Artichokes can be really intimidating.  I get stabbed by their little prickers every time I handle them and I hadn't even tried them until I started dating the Man (I thought his family was really fancy because they had artichokes for dinner - blew my mind!).

Now, I love them.  Really, truly.  Just steamed and dipped in garlic butter.  That sweet, earthy goodness and rich melted butter is one of life's greatest eating pleasures.  So, don't be afraid of these angry-looking cousins of the thistle - it is worth every bit of work!

First, trim off the tops of the leaves with a scissors or a knife.  See those little spikes?  You want to get rid of them because they'll stab you and you'll feel embarrassed for being angry at a little vegetable.

Next, cut the top off with a sharp knife.  Once you remove the top, pry out a little bit of the small leaves inside, as these usually have a few little spikes on them and biting into one will ruin your butter-induced eating happiness really quickly.

Lastly, I put mine in a big pot on top of a metal steamer basket over an inch or two of water.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  If you're feeling fancy, you can add a dash of dry vermouth or stuff some garlic cloves into the artichokes.  Then, cover them and let steam for about 45 minutes, or until tender and dark green.

To Eat:
Start with the outer leaves first- peeling them off one by one and dunking them in melted garlic butter.  Bite down on the fleshy part of the leaf and scrape the artichoke goodness off with your front teeth.  I usually only make these for me and the Man, as I'm not great at eating them without getting butter all over myself and looking like a horse.  Enjoy!