I’ve been cooped up at home with mono for the
past three days, so with all that free time,
I’ve cooked up quite a few recipes I’m excited
to share (avocado brownies being my favorite)!!!
But today I’m sharing homemade hummus! I love hummus with pita chips or celery sticks and carrots. It’s a great healthy snack and a tasty addition to a salad! There are all different kinds of hummus flavors that I like, but I went with Roasted Red Pepper. I think next time I’ll have to do a garlic lime hummus or taco spices maybe. It’s really easy to put your own spin on this recipe with whatever spices and flavors you want to use.
I started with two cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), one jar of roasted red peppers, and some olive oil. I had that in the food processor ready to blend, then I started to get creative. I had about half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil in the fridge. That when in. Then a couple teaspoons of garlic. Half a cup of lemon juice. Then I decided to turn up the heat. So, I tossed in a jalapeño pepper and two heaping tablespoons of cayenne. Some salt and pepper to taste, and it was done!
I love to cook this way. For something like hummus, you don’t need a recipe. You can be spontaneous and imaginative and just get completely carried away with flavors. The important things are chickpeas and olive oil (and in my opinion garlic), but after that, it’s your recipe!
I’m giving you the recipe for my hummus, but I hope you use it as more of a guide to creating whatever you want with the things you already have in your fridge! That’s what makes it fun!
The frost is almost upon us! That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!
I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does. I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.
Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months. If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated. At least, that’s what I used to think. I know there are a couple different ways to do it. Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them. I think it preserves the flavors better, too. It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined. All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze on a towel-lined sheet pan. After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter. It’s that simple!
While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes. I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year. I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative. All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese. Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting. They taste like pizza! You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.
I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread. So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad. This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend. It was so good I had to make it for myself.
Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner! It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!
This is my initiation post, so I thought it would be fitting to share a couple of things about myself. First of all, I really like eating healthy. I love working out and running and eating well because it makes me feel good. Second, I REALLY love chocolate. EspeciallyDARKchocolate. Almost anything with chocolate in it is irresistible to me. I think most of my teeth are sweet teeth.
You may think these two loves are contradictory. For a long time, I did too. But do they have to be??? I’ve recently been learning a lot about nutrition from my boyfriend, Tim. He’s a personal trainer who is way more committed to eating healthy than any sane person should be. But, he showed me that one of the keys to a healthy diet is making sure you get enough of the “good” fats. WHAAAAAAT??? There are good fats!?!? Good fats are like a fun little diet cheat code. There are even some diets that require you to eat a tablespoon of oil twice a day… it’s pretty gross, don’t try it. Anyway, healthy fat is found in things like avocados, coconut oil, olives, and nuts. I think fat gets a bad rap because of it’s unfortunate name. But, contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat! When used in moderation, it can actually aid in weight loss! Maybe we should rename it “phat” so people will think it’s cool again. Really the only two things you need to be cautious about is making sure it’s the right kind of fat (not the grease dripping off your pizza, unfortunately), and to regulate the amount (because it is calorie dense, but still crucial to a healthy diet).
So, one day I remembered this recipe from my good friend, Mr. Fleisher. Back when I was in college, he would make me this heavenly freezer chocolate. The only ingredients are coconut oil, cocoa powder (antioxidants), and a little bit of honey! It occurred to me… that fits my macros! It’s a great way to get healthy fat in my diet AND curb my abundant chocolate cravings!
It’s a super simple recipe with just 4 ingredients that you probably already have. Plus, it’s easy to adjust amounts because it works off ratios! People are always saying “try this recipe, it’s THE BEST.” But they just say that. THIS ONE REALLY IS THE BEST! If you like chocolate, you have to try it. That is all. If you don’t try it, it really doesn’t affect me. But I just always have this in my freezer and I think it could easily be a staple for your family too. 🙂
Before I give you the map to paradise (aka, the recipe), just a few things. You can easily change the sweetness by adjusting the honey. It won’t effect the chocolate setting up. If you like it dark, add less honey. If you don’t like bitter chocolate, add more! — it’s that simple.
