Winter Preparedness Information

Winter Preparedness Information

 

With the likelihood of winter weather impacting our area, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue reminds residents to take additional safety precautions for your home and personal safety. Some critical information to remember during extreme winter weather include:

  • Stay informed! Sign up for Alert Loudoun atwww.loudoun.gov/alertand receive emergency information, news releases, traffic information, and more. Additional weather-related and safety info is available at www.loudoun.gov/winter or www.ready.gov.
  • Make an Emergency Communications Plan. It’s important to know how you will contact one another in case of an emergency. Keep chargers on hand for phones and electronic devices.
  • Be aware of current road conditions and plan accordingly. If travel is necessary; slow down; don’t travel alone; inform others of your schedule; stay on main roads and make an emergency kit for your vehicle.
  • To prevent pipes from freezing, locate the faucet the greatest distance from your main water shut off valve and allow faucet to drip cold water slowly.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep devices at least 20 ft. from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • Test all smoke alarms in your home monthly and change batteries if necessary. Smoke alarms should be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area and on every level of the home.

 

Winter Preparedness Information

  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them inspected and serviced annually.
  • Use caution when disposing of fireplace ashes or flammable materials in or around your home. Fireplace ashes, cigarette butts, and grill/fire pit remnants should be placed outside in a closed metal container, a safe distance away from any structures.
  • To avoid slips and falls in icy conditions, keep walkways clear and treated, wear proper foot gear with good traction and step slowly and carefully.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. If you do shovel snow, stretch before going outside, push snow instead of lifting when possible, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Make sure that pets and livestock are protected from the cold and that their sources of drinking water are not frozen. More information about emergency preparedness and animals is online atwww.loudoun.gov/animals/preparedness.

Life-Saving Safety Tips for Smoke Alarms

Life-Saving Safety Tips for Smoke Alarms

 

Smoke alarms may be the cheapest, easiest and most effective means for protecting your family and your home from a fire – as long as they’re functioning. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of four in-home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. We’ve gathered some great information to help you avoid becoming a tragic statistic. You’ll learn where to put your smoke alarms, how to maintain them and when to replace them. We’ll also show you some cool new options available for homeowners.’

 

Write Down the Install Date

Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Most manufacturers list the date a smoke alarm was made on the back. That’s helpful information if you remember to look for it. Give yourself a proper reminder, and write the date you installed the alarm in big, bold letters on the base plate so you’ll notice it every time you change the batteries.

Three things you need to do:

  • Check smoke alarms once a month.
  • Change batteries once a year.
  • Replace alarms every 10 years.

Protect Smoke Alarms from Dust

Excessive dust and paint overspray can wreak havoc with a smoke alarm’s sensors. Before starting that messy remodeling project, temporarily cover or remove any alarm in harm’s way. And if you are painting the ceiling, don’t paint over the alarm—that will probably destroy it. Make cleaning your smoke detector part of your post-project cleanup routine.

Connect Alarms Wirelessly

If a fire triggers an alarm in the basement, will you be able to hear it from your second-story bedroom? Interconnected alarms provide better protection because if one goes off, they all go off, and early detection is key to safely escaping a house fire.

Smoke alarms in new homes are required to be hardwired or interconnected, but now you can get the same protection in your old house with smoke alarms like this one that speak to one another wirelessly. They cost more than a standard alarm, but they’re a much cheaper option than installing new wires all throughout the house.


Save the Instructions

Not all smoke alarms operate the same. Three chirps every minute may indicate “low batteries” for one unit and “end of life” for another. Save the instruction manual so you won’t have to guess what your alarm is trying to tell you. Keep the manual in a place you’ll remember. If you don’t have a file or drawer for manuals, start one. If you have an unfinished basement, nail one up right next to the alarm itself.

