A Homemade Life

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A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg was the February Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by chosen by Jules of Stone Soup.

I may need to reconsider my stance on short stories.  I’m not usually a fan, but first Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant and then Best Food Writing 2010 caught my attention.  This month, I read A Homemade Life by Orangette’s and Spilled Milk’s Molly Wizenberg, and decided it was worthy of the rare “5 star” rating.

Each chapter was its own little story, followed by a recipe.  The beginning of the book focuses on Wizenberg’s childhood and family, then progressed to her time in France, the beginning of her blog, then her engagement and marriage.  The stories were funny and sweet, but realistic: she acknowledges that she may be reflecting on her childhood with rose-colored glasses.

Wizenberg has a beautiful writing voice, and manages to help the reader “experience” the meals and atmosphere without overusing adjectives.  Thanks to her persuasive descriptions, even when the recipes included ingredients that I don’t typically enjoy, I found myself itching to get in the kitchen to try them out.  If nothing else, the book made me want to eat more meals of salad, baguette and good cheese.  Remind me why I don’t do that more often?

Overall, I give this memoir 5 stars out of 5.

More of my book reviews can be found here.

Risotto Eighteen Ways

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One of my favorite uses for homemade chicken stock is risotto, and I’m always looking for new flavor combinations for it.  Here are 18 of my favorite risotto recipes (and my tips for getting the perfect risotto, every time):

Apple Risotto with Toasted Pecans

Arugula Risotto

Bacon Brown Rice Risotto

Bacon Pesto Risotto

Basmati Risotto with Prawns

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Risotto

Butternut Turkey Risotto

Goat Cheese Risotto

Parsnip, Sage and Mascarpone Risotto

Pea Andouille Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

Red Wine and Goat Cheese Risotto with Caramelized Mushrooms

Risotto ai Frutti di Mare (Seafood Risotto)

Risotto Cakes

Risotto with Crab and Lemon

Risotto with Fiddleheads, Favas and Snow Peas

Roasted Bell Pepper and Bacon Risotto

Sweet Potato and Gorgonzola Farro Risotto

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Bonus: Check out Lauren’s comparison and analysis of 4 types of rice for risotto!

What’s your favorite risotto recipe?