The Holiday Season is a season of celebration. Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving in October and are already gearing up for the holidays at the end of December and early January. The United States will also be celebrating its Thanksgiving holiday later this month. No matter what your religion or nationality, this is a busy time of year.
In the spirit of celebration and thankfulness I decided to post the top ten things that fill my life with happiness. These are not just my favourite things; they are the reasons that I smile and the driving force behind what I do every day.
10 things that make me happy:
- My 3 beautiful daughters who have grown into wonderful women. They are all building wonderful careers and lives which make me so proud of the people that they have become.
- My 2 lovely grandchildren who look at me with a childlike wonder in their eyes that reminds me of the innocence of youth.
- The special man in my life who takes care of me, supports me and believes in me, no matter how big my dreams become.
- My passion for photography which has grown with each passing year.
- Writing a food blog which has taught me about discipline and about food, cooking and cultures.
- Enjoying great food in the company of close friends and family.
- Being active and eating healthy.
- Spending time learning. I hope I never stop learning and searching for information.
- Traveling to new places that broaden my perspective on the world.
- Nature-I love to go for walks, long hikes and bike rides where I can enjoy parks, forests, lakes and oceans.
I would also like to celebrate that my new website went live this week. www.peggymcgillphotography.com
The following recipe is an interesting version of classic risotto. Since apples are so abundant at this time of year I thought it would be a nice change from the more traditional version.
Green Apple Risotto
Makes 4 servings
5 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8 inch slices
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer and place on a back burner over low heat.
In a 4 to 6 quart pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil until melted together. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and rice and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the rice has a pearly opaque appearance. Add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated.
Add enough warm chicken stock to cover the rice and cook until the level of liquid goes below the top of the rice. Continue cooking, adding stock and stirring constantly, until most of the stock is gone, 15 to 18 minutes. The rice should be tender but still retain an al dente bite.
Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the grated cheese and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese on the side.
Recipe from Simple Italian Food by Mario Batali