In an effort to impress my boyfriends parents with how effortlessly I can make a delicious meal, I took over Matthew's mother's kitchen and made them a delicious meal!

Elaine (his mum) was at work while it all went down, and Matthew was out in the Airstream getting organized. But their family friend Annie kept me company while I poked about in cupboards and stirred away, and his dad, Peter, walked through the kitchen occasionally to take samples and show me where things where hidden.

I made risotto with hot Italian sausage, sweet apples, onions, toasted pinenuts, peas, and parmesan. And a salad with baby greens, tomato, cucumber, and shallots. Please take this as proof that risotto is the perfect vehicle for everything good in this world.

A side note: those of you who have seen me cook know that I'm not exactly neat in the kitchen. I toss eggshells in the sink instead of the garbage, and I leave onion skins in a pile on the counter while I move onto the next thing. So I was particularly pleased that I even got a chance to clean up after myself before Elaine got home, adding to the apparently effortlessness... although it's quite possible that she found bits of chopped apple on the floor days after we left. If she did, sorry Elaine! Thanks for letting me make a mess of your kitchen!

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