Side-note: Do you guys like my new header?? It took me so long to draw and decide on how it should look (with some good input from Nate and my mom!), but I think I like it. I’m also teaching myself HTML and CSS and am working on a whole new blog design, to be unveiled semi-soon!

Baked Red Wine Rosemary Risotto ~

Do you happen to have some red wine lying around? If Nate was home I wouldn’t, since the man loves some red wine…but he’s not, and I happened to have some red wine leftover from the bolognese I made last week. Since I’m not a drinker or a waster, I had to find another use for it! After doing a little search for recipes using red wine, I settled upon risotto.

But as you know, I’m currently all alone with no one to impress with this dinner, so I certainly wasn’t about to spend an hour standing over a pot stirring. I decided to take the lazy way out and shoved my risotto in the oven (and crossed my fingers it would work).

Baked Red Wine Rosemary Risotto ~

Lo and behold, after about an hour it was done! You don’t save any time making it in the oven versus the stove, but it’s not active time. While it was baking I started this blog post, checked email, chatted with Nate online and cuddled with my kitty cat, so it was definitely an hour well-spent.

I pulled it out of the oven not sure what to expect, but it really looks and tastes like regular risotto. It was absolutely delicious! Although I’m partial to anything with rosemary and mushrooms, so I knew I’d love it even if it came out as one gloppy mess…which thankfully it didn’t :)

Baked Red Wine Rosemary Risotto ~

Since I’m eating this alone and it will take me at least the entire week to finish, I’ll probably be so sick of it that I won’t want to look at risotto again for a year.

I still have half a bottle of wine left. Be prepared for some sort of chocolate cake incorporating it. Unless you guys have some better ideas?

Baked Red Wine Rosemary Risotto ~

Baked Red Wine Rosemary Risotto with Mushrooms

Print this recipe!

Makes 4 LARGE or 6 smaller servings

1/4 oz. dried mushrooms
3/4 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 lg onion, diced
1 lg carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1 1/4 cup red wine
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
32 oz. chicken stock
1-1.5 tsp salt (depending on how salty you like things)
ground pepper

Put dried mushrooms in a cup and cover with 3/4 cup boiling water. Set aside to reconstitute for 20 min.

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

While dried mushrooms are softening, melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large sauce pot or saute pan over med high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook til onion is soft.

Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add rice and toss to coat.

Add red wine, stirring completely. Dump winey rice mixture into prepared pan.

Melt second Tbsp of butter in the saute pan. Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Remove dried mushrooms from water, reserving water. Chop mushrooms and add to other mushrooms along with rosemary. Saute til soft.

Add mushroom mixture, mushroom water, parmesan cheese, chicken broth, and salt/pepper to baking pan and stir.

Place in oven and cook uncovered for one hour, stirring halfway. Rice is done when the liquid is completely absorbed and mixture is cooked. If still undercooked/crunchy, add more water 1/3 cup at a time, cooking until absorbed. Remove from oven and cool for 10 min.

Salt more if needed. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Inspired by Joy the Baker

Rosemary Buttermilk Tea Cake

I hate wasting food.

Before I met Nate I would try to serve myself small portions of food, but with my eyes being bigger than my stomach, there would always still be too much for me on the plate. Since I hated wasting food, I would force myself to eat the last few mouthfuls rather than wasting it. (Don’t ask me how I developed this behavior since my mom never enforced the “clean plate” rule!)

Luckily Nate’s active lifestyle gives him an endless appetite. Now, rather than forcing myself to eat something, I just put it on his plate :) This solves the problem of having little bits of meal leftover, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of leftover ingredients.

Obviously if a recipe calls for buttermilk, or fresh rosemary, you will have copious amounts left. I had both ingredients sitting in my fridge (courtesy of some baked buttermilk rosemary chicken) for over a week because I refused to get rid of them.

I knew those two ingredients happened to be a perfect combo for something sweet and so I finally got myself to mix them together into a lovely cake.

This cake is light (in texture, not in calories), not overly sweet, and perfect for brunch with a cup of tea! The rosemary flavor is strong, but I love it that way. If you’re not as big a fan of rosemary, feel free to cut back.

I couldn’t stop myself from eating this. It’s so buttery, soft and flavorful.  I honestly don’t know what a tea cake is, but this is what I’d imagine :) The perfect thing to go with your Mother’s Day brunch!

