Wednesday, January 23, 2013

4 Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 7

We are nearing the end of January -- where has the time gone?  Since December is the month of giving, January always seems like a bit of a let down, but for someone like me who craves alone time (sitting in front of the TV or with a good book, of course), January is one of my favorite months...

The world moves a little more slowly in January (at least for the first couple of weeks of the month), so I really feel like I have time to think and reflect on the past and the future.  So for the Four Faves this month, I started thinking about some stuff that friends told me about, gifted me, etc.
  1. Cucina Coriander and Olive Tree Kitchen Soap -- Lynn McBee gave me this as a gift many years ago and I have never stopped buying it.  The scent is heavenly and you can buy it at Sur la Table or on amazon
  2. Tervis Tumblers -- Yes, I know that everyone has these insulated modern miracles, but my friend and co-worker Ann McCurdy gave me one with my name on it for the office and I drink out of it every single day -- I can't live without iced tea in a Tervis Tumbler.  Neither can Ann!
  3. May Books -- I have an iPhone, and iPad, and write this blog on a computer or one of the aforementioned devices, but I still like to take notes or make lists with a pen and paper.  That is why when Emily Loper found these darling books, many of us ordered them and started writing!  The one pictured above is my 2013 thought book -- for Community Partners of Dallas stuff, quotes, lists of events, places to visit, etc.  This 2013 one has the checker-board pages, but I think I prefer the dot pages I had for my 2012 book.  No matter what, they are great!  Design your own at:
  4. Ina Garten's Oven Risotto -- this is one of my go-to recipes given to me by my friend Ina (like Oprah and Maya Angelou, Ina is my friend -- if only in my mind).  I make a half making about every two weeks and have it for dinner for about 3 nights.  I always keep the stuff to make it, so it can be my dinner pronto.  Here's the recipe:
Ina Garten's Easy Parmesan "Risotto"

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided (I use store-bought)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I do really grate the reggiano myself on my box grater)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.


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