mushroom risotto


Mushrooms are one of my favorite entrees when I don’t want to have a meat. There is a heartiness about them that makes them a good substitute. This isn’t a vegetarian meal because I use chicken stock, but you could easily substitute it for vegetables stock. I used a mixture of crimini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms to give it great flavor and texture. By adding them along with the last ladle of stock, they don’t get too mushy and retain a bit of their bite. If you like a softer mushroom, add them mushrooms earlier.

Mushroom Risotto


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups chicken stock // substitute with vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian dish
  • 1 1/2 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • salt & pepper


  1. In a medium pot, bring the stock to a simmer. Turn down the heat so it remains at a simmer.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until soft.
  3. Add rice and stir to combine. Cook until the edges are translucent, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add thyme and bay leaf.
  5. Pour in the wine, and stir until absorbed.
  6. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add about 1 cup of chicken stock. Stir occasionally until absorbed.
  7. Continue to add stock in 1 cup intervals, waiting until it is absorbed each time until the rice is just al-dente.
  8. Remove bay leaf and discard.
  9. Add in mushrooms and one last ladle of stock. Continue cooking until absorbed and the mushrooms are glossy.
  10. Remove from heat. Add cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve immediately.


ruby sunshine


For the next two weeks, I am going to be in Florida for a work trip. I am excited to escape the cold that has been blanketing our area. While I packed, I decided to make up a drink that tastes like sunshine and warmer places. If you can’t escape the cold, at least you can pretend to while sipping on one of these. It is a little on the sweet side, but you can always put it in a bigger glass and cut it with more sparkling water.

Ruby Sunshine

makes two


  • 3 oz ruby red vodka // absolut makes a fabulous one
  • 1 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz ruby red grapefruit syrup // I found one by torani
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • sparkling water


  1. Pour the first 4 ingredients into a cocktail shaker along with some ice. Shake vigorously.
  2. Pour into two ice filled glasses. Top with sparkling water.
  3. Enjoy and think of warmer weather.

dill and lemon chicken


Dill and lemon is one of my favorite combinations on seafood, but it turns out that it is also pretty good on chicken. I cooked the chicken thighs on a bed of sliced lemons which infused the chicken with a subtle lemon flavor as it baked. I mixed the dill and seasonings with the butter, then rubbed it over the top. It made the skin extra crispy and the flavor was incredible. It was the perfect weeknight meal – easy and delicious.

Dill and Lemon Chicken


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp chicken seasoning
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, dill, and chicken seasoning in a small bowl.
  3. Arrange lemon rounds in a greased baking dish. Place chicken thighs on top of chicken.
  4. Rub the butter mixture all over top of the chicken.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.