Risotto Lovin'

by Heather on May 27, 2010

Morning y’all :)  I’m so excited that the long weekend is ALMOST HERE!!!

Like I said, last night we had some new friends over for dinner, so I wanted to make something yummy to eat.  I took some inspiration from this post and decided on mushroom risotto and traditional meatballs!

Parmesan Mushroom Risotto

  • 7 cups liquid (I used 1 cup white wine, 4 cups chicken stock, and 2 cups of water)
  • 4 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used white button and cremini mushrooms, but you could use a combination of any wild mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

In a large (and I do mean LARGE) pot, melt the 4 Tbsp butter on medium low heat.  Saute the chopped onion until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add minced garlic and sautee for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the 2 cups of rice and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the kernels start to take on a toasted color.  Add 1 cup of wine to help deglaze the pan.  From that point on, add 1 cup of liquid at a time, constantly stirring, until the rice is cooked.  In the meantime, over low heat, melt the other 1 Tbsp of butter.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are soft.  Add the 1 tsp of thyme and take off heat.  When the rice is cooked and the amount of liquid in the risotto is minimal, add the cheese and the mushrooms.  Stir together until cheese is melted and everything is combined!

Traditional Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground meat (we used ground beef for ours)
  • 2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 heaping Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 heaping Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • optional:  shredded veggies like carrots, zucchini, potato, etc…just make sure you squeeze all of the excess liquid out first, and you’d want to add a few more breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400.  Saute the onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  In a large bowl add all ingredients plus the sauteed onions and garlic.  Gently combine using your fingers (do not squish the meat!) until well mixed.  Form into 1/3-cup portions and roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the middles of the meatballs are no longer pink.  Serve hot with marinara sauce!

We also had a simple side salad of Romaine and carrots (I planned on using some grilled squash, but just didn’t have enough time):

And dessert was a big cast-iron cookie (take break-n-bake cookie dough and add to a cast iron skillet.  Bake as directed until cookie is brown and done) with ice cream!

So rich and so good :)  We had a great time with Drew & Rachael and can’t wait to get to know them more!

Yesterday my knee really started to hurt again, so I decided to take today off from walking, and will just do my upper body strength training later tonight.  We slept in til 7, got ready for work, and then I started my day off with the usual GM:

I’m working really hard to not let my injury define me right now, and I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve really felt remotely peaceful about it.  I’m not excited that it hurts, I’m not excited that I need to take it easy, and I’m actually truly afraid of the effect that having easier workouts will have on my body, but I do know that God has a bigger plan for me through this.  In the meantime, I will probably still walk, but much more slowly, and focus on doing strength training, yoga, and core work instead.  I also know that I’m really going to have to watch my portion sizes as well, which is going to be the hardest part of all.  My hope with that is that I will learn to savor every small bite and be OK with simply being satisfied and not full.  Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that stuff, but I did want to keep y’all in the loop about what’s going on as far as my workouts are concerned!

Random question:  what’s your favorite Italian food dish (and it can be multiple things :))?! I know I said yesterday that I don’t like raw tomatoes, but I LOVE them in Italian meals!  Marinara (if it’s done right) is a huge favorite, but I really love handmade gnocchi, cheeses, and pasta.  All of which is super-generalized, but still :)  The best Italian dish I’ve ever had was at a Sardinian restaurant in Dallas, Arcodoro & Pomodoro, where I had handmade gnocchi topped with a wild boar ragu…HOLY HEAVEN!

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