Diane Seed’s Asparagus Risotto

Diane Seed is known to those who have been fortunate enough to attend her occasional classes, as a teacher who weaves a spell, while she infuses Italian history and a story with each dish she creates with you.  I had the pleasure of spending an evening with her and it was truly the highlight of my cooking journey.  She is fascinating, and so pleasant. She glides in the kitchen with an ease that is contagious. I found myself be very child-like and wanting to mimic her every move.

One of the dishes we made while I was graced with her presence was Asparagus Risotto. She taught me most people feel the need to make their risotto with Arborio Rice, but she compared it to Minute Rice and she said Carnaroli Rice is the only rice for GOOD risotto. When I came back home I couldn’t find it though.  I found some on Amazon.com to order.  I also found it in the North Beach or Little Italy while I was in San Francisco.  So you might have to search for it in your hometown.

I hope you take the time to make this dish. It is truly an indulgence well worth it.  This is taken from my notes.  Enjoy her comments about some of the ingredients!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                  



2 pounds fresh green asparagus


1 3/4 oz butter (

1 medium onion, finely chopped

10 ounces Carnaroli rice (the only rice to use Anything else used will taste like Minute)

8 ounces good dry white wine ( cook with what you would drink, not cheap)

a little light stock,  (asparagus water about 3 cups or more)

1 3/4 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese (buy a good quality and grate it yourself)

black pepper, Freshly ground                                                    


Cut off the extreme tips(1 to 1 1/4 inch) of the asparagus and reserve.  Cut the remaining stalks into pieces (1 3/4 inches) and cook quickly in a little salted water.  When they are tender,  puree and sieve to eliminate any tough fibers.  Stir this pulp into cooking liquid to make an asparagus stock. (this is the salted water the asparagus cooked in).

Melt 1 1/2 ounce of the butter in a large pan, add the onion and let it begin to soften before adding the asparagus tips. With a wooden spoon ( must be a wooden spoon) stir in the rice and let it absorb in the flavor of the butter and pour in the wine.  Turn up the heat so the wine evaporates quickly then ladle on a little of the boiling asparagus stock.  When the rice has absorbed the liquid add another ladle of stock and continue in this way until the rice is cooked. You may need to use a different stock if the asparagus stock is finished before the rice is tender.  It is important to add only boiling stock a little at a time to the rice.  This process usually takes about 20 minutes and needs constant care. ( just like a baby or a man!!)

When the rice is cooked check for seasoning and stir in the remaining butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add your black pepper to your taste.

Deutsch: Abgesackter Carnaroli Reis; Risottoqu...

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Nancy’s Banana Cream Pie

This recipe is in honor of my mother Nancy Taylor. She is/was the best baker in Champion, Ohio.  Well, at least my family thought so!!  Everything was homemade in our house.  Breads, cakes, cookies and pies.  My mom’s pies were always a big hit.  The best thing was my mom made dessert EVERY night.  After dinner ,we had the very best sweets imagined.  Banana cream pie was always put a smile on my family’s face!

Enjoy my mom’s recipe and Happy Cooking,                                                          



3/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

4 bananas, sliced

whipped topping                                                                                                                              


In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.

Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.

Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees  for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for an hour.

Top with whipped topping.

Buttermilk Double Chocolate Bread

To love Some say it’s hard 

But I think otherwise 

Love is the easiest feeling 

No need to hide it, express it with pride                                    

It’s a kiss, a hug or a smile 

It’s hidden in our eyes 

Nothing compares To love

On this eve of Saint Valentine’s day I wanted to share a recipe that included chocolate.  This bread will put a smile on your special Valentine’s face and love in their heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,



1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup white chocolate chips


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda;  add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Valentine’s Day menu

Enjoy spending time with the one’s you love.


This is one of my favorite Valentine’s menus.  I made it for Mark Valentine’s Day 1994 ( sometimes it pays writing notes in my cookbooks!)  I was very pregnant with Maddie, Chris was 4, and Taylor was 2.  The boys and I cut out 100 hearts and wrote all the things we loved about Mark on them.  We taped the hearts to the door so when Mark got home from work he would see them. Then we sat down and enjoyed this wonderful dinner and laughed and told Mark all of our adventures of the day!!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love and laughter.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                      





Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dreesing

Garlic Green Beans

Chicken Amore

Raspberry Cobbler


Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


1 pkg. raviolis, found in the refrigerator section

1 cup of roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise


In a food processor combine peppers, vinegar, mustard, oil and salt until finely chopped. Pour into a mixing bowl and sitr in mayonnaise. Serve as a dipping sauce for raviolis.

Fry raviolis in oil until crspy.

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dressing


Romaine lettuce, Chopped

Tomatoes, sliced

Cucumber, peeled and sliced

Add all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss.


1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. sugar


Mix dry ingredients together set aside. In a large mixing bowl add vinegar. Whisk oil in slowly and well. Add dry ingredients and whisk well. Before serving over tossed salad whisk dressing.

Garlic Green Beans                                                                             


4 cloves garlic

1 lb. green beans

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

salt and pepper to taste


Cook green beans by steaming until crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Crush and mince garlic. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over meduim heat. Add garlic and saute. Add green beans, salt and pepper. Toss in pan until beans are thoroughly coated and evenly heated.

Chicken Amore


1 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

4 chicken breast halves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

dash hot sauce

1 1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup sliced black olives

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1-7 oz. jar pimentos


Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a large zip bag. Add chicken and shake well. Make sure chicken is coated well. Heat oil in a large skillet over meduim heat. Add chicken and brown 3-5 min. turn and brown another 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, parsley,seasoning, hot sauce and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add olives, mushrooms, and pimentos. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Raspberry Cobbler


1 pkg. frozen raspberries

2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Thaw berries and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine bisquick, milk, butter, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Mix well until moist. Set aside. In sauce pan combine water, 3/4 cup sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Stir until mixture is thick and clear. Pour over berries. Drop Bisquick mixture by spoonful over berries. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.