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.

White Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Risotto

White Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We have been pretty much non-stop on the go in the beginning of August, including two late nights out in a row this past week. For an introvert who absolutely requires sleep and quiet time to feel normal, it’s been a blessing but also a struggle to socialise so much. Saturday was meant to be the first day I’d have to myself in a long time, and I was really looking forward to it.

Did you guess what happened yet? I woke up with a horrible cold that no amount of apple cider vinegar could abate. Sometimes I think my body manages to fight off illness as long as I keep moving, then when it senses I’m about to relax thinks, “Okay, you’ve got time for all these viruses now. Enjoy!” I assure you I have not. Or maybe this was the universe’s weird way of granting me my wish to stay in bed reading all day.

White Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I did manage to make you some White Risotto over the weekend. Don’t worry, I washed my hands a lot and didn’t sneeze on it. This is a pretty basic risotto recipe, no frills or fancy flavors. I kept it simple because we’re turning the other half of this risotto into something even better next week. But sometimes simple, starchy, and savoury is exactly what you need when you’re feeling under the weather.

Because this is a pretty basic recipe, you’ll want to use the best ingredients you can find, but you know me. If that means Parmesan from a green bottle, I’m still gonna love it. But if you do happen to have some quality Parmesan cheese at your disposal, and you’ve been saving it for something, I’d whip it out here.

White Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you’re all happy and healthy, friends, and I hope you take some time to get into the kitchen and make this White Risotto for yourself because it’s completely awesome.

Recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Bacon & Corn Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bacon & Corn Risotto

So… If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I broke my finger over the weekend. Instead of going to see Captain Marvel on Saturday morning, we spent the day in the hospital waiting to have surgery. I had two wires drilled into my finger, and it’s now splinted and bandaged. I won’t be seeing that finger again for three weeks.

It’s painful and annoying, but probably the most frustrating part is not being able to cook. I’m thrilled to get out of doing the dishes for a few weeks, but today I needed to peel and chop sweet potatoes, and you can’t do that one handed. You think of the pinky on your non-dominant hand as relatively insignificant, but when you can’t use it, you suddenly realise you actually need it for quite a lot.

Lucky for you, I made this Bacon Corn Risotto for you before my finger snapped. I wish I had a never ending pot of it. This is not a traditional risotto recipe, and when I made it the first time, I was skeptical, but after the first bite, all doubt disappeared. The mix of creamy rice and sweet crunchy corn along with the salty crisp bacon is absolutely ideal.

It was the addition of Greek yogurt that really threw me, but it give the risotto a perfect hit of acid and ensures that it’s ultra creamy. If you can stop yourself from going back for seconds, you can stretch this into three servings, which makes lunch the next day absolutely heavenly.

Life never seems to stop laying challenges at our feet. As long as we continue to rise up t meet them, life is good. If we can chase them with Bacon Corn Risotto, all the better.

bacon & Corn Risotto

Yield

2 big portions

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

40 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

ingredients

  • 6 slices streaky bacon
  • 4 cups chicken stock, hot
  • 1 green onions, sliced, whites and greens divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste

instructions

  • Put a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Use scissors to slice up your bacon directly into the pot. Cook your bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy, then remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel lined plate.
  • You’ll want about a tablespoon of bacon grease left in the pot, so if your bacon has given off a lot of grease, you may need to drain some off. To your reserved bacon grease, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the white parts of your sliced green onion, and cook over medium low heat to soften for about a minute.
  • Add the rice and toss it in the fat to coat every grain. Let this cook for a few minutes to get toasty. When it starts to smell nutty, you’re ready to start adding stock.
  • Add the stock about a 1/4 cup at a time, stirring all the while, until the liquid is absorbed before adding another 1/4 cup of stock. Keep adding stock until it’s all absorbed. It will take about a half hour.
  • Once your rice has absorbed all the liquid, stir in the corn, and let it cook for a few minutes to heat up the corn.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the yogurt to combine. Give it a stir and taste before you add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Frugal Foodie Mama

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Loco Moco

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re easing into the long dark of winter here in Scotland. The gloom doesn’t quite hit until after the holidays because we’re all battling against it with Christmas lights right now, but it won’t be long before it’s dark both when you arrive at and when you leave work. This is the time of year when I wonder why I ever left Hawaii.

In Honolulu, we would have started making more trips to Diamond Head Lookout to spot whales. We might start to close the windows in the house at night and get out a thin blanket for the bed, but we’d still be putting on sunblock every day and walking on the beach on a regular basis. Even when it rains in Honolulu, you know the sunshine will return before too long. It couldn’t be more different from Scotland.

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Loco Moco is the simplest way to feel like I’m back in Hawaii. It’s such a humble dish, and while making it at home doesn’t quite compare to the true beautiful greasiness of a Hawaiian drive-in, if I close my eyes for a minute, I can almost see the palm trees swaying in the trade winds. And almost nothing is made worse by putting a fried egg on top of it..

All you need to do is make up some white rice (I made mine in the microwave because we don’t eat rice enough to have a rice cooker and I’m too lazy to wash another pot), cook up some simple and delicious hamburger steaks, use the drippings to make gravy, then fry a couple of eggs, making sure to leave yourself a beautifully runny yolk. Put that all on a plate or in a bowl, and go to town. One benefit of making it at home is that there’s no styrofoam container to throw of at the end.

