Oozy Risotto Balls

Oozy Risotto Balls| How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Things are getting a little personal today, so if you’re just here for those delicious Oozy Risotto Balls, keep scrolling. I won’t be offended. This recipe is awesome.

I started out writing this post with the usual trite nonsense, then I deleted that because I was already bored with myself. Is the world bored with this whole blogging thing in general? Everyone seems to be getting their need met by 17 year-olds on YouTube or 25 year-olds on InstaGram. Is there even a point to having my 40 year-old voice here on this static page on your screen? This question sounds like self-pity, but that’s really not what I’m getting at. I promise

I’ve been embarking on something that’s had me thinking a lot about what I really want. Most of the time the answer to that question is just a cheeseburger, but I’ve been trying to take the question a little more seriously. In many ways, I’m content. I’m in a relationship that is beautifully imperfect, but I never doubt it. While we’re far from rich, I’m more financially stable than I’ve ever been, though sometimes my gut forgets and still tells me to panic.

My job is fine. I’m good at it. It’s pretty easy. It’s insanely stressful sometimes, but I’ve even gotten good at managing that. I guess there are a few benefits to being 40. But when I close my eyes and imagine my perfect life, I’m not daydreaming about sitting behind a desk. The kids I work with are amazing, and I’m glad I get to help them, but when I picture myself as truly happy, I’m baking cookies and cake and, well, whatever I want. People are drinking tea and coffee and reading books, some of which they’ve bought from the books I sell. Maybe we host events with local artists, and it’s a true community space. Everyone is smiling because you can’t be unhappy while you’re eating brownies. There’s a cat, and it’s cozy, and it’s filled with love. Maybe I want to bring my food into the real world. But that’s a dream. Can it be real?

Oozy Risotto Balls| How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While we’re thinking out loud about our heart’s desire, we should probably share some Oozy Risotto Balls. Remember that White Risotto that we made last week, and how I told you we’d transform it into something awesome? This is that. We turned leftover risotto into crispy croquettes stuffed with oozy fresh mozzarella. These are the perfect mixture of crunchy, chewy, and creamy. You can dip them in marinara if you want, but I think they’re great as they are, fresh from the fryer and just cooled down enough to avoid burning your fingers off.

These are actually relatively easy to make as well. It’s a bit of a sticky mess forming the actual balls, then we get messy again using a standard three-step breading technique with flour, egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs, but it’s all totally worth it. These fry up perfectly is seven minutes. Let them cool a big, then dig in while the cheese in the center is still gooey.

Oozy Risotto Balls | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Things are stirring in our souls, friends, and we’re open to it. We’re asking questions and listening for answers. And of course, eating well along the way. It’s gonna be awesome.

Recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

April was a bit bi-polar. I spent most of the month wandering around in an ovenless daze. The weather was completely crazy. Two weeks ago it was sunny, and I was spritzing on the sunscreen as I hiked through the Scottish hills. Then two days ago, it was snowing. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, and I’m completely lost in Wonderland. Nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t. 

We had a visit from one of our favorite munchkins. I spent an aimless week at work without any wonderful but smelly teenagers, I danced my heart out on a boat with a series of large glasses of rosé in my hand, and I got in touch with nature. It was a gorgeous month of shenanigans.

Bread Meats Bread

We tried a new to us burger place, Bread Meats Bread. They make a very solid, respectable burger. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely go back. It’s just not quite as good as Handmade Burger Company which is on the other corner of that block and usually has more open tables. Too many good burger joints is a great problem to have. 

We also explored Pollock Country Park, Loch Lomond Shores, and the Riverside Museum. Me and Scotland are getting to be best friends. There’s so much to explore here. Imagine me with a car. I’d go crazy. Also, don’t ask about my current obsession with opening a cat cafe and becoming a fox foster mom. 

In the realm of delicious internet things, it appears that the lovely ladies of A Beautiful Mess share my chips and dip obsession. They made a pretty bad ass Cheesy Baked Bean Dip I desperately need to try out.

Foodie with Family is making my sweet and salty heart sing with a gorgeous Chocolate Pretzel Sheet Cake with a ridiculous peanut butter drizzle.

And I’m considering becoming a bourbon person. It seems like all the cool kids are doing it. Who’s cooler the Jessica? What’s more lovely than this Amaretto Bourbon Punch? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything, either.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

This month, you loved Peanut Butter Fudge because you’re smart and you know it’s the most addicting food ever created.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You threw caution to the wind and decided to make Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf. High fives for you!

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And your true love this April was Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies. Look at ’em. Aren’t they just lovely?

April in Scotland is pure insanity. It already stays light until about 8:30. I’m in a whole new world, and it couldn’t be awesomer. Come on, May. Bring it!

10 awesome egg recipes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

10 Awesome Egg Recipes

10 awesome egg recipes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

May is National Egg Month, and we’ve already talked about how crazy I am about eggs, so let’s get right to it, kids. Here are 10 awesome egg recipes you can easily make at home.

Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

Loco Moco is a Hawaiian favorite. It’s just rice, a hamburger patty, an over easy egg, and so much gravy, but somehow it’s ridiculously awesome.

Breakfast Pizza
It’s nearly impossible to stop eating Sky High Breakfast Pizza. Sausage, cheese, eggs, potatoes, crescent roll crust. That’s a lot of delicious words.