Where to install smoke alarms

  • At least one on every level
  • Outside of bedrooms (hallways, etc.)
  • Kitchen (at least 10 ft. away from stove)
  • Living rooms
  • Basement
  • Ceiling near the bottom of stairs leading to the next level

Positioning is critical

Walls, 4 in. to 12 in. from the ceiling Near the peak of a vaulted ceiling (within 4 in. to 3 ft.)In accessible areas (for easy battery replacement)Not in the garage – but make sure there’s a self-closing door between the garage and house Not in the attic Not in the utility/furnace room


Downsize if You Prefer

If you don’t like the look of smoke alarms, then smaller is better. Smoke alarms don’t have to be big to be effective. This little guy from First Alert is called the Atom. It’s a fraction of the size but performs just as well as its larger cousins. Consider a smaller alarm in highly visible areas such as your living room (especially if you have a fireplace).


Install Strobe Lights for the Hearing Impaired

People who can’t hear an alarm need an alarm they can see. Some strobe alarms include smoke detection. Others are strobe lights only and need to be connected with a compatible smoke alarm.


Keep the Sensors Clean

You should always make sure you’re minimizing your risk of home fires, but smoke alarms are your last line of defense, so you need to make sure they’re clean. Dust can cause a smoke alarm to malfunction. Run a vacuum fitted with a soft brush over them every time you change the batteries, at least once a year.

Buy a Compatible Replacement

Wiring up a smoke alarm is pretty easy, but connecting it in a harness plug is even easier. When you need to replace your hardwired alarms, take along an old one to the store. Save a bunch of time and buy new alarms that will accept the wiring harness on the old ones. That way all you have to do is plug in the new ones and maybe replace the base. Some new models come with wiring harness plug adapters, which makes matching easier. If your alarms are interconnected, never mix alarms made by different manufacturers

Hide a Hole

Painting or retexturing a ceiling is no fun. If you have a hole from a hanging lamp, or a small water stain, cover it up with a smoke alarm. Who cares if it’s not interconnected with the other hardwired alarms? There’s no such thing as “too many” smoke alarms – definitely make sure you have one near your dryer.

Quiet Nuisance Alarms

Kitchens are particularly susceptible to “nuisance” alarms. The horn on a typical alarm won’t stop sounding until there’s no more smoke to detect, which in a kitchen could take a while. Nuisance alarms are one of the main reasons people disable smoke alarms, and that’s not a good idea, especially in the kitchen where the majority of fires start. Now there are smoke alarms available that have a “hush” button on them. Pushing it will kill the noise long enough for you to air out the room.

Some sensors are more sensitive than others, even if they’re the same model. Before you go buy an alarm with a hush button, try swapping out the one in the kitchen with one from another part of the house.

Five Winter Lawn Maintenance Tips

 

Five Winter Lawn Maintenance Tips

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

 

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tip #1

As winter approaches, gradually lower the mowing height of your mower. Winter should begin without any young, tender growth that makes your lawn more appealing to winter diseases. 

Besides, new growth on the lawn is vulnerable to dry out after the first winter winds come through, which will give you a brown winter lawn. So for the sake of lawn maintenance, as winter approaches, begin to gradually reduce the cutting height on your mower, until you are almost, but not quite, shaving the lawn. However, be sure to do this in several steps to avoid suddenly removing all the green leaf tissue and damaging the turf. 

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tip #2

In late fall, be sure to give your lawn a final fertilization. Inactive during winter, your lawn won’t use the fertilizers immediately. Much like mammals bulking up for the cold, your lawn will store these nutrients in its root system and take full advantage of them at the first signs of spring. 

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tip #3

Clear your lawn of any debris like logs, toys, or gardening equipment. Once snow comes, these objects can smother your grass, damage your turf, and leave your lawn more vulnerable to diseases. 

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tip #4

Be sure to aerate your lawn before the first freeze. Thatch will only get worse with the affects of winter. A good aeration, along with a round of fertilization, will set the stage for bountiful spring growth. 

