Meal of the Month

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Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto

Try this out in December!  You will be glad you did!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups torn Tuscan kale leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, 5–8 minutes. Stir in rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until some grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups very hot water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake in oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but rice is still starchy in the center, 15–18 minutes (it should be undercooked).
  • Meanwhile, pulse garlic and half of toasted walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, chives, half of kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water; process until smooth; season pesto with salt and pepper.
  • Set saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup very hot water and cook rice, stirring constantly, until it is tender but still has some bite and sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in pesto, butter, three-quarters of Parmesan, and remaining kale. Adjust consistency with water, if needed; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with remaining walnuts and cheese.

Appetizer of the Month

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Butternut Queso Fundido

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 3 ounces shredded Oaxaca or part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided
  • 3 ounces shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican-blend cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced jalapeño pepper
  • 30 light tortilla chips
  • Celery sticks (optional)

Directions

Step 1

Heat oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add red onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock, squash, chipotle, and adobo sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add 2 ounces Oaxaca cheese and 2 ounces Mexican-blend cheese; cook 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring until cheese melts.

Step 2

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 3

Sprinkle remaining cheeses over top. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Top with radishes, cilantro, green onions, and jalapeño. Serve with chips and celery sticks, if desired.

Craft of the Month

Dare to be Different! 

Drink of the Month

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Sugar Cookie Martini

Enjoy this December Drink!

Ingredients

For the Martini

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup Baileys Irish cream

2 oz. Absolut vanille vodka

2 oz. Disaronno Amaretto

Ice

For the Rim

½ cup vanilla frosting (canned)

¼ cup sprinkles plus 1 tsp divided

Pre-made sugar cookie dough*

*(Optional) Cut sugar cookie dough in desired shape and bake for garnish for cocktail.

Directions

Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting onto rim of two martini glasses. Pour ¼ cup sprinkles onto a small plate then dip rims in sprinkles to coat. Use offset spatula to frost cookies with frosting then decorate with remaining 2 tablespoons sprinkles. 

In a cocktail shaker, combine milk, Baileys, vodka, and amaretto. Add ice and shake until cold. Pour into glasses and garnish rim with a cookie.