Well, whaddaya know? I managed a post sooner than 10 days! I’m trying. I just need some organisation and an urge to actually cook and motivation to take photos rather than just gobble the food down. It really is hard sometimes to cook and spontaneously take photos. I never really cook for just the blog, I cook for the family and we always eat it after all the photos have been taken. However, there’s just no time sometimes and it seems like I will have to schedule blog cooking!
Do any of you cook for your blogs specifically? I know sometimes I really want to try a new recipe so those days are always planned and probably the most organised!
I have changed my photography area around a bit and moved almost everything into the kitchen and dining room. It has made it easier to shoot as I cook. My photography has always been quite minimalistic; I don’t use too many props or over style so this has made it even easier. At the graduation party, we pushed our huge 10 seat table back against the wall to do buffet style food and to make more room in our dining room. We’ve left it like that; I like the extra room and it still seats 6 of us for dinner. The extra room allows for my tripod and plenty of room to move and shoot. This has made my life a little easier and a bit more organised!
The children are out of school and I don’t think I’ve seen a couple of them since last week! The new graduate sleeps in, gets up, showers and leaves. I don’t see her till the next morning, where she proceeds to repeat the previous day. The 14 year old has become a gypsy, and only turns up once a week to get her allowance. Laith is the only one keeping me company at home. I’m not good company either since I’m busy with work related menus, recipe testing or reading manuals and always have my head buried in my iPad, my computer or in a bag of flour. He’s really good at keeping himself entertained.
So, the other day I was tagged by a very sweet blogger and though I don’t do all these award type things, I did want to thank her for thinking of me and giving me the Liebster Award. I didn’t realise that award was still making the rounds! She asked me so nicely to answer the questions she posted that how could I refuse? So, just for you, Habiba, here are my answers to your questions and I will tag a few of my blogger friends as well.
Where are you answering these questions from right now? I’m on my Mac in my bedroom in Westminster, Colorado. It has finally stopped raining and turned out to be a beautiful day.
Where did you go on your last holiday? Last holiday was the kids half term/spring break so we headed off to Houston, Texas to see my dad and brothers. My sister joined us from Columbus and many aunts were visiting from overseas so it was a nice reunion.
What’s your favourite book? I have so many! I love British classics and am finally reading some American classics. My favourite probably has to be Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Favourite movie? Once again, too many! Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Midnight in Paris but for a sappy love story, I adore Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep
Did you go to university, and if so, what did you study? Now, this question is a bit of a sore spot with me. I sat my A levels and accepted an offer to Imperial College of Science and Technology (and Medicine now, and also happens to be #3 in the top colleges in the world) At the same time, my parents decided the move to America. Being Indian parents, there was no way in hell they were leaving me behind. I had no choice but to say bye to my dream of studying engineering at one of the most prestigious research colleges in the world. Am I resentful, a little. I try not to think like that but sometimes, the regret is too much. As a result of their decision and the stress of moving countries while studying, I did quite poorly in my exams, so the dream was shot anyway. I did start college classes here and got as far as two years, still in engineering but ended up getting married and kids came along very soon. I also went back to school after 3 kids and 10 years later, aced my classes too, I might add, but it was impossible to continue with everything at home and work. I will get back and finish one of these days! That’s a promise to myself 🙂
Dream job? Hmmm…..back in the day I would say it would be an engineering or science research. Some would say since I write a food blog, and am so much into food, I am doing close to my dream job now. Getting a chance to use the newest technology in high end home appliances, to be able to cook, demo and meet new people is quite a fun job. I do enjoy my job but it’s so funny that it’s something that I would never have thought of doing when I was younger. Anything that remotely was thought of as a “woman’s job” was something I had no interest in! And here I am!
Favourite fruit? Citrus and berries, though there is nothing better than a perfectly ripe, local, peach from Colorado’s Western Slopes.
Which would you pick: cookies and milk, or cookies n’ cream ice-cream? Coffee and cookies maybe but not milk! I’ll take ice cream, but plain vanilla!
Apple or Android? Apple all the way! Done Android and Windows, not a fan
Batman or Superman? Batman, because he’s just a very rich man with a lot of fancy toys. Batman is actually my favourite superhero 🙂
What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? Ozone therapy (for my RA)
So, there you have it. I’d like to thank Habiba from EatWriteBe for my award. I’d like to pass this award onto a few bloggers and you guys don’t have to do it, but I wanted to let you know I appreciate your support, the stories you share with us and for just being awesome people!
The people behind these blogs are more than just bloggers, they are my friends. Through our blogs and our comments and thanks to Facebook, we stay connected, talk and laugh just like we were in the same city. They are always the first to comment when I write a new post and are always there whether I write 4 times a month or barely once every two months. Thank you!!
Onto this recipe, it’s delicious! This was also a dinner from vegetarian week a couple of weeks ago and it is one of my favourite vegetarian dinners. Risotto in all forms is my weakness. I try to make risottos often since you can make them vegetarian, they are gluten free and I love them as does my eldest. Makes one’s life easier.
This is an all in one dish, the vegetables are incorporated into the risotto and you can have it straight up or with a fresh salad. I like a bit of crunch so I like to serve mine with a cucumber and red onion salsa on top, or whatever crunchy thing I have in the fridge.
I also like to use brown rice in my risotto. I buy the short grain brown rice and though it doesn’t get as creamy as regular white risotto, it’s still pretty gooey and satisfying. I make my brown rice risotto in my pressure cooker and do away with the stirring and pouring. 20 minutes in the pressure cooker is all it takes (time will depend on your cooker instructions).
Serves: 8 servings
- 8 oz/225g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bunch chard or 455g, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups/455g brown rice, short grain
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, large, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups broth, good quality vegetable or chicken
- 1 cup water
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice, a squirt
- Start by sautéing the red chard and mushrooms.
- In a large sauce or fry pan, add the butter and a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the chopped garlic and cook a minute.
- Add the sliced mushrooms.
- Sauté the mushrooms until they release their water and begin to brown.
- As they begin to brown, add the chopped red chard stems, cook for a bit and then add the leaves.
- Cook until the leaves are wilted, the stems ate softened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper.
- Keep the sautéed vegetables aside while you cook the risotto.
- In a pressure cooker, add the 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high heat.
- Sauté the onions until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook a little to get the raw taste out.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook about 2 minutes to soften.
- Add the risotto or brown rice and coat with the oil and seasonings.
- Add 1½ teaspoons of salt and a few grindings of pepper to the rice.
- Add the broth and the water.
- Bring up to a boil and put the pressure cooker cover on.
- Once the cooker reaches pressure and there's a steady steam, lower the heat to a low setting, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- Check with your manufacturer's instructions and cook accordingly.
- I have a Fagor pressure cooker, a pretty simple one and this works for me.
- If you are cooking it the traditional way, and using brown rice, it will take longer and you may need more water or broth as the risotto cooks.
- Use hot broth and water.
- Pour in half of the liquid and let it simmer.
- Stir occasionally but you don't have to stir constantly.
- Once the liquid has absorbed, add the rest and continue cooking until the risotto is done.
- You may need to add more broth/water if the rice is still hard.
- Continue cooking until done and the rice is creamy.
- Stir in more water or broth if it's too dry.
- Add the sautéed red chard and mushrooms and mix well.
- Add as much Parmesan cheese as you like!
- I add about ½ cup to the cooker and mix till creamy.
- A squirt of lemon brightens all the flavours.
- Serve in bowls with crunchy red onions or cucumbers on top.
Ok, so this post got away from me, it’s a tad long but it seems like it’s feast or famine with me 🙂
Hope you’re all having a good week so far!
Have a good one.