I love my birthday. I always have. Especially because late January was an awesome time of year for a birthday. The school semester had just started, there weren't any tests or projects due yet, and no one was ever on vacation. It was the best. That is... until I grew up, graduated college, and got a job. As a CPA, I quickly learned that late January was quite possibly the worst time of the year to have a birthday. For the past four years, my birthday just has not been the same. In the heart of busy season, I was always working at least 12 hours day (even this past year when my birthday was on a Saturday), and two of the last three birthdays I was also traveling for work. That said, I believe I have a valid reason for my enthusiasm and need to celebrate my half-birthday.
We enjoyed a delicious asian grilled chicken dinner made by Bo. My favorite part of the meal was actually the artichokes we made for an appetizer. We love artichokes but have never been able to get it to turn out just right. We changed up a couple things, and these were by far the best we've ever made. They were also easy, cheap and healthy - a great combination.
We've tried grilling and steaming them before with little-to-no success, so this time we boiled them. Here is our very simple recipe:
1 lemon, cut in half
Ranch (for dipping)
Cut off the tops of the artichokes (this was new and seemed to help them cook easier)
Place peppercorns inside the leaves
Put the artichokes and lemon halves in a pot of boiling, salted water
Cover the pot with a lid and boil for 40 minutes
Let them cool for about 10 minutes. Then peel off the leaves, dip in ranch and enjoy! We did.
We also enjoyed an excessive amount of wine. It's hard not to when a bottle only costs $2.59. You can get a whole case of this stuff for just $36! Yes, please.
|Two buck Chuck. It never fails|
It was such a great night, and Bo even let me pick a movie to watch with no veto power. Obviously, a chick-flick. I'm pretty sure I will continue my half-birthday celebration every year from now on. And I very much look forward to next year's actual birthday, since for the first time in my adult life I will no longer be in busy season :)