I usually make a 1-1-0.25 ratio of coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey. That is sweet enough for most dark chocolate lovers. However, I believe the original recipe was a 1-1-1 ratio (very sweet). If you aren’t sure where you fall, I would recommend making a smallish amount the first time for a taste test.
The second thing is that you can get creative with the flavorings! It’s fun to add sliced almonds or chopped pecans, and you don’t have to use boring old vanilla. If you want to get really crazy, there are a plethora of flavors to choose from! Orange, Baileys, Jack, caramel… just use your imagination.
Finally, I would LOVE to see someone try this recipe in a cute little mold! Someday I’m going to grow up, get fancy, and invest in some nice molds, but for now I’ll eat chocolate no matter what shape it’s in. However, if you are one of those “Pinterest Perfect” people that I envy, PLEASE send a picture or leave a comment of the mold you use! I know you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have!
It Tuesdays With Dorie which means I have baked from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking With Julia. I’ve never made a french apple tart and this week’s recipe got my attention. Dorie writes, “This open-faced tart is beautiful … beneath the gossamer blossom is what the French call a compote, a sweet, thick purée of oven-roasted Granny Smith apples.” Are you interested? In Dorie’s cookbook this recipe takes up 2 1/2 pages. That turns me off. I took one look down through the recipe and thought it seemed so time-consuming. My best baking projects are fast and easy and look like they took a long time. 🙂 Yes, I am fickle like that. But, I am happy to report — this isn’t nearly as time-consuming as it seems at first glance. And the finished tart is … well, worth it! Also, my granddaughter, Tayler, is here visiting and she cheerfully helped me as my Chief Designer!
First things first …the recipe calls for 1/4 recipe Flaky Pie dough. This has become my very favorite pie dough recipe and you can get it here. I was immediately happy and “all in” because I keep this pie dough frozen for just such a moment as this! I thawed the pastry dough over-night in the refrigerator. First thing in the morning I placed it in my 9″ springform pan and baked it. While it was baking I started chopping apples. The recipe calls for Granny Smith apples. I used mostly Granny Smith and a couple of Gala apples too. Apple chunks are tossed with sugar, flour, cinnamon and fluffy bread crumbs. This recipe calls for very little sugar but the result won’t give it away. What intrigues me is that those apples could be cooked down in a pan on the stove or in a skillet stove-top. But instead, it calls for spreading them on a baking sheet and roasting them. Interesting.
Before I started this recipe I decided I wasn’t going to take pictures except of the finished tart. As you can clearly see I went for my camera before I finished slicing the apples. The colors are so pretty and I so want to share that with you! The apples roasted for 20 minutes and were gooey, caramelized and wonderful! THAT picture would have gone right here … but I forgot to take it! 🙁
The roasted apple compote is spooned into the baked pastry shell. At this point my chief designer, Tayler, began working her magic. We peeled apples, dipped them in lemon juice (to help keep them from browning) and she began the task of layering the apples. We had room for two circular layers and one rosette in the middle. After brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with Turbinado sugar, our tart baked for 30 minutes. The tart was done but the edges not quite dark enough so I turned the broiler on for just 2 minutes to give the edges the stunning black effect. The recipe suggests sprinkling with white sugar but I always keep Turbinado on hand and if you do too, then by all means use it for the sprinkling on the top.
Our tart didn’t stay under this cover long since it was the crowning touch to our Sunday dinner shared with family.
This tart is not overly sweet making it a perfect finish to any dinner. (Only 3/4 cup sugar in the entire tart.) The roasted apple purée is a perfect contrast to the crackle of the crust and the pure apple flavor of the topping.
The contributing baker for this recipe is Leslie Mackie. This recipe is hosted by TWD baker, Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen. She will post the full recipe on her blog.
As for me and my family — we will be making this again!!
Blessings and Happy Cooking!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8ASV