I was on my way out to the greenhouse a little bit ago with a bag of perlite for my afternoon project—rooting some cacti that I brought back from my trip to California last week, and yes, I procured them legally—when I realized I was hungry.
Extremely hungry—my post-run appetite was suddenly very insistent—and all projects would have to go on ‘hold’ for a bit.
I was hungry for hummus, which meant I’d have to make it because we were out. Not a big deal, because with a food processor, hummus can be made in about as much time as it takes to make a sandwich. While I was grabbing the stuff from the fridge and pantry, it occurred to me that while a lot of people love this stuff, not everyone loves the big price tag on those itty-bitty containers that grocery stores sell. And as nutritious as hummus is, most of the commercial varieties have some unpronounceable additives in them, which can’t possibly be good for anyone except the companies who market them. Lots of folks also don’t know how easy and quick it is to make at home, either. And as I was having these lofty thoughts, I decided to write my recipe down as I went (for a change), so that I could share it at a later date in a blog post.
A few minutes later the hummus was done, and it was so pretty I just had to snap a few photos for that ‘later’ blog post.
I was eating and snapping pictures—mostly eating and wiping hummus off of my camera—and decided that now is as good as later for a post on hummus. The weekend is almost upon us. Its NBA playoff time, and we’ll need healthy snacks to get us through all of the big games!
Here’s what you need:
1 15 oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo or cici beans)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 T tahini (a nut butter made from sesame seeds, usually found by the peanut butter in stores)
2 T water
¾ tsp salt
And garlic…don’t forget that!
All you have to do:
Put the chickpeas in a strainer. Rinse them thoroughly, and set them aside to drain.
Use the blade attachment for your food processor (you can make this in a blender if you don’t have a food processor) and dump everything into the bowl. Add the chickpeas, and process everything into a smooth paste. Scrape the sides once or twice to make sure everything is well blended.
That’s all there is too it, and there’s only about a dollar’s worth of stuff in there. The tahini is the most expensive ingredient, but store it in the fridge and it will last a long time, long enough to make tons of hummus! Think of this recipe as more of a guide—you can adjust everything or even add more things to make it however you like best.
Now I have some cactus to go tend to.
Thanks so much for visiting with me, and see you soon ~ Lorrie
Life has been crazy busy with working, a little travel, and a huge garden project that had to be completed before any actual gardening could happen—remember the bovine invasion of last summer? All of a sudden (again), my little blog has grown dusty and forlorn. It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I practically don’t know where to start! I think the best place though, is with the last of the Brownie Challenge recipes.
I’ve been promising, and it’s taken awhile, but here it is. I’ve made this one up a lot since I found it, and I have to say, it is my MOST favorite…for now anyway. It’s easy to throw together—no more mess than a mix, really—and the end result is worth an extra measuring cup to wash up. The batter smells divine while you’re mixing it (if your idea of heaven includes chocolate), and once it hits the oven…oh my! There’s nothing like drifts of dark cocoa wafting through the house. Best air freshener ever!
These brownies are dense and chewy, with a quick, crisp, ‘bite’ to the crust. The cocoa taste is rich, dark and not-too-sweet. It’s a brownie that begs for a glass of ice-cold milk, or a really fabulous cup of coffee. Maybe both, because who are we kidding? You know you’ll eat more than one.
Adapted from smitten kitchen’s adaptation of Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave it until the butter is melted. Use a lower power setting, and stir occasionally to blend all the ingredients. The mixture should be warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon, then add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one. When the batter feels thick and is shiny and well blended, stir in the flour until it disappears. Then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the parchment paper, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into squares for serving.
And before I finish, I have to show you a picture of the new garden project! My husband did such a beautiful job of this fence, that I just have to show it off!
Gorgeous, yes? And hopefully, cattle proof.
One other thing I promised you—an ‘up-grade’ to box mix brownies…
1) Use a name brand mix. Store brands just don’t have the same flavor. My preference—and I’ve tried them all—is for Pillsbury. I always used the ‘family-sized’ (9x 13’ pan) in the plain chocolate or chocolate fudge flavor.
2) Substitute strong dark coffee for the water in the ingredients. Don’t worry, they won’t taste like coffee.
3) Add 1 Tblsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
4) Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract
5) Add 1/2 to 1 cup of good quality dark chocolate chips
6) If they’re ‘company brownies’, I frost them when they’re cool with whatever left-over chocolate buttercream I have in the freezer OR I ice them with the same thing, by spreading it on while they’re still warm.
I used a 9” by 13” glass pan, lightly greased, and baked them for 28 minutes at 325 degrees.
In a hurry to cut them? Use a plastic knife—the disposable kind for pic-nics and such—and the brownies will cut cleanly.
That’s it… a simple fix that adds a ton of depth and flavor!
Now it’s back to the kitchen to finish baking (the brownies for today’s blog, cookies for the husband while I’m out of town, biscotti to take to my Aunt, and something cake-ish) and then I’m out to the garden!
Thanks for visiting me, and love~