Monday, November 23, 2009

{cooking} risotto

i'm not sure where my love for risotto came from. my mother, although the most tremendous cook, never cooked risotto. italian food is lost on her. pasta. risotto. parmesan. oh it's terrible just thinking about it!!! don't you think she is missing out on some of life's greatest enjoyments????

oh but risotto: i could write an ode to it. and not only can it make me swoon, but it is also my last-resort meal. the one thing i can cook when there is nothing to eat in the fridge. infact, risotto is the ultimate meal. it can be as simple or as elegant or as fancy as you like.

so, here is my risotto recipe. it's evolved over a few years... many thanks go to ursula ferrigno, curtis stone & jamie oliver for their little hints along the way.

image :: david loftus

 ...the ingredients
1 onion, diced very finely
2 cloves garlic, through a garlic press
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup aborio rice
a few cups boiling water
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbs chicken stock powder
multitudes & multitudes of freshly chopped herbs, salt, cracked pepper, parmesaan cheese.

the method...
fry onion and garlic with the butter and oil in a heavy based fry pan. cook until onion is transparent. add in the rice and stir for a minute or so, until rice goes a bit transparent. then add the wine, which will make a lovely bubbly broth for a few seconds until a lot of it evaporates. add in the stock powder here, and add half a cup of boiling water.
stir the risotto once, then let it sit for a few minutes until the water is all taken up. then add another half a cup of water. keep letting it all soak up, then add more... and so on until the rice is cooked until just a little bit crunchy.
here, add lots of freshly chopped herbs, freshly cracked salt and (lots of) pepper, and lots and lots of cheese. if you want to go really over the top, add a little knob of butter (or a tablespoon of cream) and just let the whole thing sit for a minute or two.

serve with an extra crack of pepper, a shredding of cheese, a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

and my latest variation-on-a-theme? pan fry some swiss brown mushrooms with plenty of butter, lemon thyme & pepper; and heap on top of the risotto. oh bliss!

what's your last-resort meal?? blog this wanted to know :: go on, you know you want to join in!

and, more importantly, what's in your perfect risotto dish??

Saturday, November 21, 2009

a stork tea

today i was reminded of how "aussie" i am. a beautiful friend of mine is French-South African (her name is talitha, how elegant is that!). it was her baby shower today. or i should say, it was her stork tea today! i was a bit perplexed for a second when i received the invite, but i think the name is just so lovely! i am here-by voting OUT the term baby shower and IN stork tea.
(side note, i am also voting OUT those terribly embarrassing games that everyone seems to play at baby showers. there are no games at stork teas, and that's a rule!)

oh i do love a little party, and especially one where you get to bring presents! so out came the sewing machine, and as they say... the rest is history!
  my creative space...

this little reversible pinny (with ribbons on the back) and frilly bloomers -
both patterns & material from funky fabrix

more bloomers :: oh so little & cute!

all boxed up and ready to go...

what's come out of your creative space recently??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

{dreaming of} my dream house...

i need little encouragement to think about my dream house... my dad is a draftsman and i've been brought up around house plans! oh the dreams i have... one day hubs and i will live in our beautiful house, designed by us (don't we all have that desire?? will it happen?? i hope so!)

this is one house that caught my eye recently. located on stradbroke island, it's made by a team in Brisbane called happy haus. it's a series of small buildings (modules), connected by spaces and walkways. there's a living module, a sleeping module, and you just add what you need!

i love the idea of a not-so-big house. i read the book a while back and it just makes sense. space that is practical and beautiful. but only as big as you need. less cleaning, yes! but more together time with your family. you're near eachother, not at separate ends of a too-big house...

this little house is just that. unassuming. a small eco-footprint is important to me, and this ticks the boxes. a space that makes the beautiful landscape around it's focus. i want a house that will let me live openly with the outside. oh! i could go on an on...

you can see more amazing pics here ...

and i just love that it arrives on the back of a truck and gets winched into place!

all images :: happy haus website

this was part of the Blog This Challenge 23. Go on, you know you want to join in!
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