It’s official. Nonna is all moved in.

Getting the room ready, furniture moved, change-of-address cards, starting to cancel newspapers, utilities… that was the easy stuff. The pain-in-the-arse stuff was figuring out the medications and times. I’d love to know the stats on elderly and medication problems. And what maroon decided an 87-year old should be taking half a pill 3 times a day?!? I went out and bought a pill cutter. I mean, really… And she’s lucky, she’s only on 8 meds – one of which goes away in a week. One of our neighbors was on 20+ at one point.

But it’s great having her here – and Cybil is thrilled. Nonna is sharing everything she eats with her. The two have definitely bonded. We have to be careful or we’ll end up with a 400 pound dog in no time.

One thing I noticed right away is I don’t have to cook more for another person in the house. My normal cooking was too much for just the two of us – and it always made for at least one big lunch leftover. I make the same amount and just have a little less left over, now. Not bad.

So tonight was shrimp risotto. Quick and simple, it’s creamy comfort food!

Shrimp Risotto

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 btl clam broth
  • 4 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil and butter.  Add rice and cook until translucent, stirring continually.  Add clam broth and cook until almost fully absorbed.

Begin to add broth by the ladle, stirring continually.  Add diced carrots. Continue adding ladles of broth as the last one is absorbed, until rice is just tender.

At this point, stir in shrimp.  Add peas, parsley, and cheese, stirring well.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

And then – just because Nonna likes cheesecake, I made a cheesecake.



Actually, I made it a couple of days ago because cheesecake needs to sit for 2-3 days to come together. Really.

Perfect Cheesecake

The Crust:

  • 3/4 cups walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

The Filling:

  • 4 pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

The Topping:

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Putting it together: Preheat oven to 325º.  Mix crust ingredients and press evenly into bottom of 10″ springform pan.  Set aside.

Cream the cheese until light.  Add sugar, then cream and vanilla, mixing well. Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Don’t over-mix or incorporate too much air. Pour into pan and bake 60 – 70 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes.  Keep oven on.

Mix topping ingredients and spread onto top of cheesecake to within about 1/2 inch from edge.  Return to oven and bake about 7 more minutes.  Cool completely, cover, and refrigerate at least 24 hours (as I said, 2-3 days is best.)

Nonna loved it – and she shared her last bite with the dog.