You have all the time the world. What a wonderful thought. What would you do with a little more of those precious moments?
Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that time is something I could always use a wee bit more of. Growing up the phrase ‘Time stops for no one’ was something my Mom would say. It is true. Time is elusive and something no one can change. Maybe she was saying it to motivate and get my butt in gear?
That phrase has stuck with me all these years. It comes to the forefront of thought when during the moments that life feels rushed and there seems to be so much to do. Work, family, friends and schedules are all part of modern life. It is so easy to get caught up in the constant traffic of the every passing day. I must say that some days the timelines are tight, very tight. Going from one activity to the next and days of planning on how to fit it all in is a challenge. There are times when it works out as planned and there are times when a creative shuffle is called for.
Early on things were simpler. I was one person to coordinate a balance of work and play. It was such an easy task of going with the flow. I would plan some things while leaving time open for what ever would pop up. I gladly answered the shout out to go for dinner with friends or partake in a night of debauchery (note this was during pre-social media times so there was very limited evidence). There was no hesitation in the response with a single schedule to work with that was literally a cake walk.
That is such a vast change from today’s reality. There are 3 people in our family mix. I know it is not as much as those who are sporting 4+ but some days I tell you it’s enough. Being creative with pick up and drop offs to ensure that I can make my weekly yoga class is not uncommon. It is like a ‘parking lot exchange’ set up only we are still married.
Starting this fall is swimming lesson day which will look a little like this: work, daycare or school pick up, dinner, change for lessons, pick up Hubby from work, arrive at the lesson, have said lesson, head back home, get daughter settled in to bed, prepare for the next day and veg on the couch for 30 minutes before sleep time (sometimes sleep time starts on the couch out of pure exhaustion). Also to add lessons needed to be booked at 7am while camping in order to reserve the preferred date and time. You know I was really wanting to leave the tent to make coffee at 6am anyways. Who wouldn’t?
Other days will be similar with other activities and the ever fluid change of plans. I am not sure what I would do with out a set life schedule as this has been the norm for some time now.
In order to keep the balance of life while still providing a home cooked meal it is key to rely on recipes that use simple ingredients that can be made quickly. To keep going at the pace required are dishes that offer great flavour and are nutritious.
This risotto can be made in 30 minutes with all the elements coordinated to cook within the same time frame. It makes me very happy to know that I can create a quick meal without sacrificing quality.
Give it a try and enjoy the complexities that life seems to throw at you.
Herb Tomato Risotto
Don't compromise on taste when you are in need of a quick meal. 30 minute risotto is possible when you coordinate the steps.
- 3 cups grape tomatoes
- 7 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 clove roasted garlic, chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- Set oven to broil at 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Place the grape tomatoes, 5 sprigs of fresh thyme and the 2 sprigs of rosemary nestled in or on top of the tomatoes. Pour 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over the top of the tomatoes and give it a mix to coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to broil for 12 -15 minutes or until the herbs are crispy and the tomatoes have softened. Remove from the oven to let slightly cool before serving.
- Once the tomatoes are in the oven prepare the broth. In a large saucepan pour in the vegetable broth and heat to a boil over medium high heat.
- While the broth is heating up, in large enameled cast iron skillet heat the butter and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium high. Place the chopped onions and soften for a minute. Add in the Arborio rice and stir until lightly toasted. Add in the chopped roasted garlic clove. Add in the white wine to deglaze the pan. Using a ladle add in about 3/4 cup of heated broth at a time until it is just about all absorbed by the rice, then add in the next until all the broth is used. Stir constantly while the broth is being absorbed.
- Remove from heat once the rice is cooked. It should maintain it's structure but has lost it's crunch. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, crumble up the crispy herbs from the tomatoes and add some additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Place on serving plates and top with crumbled goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves from the remaining sprigs. Serve immediately.