Category Archives: Italian


The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home, and Baking Obsession.

It’s been a long time since I have blogged, two months to be exact. I have a good reason though, my laptop died so while it’s being fixed I’m using another laptop. This laptop is not compatible with the memory card in my camera and my camera cord is all the way across the Atlantic. So…I have been making food, just not blogging about it. I thought I would share a couple of links to some of the recipes I’ve tried recently:

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Muffins

I made these absolutely amazing muffins from Joy the Baker. They were so delicious and fun to make. I’m not a big fan of raisins in baked goods, so I used chopped pecans instead. I definitely recommend these muffins for anyone who loves the cinnamon-sugar combo.

Spinach & Artichoke cups

A little snack that I made for Super Bowl. This was my first ever Super Bowl and I had a lot of fun watching it even though I don’t know the rules of American football. A couple of days before the Super Bowl I had been out to dinner with a friend who was visiting from Norway, and we had the hot spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer. These cups were just like that, only bite-size 🙂

Butternut Squash Ravioli

I have never made ravioli before, but when I saw a post by Iowa girl about homemade ravioli I was very intrigued. She used wonton-wrappers instead of making pasta, which makes the whole process less time-consuming. I was really happy with the result (I’ve made the recipe twice already), and I recommend these for anyone wanting a delicious dinner.

These were just a few of the recipes I’ve tried these last couple of months. I really like reading blogs and getting ideas about recipes to try, but I do feel a bit sad that I don’t use my cook books as much as I would like.

Well, back to the Daring Bakers. I skipped last month’s challenge because I was very busy around that time. I was equally busy with school work this week, so I ended up staying in the kitchen until midnight making all the different components to this tiramisu. Yes…we made EVERYTHING from scratch, including mascarpone and lady fingers. Making mascarpone was not fun, making lady fingers was a lot of fun. The pastry cream we made was really good, lump-free and easy to make (if I’m ever making pastry cream again, this is the recipe I will use). The finished tiramisu was really good and I’m happy that I challenged myself to make it, but I don’t think it would have been much different had I used ready-made mascarpone and lady fingers. The portion was quite big, enough tiramisu to serve at a party. Luckily for me and my waist line, Brittany’s family was in town for the weekend and came over for some yummy desert. I still have some in the freezer that I’m planning on serving to my mom when she comes to visit this weekend. The last piece of tiramisu is now in the fridge, waiting for my mom to come over after dinner 🙂

Enough for now, I’ll get back to posting more frequently soon. Thanks for stopping by!


Asparagus, Mushroom and Chicken Risotto

I just love risottos, they’re so easy to make and always turn out great. I made risotto for the first time about a year ago and was really surprised that something so simple could be so good. I’ve tried many different flavour combinations since then, but I always start out with the same basic recipe. I think you could use whatever kind of meat and vegetables you like, and you would still end up with something really good. Although I’m not sure how well it would work with fish, I want to try but it just sounds a little fishy to me (ha-ha). I would like to try making a risotto with shellfish some time, maybe scallops or shrimp.

So, what is new in New York? Well, today Brittany and I went to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, which is just two blocks down from our apartment. I got an amazing wool jacket from World War 2, used by the US Marine Corps from 1941-1942. I have a feeling it might end up being the kind of jacket that I buy and never wear, but it is really cool and it reminds me of the uniforms they wore in the HBO show “Band of Brothers”. On the way to the flea market we saw the funniest cat relaxing in the window of our local hydroponic plant shop, just take a look at the picture below. I know this has got nothing to do with risotto or food for that matter, but I thought you might like it.

Back to the food. The basic recipe for a plain risotto can be found on most packs of Arborio rice, you can also use some other types of rice but I have always used this type.

Recipe (serves 3)

1 cup (250 ml) uncooked rice

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 chopped onion

2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock

½ cup dry white wine

1 chicken breast or thigh

6 spears of asparagus

A good handful of mushrooms (I used chanterelles)

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other similar type of cheese


  1. Sauté onion in oil and butter over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add rice, stirring for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and stir until all the wine is absorbed by the rice.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of the stock and continue cooking on a medium heat. Keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.
  5. In the mean time, sauté the mushrooms and asparagus and cook the chicken. (I oven-roasted a chicken leg, I usually think that makes juicier chicken than frying a chicken breast)
  6. Continue adding the stock, about half a cup at a time, and cook until the rice is al dente.
  7. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese, the vegetables and chicken and season to taste. Let the risotto rest under a lid for about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve with a simple salad and enjoy.

Source: Myself and the back of some box of rice.