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tip #5

Winter is a great time to learn more about your garden and your lawn in particular. Take this time to buy some lawn maintenance books and research the Internet for tips on how to keep a beautiful lawn and garden.

Festive Things to do in Leesburg

The Town of Leesburg invites locals and visitors to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year” and experience a little holiday magic in Historic Downtown Leesburg.

 
 

Rockin’ with Rudolph and Friends!
Friday, December 16th – 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Children up to the age of 8 years old are invited to this wonderful event at Ida Lee. Bring your camera and dancing shoes! Santa will be on hand for picture opportunities and to hear wish lists. Then join Rudolph and Frosty as they rock out to holiday favorites and other kid’s tunes while dancing the night away! Pre-registration is required for this event. $12 for children 2 years old and over and $8 for under 2. Registration can be complete through WebTrac, in person at Ida Lee or via phone.

Victorian Christmas Celebrations

Saturday, December 17th – 11:00am – 5:00pm

 
 

Historic downtown Leesburg will be dressed up in its finest holiday décor to welcome visitors to celebrate the season.  Story time and photos with St. Nick, carriage rides, Dickens carolers and other holiday characters will having the young and old feeling the holiday magic!

   
 

For more details about Holidays in Leesburg or any of the activities, please call 703-777-1368 or contact the Leesburg Downtown Business Association at www.downtownleesburgva.com. Plan to catch your holiday spirit in downtown Leesburg and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

December 2016 Recipes

 

Fried Brussel Sprouts

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. panko bread crumbs or your favorite bread crumb
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Canola oil or peanut oil for frying
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil Brussels sprouts until bright green and fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately to stop cooking process.
  2. Arrange egg and mix flour with garlic powder, oregano and Italian seasoning and place in two shallow bowls and place panko bread crumbs or other bread crumbs in a large plastic bag.
  3. Dredge Brussels sprouts: Dip in egg, then toss in flour, then add to panko bag. Shake in batches until fully coated.
  4. Fill a skillet or Dutch oven with enough canola oil to reach about 2″ high and heat over medium-high heat until shiny. Add dredged Brussels sprout to oil and fry until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with spicy sour cream. (mix sour cream, hot sauce and dill together)

 

Bacon Parmesan Popovers Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Bacon strips, diced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk. Combine flour, cheese and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Grease cups of a popover pan well with some of the bacon drippings; set aside. Stir bacon into batter; fill prepared cups two-thirds full.
  3. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° (do not open oven door). Bake 15 minutes longer or until deep golden brown (do not underbake).

Run a table knife or small metal spatula around edges of cups to loosen if necessary. Immediately remove popovers from pan; prick with a small sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Serve immediately.

 

Mini Mac and Cheese Crescent Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp or medium Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

 

Directions:

 

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 mini muffin pans with cooking spray. In 2- to 3-quart saucepan, heat evaporated milk, hot water, macaroni and salt to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 7 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender and liquid is almost gone. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted, then bacon. Add more salt to taste, if desired.
  • Meanwhile, unroll crescent dough on work surface; create 4 rectangles by pressing diagonal seams together. Cut each rectangle in half the long way, then make 2 perpendicular cuts in each, creating a total of 24 smaller rectangles. Place 1 of the small rectangles in each muffin cup.
  • Spoon a heaping tablespoonful of pasta mixture into each muffin cup.
  • Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until crescent bases are golden brown, lifting crescent base with fork if necessary to check color. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from muffin cups with fork.

