Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guest Post Risotto!

Boy do I have a treat for you today! My friend B is going to share another one of her recipes with you! It sounds delicious and she kept telling me that is it super easy and quick to make. I love that! So without further ado- here she is!

Hey everyone! I’d like to start off by thanking E for inviting me back for another guest post; I am going to share two new fun things with you today so I hope you enjoy them!

#1 My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I got to spend it with my family and boyfriend out in Beaver Creek, Colorado, which was fabulous and fun! I love being out in the mountains, escaping the busy city life. I only checked my email once (can you believe it?) and it felt amazing!

One of my favorite gifts that I received was this purse from my boyfriend! Now I know what you are thinking, “Wow, that’s really cute! It can go from spring to summer to winter, has a nice sort of 60’s mod feel with the geometric lines and also a touch of nautical with the navy and white”  (that is what you are thinking right?). Well this bag is so much more, because form the outside it looks like just a purse, but in actuality it is a camera bag! See the inside below! It holds all my camera stuff, lens’, manual etc. and also has room for my wallet!

My boyfriend got this awesome handbag/camera bag (handcamerabag?) from Ketti Handbags ( This designer makes the bags by hand so each is slightly unique. She also only makes about 5 per week, which go on sale every Monday at 9am Pacific Time. It took my boyfriend 2 weeks to get one because you have be so quick at getting the bag into your Shopping Cart and payment in. It makes it that much more special!

#2 The second thing I am going to share with you today is my recipe for Autumn Cranberry Risotto! I like to make this on rainy, chilly days, particularly in the fall. But just the other night we had a spring chill and I felt inspired. The best part, it does not take all the time and work that regular risotto recipes do!

You will need a Deep Covered Baker for this recipe. I got one for Christmas this year and I use it ALL THE TIME! There are so many dishes you can make in it that are so fast! Rachel Ray has a great line of colored ones. I have Rachel Ray’s orange one, which matches my brightly colored kitchen.

Things you will need:
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I like to also add in about ¼ cup of golden raisins for flavor and color)
1 medium onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio or Risotto rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ¾ cup chicken stock
¾ cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
salt and pepper
½ cup blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks of celery
3 oz cream cheese
¼ cup parsley
2 cups chicken breasts cooked and diced (I usually by a rotisserie chicken and shred 2 cups)

1. Combine cranberries (and golden raisins if you are using them) and 2 cups of hot water in a cereal sized bowl, set aside

2. Coarsely chop onion. Combine onion, rice and oil in a Deep Covered Baker, stir. Microwave UNCOVERED on high for 2-4 min. or until onion starts to appear translucent.

3. Add stock, wine, salt and pepper to Deep Covered Baker and microwave on high COVERED for 13 min. stirring halfway through.

 4. Meanwhile toast almonds in pan until brown.

5. Slice celery, cut cream cheese into cubes and drain cranberries.

6. Remove Baker from microwave and add chicken and celery. Microwave on high COVERED for 3-5 min. or until risotto appears to be creamy.

 7. Remove Baker from microwave. Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated. (add more cream cheese if it is not creamy/cheesy enough, who doesn’t love more cheese?)

8. Fold in cranberries and raisins, garnish with parsley (when I am making it for myself I don’t bother with the parsley, but when making for others, it adds some color).

9. Enjoy with some green beans (like I did) or a nice salad or asparagus!

Thanks B for sharing with us!! I think its nuts that you make this whole thing in the microwave! And I bet you don't even need a covered baker just a microwave safe bowl and lid! Neato!

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