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am grateful to live in Scotland for so many reasons, not least of which is how easy it is to travel to other beautiful places, which we could never do in Honolulu. I miss our Hawaiian home, but at least I can make Loco Moco from time to time to take me back.

Loco Moco
Serves 4
Loco Moco is the easiest way to bring Hawaii into your home, no matter where it is.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 servings white rice
  2. 1 pound ground beef
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  7. 2 tablespoons green onions, the white parts only, finely sliced (or scissored)
  8. 1 tablespoon oil
  9. 1 to 2 tablespoons flour
  10. 1 to 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
  12. 1 tablespoon butter
  13. 4 eggs
  14. Green onions, the green parts, thinly sliced (or scissored)
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine beef, seasonings, soy sauce, and onions. Work quickly with your hands and try not to handle it excessively.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Add oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high. Cook patties about 4 minutes a side or to desired doneness. Just make sure you get some good browning on the outside.
  4. As your meat is cooking up, make sure your rice is ready to go. Divide your rice between four plates or bowls.
  5. Place a hamburger steak atop each mound of rice so that the juices will soak into the rice. Don't waste the flavor.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low on the remaining fat and delicious bits in your skillet. Sprinkle flour over the fat, just enough to absorb the fat and create a paste. Cook for a few minutes until the flour mixture turns brown.
  7. Add stock about a quarter cup at a time, stirring well to remove lumps. Also make sure you scrape up any bits off the bottom of the pan. They are full of flavor. Keep adding liquid until you get your favorite consistency and season to taste.
  8. Spoon your gravy generously over your hamburger steaks and rice.
  9. Add butter to a nonstick skillet and melt over medium low heat.
  10. Crack you eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook slowly until whites are just set for over sunny side up eggs, or give them a quick flip, just 15 seconds on the other side, for over easy eggs.
  11. Place on egg with its gorgeously runny yolk, on top of each gravy covered hamburger steak, and dig in.
Adapted from How to be Awesome o $20 a Day
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Cheddar Cheese Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Cheddar Cheese Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Is Instagram the best thing ever, or is it totally ruining our lives? It’s the only social media platform I still follow, and I love looking at gorgeous images from around the world, but I worry about what it’s doing to us sometimes. We now have an expectation that everything from our food to our faces has to look absolutely spectacular. What started out as snaps of real life has evolved into highly edited and curated images portraying utter perfection. Yet I can’t look away.

I see the teenage girls in my school putting so much effort into piling on pounds of makeup with varying degrees of finesse. I see restaurants serving food that looks absolutely stunning but tastes like cardboard. I see the Instagram aesthetic washing over every part of our lives, homogenizing everything from apartments to cheeseburgers to female faces. It’s beautiful, yes, but is there something else we might not be seeing?

I saw a style blogger talking in her Instagram story recently about how she finally put on makeup and then she felt normal? That struck me as a little bit insane. We paint our faces, cover up our unique features to look more like everyone else, and that’s when we feel normal? Look, I’m sure I’ve said something similar many times. I wear makeup to work every day. But for once I stopped to wonder what would happen if we were all just satisfied with ourselves exactly the way we are. What if we didn’t need to enhance, find the perfect lighting, edit away our “flaws?” What if we were just good enough already and the rest was just for fun? 

Cheddar Cheese Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

With that nonsense rant in mind, I’m sharing a dish that is truly delicious and pretty ugly. I have to confess that the first time I made it, I used orange cheddar instead of white, and the color was slightly more appealing, but the flavor was exactly the same. I thought about not sharing it because it wasn’t pretty enough, but then I realized that you would be missing out on something truly tasty. Not everything needs to be Instagram ready.

I assure you, this Cheddar Cheese Risotto will be a joy to eat. It will fill you up with its cheesy heartiness, and you’ll want to come back for more again and again. It’s not remotely difficult to make, but you do need to tend to it. Make sure you have all your ingredients measured out and waiting before you turn the stove on because once it starts cooking, you need to stay with it to the glorious end. But all you have to do is dump and stir. And stir and stir and stir until you achieve the creamy and chewy goodness that is risotto.

Cheddar Cheese Risotto | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The face you woke up with is already beautiful. Your body is already a powerhouse. Your food does not need to look like a unicorn. There’s more to life than what shows up on Instagram. Be real. Eat real. Live real. It’s gonna be awesome.

Cheddar Cheese Risotto
Serves 3
Cheddar Cheese Risotto may not look beautiful, but it's super tasty, and that's what counts.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  4. 300 grams risotto rice
  5. 125 ml white wine
  6. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  7. 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  8. 125 grams sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the white parts of your green onions to the pot, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Save the green part of the onions for later.
  2. Add the rice and give it a good stir to coat the grains in the fat. Add the wine and mustard, and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Start adding the vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring all the while until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. It will take about 18-20 minutes to work in all the stock. Taste it as you get toward the end until the rice is cooked through and chewy.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
  5. Serve right away, and sprinkle some of the green tops of your onions over the top of each dish.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
 



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