risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway!

risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway!

So, if you’ve been around this blog (or on the Internet in general) for more than half a second, I think you just might be familiar with the work of art that is my dear friend Stephanie’s i am a food blog.  It’s got awards galore under its belt; it’s home to my favorite Sunday reading.  It’s always got something unbelievably cute and mini, or else it’s swoon-worthy melting and cheesy (or cute, mini, and melting-cheesy), and no matter what her latest post is, it’s always delicious, and always as stunning as it is delicious.

Long story short, Stephanie’s created one of my favorite places on the web — and now the best news is that she’s morphed it into a cookbook that’s every bit as wonderful!  I’m in awe of this book.  It’s 99 flawless recipes, each with their own endearing, catch-up-over-coffee anecdotes, vibrant photos, and their own graphics.  And every page, cover to cover, is designed by Steph herself.  I read it on the subway home from work last week, and one stop from home, I looked up to find both my seat-neighbors craning over my shoulders to read it, too.  It’s that great.

risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway!

If you read Stephanie’s blog, you’ll know that she’s not just one of the most talented bloggers around — she’s also one of the most cheerful, genuine, and caring people I’ve had the honor of calling a friend. (Not to mention the humblest!) The best part about Easy Gourmet is that that fun-loving, approachable personality shines through in every page. For every recipe that breathes new life into an old classic with joyful, Stephanie-esque spirit, there’s a recipe that makes an otherwise intimidating technique seem accessible, fun, and inviting thanks to her guiding words.

For me, risotto was the latter, and I knew instantly that if I ever successfully made it, it’d be with Steph as my guide.  Sure enough, Stephanie’s easy-going, friendly instructions led me straight into these plates of savory, comforting, Italian goodness. One bite took me straight back to the first revelatory taste of risotto I ever had, and if I didn’t see my own hands make it in front of my eyes, I might not have believed it was me. So good.

risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway! risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway! risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway! risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway! risotto with peas & crispy prosciutto // a giveaway!

In a book that’s all about the easy, Steph has done what is, in a lot of ways, most difficult — she’s put a finger on the real, the wholesome, the crave-worthy food that’s accessible yet fantastic (or, should we say, easy yet gourmet?!)  I’m in love with it, and I have no doubt you will be, too.

Courtesy of Page Street Publishing, I’m giving away one copy of Easy Gourmet: Awesome Recipes Anyone Can Cook! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me a kitchen skill or special dish you’ve been meaning to conquer. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents, and ends next Tuesday, September 30th at 11:59 PM EST!

The giveaway has closed!  Big yays for Lily Sheng!  Look out for an email with more details.  I hope you adore Stephanie’s new book.

Pea & Bacon Risotto, from Easy Gourmet!


  • 4 1⁄2 cups (1 l) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) butter
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) oil
  • 1 cup (228 g) arborio rice
  • 1⁄2 small onion, diced
  • 1⁄2 cup (64 g) frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 slices cooked thick-cut bacon, in 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • 1⁄4 cup (45 g) freshly grated parmesan


  1. In a medium stockpot, heat the stock to a gentle simmer.
  2. Melt the butter with the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the rice. Toast the rice, about 3-4 minutes, until slightly translucent.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add a ladle of hot stock. Stir into the rice until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue stirring and adding hot stock as the rice absorbs it. Taste after about 15 minutes. If the rice is soft but with a bit of bite, it’s ready. If still uncooked, continue adding stock a ladle at a time. When done, remove from the heat and stir in the peas, bacon and cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately.


I served my risotto with crispy prosciutto and a drizzle of chive oil to finish. I used prosciutto only because I've been dying to try crispy fried prosciutto -- of course, nothing beats thick-cut bacon.



  1. marisastewart says:

    September 24, 2014 at 7:22 am

    You had me at prosciutto! As an Italian I could eat the stuff morning, noon and night. I will definitely go see Stephanie and tell her you sent me over — do you think it’s too early?? I wouldn’t want to wake her up 🙂

  2. Cate says:

    September 24, 2014 at 9:21 am

    This risotto looks delicious! I’ve been working on conquering macarons. Making the cookie shells has been a bit rough so far, but the upside of all the failed attempts is that I then get to eat the filling for breakfast with yogurt. Or just with a spoon!

