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Lamb Risotto with Chanterelles

Ingredients

2T. olive oil
2 6 oz. boneless lamb loins
½ c. yellow onion, diced
½ lb. chanterelle mushroom, sliced
1 c. Arborio rice
¼ c. FFC Claret
4 c. water or chicken stock, simmering
2 T. parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. butter, unsalted

Preparation

Cut lamb loin into one inch pieces. Place a wide bottomed pot over high heat and preheat for several minutes. Add one tablespoon olive oil to pot, carefully add the lamb pieces to it, and sear on all sides. Remove lamb from pot when all sides are nicely browned. Turn heat down to medium, add another tablespoon of olive oil, and add the onions. Cook the onions over medium heat until translucent, approximately 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the rice to the pot with the onions and mushrooms and stir for two minutes. Add wine and reduce the liquid until the pot is dry. Add one cup of water or stock to the pot, stirring constantly. Reduce the water or stock by half before adding another cup, stirring the whole time, until all the liquid is used up. Test the doneness of the rice and add more liquid if needed. Finish the rice by adding the butter, parmesan cheese, and lamb pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with a nice bottle of Claret. Serves four.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Corey Beck, winemaker at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and Culinary Manager Tom Bodell at the winery’s restaurant, RUSTIC, for their ‘a tavola’ (or ‘to the table’) dining experience. The Lamb Risotto with Chanterelles brings out the elegant nuances of the Claret.*

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*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Busy Parents – How To Bring Back The Romance on Valentine’s Day

When parents are busy with work, children and other obligations, it isn’t difficult to see how planning a romantic Valentine’s Day can seem impossible at best. Helping the kids get ready for their Valentine’s Day parties at school, going to work and juggling other commitments can make this day for lovers seem like anything but a day to celebrate the love you and your partner share. However, it is time to take back your special day and rekindle your love. When you remember that little things mean a lot, you can keep romantic sparks flying throughout the day between you and your sweetheart, reigniting the passion that can often be squelched in day to day living.

Here are some ideas for all of those busy parents out there, so they can have a truly romantic Valentine’s Day:

Start The Day Off With A Bang

Write a loving message on the bathroom mirror so the first thing your lover feels on Valentine’s Day morning is passion and anticipation for your special day or evening together.

Keep The Sparks Alive Throughout The Day

If your partner needs to go to the office on Valentine’s Day, you can have some romantic gestures in place to keep the sparks flying, even when driving to work. Put a love letter on the seat of his or her vehicle or put a CD in the car stereo that contains your special song with a sticky note that says “play track #3.” This will ensure smiles and nothing but strong feelings of love before the day has even truly begun.

While at work, a loving note inside of your sweetheart’s lunch bag, purse or briefcase is a wonderful way to keep the Valentine magic coming all day long. In addition, in this technological age, never underestimate the powerful feelings that can come from sending an electronic Valentine’s card with a personalized message, a loving email or even a steamy text message.

Plan A Brief Period Of Time Together Before The Evening Truly Begins

If the day has been busy, nothing can put more of a damper on a romantic evening than feeling rushed or pushed to begin the celebration as soon as a husband or wife walks in the door. When possible, try to create a little relaxing atmosphere and ambiance with music, candles, wine and just take a little time to unwind before moving on to whatever you had planned for the evening. It takes time to relax and change gears after a long day, so allow some time to get into the moment.

Have A Great Evening Planned – But If Everything Doesn’t Go As Planned, Don’t Abandon Ship!

You may have planned a romantic evening out with dinner reservations, entertainment or even a romantic carriage ride to make your Valentine’s Day extra special. Hopefully every magical part you planned together will go just how you envisioned. However, most parents recognize that things can and do change where children are concerned. A babysitter can cancel, a child can come down with a cold and many other unexpected, disappointing events.

If things don’t turn out as you’d hoped, don’t despair! Your love is all that truly matters, and it is your job to make lemonade out of lemons. Of course, you will want to carry on where you left off in the very near future and have that special evening out on the town. But don’t throw your romantic evening away just because it didn’t turn out how you had hoped. Order in your favorite food, snuggle and watch your favorite love story in your bedroom, give each other a massage after the children are asleep, indulge in strawberries and chocolate in bed and anything else your heart desires. It is always wise to have a little romantic emergency kit available in case things don’t go as planned on Valentine’s Day. No matter what, always remember that this is your special day, and your love is all that truly matters, no matter where you go or what you do with your Valentine.

About the Author

Grace Pamer is the author of romanticfrugalmom.com, one woman’s on going quest to keep romance alive despite the time pressure of dealing with three beautiful but crazy kids and an always working husband. Check out her love letters for her section if you’re looking to put the romance back into your marriage with a well crafted love letter to your nearest and dearest.

*Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*