Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fall Flavors

If you know me, I LOVE all things Fall. Upon returning from our Honeymoon and missing most of Chicago's most fabulous month, October, Nate and I were in the mood for some cozy Fall flavors. We searched for a new risotto recipe to try and stumbled upon this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe courtesy of Miss Giada De Laurentiis. For those of you not quite ready for Fall to leave, try this recipe ASAP!

The recipe calls for ...
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 large vanilla bean
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • Fresh chopped chives

Quick & easy directions ...
  • Bring the broth and vanilla to simmer in a pot and reduce heat to low
  • Add butternut squash and cook until soft (just over 5 minutes)
  • Remove the squash from the broth
  • In a separate pan melt two tablespoons of butter and add chopped onion, cooking until tender
  • Add the rice to the onion and butter combination, coating the rice
  • Pour the white wine into the pan, stirring until evaporated
  • Stir in the broth, half a cup at a time until rice is cooked
  • When rice is cooked, stir in cheese, remaining butter and squash
  • Season with salt and garnish with chopped chives
Should be served with...
a big glass of wine while snuggling up on the couch with your favorite boy and pup!

If I were to make this again, I would add more liquid to make it even creamier. I also might try substituting some of the broth for apple juice/cider to bring out more "Fall" and the sweetness of the vanilla.

On a different note, I substituted the squash, onion and vanilla the other night for lemon juice, lemon zest and peas and it was to die for amazing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Thanksgiving Recap

In the months since my last post, I have planned a destination wedding, married my best friend and had an amazing Honeymoon in Thailand. While my posting suffered as I got wrapped up planning a whirlwind wedding weekend in Napa Valley (more to be shared soon!), I'm hoping to make a come back to this here blog. No promises but I should be less distracted. Moving on...

This week, we celebrated a few things. One being my man's 29th birthday. The second being Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving isn't my most favorite holiday, we love to entertain and hosted this year's meal in our Old Town apartment. To make it even more fun, we served up the holiday in style with our new china and pink and orange florals!

{I am a little obsessed with china ...}

 {Arrangements of orange tulips, pink snap dragons, roses and mums}

In terms of the meal itself, we kept to tradition with a nontraditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Ever since I can remember, my family has done everything to avoid the tried and true Thanksgiving feast. Turkey is not our thing, nor is gravy, cranberries, etc. Call us strange and un-American, but our menu was as follows!

We started with some delicious apps of ...
  • Potato/Leek Soup with Cheddar & Dill
  • Proscuitto & Melon
  • Caprese Skewers
  • Several Bottles of Hard Cider (who knew Grandma would love it so much!)
To follow it up, I made ...
  • Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
  • Scallops over Pumpkin Puree with Hazelnuts
Mom showed up with ...
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Navel Orange
  • Rosemary Grilled Baby Lamb Chops
  • A few bottles of Nouveau Beaujolais (tis the season!)
To top it off ...
  • Homemade Chocolate Covered Pretzels from My Sister
  • Homemade Pumpkin Pie from my Mom
  • Espresso ... and more cider 

    Jealous of our Thanksgiving meal yet? If not, stick to your turkey and gravy!
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