, , , , , , , ,

There you go, after my lazy Sunday I actually took a day off from blogging on Monday to do this:

(not what the cat did)

Studying efficiently (more or less) and getting ready for fall, but more on that tomorrow. Today I decided to give this photo-editor-online-program-thingy a try that I heard so often about around the blogsphere: PicMonkey. It’s basic functions are free, so everyone can do some quick picture editing on the go with it (or colaging, but again, this is something I will talk about in a later post). Since I had a bunch of underexposed food pictures from my risotto and wine dinner on Saturday, I decided it would be a good try to play around with these and see what the program can do. And I am also willing to give you the recipe while I am at it. Kind of me, isn’t it 😉 


This picture is the one I showed you in my last post and therefore it was already edited and I just worked a little more on it. Not bad for how underexposed it has been before. The lightning doesn’t seem natural, but hey, at least it has a pretty badge with my name on it!


Then again, to remember you where the inspiration from this recipe came from, I took a picture of my chaotic, but genius, cookbook shelf. Most of the books only have vegetarian or vegan recipes, due to the fact that all meat or fish recipes I make are quite simple and I never considered buying a book for it. So far recipe blogs offered me everything I needed for these parts. Same goes for baking, I make up my own recipes or use the internet to find what I search for. No other inspiration needed.


As mentioned in Sunday’s post I found this beautiful vegetarian cookbook on a yard sale Saturday morning. While going through the pages on our drive back home I stumbled over an intriguing risotto recipe, that I immediately wanted to try the same evening – with a few alterations due to what I had at hand and did not want to buy.

Basil Zucchini Risotto


yields 4 portions

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small zucchinis
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups of white, round kernel rice (I used sushi rice, but you can use risotto rice)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 liter vegetable broth (and more hot water)
  • handful of basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated gran padano (or parmesan)
  • 1 T butter


You start by placing a pan and a big pot on the stove top and cutting all the vegetables in small cubes. Heat 1 T of oil in the pan, place the cut up zucchini and bell pepper inside, press the garlic on top and stir. Turn down to medium-low heat and close the lid.

Dice the onion and heat some oil in the pot. Place the onion inside and let sizzle until it turns brown. Add the rice, mix thoroughly until the rice starts to brown a bit. Deglaze with the white wine. Add broth until the rice is merely covered. Stir.

Check on your vegetables. They should be done by now. You might want to leave the lid open so that the remaining liquid evaporates.

Add broth to the risotto pot as soon as the rice soaked up the liquid. Always just as much as needed to cover up the rice. Keep stirring. And adding broth. And stirring again. When all broth is gone use some water. Your desired consistency should be slightly mushy but the rice will still have some bite to it.


When done add the vegetables from the pan, the grated cheese and the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything well and serve immediately.IMG_0528

Risotto is a great dish to make for you and a friend. Since it doesn’t need much work but standing and stirring and adding some broth from time to time, you two can spend the time talking and sipping white wine (since the bottle is already open…). You can also reheat the dish, but believe me risotto isn’t one of those dishes which taste better the next day. It’s peak is right after it came from the stove.IMG_0535So, what is my feedback on PicMonkey? It is a nice little tool if you don’t have any other photo editor at hand or if you’d like to get playful and add comic bobbles or scribbles or badges to your pictures… but other than that I prefer to do my photo editing the old fashioned way: offline. A freeware program that I can recommend, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a photo editing software, is Gimp. It is also free for commercial purpose, actually.

See you tomorrow for our weekly foodie party!