a good feeling

Monday has changed. It used to be a day of dread, the start of the work-week, not something to be enjoyed. It's only been a few weeks since we first reclaimed Monday, but the changes were immediately apparent.

Mondays are still the beginning of the work-week, obviously, but now we look forward to what will happen when the day is done. Namely, making delicious food and drinking some wine with dinner and - now - watching the new episode of The Walking Dead. (Note: probably a good idea not to eat and watch at the same time.)

The story is basically the same: Danielle and Daniel decide on a delicious thing to make, and make it. What I like about this story is that it keeps happening, and because it keeps happening, the food we make gets better. I think we started out being pretty good at making food, but we are getting even more awesome at it the more we keep at it. Which is a good feeling.

So last night we made risotto, which neither of us had made before, and which was simple (albeit time-consuming). It was a comforting sort of food, thick and creamy, and probably better suited to the depths of winter instead of the surprisingly warm night on which we ate it. Our original idea was to have the veggies as a side, but we quickly abandoned that because they tasted so much better together.

Sun-dried Tomato Risotto with Asparagus and Bell Pepper
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 c. arborio rice
8 whole sun-dried tomatoes
1 c. white wine
7 c. veggie broth
white pepper
fresh basil, chopped

1 bunch asparagus
1 bell pepper
3 (more) cloves of garlic
cayenne pepper

Heat your broth in a pan and set it aside. In a large pot (or wok, like we used), heat the butter and the oil together. Add in the diced onions and the minced garlic - you'll want these to be chopped pretty finely, since the goal is for everything to meld together deliciously - and cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat. Add in the rice, stirring gently for another couple minutes until the rice is covered in the butter-oil mixture. Pour in the wine and mix until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Toss in the chopped tomatoes.

One cup at a time, add in the broth. After each cup, stir until the liquid is absorbed. It's insane how much liquid the rice takes in, but keep going. Pretty much you keep doing this until the rice is done. You'll know when it still has a toothsome quality, but is not crunchy. You can add in the spices (cumin, white pepper) really at any point during the broth process. Stir in the basil when finished.

About ten minutes before the rice is done (you'll have to guess on this - and probably the veggies will be done before the rice), start preparing this veggie dish, with only one bell pepper. We didn't use cumin in these this time because it went into the risotto itself.

Serve together. Yum!

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