  3. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I am pretty sure I discovered Stephanie’s blog through you, so thanks a bunch! <3

    That risotto is making me hungry and it's only 10 am around here! I love the crispy prosciutto on top of the rice – it looks both beautiful and yummy!

  4. Melissa says:

    September 24, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been putting off making macarons. I’ve always wanted to try them but they scare me. Also homemade marshmallows.

  5. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This looks so delicious! I’ve been wanting to try fancy pastries, the braided kind, especially. I’ve made some pastries before, but only simple ones. I want them to rival the beautiful ones I pass every day to work!

  6. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

    yay yay yay! i just purchased a copy of steph’s book, and it is so so gorgeous – and those photos! so big and beautiful 🙂

    i love your setup here, and the coziness it inspires! totally lovely, cynthia!

  7. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Wow I must made this ASAP! It looks divine. Too bad you don’t ship to France…I would love to get my hands on this book! Does the author ship to France? I’ll add my piece anyway:

    1.) I would really like to know how to make Gratin Dauphinois. It’s one of the most classic dishes from the French Alpine region I live in. It’s such a fabulous side dish — and you should see the look on people’s faces when this comes out of the oven! It’s like a big warm hug — even better than mashed potatoes (what I grew up with) IMO. I’d like to conquer the classic version and also to conquer a new version using sweet potatoes instead of classic potatoes (a side dish available at a restaurant down my street – inspired by the USA). C’est trop bon !

    2.) I’d also like to make japchae (using your recipe!). I’ve made bulgogi, various kimbaps, kimchi pancakes and bibimbap but I’d love to make japchae…if I can find dangmyeon in South East France! ><

    ~and both these recipes are gluten-free so all the better!~

    P.S. I love your blog (found it via your awesome photos on Instagram) and I LOVE Korean food (my 1st roommate was Korean and I lived a few streets down from Korea Town, NYC…so I had kimbap, kimchi (I now make my own!), japchae and (so much more!) pretty much everyday for 5 years…and ate often at NYC's Woorijip and KoFoo). I started cookig Korean food when moving to the French Alps as it's not available here. It's getting cooler outside so soon I'll be making mandu soup and kimchi jjigae! <3

  8. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I’ve always wanted to make the perfect pho broth. The kind that Vietnamese ladies cook for their families every day. I think once you can master a pho broth, you can master anything.

  9. Pam says:

    September 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Growing up in a restaurant, I always used industrial kitchen appliances. Not sure if I’m just a bad cook these days, but I can’t seem to master my home’s electric stove. Luckily, risotto is something that turns out great no matter what.

  10. Lauren Mcginnis says:

    September 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Eggs benedict is a weakness of mine and I’ve been wanting to make it at home but I’ve been so afraid of the poached eggs & hollandaise sauce! I’m determined to conquer my fears and try it this year.

  11. cakeoversteak says:

    September 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Haha, I love that image of you reading her book on the subway while your neighbors read over your shoulder. Stephanie’s book IS fantastic, and I have it on my nightstand right now, where it makes me hungry every night before I go to bed. Lovely post as always, girl! xoxo

  12. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    your photos are so poetic and beautiful. and yay for Stephanie’s book!

    I want to conquer a gluten-free pan bread (similar to navajo slap bread, the non-friend variety). hearty enough to tear off chunks for food-scooping, but still puffy and tender. test recipes have been super fail so far!

  13. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    This looks so lovely! I’ve been meaning to try my hand at paella again. The first and last time my sister and I tried to make it at home was a disaster. But it may have also been an altitude problem cause we were in Colorado.

  14. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    This looks like an awesome cookbook! I’m so entering the contest!

    The kitchen skill I want to conquer is stuffing and baking a whole chicken. Having recently rediscovered the deliciousness of homemade chicken, I dream of making a gochujang-based sauce, roasting it up, and eating the whole bird over the week for lunch and dinner!

