Today I make a confession: I splurged on a relatively big fashion purchase (for me, at least). Never in my life have I spent over $100 on a pair of jeans. Until now.
My Toothpick jeans from J.Crew came into my life a few weeks ago, and I’ve been wearing them constantly ever since. As much as I love shopping, jeans have been one of those items I’ve detested hunting for. Finding a pair that fit in all the right places….that was made of a material with some stretch for comfort…a pair that didn’t ride so low on the hips I’d be mistaken for a plumber. I know I’m not alone out there; why is is that jeans can be so hard for women to shop for?
Today, I check off an item from my cooking bucket list. And I get to indulge…because today is “Fat Sunday” with the Sunday Supper crew! Today was the perfect excuse to dive into a dish that I normally wouldn’t prepare at home (I am a stickler for eating healthy in my own kitchen; when we go out to dinner I tend to do my “cheating” there!).
I have always enjoyed arancini when I’ve ordered them at restaurants, but I’ve never attempted to make them in my own kitchen. Until now. I have set out to accomplish this task in the past when I’ve created risotto dishes…but somehow my guests have always managed to eat the entire pot. Or I haven’t been able to show restraint and have eaten any leftovers before frying them up into arancini. I’m weak…so weak when it comes to risotto!
But the last time I made pancetta and mushroom risotto, I purposely made a double batch so I would have leftovers. And these little fried beauties were the end result. They went over so well with Justin (and me too)! If you haven’t enjoyed an arancini before, let me tell you about them. They are balls of risotto (usually leftovers) that are rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. The end result is a crispy crunchy exterior, with a creamy, rich interior. You can eat them as-is, or you can dip them in sauce.
It just so happens that a new camera body made its way into my life in the beginning of December. I Instagrammed my excitement immediately, but I haven’t talked much about my new 6D since then. Let me just state for the record: I love it. I adored my “beginner” DSLR (my Canon Rebel T1i) as well. It was a Christmas present from Justin back in 2009. But after four years of constant and consistent use, I knew it was time for me to go to the next level. Switching over to a full body frame has been awesome.
With the new frame also came the need for me to address my “strap issues.” I always used the regular neck strap on my previous camera, but instead of wearing it around my neck I would loop my arm through it/toss it over my shoulder. It was annoying and got in the way many times. I knew that when I upgraded to a new camera body, I wanted to get a hand strap to go along with it.
A little over a year ago, homemade risotto came into my life. I had always enjoyed it, but had not delved into creating the dish in my own kitchen. Annnnnd now that I’ve started, I have not looked back. It’s been full throttle forward since making that first spinach and artichoke risotto.
Now that I have the basic method down to a science (relatively), my mind wants to come up with the best combinations of flavors to add to the rice. I’ve used Fabio Viviani’s spinach and artichoke risotto as the base (since it works so well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!), and tweaked the ingredients. Of the variations I’ve created, there is definitely one that has stood out lately: a risotto with pancetta and mushrooms. I’ve made it at home…I’ve made it for family at Christmas…I’ve made it for out of town guests. It’s pretty much a crowd pleaser.