A week of successes.

This multi kid parenting gig is tough sometimes, I don’t know how my Mum did three under three.  For me the last four months have been hard and getting progressively harder  the less sleep that I manage to get each night.  Thankfully this week we’ve had some great successes.  A new sleep routine for Baby Good seems to have worked for a couple of nights, giving me the chance to catch up on some z’d myself.  Maybe it will last, maybe it won’t, you just never know with babies, either way I’m feeling a lot better in myself.

The kitchen has also been sadly neglected during these difficult weeks besides some very basic and thrown together meals, or something reheated.  Yesterday I was feeling good and felt like stirring (is it just me or do others find this rather relaxing), so it was risotto.  A trip to the garden provided the main ingredients – cherry tomatoes and parsley – and then it was all about the love.  Risotto just loves to be stirred and attended to and is not something you can neglect or cook ahead.  In other words, it’s not something that is easy to make in arsenic hour with two grumpy kids, but a good nights sleep left me with reserves of patience and the children were very co-operative.  Baby Good sat up in her high chair with her favourite book and a couple of toys (which she delighted in throwing off the tray to watch me pick them up again) and Miss Two was in the middle of some sort of complicated game involving numerous soft toys and the puddleduck nest.  This resulted in possibly the creamiest, tastiest risotto I’ve made and was a fabulous hit with both girls.  The whole lot got eaten very quickly so there’s no photo, but I thought I would share the recipe, especially if you have a glut of cherry tomatoes.

Roast Cherry Tomato Risotto
1 lt chicken or vegetable stock
a pinch of saffron threads
250ml dry white wine (I halved this as the taste is too strong for the girls)
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
270g risotto rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g cherry tomatoes
parmesan cheese, grated
4 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

Heat the stock in a saucepan til simmering and then turn the heat down low.  Add the saffron to the wine and leave aside.

Melt butter in a pan, then add the onion and cook gently until soft.  Add the rice and stir to coat in butter.

Add the wine and saffron mixture to the rice and turn the heat up to medium.  Cook until all the liquid as been absorbed, stirring continuously.  Start adding the stock a little at a time, stirring all the time.  Add more stock once the previous addition has been absorbed.  Continue doing this until all the stock has been added.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in another saucepan and add the garlic and tomatoes.  Fry for a few minutes over a medium heat until the tomatoes are slightly soft and beginning to split (I cook them a bit longer so they’re easier for the girls to manage and the juices that come out taste wonderful stirred through the risotto at the end).  Season well.

Taste the rice to make sure it is cooked well.  Add 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and parsley.  Spoon the tomatoes over the top and sprinkle with a little more parmesan.  (I prefer the tomatoes stirred through the risotto)

I made this, not because I thought Miss Two specifically would enjoy it, but because I really felt like risotto.  It was such a bonus to sit down with my girls (Mr Good was working late) and enjoy a meal with a bit of chatter, three empty bowls and no tears.

The next night Mr Good made it home early which meant I could leave getting dinner organised until he was home and do it without the additional challenge of occupying the girls – though in the end Miss Two did ‘help’.  I decided to go with one of the top five go-to dinners for kids from this website.  I’ve tried four of five of them so far.  All have been successful to some extent and would be worth going back to.  Tonight’s was the lamb and feta meatballs with pasta salad.  And can I say, delicious!  The meatballs were so moreish I had to hide the leftovers so I could have some for lunch and the pasta salad was simple, easy and tasty.  Highly recommended.

In all with a couple of good nights sleep and some well received dinners it seems like the stars are aligned this week.

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5 Responses to A week of successes.

  1. Liz says:

    Glad you’ve had a good week. I have have just managed to get the kids to walk the 200m between our house and Miss 5’s school. She finished school at 3:30, its now 4:03, arrrrggggh perhaps I should make risotto too – I do find the stirring process very therapeutic provided ABC 4 Kids is working its majic and keeping the monster enthralled. I often use verjuice instead of wine I find it softer for the kids and I quite like the flavour too.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Oh yeah, I know the pain of walking with toddlers – I only have a single pram! Now that really is a test of patience.

      ABC 4 Kids is my standby too when I really need to get something done (like read a bit more of A Suitable Boy)

      I’ll keep the verjuice tip in mind.

  2. Andrea says:

    Its hard being a mum sometimes(cleaner,gardener,chef,teacher……) but it does get a little easier as they get older…… Iv’e never had much luck with risotto but maybe i havn’t been attending to it quite the way i should, plenty of cherry tomatoes so worth another attempt. Hope you have a good weekend and your week of successes continue, maybe even a spot of reading.

    • Barbara Good says:

      I try not to complain about the trials of being a mum too much, it’s hard but with such wonderous rewards. Obviously it’s difficult to ignore some stuff – like the lack of sleep – but I try not to dwell too much on that, rather celebrate the great stuff. There are so many things I’m looking forward to with my girls, and I don’t want it to fly by too quickly, but it will be lovely to get past the night wakings and the food battles as soon as possible.

      Hope you have more luck with the risotto if you give it a try. It’s one of those dishes that really rewards you if you give it the time and attention, but can be glugy and unpleasant if you don’t.

  3. Pingback: In my kitchen…. | The New Good Life

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