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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

This is what I had for lunch today.

Creamed cheese, a teeny slice of Parmesan, tomato, cracked pepper and a bit of parsley atop un morceau de baguette. Nothing special, but it was tasty. I love simple and delicious food.

There's only one boulangerie in my town, it's small and quaint. If there are others I'd love to know about them. However this one is a regular haunt of mine for baguettes and boules alike.

So I'm a frequent at this website...

"The Pioneer Woman"

and I've been wanting to test out her risotto recipe the first time I laid eyes on it. So I did, and here's how it went for me.
First of all, if it's just you and your hubby, or you alone, or less than an army for that matter, take my advice and half the recipe. In fact, I'll give you both versions just in case. I didn't think about how much risotto 3 cups of rice would make. Well, let me tell you, we've got enough risotto for the rest of the month! I'm freezing some and we've eaten it all weekend!

I have no idea how much risotto it actually made, except that after eating our share with supper it filled a ten cup bowl.

So here's the recipe (this is the succinct version):

PW’s Perfect Risotto

The halved amounts are in parentheses.

1 tablespoon olive oil - (1/2 Tablespoon)
1 tablespoon butter - (1/2 Tablespoon)
1 small or 1/2 medium onion - (1/2 onion)
3 to 4 cloves garlic - (2 cloves garlic)
1 pound Arborio rice = 3 cups - (1 1/2 cups)
7 to 8 cups chicken broth - (1 quart - 4 cups)
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream - (1/2-3/4 cups)
2 cups (total) grated Parmesan, Romano, and/or Asiago cheese - (1/2 cup)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chopped chives

Halving it was difficult eh?

Heat oil in large skillet, then add chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft. Dump in 1 pound dry Arborio rice, and stir to coat. Then add the broth, in 1-cup increments, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed. Rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite. After all liquid is absorbed, add cream, cheese, salt & pepper, and stir to combine. Stir in chives and serve immediately.

There you go! If you want to see Pioneer Woman's full post and pictures with recipe go here.

Here are my own pictures of my new love, risotto.

Cooking the onions and garlic, two of my favorite savory flavors.

Adding 1 lb. (3 cups) of yummy rice!

Adding chicken juices "a ladle at a time" like tough love from your mom when you're a naughty kid.

This is where waiting, stirring, tlc, and reading The Host come in.

Ready for another ladle of love!

Now go back two pictures and read over all three about ten times.
I know, ten times! I got to chapter 5 in the Host, but then the chapters are only a few pages long. By the third or fourth time I had to change pans to a deeper walled one that could hold all that rice!

Adding the "chives"- I did green onions instead- and S&P.

The finished product, it was well worth the wait and tlc. There's something therapeutic about watching the chicken love juice soak in and plump up those little grains. It was perfectly creamy and I have to say a definite success considering it was my first time making risotto.

As for the leftovers:
If you do end up making the whole recipe like I did, and want to eat it creamy again, follow these instructions. Because after it's been sitting in the refrigerator for so long, instead of staying creamy it turns into a lumpy, pudding-like consistency that tends to mold into one big blob. Remember that movie?

Anyway, to get it creamy again, add some cow love juice (milk) to your desired amount of refrigerated risotto and microwave until it's warm, stirring it up every minute or so. Be sure to break up the clumps.

Congratulations, you just revived your risotto from dried, clumpy, and sticky, death.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the farmers' market and how excited I am about it beginning again this year. It's mostly because the weather has been heavenly and I've been itching for fresh produce. Not just any produce, but the kind that's packed with flavor and you know that the tomato your eating probably thought it was the only tomato in it's farmers life, it got such TLC. That kind of produce. Produce like that tastes like it's been grown in a small garden, and reminds you of being a kid again, eating the product of your own hard work (and incessant nagging from your mom:). I can't wait to have my own home and garden, until then (and likely afterward) I'll look forward to my Saturday mornings when I can walk down the road to the park where local farmers meet to sell their goods.

