Yesterday I attended an insanely cool workshop on leadership. My favourite take home message that stuck out (which I have literally been telling absolutely everyone I talk to about) is this completely foreign concept to me. An important point for you to know is that in this workshop, a strength was described as something you have an ability for (not surprising!) in addition to something you are also passionate about (logical, but before yesterday I didn’t include it in my typical definition). For example, in my current work, I’ve got a strong ability to write technical reports however, I quite dislike it i.e., NOT a strength. If you’re like me, your strengths are almost what you focus least on – I tend to focus mainly on my weaknesses and how I can improve those. The speakers take home message was for us to focus on our strengths rather than weaknesses as our advancement will be so much greater than we could have thought.
Logically this makes sense – but to what extent really? She told us about a study that had been conducted: a 3 month accelerated reading program with two groups – one group who was pretty indifferent about reading and one group who LOVED to read. After three months both groups improved. The group who was indifferent improved by 50% – not too bad. The group who loved to read improved by 600!!!!!!!! %.
Imagine all of the possibilities in life if you hone in on your strengths. 600 % in three months people, think about that.
Needless to say, after that talk I was inspired to sit my butt down and write this blog post as in my opinion, my strength is cooking. I feel really grateful for those of you who actually read what I write or send me a little note saying you tried my recipe. It really truly makes my day.
Onto the beets; this is a perfect perfect perfect! fall recipe to feed your guests at a dinner party. While the time it takes looks daunting the hands on time is minimal; just stirring once in a while. The earthy beet taste gives the risotto so much flavor and the colour, well you can see, the colour is gorgeous. Pair with a California Pinot Noir (just saying!).
- 5 medium sized beets, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon salt and pepper, respectively
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-5 rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups aborio rice
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1000 mL chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
- 3/4 cup grated asiago cheese (plus more for topping)
- Arugula (optional - for topping)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In tin foil, combine beets, olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap the beets tightly and place onto a baking sheet. Bake the beets for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- With 15 minutes remaining start making your risotto.
- In a large dutch oven, heat remaining olive oil, butter, and rosemary sprigs over medium heat. Once the oil/butter is fragrant, remove the rosemary.
- Add in chopped onions and minced garlic. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent - stir frequently.
- Add in your aborio rice and vodka. Stir until the rice is coated in the oil/butter mixture and until the vodka has been absorbed.
- A cup at a time, add the stock of your choosing and mix until fully absorbed. Once the mixture has fully absorbed the stock, add another cup. Repeat until you have no more stock left or until the risotto is fully cooked.
- Once your beets are done, puree them in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add in milk, beet puree, and asiago and stir well.
- Garnish with arugula and cheese.