Giving Risotto a Go

Whenever I see some form of risotto on the menu at a restaurant my eyes light up.

I’m not quite sure why I’ve never attempted to make my own, but tonight seemed like a good night to give it a go.

*Fantastic Recipe Alert!*

I followed a Health.com recipe for shrimp and zucchini barley risotto that I printed off a while ago but never got around to making.

That seems to happen to me a lot. I always flag recipes and forget about ’em a day later!

Tonight I was committed to making the risotto and purchased all the necessary ingredients at the grocery store with Ryan after work.

I was immediately intrigued by this particular risotto recipe because it called for barley rather than rice. I have never been much of a rice girl but I adore the nuttiness of barley.

The risotto came together pretty quickly and smelled heavenly.

Once it was ready, I served the risotto in a bowl on a bed of steamed broccoli.

Risotto!

My Bowl

My Bowl

Yummy1

Yummy

Both Ryan and I gave this recipe two enthusiastic thumbs up.

I actually omitted the butter from the recipe and it still turned out savory, creamy and rich.

I will definitely be making this one again!

Dessert

Dessert was oh-so-simple.

Coconut + Dark Chocolate Square

I enjoyed a coconut square, dipped in dark chocolate that Ryan brought back for me from his hiking trip.

It was sweet, sticky and the perfect conclusion to a yummy dinner.

Now we’re off to go pick up our save the dates from the printer! I can’t wait to see ’em! 😀

Shrimp and Zucchini Barley Risotto

Ingredients (Makes four 1-cup servings)

  • 3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup lightly pearled barley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm.

2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and salt. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes). Add shrimp; cook 4 minutes. Stir in cheese, butter, and pepper.

Nutritional Information: Calories 387, Fat 9g, Protein 26g, Carbs 52g, Fiber 10g, Cholesterol 97mg, Iron 3mg, Sodium 653mg, Calcium 200mg

Click here for seven healthy risotto recipes from Health.com, including the recipe detailed above.

50 Best Restaurants in the World

Sometimes the simplest lunches are the most delicious.

I am not a fan of regular hummus (it’s too bland for me), but roasted red pepper hummus is a whole different story.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus = Yum

I first discovered roasted red pepper hummus when the lovely free sample lady at Publix offered it to me on a pretzel chip.

It was like a flavor explosion!

(Side note: I would love to be the free sample lady as my retirement job one day.)

For today’s lunch, I smeared the hummus on a toasted sweet wheat Alternative bagel and topped the other half with roasted zucchini which I had leftover from last night’s dinner.

Hummus + Zucchini + Bagel

Lunch Time!

On the side of my hummus and zucchini bagelwich, I snacked on a bag of Brothers-All-Natural apple crisps.

Apple Crisps

My friend Minda gave me a bunch of these a while ago because she wasn’t a fan, but I think they’re light, airy and delicious.

Plus, I love the ingredient list!

Only One Ingredient

Sweet deal, huh?

50 Best Restaurants in the World

Today CNN released a list of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

The restaurants that made the list include:

1) Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2) El Bulli (Roses, Spain)

3) The Fat Duck (Bray, England)

4) El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

5) Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)

6) Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

7) Alinea (Chicago, Illinois)

8 ) Daniel (New York)

9) Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain)

10) Per Se (New York)

11) Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)

12) La Colombe (Cape Town, South Africa)

13) Pierre Gagnaire (Paris, France)

14) L’Hotel de Ville – Philippe Rochat (Crissier, Switzerland)

15) Le Bernardin (New York)

16) L’Astrance (Paris, France)

17) Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

18) D.O.M. (São Paolo, Brazil)

19) Oud Sluis (Sluis, Netherlands)

20) Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

21) Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

22) Vendôme (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)

23) Chef Dominique (Helsinki, Finland)

24) Les Créations de Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

25) Mathias Dahlgren (Stockholm, Sweden)

26) Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York)

27) Quay Restaurant (Sydney, Australia)

28) Iggy’s (Singapore)

29) L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Paris, France)

30) Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

31) Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek, South Africa)

32) The French Laundry (Yountville, California)

33) Martin Berasategui (Lasarte-oria, Spain)

34) Aqua (Bath, England)

35) Combal Zero (Rivoli, Italy)

36) Dal Pescatore (Montava, Italy)

37) De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)

38) Tetsuya’s (Sydney, Australia)

39) Jaan Par Andre (Singapore)

40) Il Canto (Siena, Italy)

41) Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

42) Oaxen Krog (Oaxen, Sweden)

43) St. John (London, England)

44) La Maison Troisgros (Roanne, France)

45) wd~50 (New York)

46) Biko (Mexico City, Mexico)

47) Die Schwarzwaldstube (Baiersbronn, Germany)

48) Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)

49) Hibiscus (London, England)

50) Eleven Madison Park (New York)

Have you been to any of them? What restaurant do you think should be included on the list?

I haven’t been to any of them. Something to add to my to-do list, I guess! 😉

31-Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins

Are you an ice cream lover like me? If you are, then you might wanna venture over to Baskin Robbins tonight from 5 – 10 p.m. for 31-Cent Scoop Night!

