The good news is Victor stayed the same – no loss no gain. The bad news is I gained three pounds. To be honest, I’m surprised it wasn’t more. The Christmas Goodies have been calling my name – and I’ve been answering! The cookies have been excellent – and last night – when I dropped the entire container of fruit salad Victor had cut up all over the refrigerator and the floor – it took four biscotti to soothe my soul.  [We did our best to get it cleaned up last night, but I had to break out the floor steamer this morning so we could walk in the kitchen without getting glued to the floor. What a flippin’ mess.]

Of course, the good news about gaining a couple of pounds shows that I’m not invincible and I cannot eat with wild abandon and expect to maintain my weight. You’ve probably never noticed, but I can get a tad cocky now and again, so it’s helpful to get knocked down a peg once in a while. I need to take it easy and not be a slave to the scale, but, at the same time, I need to be cognizant of cause-and-effect. This ain’t brain surgery – If I eat a bunch of cookies, I need to balance it, elsewhere.

Balance. One of my strong points. Yeah, right…..

There’s a couple more days coming up where excessive calories may be involved, but I’ll be back on track January 1st. We have homemade pizza happening on Sunday when family is here – I just made the pizza dough because it’s a 2-day slow rise dough that is excellent!! I also made the fruit for a lamb dish for New Year’s Eve that will actually be pretty good – provided I keep my portions reasonable. Reasonable portions… that will always be my challenge.

I’m working on it.

To celebrate my only-three-pound weight gain, I decided on a risotto for dinner – full of things one does not often find in risotto, like golden beets, wild rice, and ground chicken.


I’m usually not a fan of ground poultry. I really dislike ground turkey and ground chicken only has a minimal amount more flavor. I just don’t really see a reason for the stuff. But… it was an impulse-buy the other day so I thought I’d try to do something with it. I also had a couple of golden beets in the ‘fridge that I wanted to use up, so a risotto was born.

The beauty of a risotto is you can literally put anything into one – and it will be great. Creamy rice and a bunch of good stuff – how can it possibly be bad?!?

I did decide to switch things around a bit and use half wild rice blend and half carnaroli rice.

I roasted the beets and cooked the wild rice blend early in the afternoon – they never would have cooked properly from raw. Roasting beets makes for such a rich and sweet vegetable. It’s how I got Victor to finally like them!

To make the risotto, I started with a chopped onion. I sautéed it in a dab of olive oil and then added the ground chicken and some chopped garlic. When it was just about cooked, I added a half-cup of the carnaroli rice. Arborio would be just as good.

I cooked it up a bit and then added a half-cup of white wine. I let it cook down, and then started adding hot chicken broth, a half-cup at a time, letting it all cook in before adding the next. After about a cup and a half, I added the cooked wild rice blend. I added about 3 cups total of broth.

Right before adding the last of the broth, I added the chopped roasted beets and stirred them in well.

In went salt, pepper, and a hefty dose of Penzey’s Mural of Flavor – Hand-mixed from: spices, shallots, onion, garlic, lemon peel, citric acid, chives and orange peel. Any herb blend would work – from Italian seasoning to French herbs or herbes de Provence – or a goodly pinch of oregano or whatever you like or have in the cupboard.

When the last of the broth had been absorbed, I added a handful of grated cheese and stirred it all in.

It came out pretty good!