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Tonight’s side dish recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten from her book barefoot contessa: how easy is that? It was incredibly good. Even Kirk thought so, which is sort of a big deal, since his usual response to anything is “Yeah, it tastes ok”. Another bonus: you really have to stir the snot out of this stuff once you add the cheese. So that, plus a glass of wine equals great stress relief where I’m from. Two suggestions and then the recipe. Happy cooking!

Suggestion 1: This is an easy and simple side. It requires about 10 minutes of active time. BUT it takes almost 50 minutes from start to finish. So it’s not for a quick weeknight meal (unless your weeknight includes coming home, putting the dutch oven in the oven and then blowing 45 minutes changing, opening the mail, having some wine, fighting with your spouse over whose day was worse)

Suggestion 2: Keep some ‘mini’ bottles of red and white wine in the house. Listen, I love wine as much as the next mom. But if I buy a bottle specifically for a recipe, odds are I’m not going to finish the bottle before it starts tasting weird. So I keep a couple of the mini bottles around for recipes. That way when I need half a cup or more, I don’t have to open a whole bottle and risk wasting all that tasty tasty wine.


Easy Parmesan “Risotto”

  • 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 5 Cups simmering chicken stock
  • 1 Cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or less, add to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On stovetop, bring 4 cups chicken stock to a simmer. Add the Arborio Rice. Cover and bake in oven for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.

2.) Carefully remove from oven. Add remaining 1 Cup of chicken stock, wine, parmesan, butter, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously for 2 -3 minutes, until rice is thick and creamy and you want to use it as a night cream. Add peas, stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Arborio Rice. I had to go to Whole Foods to find mine, hopefully you'll find yours closer. Keep the remaining in the fridge.

Just out of the oven. Careful, the handles on your dutch oven are HOT.

Go ahead, use extra cheese. I'm not telling.

Butter, wine and cheese. If you had something better for dinner, I'd like to know.

Hello darlin'

No. We didn't eat it all. It makes a ton. We gave the rest to friends. After we all had thirds.