Sunday, February 27, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

Oh my.  This has to be one of the best risottos I have ever had.  I have made risotto before but this recipe was a little different, it was actually a little easier.  It also made a lot!

1 head cauliflower, florets cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups short-grain Italian rice (I used arborio)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the upper rack, 5 minutes. Add the almonds and roast until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 more minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. 

Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and bring to a boil. Transfer the pot to the lower oven rack and bake until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven and add the butter, fontina, and parsley, stirring vigorously until the risotto is creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Divide among bowls and top with the roasted cauliflower and almonds. 


I had this guy staring at me while I ate, waiting for something to fall his way...

Friday, February 25, 2011

A little too ambitious

I have been off work all week for Winter Break and it has been amazing.  I have slept in past 5 am, worked out every day, met friends for lunch, and worked on things around my house.  I was feeling a bit ambitious today so I went here with my mom to look around. They have the most amazing fabric but it is much more than Hobby Lobby or JoAnn with a coupon and my teacher discount.  I found the pattern to make this quilt and fell in love with it!  The name of the quilt is eeeek! and eeek it was for $24, I couldn't resist.

While I was in the store I was all excited to get working on this tedious Halloween quilt in hopes to finish it by Halloween 2011.  Once I opened the pattern in the car I realized that it may be closer to 2012...I don't get much accomplished when I get home from teaching during the week.  I am thinking about making two at the same time because I have a feeling I will never want to make one again!  

(Sorry for the Halloween post in February, I like to plan ahead...)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holiday withdrawal....

I took down my Valentine's decorations earlier this week and the house looked empty and sad.  My husband asked me what holiday was going up next and I didn't have one!  Last year I put up a few things for St. Patrick's Day but I looked at them this year and realized they were not so I'm not Irish and clover green is not really my color.  So....I went with a neutral bird theme until it is officially Spring! I already have some really cute Easter ideas for my mantle.

My front entry table normally has frames on it for each season and holiday so this was the first time I had to think of a way to decorate it.  I love birds and wanted to spell out "home" but then thought I would go the Pottery Barn route and I went with "nest."  I really like how it turned out.

The two twirly looking things on the sides were 70% off at JoAnns so I snagged those up and knew I would use them in lots of different places.

My mantle was a bit of a puzzle this time.  I usually fill it up with holiday decorations galore but I tried to keep it very simple this time.  I of course went to Target and easily found multiple things to buy.  

I LOVE the wreath I found, it has a great texture and neutral color.  

It reminds me of shaved pieces of tree bark.

I have had these two bird things for a while now but was always looking for something to fill them with. I found these miscellaneous items at Target and went with two boxes of brown/white and one green. 

Don't even ask how long it took me to get these full and not spilling out when I flipped it over.  Good thing I was alone....

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I can't deny a dessert with fruit in it.  I have a good friend that I teach with who makes the BEST sugar cookies ever.  I started using the sugar cookie mix that she uses once she told me about it, the secret ingredient for her cookies is in the frosting....
The other day I came across this recipe that was so simple and it used the cookie mix!  I made it a few weeks ago and then made it again last night for some boys coming over to watch a dunking competition (not my cup of tea, I ate my dessert and read an US Weekly).

This is the cookie mix

Triple Berry Cookie Crumble

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup sugar (I used a lot less the second time because it was really sweet)
2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup cookie mix and 1/2 cup sugar. In large bowl, toss together strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Sprinkle with cookie mix-sugar mixture. Toss gently until berries are well coated. Place fruit mixture in baking dish.
3. In medium bowl, mix together remaining cookie mix and cinnamon. Using pastry blender or fork, cut butter into cookie mix until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evening over fruit.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubble.  Serve warm or room temperature.  

It's so good that you may end up sitting at your computer eating a bowl full.  Guilty me...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cards and Candy

I love going to the store to pick out cards for people.  I tend to buy birthday cards weeks, okay fine months ahead of time and then have a stash of cards for different occasions.  As much as I love standing in Super Target picking out the perfect card for that person I have started making all of my cards for gifts.  I love that I can pick out the colors for the person and match it to their personality.  These are just a few of the cards I have made lately.  I am hoping to find some time to make more cards that are more generic that people could keep and use for many occasions.

 Rebecca's card for her baby shower

Valentine for my Dad

Valentine for my husband

Kristen's birthday card

I always try to make little gifts for the teachers I work with for each holiday.  This year I made little gift tags and chocolate covered pretzels for Valentine's Day.  I stamped one side of the tag and sewed the heart on another tag and then glued them together (I used two because I didn't want the thread to show on the other side).  

I must stop baking so that I will stop eating.  This week I made over 300 chocolate covered pretzels, six dozen oreo truffles, red velvet whoopee/whoopie (no idea which way is correct) pies, and an apple crisp.

The bags were very pink and festive!  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I loved making Valentines this year, I think I may have spent a little too long making them for my second graders....21 is a lot!

This year I made my husband this:
I love what you can create from a little fabric, some paper, and stamps!

I have some really cute plans for more of these that are not Valentine's related.  I am hoping to get some made to sell once I find some time!

Yesterday was our class party at school- lots of candy and treats all day long.  I have a tree in my classroom that we decorate for each month.  This month they wrote things they love on their hearts.

I have a little thing for owls and birds so of course my valentines coordinated this year for my students.  

They had cute little sayings on the back like "Whoo Loves You?" and "You're a tweet heart!"

I hope everyone had a wonderful day.  I came home to a sweet card from my dad, roses from my father in law, and a VERY clean house from my husband. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Sunday.

I hope everyone has a great day!  I am starting my day with round two of trying to make a vanilla latte at home.  Luckily today was a success.

And playing with Poncho and his new Valentines gift.

I am off to bathing suit shop and make truffles, lovely combination....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's all about the pink.

I really love Valentine's Day.  My husband and I don't do anything major (although I do have a little something planned for him this year...) but I think it is such a sweet day and I love decorating with the colors.  I also love it being a 2nd grade teacher because the kids are always so sweet and excited to exchange valentines.  Today we decorated boxes in class and they had a blast.  My house has been decorated since February 1st but it has taken me a little too long to get these pictures up.  I apologize for the bad photography, I always use my iphone and need to pull out my big Sony camera.

Andy sent me this picture while I was at school the other day, made my day.  Poncho obviously loves the V-Day pillows.

I loved making this project!  So easy and fast- I love anything with embroidery and felt.

Found this on another blog- I loved hand sewing the "notebook paper" but decided to stamp the words instead of sewing them.

Love these towels- got them at Home Goods and my room mom monogrammed the adorable "H"

Very PINK mantle, sorry for the awful lighting! I made the heart banner last year out of felt, of course!

My pink owl was my splurge for this months mantle.  I ordered it here and was so please with her work.

I have such a sweet husband that lets me cover our house in all things pink.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I love handmade gifts.  I tried to make as many as possible this past Christmas and already have ideas for next year! I wore this beautiful necklace to work yesterday for the first time.  One of my students moms made it for me for Christmas and I was so excited to wear it this week.  I wish there were more art/craft shows in my area to go to.  I love seeing different peoples talents.