A Few of Our Favorite Things

As you know, Mike and I recently celebrated our 12th anniversary. We enjoyed  a wonderful dinner out (which reminds me we need to try to create that appetizer recipe) and whipped up a special dinner at home. When we have date nights at home there are two types of cuisine that dominate the scene – sushi and Italian. The sushi is usually ordered from our favorite local restaurant, but sometimes made at home, and the Italian dishes although varied are always homemade.

Now usually when we prepare a date night meal it’s typically something that the kids aren’t too thrilled about eating, so we serve the kids one of their favorites (pizza, chicken nuggets, waffles, etc.) earlier in the evening. This time, however, we figured given their love of seafood we’d introduce them to Seafood Risotto.

Risotto is easily one of our favorite Italian dishes, and we’re not strangers to making it. (Well, at least Mike isn’t.) On our last anniversary we enjoyed a Champagne risotto.

Then there was our lobster risotto while touring Maine last summer.

And we’ve had a few seasonal varieties, including a strawberry-rhubarb risotto

and pumpkin risotto.

Then there was Mike’s barley risotto we served on the side of our Welsh salt duck, and a risotto-like dish on our Armenian adventure, Midia Meechoog.

The preparation for today’s seafood risotto is fairly standard. Feel free to refer back to any of the above recipes for a step-by-step how-to. For this post, we’ll just highlight some of the special ingredients used in this version which include seafood of course!

We used a mix of shrimp, mussels, calamari, crab and bay scallops. We also used a touch of saffron and clam juice with the chicken broth for the stock.

The result was definitely worthy of a date night meal.

We even had a bottle of Romanian wine, courtesy of one of Mike’s students at the end of the semester, which kept us in tune with our international theme of the month. We’ve never had a Romanian wine before and this one was described as a sweet red wine. It was definitely more toward the sweet end of reds than the dry, but was much more complex than we were expecting and a decent match with the risotto. The kids obviously didn’t get the wine, but they got to enjoy some cranberry juice in wine glasses which they thought was very exciting.

As for the risotto itself, it was wonderful. Full of seafood deliciousness. Mr. N requested two helpings and said it was a strong 3-1/2 spoons. Miss A, while not really sold on the rice part of the dish, ate every last drop of seafood and said it was 100 spoons. They are definitely seafood lovers.
It’s no surprise that Mike and I also enjoyed this dish. I think the only difference is next time I would use fresh mussels. They are just so much better fresh, but when time doesn’t allow, the frozen variety is a good stand-in. The saffron laced risotto was 3 spoons for both Mike and I. A very strong three spoons.

It’s certainly a recipe we’ll be making again, or at least making many variations of throughout the next dozen years.

And of course, an anniversary celebration isn’t complete without a little dessert, reminiscence

and some fabulously fun shoes. Miss A calls them my Barbie shoes.

Cheers all! Now we’re off to enjoy another one of our favorite things – the sunshine!!!

Print this recipe: Seafood Risotto

31 thoughts on “A Few of Our Favorite Things

  1. Just A Smidgen says:

    Happy Anniversary!! I love your shoes!! Just sooo pretty!! I also love all of your risotto variations.. my gosh you two can whip up risottos like it’s nobody’s business! I’ll have to get on that!!


  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I love risotto and your seafood saffron risotto looks amazing! I had never tried date night at home, but sounds really fun. I don’t really have baby sitter so this sounds like a win win situation. We both enjoy cooking too. I love your beautiful heels! I’ve been wearing flats for a longest time, I probably fall down the stairs wearing them at home haha!


  3. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    Wow, you guys have made a diverse range of risottos! I love the fact that you made this for the whole family…(we often feed the kids first as well.) We had a memorable seafood risotto on our honeymoon in the Cinque Terra in Italy. Yours certainly looks comparable Kristy. Here’s to your anniversary and those shoes!


  4. spicegirlfla says:

    Oooh…I love your Barbie shoes!! Almost as much as I love risotto! I think risotto is such a wonderful date dish! Though you too are always together in the kitchen, the process of gently stirring the pot and slowly ladeling in the hot broth, the wonderful aromas wafting through the air, a glass of wine, just the perfect dinner for two…and a couple of little ones!! Miss you Kristy! This looks absolutely delicious!!


