Stéphanie and I held a second dinner party a couple of weekends ago. This time, it was my turn to make the main course. Last year, I bought a couple of (mainly) vegetarian “easy supper”-type cook books, one of which was Simple Suppers, from the Moosewood Collective. I’ve been meaning to try it out, but hadn’t had a chance. This was the moment to test it. I ended up making the Beans and Greens Risotto. I was a little apprehensive, as it uses ingredients I’ve never really seen in a risotto before (a can of beans?), but it was delicious. I ended up using red kale instead of escarole (which doesn’t seem to be in season right now), and for the first time ever while making risotto, I did heat the stock, etc. in a separate pot. As much as it pains me to admit it, it does make the whole thing faster and easier, even if you do have more dirty pots at the end of the night.
I also recently made Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding. I used the recipe that my family always uses for this, and used good quality Valrhona cocoa powder (again for the first time). What a difference a good cocoa makes! This was without doubt the richest and most delicious version of this recipe I’ve ever made. If you’ve never made a self-saucing pudding, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Basically, you start out with something approximating cake batter, with chocolatey sugar-water on top, and then, when you remove it from the oven you discover that you’ve got a cakey dessert with a delicious chocolate sauce underneath – just like magic!
Mum recently sent me a photo of my newest cousin, Spencer. Isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? He’s about 11 months right now, and I saw quite a bit of him when I was in Australia over Christmas, and really can report that he is this adorable in real life. He’s a beautiful quiet baby. I’m sure he has his moments, but he’s generally just lovely to be around, hold, and play with.