Risotto, Bribes, and Dog Pee. All before 9am.

A_gncX3CcAI-0ms.jpg_largeA member of our family had a dentist appointment this morning. The patient is furry, short, and adorable. All things E is not. (Hah! OK, E is very handsome. But furry and short? Umm, thankfully, no.) It was Beaker, our 10 year old dachshund. He had to be dropped off at the vet by 7:30 this morning, which is (embarrassingly) a little early for us. E and I are so lucky to have easy work schedules that don’t need us in the office until after 9am, so we’re usually not even awake until 7:30 or 8. So, when I found out we’d have to take Beaker to the vet by 7:30 I knew I’d have to offer up some pretty good bribery. I flipped through his favorite cookbook – Make it Fast, Cook it Slow – and found a great recipe for overnight crockpot breakfast risotto with apples. (Here we go again with regional vernacular! Crockpot or slow cooker?) It sounded rich, fairly healthy, and used stuff I had on hand.

Before we went to bed last night I asked E if he had his alarm set. “Of course,” he says. Seven twenty this morning I roll over and see E happy as a clam under the cozy sheets. “E! You have to take Beaker to the vet!” It was the volume knob, mon. So he bolted out of bed, grabbed some clothes and the dog and was off. From bed I could hear him go out, then in, then out, then come back in and go out one more time. Strange I thought.

When he came back from dropping the Beaks off, I found out what the deal was. It was pee. Lots of it. Our old man dog has some bladder issues, compounded by some anxiety issues. So lots of times he’ll go and then get startled or anxious later and go some more. Well E took him for a quick walk down the driveway and Beaker did his business #1 and just as E was putting him in the car the Beaks decides to do business #2. So, after he was done, E puts the dog in the back of the car and cleans up the poo from the yard. Just as he’s sitting down in in the car, E realizes Beaker is sitting happily in the passenger seat. Too late he notices the pee all over his center console and yesterday’s coffee cup. Not just that, it was on both of the front passenger seats, and – by this time – neatly wiped up by E’s behind. The man’s a trooper though. He took Beaker all the way into the vet with pee on his pants. Luckily he came home to a warm, hearty breakfast of Breakfast Risotto.


Breakfast Risotto

Overall: three-star

Ease to Prepare: four-star

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This was so incredibly easy to put together. The only reason it lost a star was because of the amount of time it requires to cook. Either 3 or 6 hours. One is too long to wait before eating breakfast in the morning and the other is not long enough to give you a good night’s rest if it’s cooking overnight. This worked well for me only because I wake up around 3am to feed Little K, so I just turned on the crock pot then. Otherwise, if you have a timer for your crockpot, that’d work too.

Instructions: four-star

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Easy recipes make for easy instructions. Loses a star for lack of photos in the cookbook. Not a one. Crockpot meals are notoriously ugly though, so that probably has something to do with it.

Food: two-star

20130208_085643Risotto is soft and creamy, this wasn’t. It had turned into a giant gelatinous blob by morning. Adding a little milk before serving it helped a ton, but it didn’t alleviate the issue. E said he didn’t mind it, but it sat like a lead weight in my stomach. The flavor was very good though – tasted like fall! Pumpkin pie and apples! Mmmm. It was a lot like oatmeal, so I’d probably just as soon do a slow cooker oatmeal than slow cooker risotto again.

Clean up: two-star

Crockpot clean up stinks, right? I swear I can never seem to get all the baked-on food scrubbed off. Whenever it dries I always seem to find more!

 Cost: two dollar

I gave this an extra dollar because it was essentially expensive oatmeal. You could have had the same flavor and consistency with old fashioned oatmeal. Risotto just costs a little more.


It was handy to have breakfast all ready this morning; it calmed the aggravated E! And, if you’re worried, Beaks is fine. He had four teeth pulled (poor old man!!) that were giving him grief in the very front of his mouth. He’s awake now and groggy, but still a very happy (albeit pee-happy) pup!

Update: We had lots of leftovers from this recipe and pulled the tupperware out of the fridge this morning. It was even more congealed than before. E described it as reheating “old rubber cement.” We added lots of milk and stirred it periodically as we reheated it. Still tasted as good as the first day, but was kind of a pain to make edible again (not to mention it had lost a lot of curl appeal. Eeesh.).

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