Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Sides: Pumpkin Risotto

It's finally that time of year where we all stuff our faces and enjoy spending time with our families (okay, sometimes family can be a bit much - but it's Thanksgiving)! To prepare for Thanksgiving, myself along with some fellow bloggers have prepared our favorite side dishes for the Food Network blog, FN Dish. 

There are so many sides that I love to devour - green bean casserole (classic favorite), sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, 1,000 crescent rolls, and then some.  However, there is one dish that I started making a couple of years ago that has now become a staple side at our Thanksgiving table - Pumpkin Risotto!

Don't be afraid, risotto is not difficult to make, but it sounds fancy! So if you love risotto and if you love pumpkin, give this recipe a go and you will love pumpkin risotto!

Pumpkin Risotto
Ingredients (Yields about 4-6 servings):
-1 cup pureed pumpkin
-3 cups chicken stock
-3 tablespoons butter
-1 cup chopped onion (or leeks can be used)
-1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
-1 cup dry white wine
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Parsley for sprinkling
-Nutmeg for sprinkling 

In a saucepan, combine the pumpkin and chicken stock and bring to a simmer over low heat. 

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir in the onion. Season with a little salt and pepper.  Saute the onions for a couple of minutes and then add the rice.  Stir the rice until it is coated in the melted butter and onions. Add the wine and cook over medium heat until the wine is completely reduced. Once the wine has reduced, pour in a 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and pumpkin mixture and simmer until reduced.  Repeat this step - adding a 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture at a time to the rice until is reduces - until all of the pumpkin and chicken broth mixture is gone.  This whole process will take about 20 minutes. 

Once all of the pumpkin and chicken broth mixture is gone, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and serve with a sprinkle of parsley and nutmeg. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chicago, IL to Portsmouth, NH

This past month has been a whirlwind to say the least! I don't think I have ever watched three weeks fly by as fast as these past three have.

I'll recap..

First, my husband had a work conference in Chicago, so I tagged along!

It was our first time in Chicago and it was so much fun! We ate at so many wonderful restaurants (Boarding House, Purple Pig, and Geja's Cafe to name a few) and went to The Second City theatre (hilarious and so fascinating to see the many comedians that started off at that theatre)!

Upon returning from Chicago (as in the day we flew back to Boston), my husband and I had an appointment to look at a property in Portsmouth, NH.  We have been looking for a home/condo for about a year now, but have not had much luck. However, within three hours after viewing the property, we put in an offer, and 24 hours later we had ourselves a deal! The one crazy part... we promised we would close in under 21 days! Long story short, after A LOT of emails, phone calls, and paperwork, we closed on our home in 15 days! Yay!

Now that we are finally settling in, we are so excited to enjoy all that Portsmouth has to offer.  It is such a lovely place with so many restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops.  It is also where my husband and I were married two years ago.  Oh, yes, we moved on our anniversary! At least we got to enjoy a wonderful dinner at Ristorante Massimo.

In case any of you are ever in town or live nearby, here are just a few restaurants you should check out, in addition to Ristorante Massimo:
Bridge St. Bistrot and Wine Bar
Lexie's Joint
Cafe Kilim
Book and Bar

There are sooooooo many more, but those places are definitely at the top of my list!

Oh, we adopted a cat too!

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