And by that, I mean not only that you get the recipe which I teased you with last week, but that some recipes require you to wait for a splendid result. Before we start the waiting, I need to quickly tell you about another treat receipt offer from Starbucks. From now through the 23rd at participating stores, you can bring in your morning receipt and receive a free grande refresher or shaken iced tea.
Okay, back to the food. 😀 Let’s start with the teaser recipe from last week. This recipe is the shortest of the ones I’ll share tonight, though it actually requires the most hands on work. Most of the “work” is just stirring, so it’s not really a hard recipe. For me, the hardest part was finding the arborio rice that’s most common for risotto. Supposedly you can do this with any medium-grain white rice, but I was lucky enough to find arborio at Trader Joe’s. (I’ve only been there once, but I can see why some people are obsessed with it.) The original recipe tells you to roast some asparagus and serve the risotto on top of it. I did serve this with asparagus, but that was mostly just coincidental, and I served the asparagus on the side. For me this was a main course, but for the hubby I served it alongside a sauteed pork chop. Both of us thought that it was very creamy (even though there’s no cream in it) and delicious.
Walnut Risotto (from Epicurious.com)
5-5 1/2 c. veggie broth (I used chicken broth, and it tasted fine.)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 1/4 c. arborio rice
1/4 c. finely chopped toasted walnuts (Since the walnut is the star, do not skimp on toasting them. It really amps up the flavor.)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Once it does, cover it and remove from the heat. In another medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute til light golden, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir til it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Continue adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, til the rice is tender and creamy, stirring frequently and allowing most of the broth to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes.
2. Once the rice is tender, mix in the walnuts and Parmesan. Season to taste and serve immediately.
The next recipe that I have requires you to wait over an hour for it to cook, but it is incredibly worth it. I think I may have mentioned a few times before that I am a huge fan of pound cake. This one is a great example of a classic pound cake, and I enjoyed every crumb of it. The cream cheese gives it a little bit of tang that went really nicely with the strawberry sauce I made. I also finally tried frying a slice of pound cake in butter (like French toast), and it was fantastic. Basically, this pound cake is good no matter what you do to it or serve with it. I strongly suggest that you make it soon. (By the way, if you think it looks a little short, you’d be right. I only made a half batch; a regular loaf would have twice as much goodness to love.)
Cream Cheese Pound Cake (from Martha Stewart)
1 1/2 c. softened butter
8 oz. softened cream cheese
3 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 10 inch tube pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese on medium speed til the mix is smooth. Add the sugar and increase the speed to high; beat til the mixture is light and airy, 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla, then the flour and salt. Beat just til incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake til golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 75 minutes.
4. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
Now this recipe takes a while because it’s a slow-cooker recipe. The put-together is super quick and easy, and the flavor is great (though I wouldn’t mind even more ranch flavor). What are you waiting for? Start making it!
Slow-Cooker Bacon-Ranch Chicken and Pasta (from Betty Crocker)
1 lb. chicken breasts
6 slices cooked, diced bacon
2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 1 oz. pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 10 3/4 o. can condensed cream of chicken soup1 c. sour cream (I’ve seen some people talk about replacing part of all of the sour cream with ranch dressing. I’ll try it next time.)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. water
8 oz. spaghetti
1. Grease the slow-cooker and place the chicken in the bottom. In a medium bowl, mix together all the other ingredients except for the spaghetti noodles. Pour the mix over the chicken.
2. Cover the slow-cooker and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3-4 hours). When only 15 minutes are left, cook and drain the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
3. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and toss together the sauce, chicken, and pasta.
And now I’ve saved the best for last. This next recipe takes just 3 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. It takes just minutes to put together. But then you have to let it set up overnight! Let me tell you, this one will test your self-control. I have it on good authority that they taste amazing cold, but our room-temp ones also disappeared super fast.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars (from this pin)
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. honey
3 c. old-fashioned oats (These were somewhat al dente. I’m interested to see what would happen if I used quick-cook oats.)
1. In a medium saucepan, melt together the peanut butter and honey. Stir in the oats.
2. Press the mixture into a 9 in. square pan, cover, and let harden overnight. (Ours didn’t set up as much as I expected, but I think that was due to the stormy weather we had at the time.)
Well, your patience has been rewarded with some amazing recipes, and as a bonus I decided to throw in some pictures that I captured a few days ago from my balcony. Another little birdie decided to pay me a visit, and I managed to snap several shots before he flew off.
What little moment surprised you this week?