 

Lasagna Rollups

 

  • 20 whole lasagna noodles

    Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 28 ounces, canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces, tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

    Filling:

  • 30 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon basil, minced
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

Instructions

 

  • Boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and lay flat on a sheet of foil.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and sausage and stir it around, cooking it until totally browned. Drain excess fat, then add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Make the filling by combining ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine.
  • To assemble, spoon a little sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan OR smaller disposable foil loaf pans. Spread 2-3 tablespoons ricotta filling on each noodle, then roll them up. Lay them sideways in the pans (4 will fit in the loaf pans, or you can fill a 9 x 13 inch pan with the rollups.) Top with remaining sauce, plenty of grated mozzarella, and grated Parmesan.
  • If baking immediately, bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Christmas Tree Recycling

 

Each year, Loudoun County allows curbside waste collection service providers to bring the trees they collect to the landfill for free recycling, but many of the trees that arrive are contaminated with decorations, strands of lights, wire, tree bags, etc…items that eventually end up as little bits of plastic and metal in our mulch. Any guidance you may provide residents regarding proper curbside set out procedures would be helpful and greatly appreciated. The announcement will also serve as a good opportunity to let people know when the trees will be collected for recycling, any other waste reduction/recycling info, and that the County will be offering drop off locations for those who miss the curbside pick-up. The county’s website link is www.loudoun.gov/recycle-trees.

 

Here is an example from the Town of Leesburg:

 

Please keep the following in mind when preparing your trees for collection:

 

  • Remove all decorations from trees – please check carefully for items hidden behind thicker branches or limbs.
  • Remove tinsel, fake snow, angel hair, etc.
  • Remove lighting from trees.
  • Remove all twine, metal or plastic ties and string.
  • Place tree at curb the night before recycling day.
  • DO NOT place in plastic bags of “Christmas Tree Disposal Bags”.
  • Remove stands and bases from trees.

 

Also please note that free recycling of Christmas trees is only available to the waste collection companies that pre-register with the Loudoun County Department of Construction and Waste Management at 703-771-5514. So far, Con-Serv Industries (CSI) (which is the trash collector at Sycamore Hill HOA, Trash Away and Patriot Disposal are the only companies to register this year. If you community receives regular service from another company not listed here, you may wish to contact them to inquire if they plan to participate. Notification about the program was sent from this office in November to all collectors operating in Loudoun County.

 

Thank you,

 

Tony Hayes

Recycling Specialist

Loudoun County

Department of Construction and Waste Management

Christmas tree Care Tips

Christmas tree Care Tips

 

Cut Trees

  • Refresh the tree by making a straight cut, taking one inch off the butt and immediately placing the tree in water. This will improve water uptake.
  • Place the tree in a stand that can hold at least 1 gallon of water. You should expect the tree to take up additional water. Water the new tree until the water uptake stops.
  • Always kept the base of a tree in water. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. You don’t need anything other than regular tap water – drying out deters future water uptake and will require a new cut.
  • Commercially prepared mixes like aspirin, sugar and other additives introduced into the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
  • Check for worn Christmas tree light electrical cords and always unplug at night. Use UL approved electrical decorations and cords. Using miniature lights produces less heat and reduces the drying effect on the tree or any chance of fire.
  • Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for, should last at least 5 weeks before drying out.
  • For easier watering, buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot tube. Slip the tube over the funnel outlet, extend tubing down into the tree stand and water without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt. Hide this system in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.

 

Living/Dug Trees

  • The tree should be stored in an unheated, sheltered area such as a garage or porch, out of the wind and sun. Do not expose the tree to freezing temperatures at any time.
  • The tree will need adequate water. The root ball or soil should be kept slightly damp but not flooded. Wrap the root ball of a balled tree in a plastic or place in a tub while it is in the house.
  • Live trees may be decorated, but with care. If lights are used, they must not give off any heat.
  • Do not remove the tree directly from a warm house out into freezing temperatures. Instead, move to a sheltered area first for several days. If the ground is unfrozen, the tree may be replanted. The spot to be dug should be mulched to prevent freezing. Plant as soon as possible after the holiday season.

 

Christmas tree Care Tips

 

    Do not remove the burlap and strapping (unless it is plastic). This keeps the root     ball solid and secure. In the instance of a plastic cover, cut the cord and roll     down the plastic at least half way prior to planting. Tap the tree container of a     potted tree and remove prior to planting. Do not attempt to remove soil from the     root system. Earth removed from the original hole should be backfilled around     the root ball. Mulch heavily over the top of the planted root ball to prevent it from     freezing. Water only as needed: a flooded tree may not survive.

