventually.


Megan said...

Yummy sounds so good. I love you all. I love bedtime stories too.

Elyse said...

Joe and I make a yummy risotto meal with shrimp (you could probably do chicken since Justin is allergic), spinach, roasted roma tomatoes, bacon, and parmesan cheese. Give it a try sometime...it is amazing and definitely a whole meal.