Easy Baked Mushroom Risotto

So you want to have a good wine-y mushroom risotto but you don’t want to go through the hassle of the 45-minutes process, what do you do? You bake it in the oven!

It is a lazy Sunday afternoon, it is cold but sunny and we are hungry and we really feel like a good risotto, so I put together this recipe and let it cook in the oven. It’s really easy to cook (it cooks itself in the oven!) and the flavor is tangy from the wine and very aromatic and rich from the mushrooms. And it isn’t heavy at all because I used low-fat, low sodium chicken broth and just 1 Tbsp of butter and olive oil to fry the onions. We had it with a green salad on the side. A winner. I’m definitely doing it again.

Baked Mushroom Risotto (for 2 hungry adults):

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh white mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white rice (I used basmati)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley for garnish.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Step 1: Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until translucent. Add the mushroom and cover for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms will ooze their waters.

Step 2: Add the rice to the pan and stir. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 3: Add the cup of white wine and turn off the heat.

Step 4: Pour this mixture in a baking dish and then add the 2 cups of warm chicken broth. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let it cook in the oven for 35 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and has cooked.

Step 5: Take the baking dish out of the oven, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Step: Serve hot and garnish with chopped parsley.

Spiced Shish Taouk

I have made shish taouk before but rather the traditional way, the way I used to eat it in Beirut. This time I went a little Indian and used chili powder, cumin, dried coriander, ginger and garlic. This marinade is actually the base of a Tikka Masala recipe that I once saw on Chew Out Loud,¬†¬†but I decided to try it on shish taouk and grill them in the oven (you can definitely grill them on a barbecue too). The result wasn’t hot or too spicy; it was actually shish taouk with an Indian twist to it. I also love this recipe because it is fast and doesn’t require any marination ahead of time.

Spiced Shish Taouk (for two):

Start by heating the broiler in your oven.

Ingredients:

  • 500g boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried cumin

 

Step 1: In a bowl mix these dry ingredients and then coat the chicken with them. Set aside.

  • 1/2 cup of plain white yogurt (not the sweet kind)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp crushed garlic (about two cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp dried ground ginger

 

Step 2: Mix these ingredients in a bowl. Dip the chicken cubes in this yogurt mix and arrange on skewers.

Step 3: Arrange the skewers side by side on a cookie tray and grill/broil each side in the oven for ten minutes.

Enjoy with hummus and pita bread.

 

 

The Little Things That Make You Go :-)

Doesn’t a giggling baby just make you unconsciously¬†smile? How about when it stops raining the moment you step out of the house? What about that second when you put your hand into the pocket of an old jeans and you feel money under your fingers? Don’t you just smile? What are other little moments in your day that make you, forcibly, smile?

Here’s a list of a few little things that make me happy:

  • When I am asked for directions on the street.
  • When I manage to apply nail polish on my right-hand fingers (I’m right-handed) without any smudging.
  • Being on my bicycle on a cold sunny day and feeling the chilly wind on my face.
  • Receiving a smile from a stranger.
  • When I’m cooking and the radio plays music that I can sway to.
  • That moment when coldness starts going away and I start feeling warm under the bed covers.
  • When I crave a piece of anything sweet (that usually happens directly after lunch) and I find a forgotten half-cookie in my bag.

And many many more. Just like there are many little things that we should be grateful for, there are a million other things that make us smile. We just need to notice them.

Les Sandwichs Volants

If you are ever anywhere on Avenue du Parc in Montreal, you have to stop at Les Sandwichs Volants for one of their grilled sandwiches, I guarantee you that you’ll be fantasizing about returning to Les Sandwichs Volants after trying their cheesy, immensely-rich-in-flavor sandwiches. On top of that, they are not pricey at all! I, for one, am proudly guilty of overindulging on Les Sandwichs Volants’ sandwiches.

They also offer daily specials but I yet have to try those. They usually run out of them if you’re there for a late lunch. The lasagna with spinach and ricotta cheese sounds really good, but unfortunately there was none left last time I was there.

My First Labour Day

We were lucky to have had very pleasant weather on Labour Day, especially that it was my first Labour Day in Canada. Everybody was out in the parks or cycling all around the city; needless to say, it was a great day for the outdoors. Here are a few photos to showcase how I spent my day today. Hope you guys had a lazy Labour Day too!

1. The first thing we saw when we stepped out of the house, the community truck watering the community plants (see the blue sky?!):

2. More plants:

3. In Montreal you’re bound to run into some street art:

4. And then we passed Toi, Moi et Cafe and people were spilling out of the terrace:

5. And more street art (feel free to interpret freely):

6. Another landmark in Montreal:

7. Something you read everywhere you go:

8. A cement garden?

9. Cute co-pilots!

9. And what the ‘plate’ said:

10. An unexpected garden beauty:

11. And finally a glass of lemonade to pitch in to this kid’s piggy bank (notice her cute fan?!):