And with your leftover buttermilk and rosemary, you can perhaps invent something even better!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!!!

Rosemary Buttermilk Tea Cake

This photo doesn’t have an accurate portrayal of the cake’s texture. I took pics of it straight from the fridge, but out of the oven or at room temp it is fluffy and light and wouldn’t show fork marks!

Rosemary Buttermilk Tea Cake

Print this recipe!

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (you can use less if you’re not a huge rosemary fan)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 or 10″ pan with cooking spray. (*Note, the 9 inch will be taller than mine. I should have used a 9″. A springform would be perfect but a regular cake pan is fine)

Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon  juice, zest, and rosemary and continue beating until batter is smooth and combined.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl and add alternately with the buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture.

Beat until smooth, then pour batter into your greased pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake cake for 40 minutes until edges are golden and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool and serve room temperature or slightly warm.

You could make a glaze for this cake if you wanted by mixing some milk with powdered sugar, but I thought it was sweet enough as is, especially to be served with brunch.

*Note, if you must make this the day before and refrigerate, make sure it comes to room temp or warm it up before serving. It’s not the right texture when cold (although weirdo Nate likes it better cold and dry).

Well, the marathon didn’t go exactly as planned. Monday in Boston ended up being even hotter than predicted and it reached 90 degrees, with very little humidity.

The weather was so hot that the marathon organization did something the’ve never done before: they offered a deferment to the 2013 Boston Marathon for participants who decide not to race.

In addition, they highly recommended that only those who qualified for the marathon should race, i.e. not the charity organization runners because they’re usually not as highly trained. They also stressed that people pay very careful attention to their bodies and stop the second they felt any signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration.

And finally, they kept the finish systems open an additional hour on race day to allow people to run extra slowly so they didn’t hurt themselves.

Basically the only point in running was really to say you ran a marathon (which Nate had no need to do), because no one, not even the elite athletes, could get a personal record on this race.

In the end, Nate decided not to defer. the combination of the fact that Nate had a full fan club (my parents flew in, his aunt took the train down, his mom and I came along) and the fact that he actually worked with a trainer for this race compared to just training on his own for the others made him really not want to wait til next year.

He hydrated a ton but got to mile 8 and just felt like crap so he stopped. A ton of other runners dropped out midway too, including last year’s male winner. The winner this year was a full 10 minutes slower than last years time, so you can imagine what the situation must have been like.

I think for Nate it was a physical plus a mental exhaustion.  It had been a stressful choice just to decide to actually run, but he just didn’t want to hurt himself and ruin every race after because of an injury or bad memories of running.

Nate was definitely bummed by the whole thing and we all felt really bad for him.  I was worrying so much about him before he even left for the race. When I stopped getting text updates about his progress in the race I was silently freaking out. I was SO glad when he had gotten back to the hotel and was able to call me!

I definitely think it was the wisest decision he could have made and I’m so glad he didn’t hurt himself.

We got back yesterday and were all a little drained. I really didn’t want to cook up some extravagant dinner, so I made this really easy meal I saw over on Confessions of a Chocoholic.

I also didn’t feel like dragging out the camera, so I experimented with taking pictures on my new iphone app Camera+. What do you guys think of how the pics came out? Not bad for a camera phone I think.

Roasted Dijon Sausage and Potatoes

I very slightly adapted the recipe and made some buttered Pastina to go along with it. Yum!


Dijon Roasted Potatoes and Sausage

Very slightly adapted from Confessions of a Chocoholic

Print this recipe!

Serves 6-8

36 oz. chicken sausage (the fully-cooked kind), cut in quarters
2.5 lbs small red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend.

Add potatoes, tossing to coat. Place potatoes in a large baking sheet lined with foil, leaving excess mustard mixture behind in the bowl. Roast for about 45 minutes or longer, turning potatoes midway, until the potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside.

While the potatoes are cooking, toss the sausage into the remaining mustard mix. Spread evenly on a separate baking sheet lined with foil. Place inside the oven about 20 minutes after the potatoes, and roast for 25 minutes. (i.e. the potatoes and sausage should finish cooking at the same time.