I've been going our town's farmers' market for a few years now and within that time it's grown substantially. I remember when it was only a few groups of farmers, and occasionally a group of boy scouts, who'd meet each week to sell various produce. A year or so after that a few people would make and sell various types of food, Chinese, Mexican, Navajo Tacos. It's where I met a lady who grew up near the area AJ served on his LDS mission in New Mexico; she was selling the Navajo Tacos. She told me secrets about making the dough, things her grandmother would do so that it would turn out perfectly. Sure enough her dough had the perfect amount of crisp and fluff and boy were they yummy. I brought one home to AJ served the native way
(leave it plain, only add salt) and he approved heartily. A few weeks later she gave me the recipe and it's been the only one I use for Navajo Taco night. I will post that recipe someday, I guarantee they'll be served with green chilies.

Now the market has relocated and grown to more than 20 different vendors. They sell everything from woodwork and woolly knitted goods to honey and headbands. I haven't seen my Navajo Taco making friend for a long time, maybe sharing her recipe caused her business to bust! I doubt it though.

Anyway, reason for the rambling... I've been interested in not only local produce, but in supporting local farmers. A cookbook that I've been drawn to each time I go to Barnes & Noble or Borders is one by Alice Waters called The Art of Simple Food. By the way, that's how I know I want to buy a cookbook, I'll continually pick it up when I go to a bookstore and begin reading where I left off. Now that my secret is out they'll have me buy it when I go back. Well, good thing very few people read my food blog!

Anyway, on with the book. It's great, so far. She talked about CSA or Community Supported Agriculture farms and that if you buy a few shares from a local farm (give them a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly payment) they'll deliver fresh produce grown on their farm to you personally! Or, to a decided meeting place where you can pick it up. Either way it's a great way for consumers to support their local farmers and a great reason to eat fresh! I found there are only two farms near me that participate in this CSA thing, but one's enough for two people! I'm planning on visiting it sometime soon.

So there's my little shpeel on going local. Click here to find a CSA farm near you. If you live in Utah, check this out; and this :). Of course, these links are in my sidebar as well, just thought I'd give my two cents about it all.

Also, I've been having fun giving my blogs a face lift, messing with html and trying to pretend like I understand it all. So I have to give a shout-out for the site that I found all my little tricks at: Hackosphere.

So there it is, shop local; support a cow, chicken, or garden, and his/her/their farmer; make a new friend at a farmers' market, share a recipe, enjoy the bounty of hard work; and change your blog!

Yesterday was our friend Z's birthday. She's a 20 year old in a now 88 year old body. AJ goes to tend her yard and we visit her often, she's become a dear friend. For a birthday gift, I got her a little package of those Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut chocolates and set them on the counter to take to her before we left for the evening.

After getting ready and doing a bit of blogging, I walked out to the greatroom and saw that one of the little gold paper wrapped chocolates were gone; along with my husband. Yes, I know, very mysterious.

It took me a millisecond to figure out what had happened, given the clues. It was AJ, at the counter, with his sweets-loving palate! I win! Well, I made him explain to Z what had happened to her birthday present when it was taken to her and I think she enjoyed the story just as much as the chocolates! Of course anything AJ does makes her laugh, she's almost as smitten as I am.

It was a typical pie on the window sill kind of mystery solved by yours truly.

I have no idea what this little delicacy is called, but it was yummy. Z gave us a few and I'm pretty sure they were peanut brittle disks dipped in chocolate and then shmooshed together.

Yes, that is a technical gastronomical term, "shmooshed".

I love this cake.

If you didn't already know, I'm half Chinese and thank goodness because it's just about my favorite kind of food; yum cha (dim sum), veggies, and all that seafood! - the reason I'll never go vegan - Not the Panda Express kind, although that is also kinda yummy.

This is one of my favorite kinds of cakes. I made it for the first time quite a while ago, two years ago this month actually. It's fluffy, easy, and delicious. Although I know I pronounce it alright, I'm not so sure about the spelling...

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