I fell in love again… with this risotto. It’s been a while since I’ve made a risotto; not the right season, too much stirring, but this one was just right. Creamy and bright and hearty all at the same time. Exactly what we needed as winter hit Seattle. I’ll be bringing this one around for a dinner party soon. It’s sure to be a family favorite.

sausage spinach tomato risotto

Sausage Tomato & Spinach Risotto
via martha stewart

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Ah! I received a message today “I can’t believe it’s already December!” I definitely knew it was coming, but just didn’t expect it to be here so soon. And so it has begun! And the first list: kitchen wishes. A few great ideas for the chef in your life!

non-stick baking mat
A non-stick baking mat! If I baked more, I’d have 10 already.

foldable grater
A foldable grater! Genius. I have at least 3 that are either too difficult to hold or too big for the drawer. This one is perfect.

cutting board colander
I think this sink gripping cutting board & strainer combo would help me make a little bit less of a mess in the kitchen (and I think my dear husband would be grateful!)

reusable food saver
These awesome reusable food savers! How many times do you use just half an onion?

magnetic stickers
Although these magnetic stickers are shown in the bathroom, I’m pretty sure I could find a use for them in every room.

So many fun little goodies! Still dreaming of that bigger kitchen…

This meal is SO quick, especially with a little prep the night before. We cooked the rice the evening prior, and mixed it up while the chicken was cooking and voila! A 15 min dinner. We did only marinate the chicken for the minimum 10 minutes, and it was absolutely delicious, but next time I’m going to try marinating it overnight to see if we get a little more kick of out of the jalapeños (and we will definitely be making this again soon!).

honey jalapeno chicken avocado cilantro lime rice
Honey Jalapeño Chicken
via bookpage

¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds chicken tenders
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream for serving

Preheat the grill and oil the grill rack.Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, oil, garlic, jalapeños, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken in the marinade and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Grill the chicken until well browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the chicken sprinkled with the cilantro and with a dollop of sour cream on the plate.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice
via cooking classy

4 – 5 cups cooked brown (preferably day old)
2 medium, ripe avocados
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mash avocados in a large mixing bowl. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, cumin and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in warm cooked rice and serve warm.

Well, that hiatus ended up being a bit longer than expected, but I did forget to mention that summer can last well into early October here in Seattle. I’ve also been working too much, but here are a couple of recipes we tried recently and really loved! I’m just starting to get back in the swing of cooking again, it’s been a long, wonderful, busy, crazy summer.

The second the weather starts to turn, I’m ready for soup season! This one is hearty and delicious, but still bright enough to feel good on a warmish day.

lemon-chicken-soup

Lemony Chicken & Spring Vegetable Soup
View the full recipe here via The Cozy Apron.

Also this fabulous potato salad, which was so packed with flavor and so filling, we ate it as a meal all on it’s own.

potato salad with sausage and fennel

Potato Salad with Italian Sausage and Fennel
View the full recipe here via Cook the Story.

Hope you enjoy these! More recipes and fun stuff to come soon!
I hope your summer has been fabulous too! xoxo.

I’m assuming you all know how I feel about quick and easy meals at this point –  they’re my favorite! Long work hours can sometimes put a damper on my desire to cook when I get home, but it’s meals like this that not only get us through the week, but wow us a little! Besides the time to cook the rice, this took mere minutes and is slightly spicy, super flavorful, and perfectly protein-packed. The original recipe said it makes 3-4 servings, but the husband and I definitely put it down in one sitting that night! I think we might 1 1/2x the recipe next time, so we have a little bit of leftovers for lunch. I can see mixing this up with different veggies, like broccolini too. Yum! It would also be easy to make this paleo friendly. throwing it over some cauliflower rice and substituting a couple things in the sauce too.

spicy green beans

Spicy Green Bean & Turkey Ricebowl
via the weary chef

1 c. medium grain rice, uncooked
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. crushed ginger
1 lb. washed and trimmed green beans (or Chinese long beans if available)
1 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
1 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

Cook the rice as directed.
When rice is about 15 minutes from done, heat large skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté green onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Stir in ground turkey and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked. Crumble meat as much as possible.
Stir in chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Add green beans and soy sauce, and stir to coat. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender. Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.