About Me

Hi! My name is Lexy Briest. I am a teacher, artist, wife, and best of all mom to Delilah Poppy. This blog is meant to document what I love and discover along the way of becoming a mommy, which to me is a never ending journey. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Relaxation through Risotto

 There is something so relaxing about making risotto. Risotto has a meditative quality to it. There is structure involved in preparing and cutting your accompanying ingredients. In stirring and ladling the stock, watching it be absorbed and repeating the process. It is a quiet process, with a saucepan of simmering stock on a back burner, the slow hiss of vegetables being sauteed in luxurious olive oil and a pad of organic butter.

The key to good great risotto is exceptional ingredients. There aren't that many so it is worth it to be choosy. After that, you can combine it with anything on hand. I had a few select ingredients tucked away in the freezer from a recent Trader Joe's adventure calling my name.

I recommend making a risotto earlier in the day- a weekend for most of us. It does take about 30 minutes if you are a speedster and can be done after work. But if you want to reveal in its glory and enjoy the process give yourself 45 minutes of stress free "me time." The payoff is this lusciously rich yet light dish that tickles your taste-buds and soothes your mind, body and soul. I'm on cloud 9 just thinking about having it over 19 hours ago. The most difficult part is not eating it all. I can't wait to puree it for Delilah and watch her eyes roll back in her head at the flavor profiles. Enjoy!

Late Autumn Risotto                                        

Basic Risotto:
10 sage leaves, stems discarded
1 sprig rosemary
1 qt good quality low sodium vegetable stock
Olive oil
3 tbsp organic unsalted butter
1/2 a onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup semi-dry or dry white wine (that you would enjoy drinking)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Autumn Topping:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 a onion, chopped
1 lb sliced mushrooms (cremini and shitakie)
1/2 cup sliced leek, white and light green only                          
10-12 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
roasted brussel sprouts, optional                                            

salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp butter in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high. Fry the sage leaves and rosemary sprig, 2-3 minutes per side, then remove and drain on paper towel. Add 1/4 of the onion to the pan till fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to sautee till tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If needed, add more oil or butter before sauteing leeks and artichokes till lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper then remove from the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, simmer the stock in a saucepan on medium-low. If needed, pour a glug of the wine to deglaze the pan and remove burnt bits. Heat 1 tbsp each of olive oil and butter. Saute the remaining onion 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic, 1-2 minutes more. Add the rice to the pan to toast the grains till fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine, stirring as the rice absorbs the liquid. Once the wine has been absorbed, add one ladle  of stock, stirring until it has been absorbed, about 2 minutes. Then repeat, adding stock one ladle at a time, stirring until the rice has absorbed it, about 2 minutes each time before repeating. Make sure to stay nearby to stir almost constantly.  This process takes about 20 minutes for the rice to become tender and release its starches. You may have a ladle of stock leftover or you may need to add water at the end if you run out of the stock- it depends on the rice. Once the rice has absorbed as much liquid as it will, turn the heat off and add 1 tbsp more of butter and the Parmesan cheese.  Spoon the risotto into your bowl. Top with sauteed vegetables. Lay a sage leaf or two on top and break up with fork when ready to eat. And then savor it! For some extra protein you can add sauteed cannellini beans or crisp pancetta.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



I started out making baby food combinations based on recipes I found from favorite chefs, blogs and websites. Some of my favorites are Tyler FlorenceFrench Foodie BabyWholesomeBaby and Weelicious. Now that I have been at it for a few months I have started developing my own recipes. 

It appeared that I was running low on my freezer supply so I gathered leftover ingredients from the past two weeks of holiday recipes to create a flavorful, fresh and seasonal Delilah approved puree. This recipe would be a delicious accompaniment to a poultry dish, as well!

Carrot-Cranberry Apricot Puree with Citrus

3 medium Organic Carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
 (I used a combination of Red and Yellow locally grown beauties)
1/2 cup cranberries
5 dried apricots
1/2 water
zest of one clementine (or 1/2 of an orange. Grapefruit zest would be great, too!)

In a medium saucepan combine all the ingredients except the zest. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover until carrots are tender, apricots have plumped up and cranberries have burst, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Once pureed fold in zest. Divide portions. Enjoy!

She didn't give me a chance to snap a photo while she was eating, she scarfed this down so fast! She had a sweet potato-coconut milk with cinnamon puree by Weelicious along side this burgundy delicacy as well as goat cheese. I will definitely be using these photos and this blog as ammo for when she is older and claims she doesn't like such and such foods!


Sunday, December 1, 2013


My daughter has never rolled over in her sleep, preferring to sleep on her back, even while she was crying or having a fit in her crib. She didn't move. "Sweet," I naively thought. Earlier this week she started pivoting in her sleep from the traditional vertical position to a horizontal, head and feet against the bars position. After a few nights of her horizontal pivot shift, and too many wakings to check the monitor that no limbs were stuck,  we decided it was time to lower Delilah's crib.

The same night that her crib was lowered she sat straight up in the middle of the night crying because she didn't know how to get back down. Really funny, the first time. Since then, she has started sleeping on her stomach half way through the night, pushing up on her arms in a cobra pose. I spent the first part of this week anally checking the monitor to make sure she was breathing, as this was the first time she slept on her stomach. I've gotten really good at analyzing the night vision on my video monitor. You'd think she could get herself rolled over like she does during the day, but I think that a different part of the brain is active at night and she hasn't figured that part out yet. So I am waking up throughout the night when she fusses to check the monitor and going in at least once to set her back on her back for sleep. I am looking forward to the night she figures it out and I get better sleep again. I am also aware that next she will learn how to pull herself up on the bars of the crib but not know how to get back down and this process will repeat itself. The beauty of parenthood.