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Ballin' on a Budget: Lemon Asparagus Risotto by audrey gebhardt

I moved away from the home I lived in my whole life a bit less than a year ago. Some things have felt like a huge adjustment (not having a beach, not having a dozen houses nearby I can walk into unannounced, not eating pizza four times a week).

One of the things that I didn’t think about when I moved was the crocuses. The tiny white flowers that would pop up through the frost right outside my front door! The little flowers that could! Like clockwork, they’d show up within the first few days of March every year, snow or sunshine.

They were like the lighthouse bringing us to shore. The microwave minute nearing an end. The last hour of a red eye flight. And I miss them! I miss their cute lil faces popping up to remind us that one day we’ll be barefoot again.

So today, in Colorado, I’m calling in the crocuses of home with this Lemon Asparagus Risotto. This creamy, bright, flavorful dish comes together in about 30 minutes and pops in your mouth with a zing. All of the flavors of spring with the comfort of a still needed warm bowl of food.

In this recipe you can absolutely swap out the asparagus for whatever dark leafy green you have on hand, or even broccoli if that’s what you have! Risotto is extremely forgiving so this is a very loose recipe.

Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Lemon Asparagus Risotto (vegan optional)
Makes enough for 4 as a side dish

1/3 c diced onion
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 3/4-1” chunks
1 lemon
1 c arborio rice
4 c vegetable stock (room temperature or warmed up-not cold!)
1 c water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)

Toast the rice. In a large saucepan over a medium low flame, place the dry cup of arborio rice. Allow the rice to toast, moving around every so often so it doesn’t burn on one side. It will turn light brown and smell super nutty- remove from pan and place aside for now.

In the pan you just used, add the olive oil and onions over a medium flame. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the toasted rice and two cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.

When almost all of the liquid is absorbed, add another cup of stock and repeat the simmering process.

Repeat with the final cup of stock. At the end of this simmering point, the rice should be nearly finished cooking.

Add the cup of water and the chopped asparagus, cook for another five minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the asparagus is bright bright green.

Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper (and at this point you can add the parm + butter if you’re using them! It’s still creamy and delicious without it but that definitely adds an extra layer of flavor!).

Serve immediately.

xo,
Audrey

Party Hummus! by audrey gebhardt

I'm going to tell you my favorite kitchen secret. 

party hummus

You never ever have to make your own hummus in your whole life.

You don't have to peel individual chickpeas like lots of people will tell you. 

You don't have to remember to soak dried chickpeas overnight.

All you have to do is keep some cumin in the pantry and a few lemons in the produce drawer.

I promise you- no one will ever be sad if you show up to their house with hummus that you didn't make from scratch. They will not care that you stopped at the grocery store on the way to their house if you follow these simple tricks:

1. Take it out of it's ugly plastic container.
2. Make a pretty swirl on the top of it, drizzle some olive oil in the crevasses. 
3. Throw fresh crunchy things on top of it, surround it with bread/chips/other delicious things for dipping.

Here's a bomb recipe hack that will save you when you forget to get something for the party you are supposed to be at in a half an hour.

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Party Hummus!
makes you know, as much as it makes

1 tub of your favorite store bought hummus (I love love Whole Food's original or Hope Brand)
1 lemon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cucumber, seeded & diced
1 large heirloom tomato or 2 medium other tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced super thin
Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Pinch salt & pepper
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the cucumber, tomato, onion and parsley in with the quick dressing you just made. 

In a separate bowl, stir the zest and juice of the lemon + 1/2 tsp cumin in with the tub of hummus.

Plop the hummus on a pretty plate, swirl it all nice (don't do this too far in advance or it will get crusty and nasty on the outside)- top with salad + another drizzle of olive oil and serve with whatever your little heart desires! I especially love pita if it's been grilled! 

(also- go wild with this concept and stir in whatever you like. Other good options are dill or roasted garlic or even some greek yogurt to make it super light and fluffy. Basically make your own flavored hummus. OG flavor hummus is usually pretty delicious from a grocery store, it's when they start adding a bunch of flavors that things can sometimes get weird.)

xo Audrey