  15. Jordan Leigh says:

    September 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Ah risotto has always been so intimidating to me! I would always see a recipe and think “nope. nuh uh. next. can’t do it” but no more! I will conquer this dish! Along with my fear of homemade sushi. Something about that rolling just sends shivers down my spine.

  16. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve made many pies in my time, but never the “perfect pie.” Sometimes a crust droops, sometimes the fruit inside droops too much and leaves a gap between top crust and filling… Always delicious, but seeking perfection!

  17. Neena says:

    September 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    My new food skill is spiralizing! I realize that I am very very late to the party, but I’m making up for lost time now!

  18. says:

    September 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I want to get better at cooking peasant food. Sounds sarcastic, but I’m serious. I’ve got bread down, but I need to master the art of stews and the like; I’m more of a project person and I’d like to become more of a cook.

  19. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 1:43 am

    This looks so, so dreamy! And your styling is absolutely flawless, as usual. A skill I’d like to master in the kitchen would be (you can laugh) using a can opener. Every time I attempt, I end up with beans splattered all over the wall. As far as recipes go, I’d love to learn how to cook with wines.

  20. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Love to see people’s takes on other blogger’s recipe! Both you and Steph are amazing, obviously. Pea and crispy prosciutto is such a classic combo! I think Prosciutto is still best in its raw form when you can get good quality one. I’ll put my hands on that book too 🙂

  21. Anna Wang says:

    September 25, 2014 at 4:57 am

    It sounds simple but I just want to master all the homemade Chinese dishes that my mother is so amazing – and I am so mediocre – at cooking. Pork dumplings from scratch, beef noodles with broth, scallion pancakes, all taste better when my mom makes them.

  22. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

    What a lovely post, recipe, photo styling and kind words you have to say. I couldn’t agree any more! (and now I am craving risotto!)

    A skill I am yet to master in my kitchen is dough/bread making. The smell of freshly baked bread (that rises properly) is one of the homliest ever and I.can’t.damn.do.it! I need to master making a mean sourdough loaf to go with my sunday brunches inspired by Stephanie and yourself.

    Bec xo

  23. Lisal says:

    September 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Tender scones and fluffy biscuits have always eluded me! I’m a good cook andd I love to bake – but I still haven’t mastered those two “simple” treats.

  24. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Oh, I have never heard of Stephanie’s blog but I believe I will be a fan!! (Thanks for the intro!!) 😀
    This risotto is a feast for the eyes; gorgeous yums!!! Actually, risotto is a dish I have been *trying* to perfect. My attempts always yield watery mush or errant awkward crunchies. *grrr*

  25. Madeline says:

    September 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve been wanting to bake a homemade baguette for the longest time. Maybe now that it’s almost winter, maybe I will get that oven going….

  26. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    As always, these photos are stunning! I pretty much want to try my hand at almost all the recipes in Stephanie’s book. On another note, you are such an amazing writer!! While I will be the first to say that I am not an eloquent writer or speaker, I will tell you that you inspire me to push myself to articulate my thoughts more clearly and tell a better story. Thank you!!

  27. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    MMMmmmMmmm risotto is the ultimate comfort food and of course, you’ve captured it beautifully. I’ve been meaning to master fried donuts — I’m permanently scarred from a dough frying incident that took place years ago, but I think it’s time to break out the oil and try again!

  28. says:

    September 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    You are so right Stephanie is truly talented, and I, too, do love her blog. I am out of town, but am determine to buy this book as soon as I am home in SF; I can’t wait to see all her recipes, photos and her design on the book.

    Having said that, I truly love your photos on this post as well. I have never been able to shoot risotto as beautiful as yours, so I am drooling over this post.

    About the give away, I would love to be able to pick the right red wine to cook for the french dish. It was so frustrated when a french recipe called for “red wine,” but did not tell me what kind of red wine.. ahhhhhhh 🙂

  29. Susan says:

    September 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you! I would love to be able to master and prepare a complete special meal where everything is ready at the same time.

