Being Mommy to both an infant and a teenager does have its perks. If my son’s teething woes force me to stay up and party like it’s 1999, I think of my teenager who not only sleeps through the night, but also through her alarm. If my teenager rolls her eyes when I tell her it’s time to detox from Facebook and go to bed, I peek in on my early bird special of a son who hits his sleep sack no later than 7:00 p.m. Raising them together reminds me that everything comes in stages.
Everything…except for their major milestones. My son’s first birthday party and my stepdaughter’s Bat Mitzvah are just three weeks apart. Talk about party planner pressure!
I am knee-deep in Elmo impersonators and breakdancers; high chair banners and letter balloons; cakes and mocktails; “I am One” outfits and glittery dresses; goody bags and custom t-shirt giveaways. Ensuring two coming-of-age celebrations are as special as my kids is no small task. I am the Mommy equivalent of Mindy Weiss (Hollywood event planner to the stars) for the next few months.
The fast pace and attention-to-detail required to pull off my parties makes me want to cook something slow and mindless for dinner. For me, that dish is Butternut Squash Risotto. It’s easy to prepare, and I find the constant stirring to be a stress reliever. Better yet, it’s a dish kids who like little singalongs and Lil Wayne agree on. Now that’s something to celebrate!
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 large onion, diced
1/2 of a butternut squash, cut length-wise–roasted and diced
1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large vegetarian stock in a box
Salt and pepper
1 large palm full of Parmesan cheese
Half-and-half, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast for about a half hour, until soft and the edges are brown. Dice butternut squash.
Saute onion in butter and olive oil unil soft and translucent. Add rice and saute for a minute or two. Add one cup of stock and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue until you use all of the liquid, or until risotto is cooked to al dente. Mix in butternut squash, add Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of half-and-half, if desired, to make it extra creamy. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.