Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bare Pantry, How About Risotto?

Sometimes I feel lackidasical about my dinner cooking duties. I have to be honest, I don't cook dinner every night. Especially on the weekends, I officially hand the kitchen over to my hubby. But during the week, I make a wholehearted attempt to prepare something healthy and fresh. That is when I am in the mood. Sometimes, my husband gets the 5 o'clock phone call from me, "I'm not cooking tonight", click. He always comes through the door prepared, whether to cook or with take out.

And to top it off, I am not a meal planner. I once had meal planning envy, you know the type, with the cute little chalk board listing the dinner menu for the entire week. Corresponding grocery lists on the front of the refrigerator. See, I love organization, bins & baskets, a place for everything, but I can't seem to muster up that little extra drive to become a meal planner.

I must have an addiction to flying by the seat of my pants during one of the hardest hours of the day for a stay at home mom, dinner preparation time. Aka, The Witching Hour. Menu planning makes so much sense.

And to top it off for some odd reason, my cabinets seem to be bare even though we are dropping $100 bucks every time we run into the grocery store to pick something up. Knowing we just had one of those runs a few days ago, I stay clear of the market after I picked Sj up from school. I knew I could whip something up, but that was yet to be determined.

I lingered for a moment in front of the refrigerator door. Pretty much empty. Some left over spaghetti, I made a pot of sauce and meatballs on Sunday, so if we had pasta one more night I believe my family may have suffered a carbohydrate induced coma.

Well, there's the shrimp in the freezer. Not for the girls, but I am in the mood for shrimp. I peek into the cabinet, aah.. there is some risotto or sushi rice in bulk. I could really mess this one up, if it was sushi rice. I tapped into my Italian lineage and picked what I believed to be the risotto.

I quickly went on line for a recipe. I have to admit, I probably will never buy a cook book again, every time I am in need of a recipe, I either go to Food Network or Martha Stewart/Everyday Food, type in a key ingredient, and voile. Much easier than hunting through my shelf of cookbooks.

This is what I created, Sweet Pea and Shrimp Risotto. Not bad for a whip up.

It was a bit of a risk, because my hubby is a bit of a risotto snob. Which means, I leave the risotto cooking up to him. If it's not cooked just right, he sneers. He will not order it at restaurants anymore because it's never cooked to his liking. I mean, it's pretty hard to pull off the love and attention risotto requires in a fast paced kitchen.

I find it wonderfully nurturing to cook risotto. You stand with it, stirring, adding stock, tending to it through the entire cooking process. Lucky for me, Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals & a coloring book, distracted the girls enough so I could be attentive to the dish.

Yes, a refreshing whip up. Much better than a typical stand by of "hey, how about waffles for dinner!"

4 comments:

  1. Mmmm...risotto...the best risotto I've ever had was in Dallas in February. I loves me some risotto.

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  2. Risotto is my easy "go-to" dinner. It's quick, you can pair it with most anything, and it's yummy!

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  3. Since I love to grocery shop and try out new recipes, my challenge is to stay away from the grocery store! I try to look through my pantry, freezer and fridge and plan the meals that way before spending the money on a grocery trip.

    I know I am one of those meal planners, but I can't help myself because I love trying new recipes and cooking :) Plus, it does make life a little easier!

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