Homemade Hummus

 

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Homemade Hummus

Some simple ingredients are all you need to whip up this basic recipe for hummus.  You can adjust the flavour by adding more lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, smoked paprika…It’s delicious and healthy as a dip with veggies or pita, as a spread on a sandwich or wrap,  or even spread on a plate and topped with salad or curry.  Super versatile – don’t just think ‘dip’.

Hummus

adapted from the book Jerusualem

makes 4 cups

3 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)

1 cup tahini

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice cold water

Method:

Drain chickpeas and place into food processor, blend until it forms a thick paste. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Continue to blend, scraping down sides until mixed. Pour ice water through feed tube while leaving the processor to run for 5 minutes. Let hummus rest for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Will keep for approx. 4 days in fridge.

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Homemade Hummus

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Homemade Hummus

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Red Onion Jam

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

This jam is totally my jam. 😉  It’s a fantastic condiment with a never-ending list of uses.  I love it on a piece of cheese on a cracker. On a grilled cheese? D-lish. This recipe requires a few exclusive ingredients,  but aside from that, it is very straight forward and easy.  I’m a big fan of kicking up the flavour of dishes with the use of great quality condiments.  Makes a great hostess gift with a chunk of cheese and some artisinal crackers.

Red Onion Jam

adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

6 cups of diced onions (I used red but use whatever you like)

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup (real) maple syrup (or granulated sugar)

1/2 cup sherry vinegar (or balsamic)

1 cup red wine (leftover from the night before is fine, or even if it’s been sitting around a few days)

3 tbsp creme de cassis (a blackberry flavoured liquer)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, salt, pepper and maple syrup (or sugar). Stir. Cover and let cook on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes to avoid it sticking (add more butter if it starts to stick). Cook for approximately 30 – 45 minutes until onions are quite soft and cooked down.

Add the red wine, sherry vinegar and creme de cassis. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, until it thickens and becomes ‘jammy’.  (anywhere from 30- 60 minutes. If using maple syrup, it will take longer as there is more liquid).  Pour into sterilized jars. Refrigerate when cool. Will keep for months, in sterilized jars – refrigerated.  Caution: addictive.

dice up onions

dice up onions

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

YUM

YUM

close up YUM

close up YUM

Healthy Nutty Balls

Heathy Nutty Balls

Heathy Nutty Balls

 

I’m a confirmed cookie addict and since cookies make me fat, I was thrilled when my friend, Marleen, made these nutty balls at a luncheon at her house.  Since then, I’ve been experimenting with the recipe ratios and making various flavours of nutty balls.  They are a delicious yet healthy snack (and gluten free), and even if you eat three of them a day, you won’t gain weight! I know this from experience.  Also, I love how I can eat this and not feel guilty–it’s got lots of omega-3’s and fibre.   So, play around with different types of nuts, flavourings  and coatings.  Try adding dried fruit and or cocoa.  I don’t stray from the maple syrup as a sweetener– I just think it’s so much healthier for you than sugar.  So. If you want or love a sweet treat after dinner or at midnight, make a batch of these and keep them in the freezer– they are best served very cold. Cheers. 🙂 Continue reading

Salami & Cheese in Puff Pastry

Salami and Cheese in Puff Pastry

This is an easy and delicious snack you can make in no time with a few ingredients. What can be better than that? We ate ours with soup, but I can see this as a party snack or as a midnight munchie.  Thaw out your puff pastry in the fridge overnight (which you purchase in the  freezer section).  The sky’s the limit when it comes to the filling – but using spicy salami with a mild cheese and some dijon was well received when I made it.  The puff pastry really puffs up, so it’s very visually appealing as well.  Give this a try,  it’s great. Continue reading

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup (with bacon base)

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

I’m definitely blogging this recipe, since this is where I catalogue  all my favourite recipes. This soup starts with a base of bacon so it’s unlike cream of tomato soup as we know it.  It sounded unusual to me at first,  but bacon and tomato is a classic combination so I went ahead and made  it and continue to make it often. It’s delish, I tell you.  This soup’s  got a smoky and savoury richness that you don’t usually find in vegetarian versions of this soup. Continue reading

Mediterranean Dip

Mediterranean Dip

This dip is easy to put together and is packed with fresh Mediterranean flavours — it’s nice to have in the afternoon on the deck, or if you have some friends drop over.  As ‘entertaining’ season begins (at least for me, being at the lake), it’s nice to have some easy appetizer ideas.  As usual, you can modify this to your taste. Continue reading

Smashed Baby Taters

smashed baby potatoes with ketchup

Here’s a simple way to cook potatoes that everyone loves. Great on their own, or as a side with practically anything.  Excellent with breakfast too.

Smashed Baby Taters

makes about 4 servings

3 lbs baby white and red potatoes, cleaned and trimmed

1/4 cup butter

sea salt

Directions:

In a large saucepan,  place potatoes. Cover with water and a generous teaspoon of salt. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and cool for a few minutes until they are  easy to handle.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Between both palms, ‘smash’ potatoes gently until their skins break and the potatoes are flattened slightly. Place them in the pan without crowding them too much. Sprinkle very liberally with salt.  Let smashed potatoes cook until browned, then flip and repeat. Add more butter if necessary, bearing in mind that butter is good for you. Remove from pan when brown and crispy. Serve and enjoy.

Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 8 minutes.

when cool enough, gently smash those babies

Saute over medium heat, don't foget to be liberal with the salt. Potatoes need salt.