17 February 2010

God and Chocolate

So apparently yesterday was Shrove Tuesday. This means that today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. A few months ago I was thinking about how I could reaffirm my faith. The general overview is that I believe that there is a God, I just have issues with some of the things that the Catholic Church teaches. Anyway, so my thoughts went along the lines of starting with Lent and doing it properly with the whole fasting thing. After some research, I remembered that the fasting part of Lent is essentially no meat or dairy until Easter Sunday. This would be fine except that I'm a shift worker as well as a student and if I don't eat properly, things just don't happen. Part of me eating properly is eating a balance of protein, calcium and vegies so no vegetarian diet for me.

I then thought about doing something along the lines of no chocolate or no takeaway. Until I was sitting in the car park at McDonald's with my dinner and remembered all this. I thought that I could just start it a day late and see if I could go the 40 days with no take away and then thought of something better.

Instead of improving myself by giving up something, I am going to make myself do something instead.

My aim is to do some form of exercise at least 3 times a week. It started with a Pilates class this evening and will end with a 5 day, 4 night hike over the Easter long weekend at Wilson's Promontory. It also includes the Herald Sun Run for the Kids in 4 weeks. If my heel is up for it then I'm going to walk the long course, otherwise I'm walking the short course.

Now onto the chocolate, I made a half batch of brownie biscuits (recipe on hteac) and only baked a dozen or so. the rest has been sitting in the fridge being snacked on as the week goes by.... Now I need to bake a batch of my special brownies for the open rehearsal tomorrow, sit and watch whip it as I make more sugar roses for a birthday cake.

14 February 2010

Risotto again.......

For the past month I've been experimenting with different types of risotto and I think I've found my go to base recipe. White wine, chicken stock, rice, onion (depending on who I'm feeding) and garlic. Lots of garlic.

I've been wanting to experiment with dessert risotto for a while now and I made an awesome one tonight. Instead of a savoury stock I used hot mi
lk with a little sugar and a stick of cinnamon as my spic
e. Served with some fresh raspberries to cut through the richness and it was amazing. And the thing that made it so rich.....CHOCOLATE!!!!

So here it is.

Chocolate risotto
serves 2

2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
1 stick of cinnamon

In a saucepan combine sugar, milk, cinnamon and cocoa. Stir over medium heat until combined, then bring to a simmer and leave for 5 minutes.
Keep stirring occasionally so the sugar doesn't
burn. Turn the heat off and cover for about 20 minutes to let the heat infuse.

2 knobs of butter
3/4-1 cup risotto rice
1/4 cup rum
cinnamon stick ( I just fished out the one in the stock and threw it in)
2 cups stock
1 punnet raspberries

Melt 1 knob of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, when melted throw in rice.

Let it get nice and toasty, then stand back and throw in the rum.

Notice the smudgy fingerprints on the side of this bottle? It's from all the cake decorating I've been doing. Soaking fruit cakes in rum so that they stay happy and fresh. mmmm rum.

When that's evapourated, add the hot stock in 3-4 batches and lower the heat slightly. Keep adding the stock gradually whilst stirring until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

If you run out of stock, either add more hot milk or some hot water in small amounts until the rice is cooked. It should be soft with a little bite. Stir through the second knob of butter.

Divide amongst 2 plates and serve with 1/4 punnet raspberries on top of each. I'm assuming that you ate the other half punnet whilst you were cooking.