Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Wheaten Biscuits

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s well-established that I am extremely lazy. I’m also the absolute worst at arts and crafts. I can’t even draw stick people. The idea of making my own home decor is absolutely abhorrent. Who has the time and energy to make macrame pot holders? Most of the time, I’d much rather buy something than make it myself.

Food is the one exception. And still I’m far from making everything from scratch. I have no shame around serving store bought stuff. One of the best ways to entertain friends is with a gorgeous cheese board, and that can be nothing but good shopping and careful arranging. It’s delicious, and everybody is happy.

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But if you did want to make something from scratch to make your cheese eating experience a bit more special, I highly recommend these Wheaten Biscuits. They come together really quickly in the food processor, and they have great texture and flavor. I actually just ate most of these plain.

These are a great accompaniment for any kind of cheese, but I feel like a great, locally-made sharp cheddar would be ideal. And a cold cider. And lots of friends and laughter. Maybe in front of a fireplace. How could life get any better?

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Do what you can with what you have, and be grateful for every moment. And when you have a few minutes to spare, make Wheaten Biscuits to eat with some great cheese and some great people.

Recipe from The Great British Book of Baking by Linda Collister.

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.

Za’atar Flatbread

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve just watched the US Women’s National Team win their fourth World Cup and defend their title, and it’s unbelievably thrilling. There’s so much animosity towards the US from the rest of the world, that I always feel like I have to hide a little bit watching them from Scotland, but I’m excited and I don’t want to whisper.

It’s time for these women to get equal pay. The powers that be are running out of excuses. A billion people watched today’s final, and the quality of play was tops. Pay these women, and all women, what they’re worth. We deserve it, and we shouldn’t let them world forget.

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To call this Za’atar Flatbread a recipe would be a bit ridiculous, but eating this Za’atar Flatbread is absolutely divine. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend with sumac, sesame seeds, and some other dried herbs. This was the first time I’d tried eat after reading about it a bunch of times. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised by the brightness of the Za’atar. I can’t wait to try it on everything.

Like I said, it’s pointless to write a recipe. Buy some of your favorite flatbread, crank up your broiler or grill, mix about a half tablespoon of good olive oil with a half tablespoon of Za’atar for each flatbread, spread it on, and cook for about two to three minutes until the bread is brown and crisp. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. This would be a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or kebabs, or dipped in your favorite hummus.

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Football and feminism are great, but you still gotta eat, so add some Za’atar Flatbread to the mix. It’s gonna be awesome.

Recipe from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This is just about the only time of year where you can talk about deviled eggs without having to be embarrassed. I’ve always loved deviled eggs and looked forward to family gatherings because I knew they would always be there. Leave the table unguarded, and I’m likely to eat all of them before you even get a chance.

I got to take exactly three photos of these before my reflecting board fell flat on top of all my Buffalo Deviled Eggs, flattening my already rough swirls and staining my white reflecting board with buffalo sauce. I didn’t get to take any more photos, but you can bet all those deviled eggs still got eaten.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Buffalo Deviled Eggs have a nice punch of heat along side some deep flavor from the blue cheese. They’re basically irresistible. I promise they’ll make Easter a little more exciting.

There’s nothing tricky here. We’re just adding a few extra ingredients to your standard deviled eggs to give them a new flavor. I promise I won’t judge you if your eggs aren’t beautifully peeled. I don’t know if there’s something different about brown eggs compared to white eggs, but I have the worst time peeling hard boiled brown eggs. A few cracks and divots won’t change the flavor. Also, I only boiled four eggs because there are only two of us, but this recipe can easily be scaled up to serve more.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Make your friends and family some Buffalo Deviled Eggs this Easter. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Yield

8 halves

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon buffalo sauce or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Pinch of celery salt

instructions

  • Add your eggs to a pan and cover with cold water. Boil until hard boiled. I give it about 10 minutes once the water starts boiling. Everybody has their favorite method. Use that.
  • Peel your eggs as carefully as possible. Slice your eggs in half and pop the yolk out into a mixing bowl. Set the whites on a plate for filling later.
  • To the yolks, add the remaining ingredients and mash with a fork or mix with an electric mixer until relatively smooth. The blue cheese will prevent it from being totally smooth.
  • You can either spoon the yolk mixture back into the cavities of your egg whites or use a piping bag. For me, the blue cheese blocked the piping tip, so maybe even just snip the end of the piping bag (if it’s a disposable one, obviously) quite wide to keep things flowing.
  • If you want a bit of an extra kick, lightly sprinkle the eggs with cayenne pepper.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m reluctantly leaving procrastination station and getting back on the blogging train. I ignored my planner most of the week, and unusually, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. I just did what I wanted and it was pretty awesome. Should I let this become a habit?

Life is pretty boring here, and I’m reveling in it at the moment. I’m hoping t plan a trip (possibly to Portugal) soon, but right now I’m happy to hide in my house for the rest of the winter cooking and eating and reading. We’re sprinkling some Game of Thrones into our lives in preparation for the final season in April. That’s about as much adventure as I’m craving at the moment.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made you something deliciously kitschy this week. It’s a Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball. Apparently Amy and David Sedaris both love a cheese ball, so I’m fully embracing this mid-century party snack. It helps that this is completely delicious. I’d for sure serve this at my next house party.

This Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball couldn’t be easier to make. We’re just mixing a bunch of tasty ingredients together in a mixer, crispy bacon, salty parmesan, smooth cream cheese, etc. Then we’ll mold the whole thing with chopped parsley-lined plastic wrap and store it in the fridge to firm up before serving with your favorite crackers. If you have one of those cute, stubby cheese/spreading knives, this would be the time to bring it out. Sadly, I don’t own that sort of thing. This mixture is a bit too stiff for just dipping a cracker into, so you’ll need to provide a way for your guests to spread it onto whatever eating vehicle you provide.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Wanna come over and watch TV and eat this Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball? You can wear your pajamas and slippers. That’s how we roll. It’ll be awesome.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball

Yield

4-6 servings

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

ingredients

  • 5 slices streaky bacon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions

  • Place a skillet over medium heat and use scissors to slice your bacon into 1/2 inch pieces right into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Add cream cheese and mayo to a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Turn the mixer down to low, and add parmesan, green onion, black pepper, and cayenne until well combined. Finally, mix in the bacon.
  • Spread your chopped parsley onto a large piece of plastic wrap (big enough to cover your formed cheese ball), and scoop your cheese mixture from the bowl on top of the parsley. Use the plastic wrap to help press the parsley into the outside of the cheese as you form it into a roughly spherical shape. Park this in the fridge for at least two hours to firm up.
  • To serve, gently unwrap your ball and transport it to your serving platter. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Recipe slightly adapted from Erin’s Food Files.

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