Archives for the month of: January, 2016

Here’s an awesome way to use leftover risotto! Arancini di Riso. Which is a way to say fried risotto balls in Italian and make it sound way prettier than “fried risotto balls.” ūüôā

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!.jpg


  • 2 c. cooled risotto (I used this recipe, but didn’t add any cheese – YET!)
  • 2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 oz. fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil for frying (I used a mixture of vegetable and canola)
  • optional: marinara sauce for dipping


In a mixing bowl, stir together cooled risotto, garlic, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and 1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs. Using your hands, roll the mixture into round balls (1 to 2 inches in diameter).

Gently push a cube (or two!) of fontina cheese in the center of each ball then seal it all around. Roll each ball in the remaining Panko and place on a baking sheet. Once all the panko is rolled, place baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.

After removing from the freezer, heat 1 or so inches of oil in a large pot, until it’s 325-350¬įF.

Add about 3-4 risotto balls to the oil at one time, frying until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel covered plate to remove excess grease. Repeat until all have been fried.

While still hot, grate some parmesan cheese on top, and serve. Optional: Use marinara for a dipping sauce.

recipe adapted from

Arancini di Riso Recipe - Cheesy Risotto Balls - easy way to use leftover risotto!

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

Here’s a recipe I tried over the weekend: Street Enchiladas. This quick form of enchiladas is made street-style: cooked on a grill or stovetop without any baking.

Street Enchiladas Recipe = no baking just made on the stovetop or grill.jpg


  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil + more for frying
  • 28 oz. red enchilada sauce – canned or homemade
  • 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 6-inch corn tortillas (10-15 tortillas)
  • 3 c. shredded cooked chicken (I put 1 lb. of boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker ahead of time, and cooked them for a few hours in a little chicken broth)
  • 4 oz. crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 c. snipped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 c. diced onion


Make the sauce:
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over med-high heat. Stir in enchilada sauce, broth, and honey. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Prepare the shells:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add just enough oil to lightly coat the skillet bottom. When oil is hot, use tongs to dip each tortilla into sauce, then cook in hot oil for 15-20 seconds, and remove.

After taking each shell out of the oil, place on a paper towel covered plate. Sprinkle on some shredded chicken and queso fresco, fold in half, and set aside. Once all tortillas are filled, place them back in the skillet (remove any leftover oil beforehand) and top with cilantro, onions, and additional sauce.

recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Mexican Special Interest Publications

Street Enchiladas Recipe = no baking just make on the stovetop or grill

French Onion Soup Recipe

Cold weather makes me crave soup, soup, and more soup! Here’s a French Onion Soup Recipe, which I love because you can freeze some for later and use it in¬†your next batch for an even richer soup.

Also, since I am a make-ahead junkie, I love that you can cook this up to two days beforehand, and refrigerate it until you are ready to broil it in the oven topped with sliced baguettes and delicious cheeses.

The basic steps are pretty easy too: saute some onions, make the broth, then portion into cute little soup crocks, and broil to melt the cheese for a minute until it’s bubbly and starts to brown.

French Onion Soup Recipe - YUM


For the soup:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thinly
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 6 c. beef stock
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

For the topping:

  • 1/2 French baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


– Melt butter in large pot over med-heat
– Add onions with a pinch of salt, and stir to coat with melted butter
– Sprinkle cayenne pepper and black pepper on top and stir every few minutes, for approximately 20 minutes, until the onions become soft and brown

– Bring mixture to a boil over high heat
– Add wine
– Cook, stirring to release browned pieces
– Reduce heat to medium and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, until the wine has reduced slightly

– Pour beef stock into onions and stir
– Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low
– Let simmer for at least 1 hour (longer simmering will lead to more flavor)
– If liquid reduces too much add more stock or water until it has a soup-like consistency again

– Just prior to serving, place oven rack near the top and set broiler to high
– Ladle soup into 4 soup cups (save any leftover for next time – you can freeze the unused soup and add it to your next batch to make it more flavorful)
Place a baguette slice on top of each, covering with soup
– Lay a slice of provolone on top of the bread, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano
– Place cups on a baking sheet and set under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese becomes bubbly and brown (be careful so it doesn’t burn) and serve

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings

Make-Ahead Option: Complete STEPS 1-3. Refrigerate for up to two days until ready to complete STEP 4.

French Onion Soup Recipe

Season With Sage Cookbook - French Onion Soup Recipe - Page 89

recipe adapted from Season With Sage (2011)



Here’s a delicious risotto recipe I tried. It is creamy and delicious, with three cheeses: fontina, mozzarella, and parmesan; and a touch of white wine.


Three Cheese Risotto Recipe


3 c. chicken broth
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 c. Arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded fontina cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste


In a saucepan, heat broth over medium heat. Lower heat a little while you prepare the rice in a large pan. (I used the back burner for the broth and the front burner for the rice so it was easy to ladle in the broth.)

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Stir in onions and cook until they are translucent, approximately 5 minutes or so.

Stir in rice just until it is coated in the butter. Do not brown.

Pour in wine and cook until wine absorbs.

Pour in one ladle of hot chicken broth.

Stir consistently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, one ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed by the rice.

Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until they melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand a few minutes. Serve.

recipe adapted from


P.S. Here’s a show and tell of my new ladle, which was perfect for adding in the broth as I went: Nessie!!!


Have leftovers? Use them in some cheesy fried risotto goodness!

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!


I tried¬†a pasta and cream sauce recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and added a few goodies: red wine, red pepper flakes, and oregano. It was easy and delicious! Here’s how it turned out:

Pasta with Red Wine Cream Sauce - so delicious - ditch the jars of boring spaghetti sauce! This recipe is THE one to use.


  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle of dried oregano
  • dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 lb. dry pasta


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain, reserving 1 c. of pasta water, and set both aside.

In the empty pan used to cook the pasta, heat butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.

Pour in tomatoes, red wine, and add sugar and spices.

Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings, adjusting if needed.

Stir in pasta, thin with some of the pasta water (if needed). Add chopped basil and serve.

Crock Pot Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe - easy and delicious slow cooker meal

Slow-Cooker Cheesy Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. of your favorite shredded cheese (Monterey jack, colby, cheddar, etc.)
  • 2 jars (approx. 16 oz. each) salsa
  • 1 package corn tortillas, warmed according to instructions on pkg.
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken), browned and drained
  • optional toppings: sliced olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, etc.

In a medium bowl, mix together the filling: onion, beans, spices, meat, and approx. 1/2 to 1 c. of the cheese.

Spread approximately 1 c. of salsa over the bottom of slow cooker, enough to evenly coat the bottom with a thin layer.

Fill each of the tortillas with about 1/3 c. of filling, roll tightly, and pack seam-side down into the bottom of the slow cooker.

Spread another cup of salsa over the top and sprinkle with more (but not all) of the remaining cheese. Continue rolling the remaining tortillas with the remaining filling to make one more layer; sprinkle any leftover filling on top. Finish by pouring another cup of salsa over the top of the enchiladas.

Reserve the last part of the cheese to add later.

Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours. For the final 15 min. of cooking, sprinkle remaining cheese over the top, re-cover, and finish cooking.

Serve enchiladas with optional toppings.

recipe adapted from

Slow Cooker liners for Crock Pot recipes

Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker