What’s for Dinner? Wednesday: Risotto

Back with another What’s for Dinner? Wednesday! Tonight I’m sharing one of our favorite meals to make together and eat together: red wine risotto with peas!

Risotto is a great meal to cook with someone.  Not because it’s extremely complicated (it’s not really at all) but because it’s a time consuming meal and gives you time to chat in the kitchen (without the distractions of phone, computer, TV). It’s pretty much just stirring constantly for 25-30 minutes and it’s nice to have someone to keep you company.  Oh, and you put like a cup of wine in the recipe and drink the rest 🙂

Mike and I love to make risotto together because it gives us time to connect. We’ll take turns stirring and sitting, talk about things that are on our minds, and drink wine. Sometimes, though, much of the conversation is “mmm, this is going to be so good” or some variation of that statement.

Risotto is really just a fancy comfort food.  It’s warm, creamy, and you eat it out of a bowl with a spoon. What’s not to love?

Our go-to risotto is Giada’s red wine risotto with peas.

I’d love to know:

Do you like risotto?  Share/link up your favorite risotto recipe in the comments!

Are there any meals that you bond over with your significant other/family/roommates?


What’s for Dinner? Easy Friday

Happy Friday!

Is it just me or was this week particularly tiring? I’m glad we don’t have any plans tonight and can just relax at home. I was super tired this morning, perked up a little bit this afternoon, and now I feel like I’m crashing again. Though there are a bunch of things I’d love to do tonight, I imagine I’ll stay on the couch watching shows on DVR or maybe we’ll get Moneyball onDemand.

Anyway, back to What’s for Dinner?.  Tonight’s dinner was super quick and easy, perfect for a Friday night after a long week.

Chicken and vegetable dumplings; Black bean and cheese taquitos

I bought these apps at Trader Joe’s for the book club meeting I hosted here on Wednesday night (we read The Happiness Project, in case you’re wondering) but we had so much food we didn’t need them. So I figured what a perfect Friday night dinner. This took all of 15 minutes to prepare and the clean up will be minimal as well. And who doesn’t love finger foods?

Making a meal plan for the upcoming week? Check out what else we’ve had for dinner recently:

Comfort Food

Butternut squash stuffed shells

Meals from How Sweet It Is

Date Night

I’d love to know:

What’d you have for dinner tonight?

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Date Night

Back again with another What’s for Dinner? Wednesday and tonight happened to be date night! We haven’t had date night in quite some time: either since my birthday date or when we went to the Nationals’ game. It’s one of my 2012 resolutions to go on one date night per month so tonight not only did I have a nice dinner with my husband but I also got to check a box on resolutions spreadsheet. Win-win!

Mike’s trying to “get into sushi” and we had a Living Social deal for Sushiko in Chevy Chase (Friendship Heights) that expires at the end of the month so we decided to go to Sushiko for our first date night of the year.

We started with some drinks: a rum and Coke for Mike and a mangotini for me.

Then I had a house salad with ginger dressing to start (which I pretty much inhaled and then had to tell myself to slow down, that I’m not in an eating contest, I’m on a date).

Don’t you love how vibrant and fresh that looks?

Next we ordered two rolls to share: the rock shrimp cilantro and the crunchy spicy salmon.  Mike chose both of these and I was happy to oblige.  Sometimes it feels so good to just trust your partner’s judgement. And it paid off.  Both rolls were delicious. The cilantro in the rock shrimp cilantro roll was so bright and fresh, it was awesome!

We topped off our meal with a soft shell crab roll.

Good meal.  I imagine we’ll be back again soon.

I’m glad we both enjoy sushi now.  Sometimes if we need a quick dinner we’ll stop at Whole Foods and grab some out of their pre-made case. It’s so funny how tastes can change.  If you would’ve told me 3 years ago that I’d like sushi by now I probably would’ve said you’re crazy.

I still kind of struggle while eating it though.  I feel like it’s a lot to put the whole thing in your mouth at once but it’s really poor sushi etiquette to not take it all in one bite.  (I learned that on a Bobby Flay Throwdown I think).  And honestly it just looks bad if you don’t. But I feel like it’s a lot to get down and I start to swallow it before I even get to taste it. Does anyone else have this problem?

I’d love to know:

Are you a sushi fan?  

What did you have for dinner?

What’s for Dinner? Wednesday: How Sweet It Is edition

Happy Hump Day! Aren’t long weekends great?  Having an extra day or two to relax and unwind is a wonderful thing.  But long weekends are a gift that keeps on giving: a short work week before or after.

But after two short weeks of work, the last two days in my office have had me feeling wiped out by 3:30. All I wanted to do when I came home today was take a nap.  After my 15 minute power nap on the couch, I was still pretty drained so I was happy to see that the meal we had planned for tonight was actually pretty speedy.

Me, as we sit down at the coffee table to eat: “Wow, this is going to be soo good.”

Mike: “Yeah, where’d you get this recipe?”

Me: “Where do you think?”

Mike: “How Sweet It Is?”

Me: “Uh, huh.”

[I get most of my recipes here so this is no surprise. Like the sangria and cookies I made for NYE, the fish sticks we had for dinner earlier this week, and the crockpot recipe we’ll have tomorrow or Friday.]

Me: “Don’t you love Jessica?”

Mike: “Yeah, is she single?”

What?! Isn’t my referencing her blog and bringing her delicious recipes into your life enough? I mean, I know she has a good sense of humor but come on!

So anyway, this is what we had for dinner:

BLT Salmon Tacos

These were really good, though I think I’d have much more to say if I hadn’t literally inhaled my first one.  Yeah, I kind of felt overwhelmed after that.

After Mike wolfed down his tacos in like four bites: “Mmm, yeah, that’s a keeper. I’d definitely have that again. That would be good in the summer too.”

Remember when I told you to make “try one of Jessica’s recipes” one of your new year’s resolutions? Yeah, I meant that.  Have you?

For dessert, we shared a Karen’s Birthday cupcake from Baked and Wired that I picked up on a lunch walk with my friend Allie.

And, I just put in the last 5 loads of laundry from our bed bug situation.  Good. Day.



What’s for dinner?

What’s for dinner? must be one of the most frequently asked questions between a married couple.  It’s definitely one of Mike’s favorite questions.  During high school, he’d call his dad at work almost every day after school to ask him what was for dinner.

What’s for dinner is also the title of a new series here on Things After the Rings where I’ll share what we’re having. And you’re in luck, today I have two meals to share.

Tuesday night we had grilled cheese and tomato soup, a quick, easy, comforting meal that is perfect for a chilly fall night.

Must use Land O’Lakes American Cheese, the taste is just so much creamier than other American cheeses. [Please do me a favor and give up on Kraft singles.  They’re not even real cheese and they taste terrible.  Believe me, you’ll thank me for it.]

I like mustard on the inside of one slice of bread.  Real butter is a must too.

Last night we had curried chicken and rice.

I was tutoring one night and this dish was cooking on the stove as worked.  It smelled amazing so I asked the mom for the recipe. Here it is:

Fast Curried Turkey with Rice serves 4-6, total time about 30 mins

  • 2 T butter, margarine or oil – your choice [of course I vote butter]
  • 2 tsp curry + ½ tsp cinnamon + pinch cloves
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 lb. boneless turkey or chicken breast meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced (or use a green apple & don’t bother peeling)
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup long grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water, or combination
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, then add the curry mixture.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spices become fragrant. Add the diced onion and sauté until soft and golden.  Add the turkey, apples and raisins and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the rice and stir. Add the stock/water, bring to a boil and cover. Cook on medium-low heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes.  Add the peas during the last few minutes to heat through, then toss and serve.

Notes from the recipe I received:

You can eat the peas separately if you prefer. Another tip: if you cook it too long with the peas, they’ll get dull green and mushy. If you prefer green and crisp, add them right before you’re going to eat.  If you are a fan of Indian food, this dish goes well with yogurt and cucumber raita, or Greek tzatziki.

My notes:

Though it’s not spicy, it has a nice heat to it. I would definitely recommend serving it with raita or tzatziki on the side as suggested above. The first time I made this I let it simmer too long and it was a bit dry.  Last night I let it simmer for 15 mins plus a few more mins for the peas and it turned out better.


I’d love to know:

What else would make the list of Most Frequently Asked Questions Between a Married Couple?

What are you having for dinner this week?