Mushroom Risotto with Peas

I am amazed by my bad timing instinct… I worked late today and decided this would be the night to make risotto for the first time.Not smart.
1.5 hours later, we sat down to dinner. I made Giada’s mushroom risotto with peas (Chris had bought dried porcini mushrooms by mistake one day and I figured this is the best use of it)…
It’s really delicious. I used fat-free chicken broth (you can definitely use veggie broth instead) and cut the grated cheese in half (just too much cheese). It’s great, but takes WAAAYYYYY too long to cook! My feet were killing me from standing over the stove and stirring for all that time, but it was really good. It made about 9 cups in total, 137 calories per cup.


  • 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth(I used fat-free)
  • 1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced I didn’t have garlic, so I used 1 shallot and some garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine (we used pinot grigio since we had it in the house)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional


Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Easiest Applesauce Ever

We had some yummy September apples from apple picking last weekend with Dad so I decided to search through my cook books for an interesting applesauce recipe that did not require butter. Last year I made the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Applesauce and it actually had a stick of butter in it! That said, it was delicious.
This year, as we plot our dropping pounds on Livestrong, I had to find a better alternative.

I made Shirley O. Corriher’s Easy Applesauce from her book, CookWise. Her explanations are so wonderful… you really understand how things cook, what happens, and why it’s best to cook it her way. It’s the fastest thing I’ve ever made. How can you go wrong with 4 ingredients? Apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
My only complaint is that I think the sugar can have been cut in half. Even Chris thinks it’s too sweet. But boy, is it easy. I’m definitely going to make it again, next time with half the sugar.

5 apples
1/2 cup light brown sugar (I think this can be cut in half)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Peel, core, and cut apples into wedges. Throw wedges into a microwave safe glass bowl. Really. Microwave! I couldn’t believe it. Nuke them on High (covered) for 10 minutes. They’ll froth and bubble.
Take out bowl (carefully!) and mash. I like to leave some big chunks too. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Eat. Ta daaaa! That’s it!

It was delicious. My photo is after it had been in the fridge for 2 days.