Julie & Julia

Julie.n.JuliaOne of the girls I’ve been mentoring over the last couple of years asked if we could do a Julie & Julia night.  She wanted to learn how to cook something and then watch the movie, what better night could there be?

Our menu for the evening was:

Butternut Squash Risotto – recipe from Cooking Light, October 2011

Baked BBQ Chicken

Steamed Broccoli Rabe

Lemon Cake Pie (This one will get its own post…)

So it was up to me and these three girls to get a yummy dinner on the table.

JnJ night 1

Butternut Squash Risotto

3 c cubed peeled butternut squash, divided
3 1/2 c fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
2 c uncooked Arborio rice
2 tblsp chopped flat-leaf parsely (I skipped this)
5 oz applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine 2 cups squash and 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.  Place mixture in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  We used my immersion blender.

Return mixture to pan.  Stir in broth; bring to a simmer.  Remove and set aside 1/4 cup squash mixture.  Keep pan warm over low heat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over med-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in remaining 1 cup squash, 2 1/2 cup squash mixture and 1/8 tsp salt.  Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add remaining squash mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed before adding the next cup (about 20 minutes).  Removed from heat, stir in reserved 1/4 c squash mixture.  Top with parsley and bacon when serving.

cartoon-strawberry-9This risotto was GOOD.  We didn’t coat the pan enough at the beginning and a little of the rice stuck to the bottom, but not much.  This was a great side dish for chicken, and would be just as good for beef or pork.

For the chicken, we lightly salted both sides with some seasoned salt, covered with BBQ sauce and baked in a 400 degree oven for about a half an hour.

We steamed the broccoli in a steamer for 15 minutes.

JnJ night 2

JnJ night 3

We cooked and laughed and ate.  A good time was had by all.  And then there was the Lemon Cake Pie…

P.S. – This is what happened when I wanted to get a shot of the girls cooking…

JnJ night 4

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