Sunday, January 22, 2012

Birthday Dinner!!!

The absolute best part about having a birthday, is having other people spoil the crap out of you.

And that is EXACTLY what happened on my birthday this year =)

My foodie friend out-did herself by cooking me an amazing multi-course birthday dinner. Best part about it... THE THEME WAS CHEESE!!!!!! Does she know me? Or does she know me?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lemon, Asparagus, Pea and Goat Cheese Risotto

Date night again and this time, we are taking things up a notch with the infamous risotto. "Oh no not risotto! Leave it to the chefs in the restaurants!" HA - no way, we ARE professionals, especially if you wear a hat in the kitchen. At least that is what I like to think.....*awkward silence*

 Anyhoo....You know my general rule that anytime I am cooking with wine, it ends up being a special meal because I am not about to use up my weekend fuel on a weekday dinner. But the main reason why this dish is for date night is because it does take quite a bit of time and attention and if I am putting THAT much effort into something, I may as well share it with someone.

Last post I introduced the concept that anyone can make risotto.... which is true...mainly because you can put anything in it and it will taste great. So feel free to experiement, thats what I did and it actually turned out wonderful.

Lemon, Asparagus, Pea and Goat Cheese Risotto
Time: 1 hr.         CPS: 4 servings ($2.61) without wine ($1.86)    L of D: Graduate

  •  About 5 Asparagus Spears
  • 1-2 cups of frozen peas
  • Zest of 1/2-1 lemon
  • 3-4 heaping spoonfuls of goat cheese
  • 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot
  • 1 1/2 cups of Aborio rice
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
Begin by setting up your basic risotto recipe. For detailed instruction, read here for my step-by-step instructions on how to make risotto.

Short form: Heat chicken stop in a pot on the stove. Chop onion or shallot and drop in a pan with olive oil (or butter) over medium high heat. Saute until translucent. Add aborio rice and toast until slightly golden brown. Add wine and all rice to soak up the liquid stirring occasionally. Slowly begin to add chicken stock to rice, one ladle at a time. Add a ladle, allow rice to soak up liquid stirring occasionally, add another ladle. Approx. 30 minutes total so far.

When you are nearing your last few ladles, you can start working on your other ingredients. Chop tough ends off asparagus and cut the rest into bite size pieces. In a frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and toss in asparagus. Toss around in frying pan for only a few minutes, until the asparagus turns a bright green. Remove from heat.

Once you have added the last of your chicken stock, and your rice is nearing al dente (slight crunch) add your peas. They take 1 minute to cook. Add lemon zest and asparagus. Add goat cheese and remove from heat. Give a few final stirs, add salt and pepper to taste and allow the residual heat to melt the goat cheese. No butter needed, goat cheese is creamy enough.

Garnish with asparagus tips and lemon curl so you look all fancy and shit.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How To: Make Risotto

Risotto - are you scared?

Well I'm not so snap out of it!

 Risotto is nothing to be scared of. In fact it is something to love. And a great recipe to have in your back pocket. Why is that? Because it is like a blank canvas on the road to flava town. Add anything you want to it and I guarantee it will taste great. The worst part about it though is that it takes a long time (in a student's world 45-1 hr means 3 chapters read or 2 tv episodes watched online). And you can't set it and forget it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Balsamic Pear and Goat Cheese Dip

What better way to show up to a party, then with a bottle of wine? Or perhaps a 26er of Jack Daniels? Maybe some Tequila? Or perhaps one BAD ASS dip. 

Although some may prefer some alcohol ... ... hmm... I say I prefer the dip. Well this dip at least. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I know it has been a few weeks since I have posted, and I apologize, but life just got in the way and I lost a bit of my inspiration. But not to fret my pet, motivation is back and posts are on their way!

What better way to start off the year then with a month full of birthdays (including my own!). I think I can count...14 birthdays this month?? Holy crap. Our parents were certainly busy in April.

So stay tuned because you are going to see a TON of birthday treats! Cakes, cupcakes, fancy desserts ... all on a budget with easy access ingredients. When you are poor (like myself) the best gift to give is one that you make yourself. And one that you can enjoy yourself as well :P haha.

Another thing that January brings is back to school for a new semester. And boy is this one a doozy. I am going to have to make a lot of extra effort to keep away from they easy fast foods and have my lunch bag on hand. Thank goodness for new year resolutions.

Here's to a good 2012!
One of my first birthday gift creations! Cupcakes with blue and pink sprinkles...the birthday girls were impressed, that's all I ask for.  =)
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