  • Stake the trees to prevent the wind from tipping or damage during the first growing season.

 

Renewable Resource

It takes 4-15 years to grow a tree to a height ready for sale. During this time, the tree creates a thriving habitat for small ground creatures, birds and insects. Christmas tree farmers are responsible land stewards, planting 2-3 seedlings for each tree harvested.

 

Environmentally Friendly

  • One acre of Christmas trees makes enough oxygen for 18 people.
  • Trees help filter dust and smog from the air.
  • Root systems prevent erosion by holding soil in place.

 

Poinsettia Care Tips

  • Choose a plant with small, tightly clustered buds in the center.
  • Look for crisp, bright, undamaged foliage.
  • To keep your poinsettia blooming, water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch, discard excess water in the saucer.
  • To prolong color, keep a temperature range of 60 degrees for night and 72 degrees for day.
  • High humidity is preferable.
  • Keep your plant away from hot or cold drafts.

     

 

 

Nuisance & Problem Wildlife

Nuisance & Problem Wildlife

How to Prevent or Resolve Conflict with Wildlife

As human populations continue to rise and move into traditional wildlife habitat, human/wildlife contact is becoming more prevalent. This section provides general information and techniques for Virginia property owners when wildlife becomes a problem.

Below are some easy techniques which will usually solve the problem and prevent it from re-occurring:

  • If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up or place trash in an animal proof container, such as a metal trashcan with latches on the lids.
  • Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
  • Remove bird feeders when problem species, such as bears, have been seen around them.
  • Close up all openings under and into your buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young—don’t give them that opportunity.
  • Clear overhanging tree limbs and branches which may be providing wildlife access to structures.
  • Clear fallen fruit from around trees.
  • Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everyone.
  • Reflective tape, lights, or noise sometimes works, but they will eventually grow accustomed to these methods, so this is only a temporary solution.
  • Electric fencing can be very effective in keeping wildlife out of crops, beehives and structures.
  • It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.

If these techniques do not solve the problem, you can contact a licensed trapper or a critter removal service which you can find in your local phone directory.

If you are experiencing a problem with wildlife, please dial our toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003.

November 2016 Recipes

Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Caramelized Onions

By MyRecipes.com

 


 

Ingredients

4 ounces country ham, thinly sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

 

Preparation

1. Sauté ham in 3 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

2. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until light brown and crisp-tender; toss with 1 tsp. salt. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean.

3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown and tender. Stir in honey, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with ham.

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 425°. Increase olive oil to 7 Tbsp. Heat a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan in oven 10 minutes. Prepare recipe through Step 3, omitting Step 2. Toss sprouts with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Place sprouts, cut sides down, in hot jelly-roll pan, and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Toss with ham and caramelized onions.

 

Roasted Root Vegetables

From Southern Living


Ingredients

1 pound turnips

1 pound rutabagas

1 pound carrots

1 pound parsnips

3 shallots, halved

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

8 garlic cloves

 

Preparation

Preheat to 400°. Peel first 4 ingredients; cut into 1-inch pieces. (If your carrots are small enough, leave them whole.) Toss with shallots and next 4 ingredients. Place in a single layer in a 17- x 11-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add garlic; bake 45 minutes or until tender, stirring at 15-minute intervals.

Note: You can prepare 4 hours ahead: Cool in pan 30 minutes or to room temperature; bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot.

 

Carrot Orzo


Ingredients

8 ounces carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

 

Preparation

1. Process carrots in a food processor 15 seconds or until finely chopped.

2. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and broth in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until very hot.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Add orzo and garlic, and cook 1 minute.

4. Slowly stir hot broth mixture, salt, and pepper into orzo mixture. Cook, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives, and thyme until blended. Serve orzo immediately. Garnish, if desired.