Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vanilla Bean Bliss

I had my friends Mary and Frank over for dinner last night and I made Giada de Laurentis' Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto. I made this dish last year when I had an accident with a pairing knife and only had one hand to work with. It was convenient that Trader Joe's had pre-cut butternut squash and onion. In my first one-handed attempt of this recipe, I didn't put in the effort to buy a vanilla bean and certainly couldn't cut one in half, let alone remove the beans. I added a little bit of vanilla extract to substitute the bean, but it didn't come close to the gorgeous flavor that occurred from using the bean last night. When making this recipe, accept no substitute, use the bean.

I made the spinach and pear salad with hazelnuts and goat cheese. Chocolate cake with homemade peppermint stick ice cream for dessert.

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