Take out both baking sheets from oven and toss potatoes and sausages together. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Who, as a child, didn’t enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches? Apparently my friends all associate these with my house because my mom used to make them for me and my friends for lunch when we had a playdate. For sleepovers, she always made banana chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

While I still love a good grilled cheese (although I can’t even remember the last time I had one), I got the idea for this recipe from a blog I love, called Heat Oven to 350, and thought it sounded like a delicious, grown-up alternative to that American classic.

Rather than individually wrapped slices of processed American cheese, this version uses high quality cheddar, fresh apple slices, and  rosemary. The resulting combination is simple, yet tastes sophisticated. It’s a grown-up treat, and i bet kids would love it too!

Plus, it took less than 10 minutes to make…can’t beat that! And after taking his first bite, Nate proclaimed it delicious, and has since asked me to make it again less than a month later :)

Apple Rosemary Grilled Cheese
Adapted from Heat Oven to 350

Print this recipe!

makes 2 sandwiches


4 slices multigrain bread
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp apple butter
1/2 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2-3 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, depending on how cheesy you like things

Spread butter over one side of each of the 4 pieces of bread.

On the other sides of 2 slices, spread the apple butter, then sprinkle with rosemary. Top with cheese.

On other sides of the other two slices, spread a little butter, and then place apple slices. Put two sandwich halves together.

Cook in a large skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Whew, that title was a long one! I never really know what to put for my blog post titles. Sometimes I want to be creative, but I feel like I need to be descriptive and tell you exactly what recipe the post contains. I guess I’ll just see how it goes. But for this one, I knew the name of the recipe itself was enough to draw you in ;) Sounds tasty, right?

Lately I’ve been trying to enter as many recipes contests as I can in an effort to get my blog out there. The other day I saw this contest on Food52, a website that hosts weekly themed contests, and this one’s winner would get to be on the Martha Stewart Show! I know she gets a bad rap sometimes, but ever since I was little, I’ve been kind of obsessed with her. I want to be her (well, not including the jail time, and maybe with a little bit more of a sense of humor). Martha, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding- I love you!

I believe this recipe came to me by divine inspiration. No, I wasn’t sitting in bed reading cookbooks when it happened. I had just stumbled across the contest mentioned above and it got me brainstorming. I was on another long walk home and so I started to think. I knew I wanted to use the flavors of the bruschetta I made a month ago but somehow incorporate it into a tart. I was trying to figure out what type of crust to use when it came to me: Rosemary Cornmeal. I was also thinking I wanted some sort of jam to make it more tart-like so I decided to turn the figs I had used in the bruschetta into a jam.

I had all the flavor components in mind but wanted to alternate salty and sweet layers. I thought I’d make the crust have some sweetness to it, and I had the fig jam, prosciutto and pears, but I needed something else salty. I decided to spread a thin layer of blue cheese between the crust and jam. I also added a touch of balsamic vinegar to the fig jam to make it sweet, but tangy too.

Now, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m going to make a bold statement and say, this could be the best food I’ve EVER eaten. Like so good I’d eat it instead of dessert!

Yep, you heard me right. This tart is better than dessert. You may be asking yourselves, “Has Amy gone off the deep end?” Well, I thought you would have noticed that happened long ago, but I promise this recipe is that good.

The rosemary in the crust is aromatic and shines through, the crust itself and sweet and crumbly, the tanginess of the jam pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the cheese and ham and the juicy sweetness of the pears, and the honey on top makes it truly decadent. Try it and see for yourself.

P.S. See my entry in the Food52 contest HERE.

Fresh Pear, Fig, and Prosciutto Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust

Recipe by Me
8-10 appetizer portions


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
4 to 5 Tbsp ice water


1 3/4 oz blue cheese crumbles (about 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp)
1 recipe Fig Spread (see previous post)
4 oz. Prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 juicy fresh pear, cut in half, cored and then very thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp honey

Put rosemary in food processor and process til chopped. Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt to food processor and pulse. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evently with 4 Tbsp ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 Tbsp at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9 1/2 inch tart pan. Chill crust until firm, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with blue cheese. Leave cheese to soften on warm crust for 1-2 min. After softened, spread cheese around crust (small offset spatula works best). Cool crust in pan on rack or in fridge until reaches room temperature.

When crust is cooled, spread Fig Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle chopped Proscuitto evenly over tart. Arrange pear slices in 2 concentric circles over tart. Drizzle with honey and garnish with rosemary sprig if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: Tart will not be good served after refrigeration as pears will turn brown and crust will be too hard.