Bacon and Egg Salad
Occasionally we pretend to be “healthy” and eat salad. But then we put bacon and hard boiled eggs on top and dress it with bacon fat. We tried. Just go make Bacon and Egg Salad.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20
Jalapeno Devilled Eggs will add a bit of excitement to your family gathering. Grandma needs some spice in her life.

Bacon Carbonara from Awesome on 20
It is my dream to one day eat an entire pot of Bacon Carbonara. I’m weird, but this pasta is just so so good.

Goat Cheese Souffle from Awesome on 20
Goat Cheese Souffle is light and flavorful and just a little bit fancy. Eggs plus science equals yum.

Cholesterol Sandwich

I ate a Cholesterol Sandwich Sunday morning. It was a good day. Any day with egg yolk dripping down my arm is a good day.

Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit with Apple Butter from Awesome on 20
Every time I see a jar of apple butter I think of this Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit with Apple Butter and smile. It’s a necessity.

Breakfast Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
When I made this Breakfast Burger I felt like a genius. If you haven’t put an over easy egg on your cheeseburger yet, you haven’t lived.

Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwich from Awesome on 20
You may have noticed that bacon is an egg’s best friend. That’s why you need this Bacon Egg Salad Sandwich. Don’t forget the potato bread.

Get crazy. Put an egg on it!

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

It’s been a super stressful week/month/year. I’m staring at this screen and thinking I need to focus on the awesome stuff. There’s been lots to love this month. Let’s go.


I opened the month with the worst cold I’ve had in I don’t know how long, but let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about the cider I drank at Lulu’s while watching the the sunset over the ocean. I was still pretty sick, but I got to sit next to my awesome husband and have a drink with a flower in it, so how bad could life really be?


We also went camping on the beach for the night. I admit, camping is not my favorite. But it was definitely an adventure. We met some amazing people, spent the evening in a completely beautiful setting, set a bunch of stuff on fire, and then got a Sausage McMuffin the next morning and took a super long nap. It was awesome.


My husband might be the best husband ever. He knew I was feeling super stressed, so he brought me some flowers. I didn’t bother to style them. I just took their picture. That’s why I’m not a real blogger.

Red Velvet Pancakes

And I would just be mean if I didn’t talk about the red velvet pancakes I ate last Saturday. It’s like a totally legit way to eat cake for breakfast. Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai is a ridiculously awesome place to brunch. 

Let’s talk about what you’re digging.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are so so tasty. Please eat a dozen.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are just ridiculously awesome. And they’re virtually effortless. It’s all you’ve ever wanted.

Transformer Chicken | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You dudes love to make life easy. That’s gotta be why you’re so into Transformer Chicken. Get on board.

We’re taking deep breaths and living in the moment when we can find time to come up for air. Life’s not getting any easier, kids. It’s not gonna make itself awesome. Get out there and live it the best you can!

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus from Awesome on 20

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus from Awesome on 20

You guys!!!! It’s so hot! We had 81% humidity the other day. It was like you could drink the air. And between having no air conditioner and now no fridge, life in our house has been nearly unbearable. You can’t even grab a cold drink to cool yourself down. Cooking? What? No way!

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus from Awesome on 20

In the summer, we eat a lot of chips and hummus. Actually, it’s not just summer, but it’s especially convenient for times when you’d rather get a root canal than turn on your oven. Out here in the middle of the ocean, you can usually expect to pay at least $5 for a medium-sized container, which isn’t horrible, but a can of chickpeas costs a whole lot less, and chances are, you won’t have to buy many other ingredients to make your very own hummus, exactly to your liking, and with no weird, unpronouncable ingredients.

The trick to making perfect and cheap hummus at home is to use peanut butter instead of tahini. No need to buy anything exotic that you’re never going to use on anything else. Skip that expensive jar of sesame paste, and use peanut butter instead. The same stuff you spread on your toast will work fine. Throw everything in your food processor, and blend like crazy. Greek yogurt helps to smooth everything out, and I love using fresh lemon juice to really brighten the flavor. You can customize this any way you like. It’s an excellent, easy hummus base to just get crazy with.

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus from Awesome on 20

We like to dip corn chips because they’re cheap and we usually have some in the pantry, but this stuff is good on almost anything. Save some money, get creative, and make your own hummus. And for god’s sake, don’t turn on the oven.

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus
Serves 4
It's so simple to make your own hummus at home, and you can save money by using peanut butter instead of tahini.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 1 can chickpeas aka garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 1 clove garlic, peeled
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  5. Juice of half a lemon (I added a bit more after tasting because I like my hummus very bright)
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin
  8. 3 to 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
  9. A drizzle of olive oil
  10. A sprinkling of paprika
  1. Add the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt, and cumin to the bowl of your food processor. Turn it on and let it spin until everything is combined. I let it go probably a minute. It will still be a bit rough at this point.
  2. Add the Greek yogurt and process again for another minute. Taste for flavor and consistency. If you want it smoother, add in a bit more yogurt. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
  3. Transfer hummus to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Get out of the kitchen, and feast.
  1. No need to chop the garlic. Let the food processor do what it does.
  2. If you prefer your hummus super smooth, you could spend a hundred years removing all the skins from each individual bean. I find it doesn't make a very noticeable difference. Just process an extra 30 seconds.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

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