Sincerely Carolina

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Oh, Babycakes, I Love You.

by caroline

Happy Presidents’ Day! Today is already off to a great start. Simon and I had a fabulous yoga session this morning with Mandy Ingber’s YOGALOSOPHY.

I promise I am not just being a crazy cat lady: It is imperative that I put a yoga mat down for Simon if I want to get in a solid workout. If I don’t, then he ends up doing this all over my mat:

He can’t get enough of yoga and, as you can see, stretching out on his back! Tee, hee. ♥

Yesterday was a wonderfully creative day. Dan and I started our vision boards, which are just giant poster boards we bought and are covering with all of the things that inspire us. If you watch Oprah, have read positive-thinking books, like Think and Grow Rich or The Secret, or read anything by Kris Carr and people of the like, then you know what I’m a-talkin’ about.

I also had an opportunity to crack into my new Babycakes book … eeek! This book is so wonderfully gorgeous that I didn’t even know where to start. But I was completely jonesing for some serious chocolate, so I went with their Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.

OMGeeeeeee!

There are so many tasty ingredients that go into making these gluten-free, vegan guys delish, but I think the star player is the coconut oil this recipe calls for. It seems to make them nice and crispy on the outside, and soft and melt-y on the inside. I swapped the 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour for my own mix, but other than that I stuck to every detail the Babycakes gals ordered.

Perfection.

While I worked on dessert, Dan whipped up another risotto dish (we’re kinda hung up on it lately), using mushrooms this time. It was A-mazing. Just, seriously … so incredibly good.

It’s a must that you give this recipe a try:

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Gluten-Free Mushroom Risotto

Serves 2-4 people (2 as a main dish; 4 when served as a side)

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz. gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp butter (in total, spread throughout recipe)
  • 1/2 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white arborio rice (We use Lundberg Farms.)
  • 6 oz. dry white wine, plus 1/4 cup
  • 12 oz. chopped, sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • squeeze of a lemon (about the juice of a 1/4 a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh thyme and rosemary, chopped (mixed together in even parts)
  • pepper, as desired
  • olive oil, as desired

Directions:

1. Heat broth in a medium sauce pan until steaming, not boiling.

2. Preheat another medium sauce pan or 12” skillet over low heat with 1 Tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add onions and celery and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they become soft and translucent. In the meantime, slice mushrooms.

3. Turn up the heat (medium-high) on the skillet and add rice, stirring constantly, so the rice does not stick (about 3 minutes). Pour in 6 oz. of wine. When wine has evaporated, turn the heat back to low.

4. Begin to add the stock/broth from the separate pot, one ladle at a time, to the skillet mixture. Stir constantly. Wait until most of the liquid has reduced before adding another ladle. Continue this process for about 15 minutes or until the rice is soft on the outside and still a bit hard on the inside (there will be stock/broth remaining). (Do this by trying a piece of the rice — make sure it’s cool!) Cooking the rice too slow will cause it to turn to mush; too fast and it will burn and be dry.

5. Push risotto to one side in skillet, add 2 Tablespoons of butter to the bare side and add mushrooms; saute mushrooms in butter for 1 minute, then add garlic and rosemary and thyme. Wait another 1-2 minutes while mushrooms soften, and then mix into risotto. Add 1/2 of the remaining stock/broth and 1/4 cup of white wine. (You should be through a little more than 1/2 the stock by now.) Turn the heat up to medium. Wait until most of the stock has been absorbed before reducing heat. Repeat the process in step #4 where you add stock/broth one ladle at a time. Continue with the process until the rice is loose and just soft all the way through.

6. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and 4 Tablespoons of butter.. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with pepper as desired. (You can also add a smidge of Parmesan on top, as you see in the photo.) Add a drizzle of olive oil on top to finish.

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I’m off to take Dan to his first doctor’s appointment, and, hopefully, the good man gives him a great prognosis. Send healthy energy our way!