Monday, May 2, 2011

There's a Hummus Among Us!

Hummus is one of those dips that I LOVE when I eat it at a restaurant, but have HATED it every time I try to make it myself. I don't know what I have been doing wrong for all these years of trying...? Maybe I added too much tahini? Or not enough lemon?

But! My years of failing at the mystery of hummus are over! I found my inspiration over at Smitten Kitchen (of course), made a few adjustments, and came up with a hummus recipe that I really, really like.

Let me add a disclaimer: everyone's taste for hummus is different. Some like TONS of tahini, others like just a hint. Some like it overloaded with garlic, other more subtle. You get the idea. Use this recipe as a guide to your own hummus creation :-)

what you need:
2 15 oz cans of garbanzo beans (a.k.a. "chickpeas"), drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of water
1/4 cup of tahini
1/8 cup of lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil

what to do:
Crush the garlic and salt together until they form a paste and place into the bowl of a food processor or blender
Add the tahini and lemon juice and blend until combined
Add the garbanzo beans and blend, adding the water slowly until a smooth paste has formed; you may need more or less water, depending on the consistency you desire
Spoon contents into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with cayenne and parsley, then drizzle olive oil over the top (NOTE: cayenne pepper is SPICY, only add a mere sprinkle if you lean towards the mild side)
Serve with pita bread, or fresh veggies!

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Scott and I have been purchasing our produce from a local farm for just over a year now. It has been a wonderful exploration of local, organic, sustainable agriculture, and also a learning experience. What, for example, do you do when you DO NOT like beets, mustard greens, radishes, and kale, but this is what happens to be in season in the spring and thus is what overflows your produce share on a weekly basis?

Well, friends, you find out a way that you DO like it, then share it with everyone else who may not like these things as well, in hopes of creating some measurable amount of peace between the taste buds and local produce.

My dear friend and cooking buddy, A, is one I will call upon when I am in need of inspiration for an ingredient I dislike. She is a foodie, like myself, but is more willing to tackle the battle of making undesirable food taste good than I. So, I call her, after she has already done the work ;-)

This recipe is entirely hers. I can take no credit. I will say that it is delicious, and it has mended my relationship with beets. Beets and I are now friends. I can now appreciate beets for more than just that beautiful, rich, fuchsia color they emit when sliced.

This recipe will serve 2 to 4, depending on how big you make the salad.

what you need:
2 small beets, washed and cut into 1/2" to 1" cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
a few large handfuls of mesclun greens or spinach (whichever happens to be in our produce share that week is what I use)
2 oz of goat cheese
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)

balsamic vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
*Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until well combined.

what to do:
For the salad-
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Place the beets on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing until all pieces are evenly coated
Place beets in the oven and roast until fork-tender and lightly brown on the edges (approximately 20 min., may take longer)
Wash the greens and place into a large salad bowl
Toast the pecans in a small saute pan over medium heat until the edges turn slightly brown (you will need to frequently toss the nuts around in the pan so as not to burn them)
Place roasted beets, toasted pecans, and crumbled goat cheese on top of the greens and toss with balsamic vinaigrette

So, we moved!

It has officially been 3 weeks since my last post. Allow me to explain myself....

In the last three weeks, the Key family has:

*Moved into a new apartment
*Hannah took her Comps exam
*Hannah took her PRAXIS exam
*Hannah accepted a new job
*Scott planned a fundraising event for our trip to Nicaragua
*Hannah finished graduate school (graduation is on May 13th!)
*Scott built shelves to add storage for our stuff
*Got rid of 10 boxes of stuff that wouldn't fit on the new shelves created for our stuff
*Finished unpacking all of our boxes and putting every item in its place!!

With that said, here are some photos of all the in-betweens that occurred amidst the list we accomplished above. I find that the in-betweens are my little bouts of wonderful that get me through days of monotony and worry. Thank you, God, for the in-betweens :-)

Attended a cooking class with our friends, C and M. Theme for the night: MAN FOOD. Never eaten so much meat in one sitting in my life, and didn't regret a bite.

Attended the wedding of P and S from our small group.

Oh, I just LOVE photographing weddings!

Visited the Keys in Fort Worth

Attended my future-sister-in-laws wedding shower!!

My beautiful grandmothers


Went home for Easter

Hahaha, I love this photo :-) Dogs are cute.

Baby birds at the Keys place

And here we are now :-) A peaceful Monday, with a To-Do list. Wouldn't be a Monday without a To-Do list ;-)

With pencil and paper in hand,