Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn Risotto with Chicken and Cranberries

The air is beginning to get a little bit cooler here in Japan……less humid.  I can’t wait to take the girlies down to the Tama River and get another great photo like this one…..

Or this one....

What is wrong with my family?

This weekend though, we have a swim meet (GO STINGRAYS!) and another typhoon headed straight towards us.  So, no autumn walks along the river for us.  I think I am just going to have to hunker down and bake….or cook…..or bake.

This recipe is simply perfect for fall.  Savory with a hint of sweet… and creamy with a nutty crunch. 

Autumn Risotto with Chicken and Cranberries
(via my friend Anna and Pampered Chef)

For this recipe you may very well need a Pampered Chef Deep Covered baker.  You can order one HERE.  It is made entirely within the Baker in the microwave.  I suppose you could finagle a way to do it in the oven, but why?  Just get one!  You will love it, I promise!

1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups hot water
1 med. Onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ¾ cups chicken stock
¾ cups dry white wine
½ tsp each salt and pepper
½ cup blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey breasts (I use a pre-cooked deli chicken)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Combine cranberries and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.  Coarsely chop onion and combine with rice and oil in the Deep Covered Baker.  Microwave uncovered on HIGH for 2 to 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave covered, on HIGH for 13 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Meanwhile, toast almonds in a pan, stirring frequently until golden brown.  Slice celery into small crescents.  Cut cream cheese into cubes.  Drain cranberries in a strainer.  Carefully remove baker from microwave and add chicken and celery; stir.  Microwave covered on high for 3 to 8 minutes or until rice is and risotto appears creamy.

Carefully remove baker from microwave.  Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated.  Fold in cranberries.  Garnish with parsley if desired.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How'd I Do That????

So I was riding in the van with the hubs and I saw a VERY cool cloud.  And sometimes you see people take super awesome cloud pics, right?  So, while we were moving I attempted the shot, right through the window.  This is what I got…..

A Wizard of Oz type shot with the cloud, the side of the road, and the reflection of a building, a car driving by, and the clouds, on the OTHER side of the street.

I know.  I am pretty awesome.

Except then we went to the bowling alley and I bowled a 69.
How does a person even do that?