RP: Hummus

Sliced cucumbers with hummus is one of my favorite snacks, especially at my desk during the workday.  And we have tons of cucumbers coming out of our garden, so I decided to whip up a batch of hummus.  I have posted this recipe before, but it’s another one that I feel got lost within another post from over a year ago.  So, here it is again.

Hummus

(adapted from Good Things Catered)

Ingredients:
one 12-oz can chick peas
1-2 large cloves garlic {I prefer one}
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 heaping Tbsp tahini {sesame paste}
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt

Optional- pinch of cumin and pinch of paprika

Directions:

-Drain water from the can of chick peas into a small bowl and reserve.
-In a food processor, mix together the chick peas with the remaining ingredients, being careful to add second half of lemon juice and tahini slowly, stopping to taste.
-Slowly add some of the reserved liquid from beans for correct consistency, (about 1-2 minutes) until a smooth, slightly fluid paste is formed.
-Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Can top with a drizzle more of EVOO and chopped parsley for serving if you like.

Almond Rice Pilaf

This was a nice alternative to plain white rice that I served up with some shrimp.  I wish I would have browned the onions and almonds a little more, but it was still good.

Almond Rice Pilaf

Source:  taste of home

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup silvered almonds

1 Tbsp butter

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups uncooked instant rice

Directions:

Brown the onions and almonds in butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the broth and bring it to a boil.  Stir in the uncooked rice.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5-10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

I had a pretty intense craving for these bars out of nowhere one day and luckily I had some time on my hands to make them.  And it really was good that I had extra time on my hands because I couldn’t find a freaking recipe for them anywhere!  How is it possible that I’ve never made them before, therefore blogging them and therefore knowing where to find my recipe?!  So, over the next hour I searched through about 10 cookbooks before finding a recipe.

They really hit the spot and reminded me of the school cafeteria too.  Weird.

Aside:  What is with all of my flashbacks to childhood?  Today I was thinking about the movies I watched all the time as a kid like Top Gun, Rags to Riches, and Grease!  I need to get copies of them so I can watch them soon.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter rice Krispie Bars

Source:  a hometown cookbook

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup Karo syrup

1-1/4 cup peanut butter {I used half smooth and half chunky}

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 cups rice krispies

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat the syrup and sugar on the stove until melted.  Add the peanut butter and vanilla, mixing well.  Then add the cereal.  Press into the prepared pan.

Melt the chips together and spread over the top.  Allow to set up, then cut into bars.

A Few Changes

Just wanted to point out a few changes to the ol’ bliggity blog.

The first one is pretty obvious, but a few weeks ago I changed the background.  I just thought it was time for something a little more colorful.  What do you think?

I have also added some “pages” or tabs at the top {under “easy as pie” but above the recipes}.

One page is my wishlist for kitchen related tools/items that I want.  I just like making lists and I’ll never lose this one.  And perhaps the husband will buy me a few things? lol

The other is my bookshelf and that’s where I have put down all the books that I want to read. Again, I love lists.  🙂  I’m sure I’ll add many more over time, but if there are any other avid readers out there who want to discuss books, leave a comment under that section and we can have a “virtual book club”.

I believe that’s all for now, but I am working on few other new additions, so look for them here in a few weeks or months.

Thanks for reading!

Flaky Biscuits

Mmmmm, the breakfast of champions – bacon, eggs, and biscuits.

These biscuits were very tender and thick!  They were great for this breakfast, but would also be wonderful served with sausage gravy or along side a hearty stew, fried chicken, or other dinner.  Give them a try!

Flaky Biscuits
Source:  Good Things Catered, originally from Joy of Cooking

Yield: 8-10 big biscuits

Ingredients:
2 c. all purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, plus more to top
3/4 c. milk {I used buttermilk}

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-In large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, powder and salt.
-Cut the very cold butter, into dry ingredients until butter pieces are about the size of a pea.
-Add the milk and mix until just combined (texture should be sticky, moist and lumpy)
-Roll or pat the dough out on flour prepared surface into 1 in. thickness.
-Cut with lightly floured biscuit cutter and place on prepared baking sheet.
-Top each biscuit with a small cube of butter to help brown.
-Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or longer until tops are nicely browned.
-Serve immediately.

Waffle Mini Muffins with Maple-Sugar Glaze

Several days ago we were out of easy-to-grab breakfast food items so I decided to make some mini muffins.  I chose these since we are BIG fans of actual waffles.  They turned out to have the perfect flavor of waffles in a bite sized muffin!  They were really good warm from the oven, and not as great cold so I suggest zapping the leftover muffins in the microwave before eating them.

Waffle Muffins with Maple-Sugar Glaze

source:  Cuisine at Home magazine, April 2010 issue

makes about 36 mini muffins

Ingredients for muffins:

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup malt powder

1/4 cup cornmeal

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, separated

2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the glaze:

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp coarse sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat 2 mini muffin pans with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the flour, malt powder, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set it aside.

Whisk together the slightly cooled melted butter, buttermilk, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl until blended.

Whip egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer to medium peaks.

Combine buttermilk mixture with flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.

Fold whipped egg whites into batter just until thin white streaks remain visible.  Transfer batter by 2 heaping teaspoons (or #30 scoop) into prepared pans.

Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 12 minutes.

Combine maple syrup and sugar in small bowl; brush onto muffin tops. Return muffins to oven for 2-3 minutes to set the glaze.

Serve muffins warm.

Country Peach Ice Cream

Shocker! Tim actually requested that I make a peach ice cream.  I about fell over because I thought the only good ice cream in his eyes was vanilla.  So, I happily obliged because I want to try as many different ice cream recipes as possible this summer.  And this one certainly was a winner!

As Annie stated, it has a pretty mild flavor of peach in the background, but the little bits of peaches make it perfect.  We actually ate some of this before it had really set up in freezer and it was a dreamy bowl of peaches and cream.  The final (firm) ice cream was even better, only improved by a drizzle of honey.

I made a few changes based on what I had on hand, but nothing drastic.  I really only want to point out that I thought the call for 4 large peaches was a little vague as people probably have different interpretations of “large” peaches.  I wish it would have given the amount of cups of chopped peach pieces, but it didn’t so I used what I felt were six medium-sized peaches.

Country Peach Ice Cream

Source:  adapted from Annie’s Eats originally from Williams Sonoma Ice Cream

Ingredients:

4 large, ripe peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and chopped into small chunks {I used 6 medium}

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp.

1 ½ cups whole milk {I used half and half}

1 ½ cups heavy cream

4 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Put half of the peaches in a bowl and mash slightly with a fork.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons sugar and toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.

In a heavy 2-qt. saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream, and the remaining peaches.  Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes.  Do not let boil.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the peaches with the back of a spoon.  Discard the solids.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, salt, and remaining ½ cup cream in a bowl.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Gradually whisk about ½ cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth.  Pour the egg and milk mixtures into the saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes.  Do not let the custard boil.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl {I skipped this}.  Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water.  Stir occasionally until cool.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When the ice cream is frozen to the consistency of soft serve, transfer to an air-tight container.  Drain the reserved peaches and fold them in.  Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days before serving.

Definitely enjoy with a drizzle of honey!

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