    • Kristy says:

      Linda! I am so happy to hear from you. I miss you too!!! I think of you often and am sending you good vibes. šŸ™‚ We did make your pesto the other night and it was a huge hit. Mr. N has eaten the leftovers all week for lunch. It’s his favorite. Hope all is well! Can’t wait to hear how everything is going. Hugs to you!


  5. Courtney says:

    Okay, I just have to start off by saying I LOVE the barbie shoes. Wowza! And this risotto sounds right up our alley (we quite love seafood, too). Glad you guys had a wonderful, special night!


  6. Dawn says:

    I loved revisiting all of your risotto dishes, how fun!! Your Barbie shoes are just incredible, my girls would go nuts. If I could eat seafood, the risotto looks terrific!!


  7. Three Well Beings says:

    Barbie shoes! That’s adorable…they are pretty great shoes! I love risotto, and you’ve given some great recipes here. I have never even thought of pumpkin or strawberry! You’ve got me thinking now where I should begin! You could start a cookbook just with risotto recipes, Kristy! Debra


  8. Eva Taylor says:

    Risotto was the one thing I would order all the time in Itslian restaurants. Until I saw the chef at the Seminole Resort in Florida make a couple if servings and literally add a pound (I kid you not) of butter to it. Very disappointing, you would think the rice itself would be creamy enough.
    Yours is a lovely date night dinner. Oh, and the shoes! Happy anniversary.


  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Whoa…Those are some serious Barbie shoes!! Iā€™m in complete admiration of any woman who can walk in a dignified manner in heels šŸ˜‰ – I simply cannot… Love the shot of the champagne glasses with your wedding photos in the background Kristy. And your risottos have me drooling… I didn’t realize you had such an extensive repertoire – thank you for reminding us!


  10. ChgoJohn says:

    Isn’t risotto great? As you can imagine, we have our own version that I’ll share sometime in the Fall but are all based on the same premise, using creamy rice as a platform for other flavors. And I’m with the SousChefs, seafood risotto is the best! A great post, Kristy, with a fantastic risotto round-up!


  11. hotlyspiced says:

    Can I borrow those shoes??? They are gorgeous. And I love risotto too. It’s great right now as I consider it comfort food for chilly nights like we’re currently experiencing. I love the look of the strawberry dessert risotto – the colour is so vibrant xx


  12. Charles says:

    That risotto has a gorgeous colour from the saffron – looks just fantastic, and all that seafood too… yummy. I can’t really get on-board with scallops, but I’ll usually wolf them down if they happen to be in a dish, no problems šŸ™‚

    Risotto is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while again. The first time I made one was a fail-otto so I need to get back into the game. Would have loved to try that Romanian wine. Can you remember the name?

    Maybe a stupid question, but what exactly is “clam juice”? I’ve never heard of it… and how does one extract it? Is it like “mmm, freshly pressed clams”? šŸ˜€


    • Kristy says:

      Clam juice is strained from freshly shucked clams…fortunately for us, they sell it in bottles. šŸ™‚ And the name of the wine is Zestrea Murfatlar Feteasca Neagra. And you should totally try risotto again. I think you’ll love it and there are so many delicious mushroom risottos that I know you would love too!


  13. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    I love how versatile risotto is, it is a blank canvus that you can be creative with. That pumpkin risotto is still on my must make list.
    As for the shoes , I love them but I don’t think I can walk 2 steps in them. Being tall I never wore any shoes with heals more than 3 cm so these beautiful shoes are something I can only admire from a distance lol


  14. A_Boleyn says:

    I love the idea for this seafood risotto. I’d make it immediately but I have a ton of food in the fridge and the freezer as I’ve been cooking like a fiend for the last month.

    However, I have risotto, saffron, and clams and freezer in my freezer, so it’s definitely in my cooking future. šŸ™‚ I’m curious as to the Romanian wine you served as well.

    And … I LOVE the shoes. I have bad knees (and 2 hip replacements which make me limp) so my shoe choices are limited to flats and running shoes but I can admire them on others. Especially the colours. I’m a ‘winter’ person and those bright jewel tones are in my palette.



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