Sep 13, 2014

Risotto History. An Early Night.

History was made in the SSG Manor Test Kitchen this afternoon.  I made an edible risotto and I did it without burning a single pot or breaking into a sweat.  The purists may want to stop reading at this point as I reveal my secret.  I made mine in the oven using this recipe from The Stay At Home Mum blog.

Of course I cut even more corners  by using pre sliced mushrooms, pre chopped butternut pumpkin and a carton of low salt chicken stock.

The hardest part of the recipe was sauteeing the half a brown onion (chopped), 200 g of finely sliced mushrooms and bacon (3 slices worth or 4 short cuts if you're me) in 2 tablespoons of butter.

I was so laid back that I didn't even grease my casserole dish and just layered the onion and bacon mix, 2 or so cups of arborio rice and 2 or so cups of chopped pumpkin.

I chose my casserole dish wisely because 4 1/2 cups of stock really does add volume to the ingredients.

I ended up needing to make my risotto at 190C (fan forced) for one and a half hours, the recipe suggested 40 minutes.  At the one hour mark, mine looked done but stirring revealed a fair bit of stock still in the dish and rice grains that were a bit tough to chew so I put it back into the oven with a half cup of grated cheddar briskly stirred through.

It was a good move. The extra cooking time allowed the rice to cook fully and not look as gluggy as it had earlier.  I added some more cheddar, a bit of parmesan and seasoned with pepper.  The pumpkin softened and oozed (if a variety of squash can indeed ooze) through the risotto which is just what you need from a vegetable when you're feeding it to a toddler.  At least if you're feeding mine.

The risotto was very well received by Toddler SSG.  He ate a large bowl of it for afternoon tea.  I loved it so much myself that I gave myself two portions to freeze for work lunches.  Can't way I've ever done this with any other toddler recipe I've cooked.

After that epic afternoon tea / early dinner, we explored a new park where we were lucky enough to grab the last parking spot.  It was a glorious afternoon to be out amongst the trees and play equipment.  Parents kicked back in the sun with the phones and sunglasses, the little ones played and everyone looked thoroughly relieved that spring really was happening in spite of all the rain.

Even when he's asleep, Toddler SSG still has a presence at dinner thanks to his Ikea table ware which is often the only stuff within reach when I get my dinner organized.

It was such a good spring afternoon that the toddler's now in bed after his bath.  Which is why I'm here after having a home made pizza for dinner.  If I'd had any foresight, I really would have had something bubbly chilling in the fridge to go with it.  Next time.

I have more Daiso to share.  I find their lunch boxes the perfect size for the bag I use for toting Toddler SSG's stuff around the traps.  The boxes are also pretty sturdy and have clip closures that never explode in transit.

This rectangular lunch box is going to house the toddler muesli bars that he's obsessed with right now.  They tend to crumble without a bit of shock absorption and this Pop Heart design is just the thing.

I'm thinking of being brave and taking Toddler SSG to Bondi for the kite festival tomorrow.  Better get a good night's sleep beforehand.

Much love,


  1. Love to hear of your toddly adventures xx

  2. Oh dears, yet another recipe to add to my food bookmark folder. :) This one seems easy enough maybe I could manage it.. :)

  3. I got really hungry reading this. Essential to use a few short cuts when you are doing a million things each day.
    Better off without the bubbly. I have almost stopped imbibing but last night had a few. Need that walk in the park and sun. X

  4. I went into Daiso with the family and Mr SIH severely inhibited my spending. I was like oh do we need boxes. NO.
    Oh what about plates for the boys? NO.
    So sad! He did buy a neck massage thingee and he thinks it is the best thing ever. I hate being right you know but I kept telling him.. see Daiso is GOLD.

    I love an oven risotto. So so so good and easy. Yours looks amazing and so yummy. Isn't chopped pumpkin the best? I really hate cutting up pumpkins.


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