There is a recipe … I promise. If you’re only here for the recipe, scroll down! If you’re here for my bullshit, welcome 🙂
Let me preface this by saying this is MY favorite risotto that I’ve ever made. I basically replaced half of the uncooked rice with corn, so it was light, delicious, and I kept going back for more. I also really love crab meat….
Life has been boring yet crazy these last few months. My boyfriend has been working like a dog, and I legit never seen him. He works 7 days a week. We usually have one or two nights a week off (Monday and/or Tuesday between 7-11pm). He’s always working…ALWAYS. We haven’t had a full day off together since February, and as a result, I’ve become more neurotic than normal. Not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing. I’m kind of on the fence.
I have a lot of alone time to focus on myself and reflect, which is good since I am an anti-social introvert, at the end of the day. It is also bad, since I am an anti-social introvert, who hates most people and social engagements, at the end of the day. I spend a lot of time talking to friends online, and I have one or two friends I see regularly in-person. It is what it is… I feel like being alone makes me even bitchier than I already am sometimes. But I also love being alone, because I can always be my true self… it’s a double-edged sword for sure.
Every time I go out, I spend way too much money. I don’t think I can go out and have a night under $200. Maybe this is just me? I don’t know. I drink too much, I get lazy and spend money on Ubers when I should just take a subway instead (times are dangerous, no?). This makes me not want to go out at all. I’m trying to fucking save money. I want to leave this city – I want to buy a house. I want to quit my job. However, sometimes I am forced to spend money…namely, every time I engage with another human face-to-face. A girl has to keep a few friends, or else, what does she really have at the end of the day??? It’s a tough situation… I also buy myself clothes when I’m feeling down, which is increasingly often.
I’ve been using all of this extra free time to focus on bettering myself both physically and mentally.
My goal this summer (besides traveling to Europe to see the in-laws, whom I haven’t seen since 2018, and taking an actual vacation), is to wear shorts… in public. I know this sounds stupid to most people reading this. Maybe it is stupid. The sad truth is, I hate my legs – I have hated them since puberty/age 12, when they went from being knobby-kneed chicken legs to the most curvaceous and voluptuous part of my-otherwise-thin-and-muscular body. I feel like they don’t fit the rest of my body – they’re the first place to gain weight and the last place to lose it. I swear to god – if I eat a huge meal or binge eat for a few days, my stomach is still flat and has definition, but I will be a pant-size bigger because everything accumulates on my inner thighs and on my ass. I know that this is on par with today’s standards of beauty… but I grew up in the 90’s and I’m not about that thick-slim lifestyle, alright??? It’s cool if you are, But I’m just not. We all have our personal aesthetics – some women want boob jobs and Brazilian butt lifts. I want a thigh gap and a six pack.
I’m not saying I’m not thin – I know that I am thin by normal standards. But here’s the thing – I am 5’3″ with a small build….I have small bones and I’m tiny. In pictures with a group of people, my head looks like half the size of other people’s heads. I don’t want to walk around with a Kardashian-sized ass… it doesn’t fit my body or my personality or my aesthetic. And this is why, for the first time in my life, I have been busting my ass (no pun intended) to do actual work outs.
When I was younger (i.e. up until a few years ago), I would just start skipping meals to lose weight. This time, I’m actually doing it right. I’m still eating… just a lot healthier. When I was younger and wanted to lose weight, I would just eat one meal a day and make it whatever I wanted – a burger and fries, a milkshake, a steak, 1/3 of a cake….nowadays, they call this “intermittent fasting,” and it’s what the cool kids do. It’s what the Silicon Valley boys do.
I can’t do that shit anymore. I actually get hungry before 3pm these days. So now, I’m eating salads for breakfast at like 10am, trying to refrain from drinking a bottle of wine each night, and not eating after 7pm. Which, by the way, is extremely difficult to do in NYC, because whenever you make plans or a dinner date, it’s cooler and more romantic to eat later at night. Having a social life is harder now. Every time someone makes dinner plans for 8pm, I just want to be like “BITCH… I’m not 26 anymore. I can’t drink four glasses of wine and eat a fucking pizza at 8:30pm without waking up 6 lbs. heavier.”
Anyhow, I’ve actually been making sure I get out for walks EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even when I’m tired or hungover, even when work has been hell, even when it’s cold. I make sure I get my ass out there for at least 3 miles a day. I’ve also been doing push-ups, leg lifts, wall sits, and jumping around each and every day. I’m not 26 anymore, and starving myself while still being lazy isn’t an option that works for me at this point in my life.
