OK, so I had never had risotto, nor had I tried to make it. I'm not sure what I made tonight really counts, but it's the closest I've ever come. 1 cup of rice made about 4 cups of risotto. I was adapting Rachel Ray's recipe for Cheesy Risi et Bisi, using what I had and what I knew my husband would eat. For instance, he hates peas, so I left them out...as well as the parsley, out of laziness. I used the last splashes of a tiny bottle of merlot I had, since I don't have white wine on hand and didn't want to spend $7 to buy a bottle of white when I have red. I used a home-made chicken stock I made a few months ago, filled out with some Swanson Italian Herb Chicken broth. Over all, I was rather pleased with the outcome, and look forward to trying it again, perhaps with brown rice, and likely when I'm not trying to also fry chicken cutlets. Those, by the way, were OK...I'm a big chicken when it comes to spicy food, and I got bites of the tiny amount of crushed red pepper flake I'd used in the breading.

I LOVE to cook. I hate to clean up afterwards, and I'm only beginning to tolerate touching raw chicken. Still, I enjoy playing with foods, looking for flavors that my husband would like, something different from the same old ordinary stuff. I look for ways to make food flavorful without so much heat from spice...jalapenos and such are really harsh on my constitution. I like to start with a recipe, something that is known to be good, and adapt from there for our tastes and budget. I was excited about making risotto, since rice is relatively cheap, and I already have the frozen chicken stock to cook with. Still, there is a certain amount of satisfaction in preparing food and having someone else appreciate and enjoy it.

Of course, then there are the times when I find a recipe, adapt it to our tastes (eliminating seafood, etc.), find that I LOVE it, and John doesn't. Of course, that makes me even happier when I do find one that he likes...and I think I can play with the flavor notes in this risotto and make it even better. That's exciting for me. We'll see what happens over the next few months. Does brown rice make risotto? Can I leave the wine out, or try other wines? What about other spice combinations? If you have any suggestions, please share them!

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