Breakin’ Out the Grill

Good news! The rain has finally decided to let up and the lovely spring sun is shining in Orlando again.

Good weather = Grilling!

Meat Man

For the first time in 2010, we fired up the grill to make tonight’s dinner… and by “we” I mean Ryan. The grill intimidates me. 😉

Do you grill or leave the grilling duties up to someone else?

While Ryan tended to the grill, I prepped our sides and roasted fresh zucchini and cauliflower in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flippin’ the veggies halfway through.

Within 25 minutes we had a tasty dinner of BBQ grilled chicken breasts with roasted veggies. It felt like a summer meal!

BBQ Chicken + Roasted Veggies

My Plate

Dessert

Guess what little treat I picked up at the grocery store yesterday?

Cadbury Eggs

Hooray for Cadbury mini eggs!

Great dessert… Just great. 😀

Reader’s Recipe: Salmon Edition

Time for a new Reader’s Recipe! Hoooooray! 😀

The lovely Michelle of Life with a Crazy Pup submitted a yummy lemon rosemary salmon recipe when I first called for Reader’s Recipes.

Since I had some fresh rosemary leftover from Kelly‘s rosemary chicken and zucchini recipe, I figured I’d give her recipe a shot tonight!

I first took two frozen salmon filets out of the freezer to thaw while Ryan and I took Sadie on a 2.5 mile walk and hit up the grocery store to buy our food for the week.

Thawing Fish

When we returned home, the salmon was ready for cookin’.

I rubbed the salmon with a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper and minced rosemary before adding lemon slices, lemon juice and white wine (I nixed the capers that the recipe called for because I am not a fan).

Ryan minced the rosemary like a pro.

Ryan + Rosemary

Ready for Cookin'

Ready for Cookin'

After wrapping the fish up in foil packets, I baked it at 400 degrees for 15 minutes while also roasting veggies to enjoy with the salmon.

How easy is this recipe!? I really like uncomplicated recipes that call for minimal ingredients that I have on hand. They make me smile!

Lemon Rosemary Salmon

My Plate

This dinner turned out wonderfully and I owe a big thank you to Michelle!

Dessert

For dessert Ryan and I split a white chocolate Kit Kat bar that I sneakily stuck on the belt at the grocery store.

White Chocolate Kit Kat

This dessert got me thinkin’… How good would a chocolate and peanut butter Kit Kat be!? Get on that, Hershey… or Nestlé… or whoever it is that makes Kit Kats. 😉

Submit a Recipe

If you have a Reader’s Recipe you’d like to submit, feel free to comment on this post with a recommendation. I’ll be making another one next week!

Tonight’s Recipe

Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary

(Submitted by Michelle, Altered from Giadia De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian)

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine or white wine
  • 4 teaspoons capers
  • 4 pieces of aluminum foil

Directions

Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal.

Mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced rosemary.

Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil mixture.

Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers.

Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Check and make sure salmon is cooked all the way through.

Cooking Option: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

Farts Are Funny

Potty humor to come… But before I ruin your appetite, I gotta post about afternoon activities and mah dinner! 

Dog Fun 

After work today Ryan and I entertained Sadie by taking her to the dog park before swinging by PetSmart to pick up some chews for the pup. 

Hooray for Dog Park Fun!

Take One

Take Two

As always Sadie enjoyed playing multiple rounds of fetch. 

Air Sadie

"Throw the Baaall!"

When the sun started to set, we headed to PetSmart where Sadie modeled the latest in doggie fashion. 

Sadie the Fashionista

 By the time we got home we were hungry! I knew dinner needed to come together quickly to satisfy our rumblin’ tummies. 

Dinner 

My favorite way to enjoy vegetables is to roast them in the oven with a lil’ olive oil, salt and pepper or garlic salt. It seems like this tried and true way of preparing vegetables works on almost any veggie. 

Roasted Cauliflower + Zucchini

Tonight I roasted a whole bunch of cauliflower and zucchini to enjoy along with al fresco sundried tomato chicken sausage. 

The veggies and sausage were a great combination and the flavors really complimented each other. 

Sausage Veggie Bowl

Dinner

Fiber One Bars = Lots O’ Farts  

Following a discussion about Fiber One bars today, my friend send me a hysterical link to one person’s experience after eating Fiber One bars. 

Fiber One Granola Bars

 

Let’s just say things got a lil’ stinky: 

Step aside Kashi GoLEAN Crunch, and say hello to Fiber One Bars. Never, ever in my entire life, have a dropped as much ass as I do after eating these. I mean, check out the nutrition label, it speaks for itself! 

I’ve done some research and evidently it’s the chicory root that causes the gas. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that the human body is not designed to do what it does after eating these bars. 

When I think back on the top ten loudest and longest farts of my life, I can honestly say 10 of them happened all at once about 2 hours after eating a Fiber One bar. 

I conducted an unscientific test to see if others were affected like I was. One person told me they farted so loud that they woke them self up in the middle of the night. Another told me that her drug-free childbirth was much more comfortable than her brush with the Fiber One bar.” 

Toot, Toot!

 

I apologize to any of my more mature blog readers who do not find potty humor as hysterical as I do. 🙂