  30. Lily Sheng says:

    September 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Something I’ve been meaning to conquer is Morning Buns (or sugar buns). I’ve done my own made-up, cheapy-quick version of cutting sheets of Puff Pastry (store brought) with sheets of Pillsbury Crescent Roll doughs and then rolling it out hoping layers will be created, but it just won’t cut it! Some things in life just don’t have shortcuts. And my fear of buttery, flaky dough is enough to have kept me from making it from scratch all these years…. Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. says:

    September 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    these photos. holy LORDY they are making me extremely hungry. i’ve been away for a month and in that time my copy of easy gourmet has been delivered at my house… so i am DYING to finally get my chinese paws on it!!! i’ve never made a holiday turkey. so that’s something i want to conquer… however, don’t enter me in the draw as i’ve already got a copy! ^__^ your are so sweet cynthia, the words you speak about steph are SO true! i hope to meet you in person one day, too! xoxo

  32. says:

    September 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Amazing job with the risotto, Cynthia! I’ve never made it because I’m too intimidated so in answer to your question, one dish that I want to master is risotto. Everyone who has a copy of this book is raving about it. Steph’s blog is so kick ass that I’m not surprised her book is awesome.

  33. says:

    September 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I want to learn to take apart a whole chicken! The photos in this post are absolutely gorgeous. That tablecloth and the whole scene is just so inviting.

  34. says:

    September 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I can not wait to get my hands on this cook book! I love Stephanie’s blog – and her recipes are so inspiring. I have never had risotto (how, I am not sure…) but I will be making this version as soon as I can. Beautiful job, Cynthia!

  35. says:

    September 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    GIRL. That’s exactly how I felt about Steph’s cookbook, and about her miso-glazed cod after I made it. I couldn’t believe I’d made such an amazingly tasty fish!! She really is a goddess with her simple, yet SUPER flavorful and easy recipes!!! Your rendition of this risotto is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, as always, along with your eternally endless eloquence. FAB POST!!!!!!!!

  36. says:

    September 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Cynthia, I just wanted to say — I truly admire how you uplift and encourage those around you! Just coming home from dinner with you and I am ELATED. Stephanie — and myself — are so very lucky to call you a friend.


  37. says:

    September 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Oh, I could so get into a bowl of this right now… I’ll even eat it cold. Gorgeous shots!

    The skill I want to conquer most is killer NY style pizza dough at home. I’ve tried it a gazillion times but can’t get it right 🙁

  38. Hudson Valley Kathleen says:

    September 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Just found your blog-I am liking it a lot right off the bat. Food thoughts rule my days and nights so I always have my head in a food mag., or I am watching. TV food shows. Yesterday most of my family and I went to a yearly garlic festival. Wowee! Keep writing; I will keep reading. Hudson Valley Kathleen

  39. says:

    September 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    i want to conquer pie crust. my grandmother was an amazing pie baker, and one of my great regrets is missing out on her teaching me how to make crust.

  40. ame says:

    September 28, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I am definitely trying this out soon! This reminds me of another rice dish – I want to learn how to make a perfect Indian Biriyani.

  41. jenchilee says:

    September 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

    i want to master chicken breast! maybe it’s basic, but to be able to consistently bake, roast, pan-fry, or poach chicken breasts so that they’re moist and flavorful would really be great!

  42. Cecilia says:

    September 29, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I can’t make tortillas 🙁 My grandmother was an amazing tortilla maker. She would make them so thin and we would eat them before she could get them in the warmer. I have tried and it’s harder than it looks.

  43. says:

    September 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Awww, it’s so easy to see how much of a good friend you are – what a glowing review! I hope I can try some of the recipes soon! While I do a lot of desserts, yeast desserts freak me out and so I never bake with yeast! I want to get better at it.

  44. says:

    September 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I hope to conquer the skill of tempering chocolate! It’s always been a daunting thing to do for me but I hope that one day I’ll muster enough courage to tackle this skill ( :

    On a side note, I absolutely adore bothStephanie’s and your blog – recipes, photography and all!

    Keep up the lovely work you two!

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