I will not spend another Summer ashamed to put on shorts. I will not spend another Summer wearing tight-ass, black, skinny jeans in 95 degree heat for a 5 mile walk with my friend. No… not this year. I remember I once when to Vegas with my family. I was 19 and it was the summer of 2007. I had gained maybe 15 lbs. in college that year, and even though it was 103-105 degrees every day in Vegas, I refused to wear shorts or put on a swimsuit and get in the pool. Last year, I came pretty close to feeling this way. In the beginning of lock-down, my boyfriend didn’t even want me going out for walks because he thought I’d catch COVID and die (been there, done that… I didn’t die — I didn’t even get sick (minus still having phantom smells 7 months later), but that’s another story). I basically sat at home for three months, did no exercises and binge-ate out of boredom. I gained weight, and I hated myself. I hate living in a body that I hate. It’s like being in a prison. Maybe not everyone feels this way – they shouldn’t. I honestly hope no one EVER feels this way, but I do.
After taking years of dance lessons in front of a large mirror with other girls, and knowing my body so well, how it moves, how it responds to certain exercises – I’ve realized that this body is my home. This is where my mind and my soul and my personality all have to co-exist. In order all components to live in harmony, my body needs to be in shape. In order to be mentally and emotionally healthy and happy, I need to be happy with this shell that I inhabit.
Seriously though – I never want to spend another Summer in skinny, black jeans because I’m too self-conscious to wear shorts or dresses. I’m tired of being hot, uncomfortable, and feeling ashamed of and disconnected to my body. And it’s my own damn fault, for not doing more about it. You can’t just dislike something and be unwilling to make the effort to change it – whether it’s your body, your job, etc.
Anyhow, let’s discuss this risotto!
The RECIPE – Let’s get onto this stellar recipe:
- (1) 16 oz. Can of pasteurized lump crab meat
- 1 box (32 oz.) of seafood stock or, 3-4 cups of “Better than Bouillon – NO Chicken Base”
- 1.5 cups of uncooked Arborio rice
- 3 cups, cooked, blended sweet corn (use blender)
- 1 large, finely-chopped roasted red pepper, or one small can of finely-chopped, roasted red pepper
- 1 cup of white wine (any will do as long as it’s not too sweet – Sauvignon Blanc is ideal)
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, finely minced
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup half and half (light cream or heavy cream will also do)
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Cook 3 cups of corn over high heat until done
- Blend corn with 1/3 cup water in blender and set aside
- In a large wok or deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat and add in the minced onion
- Cook onion over very low heat (being careful not to burn it) for about 1-2 minutes
- Add in the rice (yes – the secret to good risotto is slightly cooking the dry rice in the olive oil for a couple of minutes without liquid… I don’t know why, but it adds a depth of flavor)
- Continue to stir and cook the rice over a low heat until it’s completely covered in the oil and begins to become ever-so-translucent in color
- Raise the heat to medium and add in the white wine (I like to turn up the heat of the burner before adding the wine so that it makes that nice ‘SSSSSsssssss!!!’ sound when it his the hot pan)
- Risotto is a dish that has to be stirred pretty much continuously – you can’t really step away from more than 30 seconds, so START STIRRING… and don’t stop!
- As the liquid is absorbed by the rice, add in roughly 1 cup of seafood stock or fake chicken stock at a time, and keep gently stirring until it’s been absorbed
- Alternate liquid stock with blended corn mixture
- After you’ve added the first cup of stock and 1st cup of corn mixture, and once the rice is moist, add in the bay leaf and other seasonings (granulated garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper)
- Keep adding cup after cup of stock or blended corn mixture, until you’ve used up the entire contents of the corn mixture, and most of the stock.. by this point, the rice should be pretty tender, but neither dry nor too saturated in liquid
- Add in the half and half (or cream) and continue to stir
- Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and the butter
- Add in the chopped roasted peppers and stir
- Add in the can of crab and gently stir
- Continue cooking over low heat, sample and see if any additional seasonings are needed
- Add in the butter and turn off the heat… stir until butter is melted and incorporated thoroughly
- Add more salt/pepper to desired taste (if necessary)
- Remove the bay leaf, and serve on a plate – garnish with fresh parsley and voila!
And now, for an update on the homeless cats a few blocks away :
Someone ripped down my sign requesting to build a shelter or provide a shelter in the community garden. That made me pretty fucking angry, as you can imagine.
I did, however, meet another person who has also been looking out for the cats, which was nice. Now, there is like a team of us making sure these two cats are fed and taking care of, and that brings me great joy.