January 19, 2009

The Long Weekend

MLK day! How can you not love yet another holiday this close to the winter holidays? E and I are spending the long weekend doing chores and catching up around the house. With every item crossed off the todo list, I'm feeling less and less stressed.

Joint Asset-Liability sheet for 2008? Done. The best way to look at it, our net worth decreased a little over 6% between January of 2007 and January of 2008. The worst way, it decreased 47%. Or, if you look at the columns independently, our assets decreased about 6.06% and our liabilities increased about 3.64%. Clearly, this is not the direction you want either of these categories to be trending...

2008 Taxes? Estimation is done. For the first time in a long time, we're actually getting a refund! Yay! Better hurry up and send off our request for a refund check before the government runs out of money.

Garden? The winter garden has been such fun and very delicious, but it needed a little love after our 2 week hiatus in the South. It's been reasonably productive and has supplemented our kitchen each week with one or more harvests of leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, radishes, or snow peas, but it was time to pull out some of the plants.

So, yesterday, we weeded, harvested, and planted new stuff and now we are growing the following (fingers crossed):

-Secondary shoots of florets on two of the broccoli plants
-snow peas
-new mixed greens (mustard greens, red romaine, green romaine, frisée, something that looks like bok choy, and two I can't name)
-4 brussel sprout plants
-onions galore
-garlic galore
-radishes & beets (planted new seeds yesterday, so we'll see...)
-3 artichoke plants
-italian parsely
-chives (planted seeds to replace the dead chive plant)
-cilantro (planted seeds for the 3rd attempt -- we have not managed to succeed with this seed packet)

Lemon Saffron Risotto with Baby Brussel Sprouts

As a treat (and a break from the taxes), after harvesting 2 plants of baby brussel sprouts, I made the following recipe for dinner. It was very healthy AND very delicious.

-3 T butter
-2 T olive oil
-1 C rice
-2 cans chicken broth
-pinch saffron
-1 ziplock frozen basil from the summer's garden output
-1 meyer lemon from sister's tree
-baby brussel sprouts from 2 stalks from the garden, removed from stalk and washed
-1 small-medium yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Sautée onion and garlic in olive oil until clear on medium heat. Add rice and stir until rice is evenly coated.

2. Add saffron and 1 can of broth, and stir intermittently.

3. Juice the lemon, and zest the majority of the yellow off. Chop basil & mix with lemon juice and zest (or just throw the juice, zest, and basil in the cuisinart).

4. Turn up the heat to high. Add the second can of broth, lemon-basil mixture, and brussel sprouts. Stir continuously and quickly evaporate all of the liquid off.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and cover. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to set the risotto and to finish steaming the brussel sprouts.

6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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