I don’t know about you, but I barely remember life before hummus. I’m not even sure when this delicious, nutritious food came on the scene but I’m glad it did. It is so popular it shows up on restaurant offerings as well as almost every pot luck and party. It comes in a variety of flavors and is very versatile. In addition to being served as a dip with pita chips or veggies it can be used as a spread on wraps and sandwiches too!
So what exactly is thing called “Hummus”? It is made from garbanzo beans. Yep, garbanzo beans blended with some seasonings. That’s it. It is that simple. So why would anyone want to make their own hummus when you can just buy it already made in almost any grocery store? That is a great question and my answer is…because it is so easy and you can whip it up on a moments notice using ingredients you have on hand (providing of course you have them on hand). Another reason is that you can control what you put in it and adjust the seasonings to your preference. And…not to mention…it is fun and impressive to say you made it yourself. Right? Sometimes it is just fun to say you made something yourself.
I hope you will give this recipe a try. The recipe is more of a guideline than anything. Feel free to add more jalapeños if you like it hotter. You may want to add some lemon or lime juice and a sprinkle of oregano would taste great too. Have fun with it and make it your own. Oh, and please let me know how it works out for you. I love to hear from you!
Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus - serve with tortilla chips!
appetizers, quick recipes, Snacks
I 15oz. can garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)
2 cubes crushed garlic or 2 fresh garlic cloves crushed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 Tablespoon jalapeño slices from a jar
1 teaspoon juice from the jar
2 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth! That's it!
May be served immediately or refrigerated for up to a week.
It is great served with tortilla chips!
May also be served with fresh veggies or your favorite crispy chip or cracker.
What can you do with some broccoli, a box of refrigerated pie crust and an egg?
Before I tell you the answer….Have you ever noticed how much everyone loves a mystery? Right? The element of surprise is a necessary ingredient in almost every area of our lives. We need mystery and fun and surprise to keep us from living a life of boredom. Books and movies are perfect examples…there is always a PLOT TWIST! And…if there isn’t? Well, we know we can count on that book or movie being a flop.
This unique dinner party is just the thing for dinner party boredom. It has mystery and fun written all over it. And best of all you get to join in the fun instead of slaving away!
So…back to the broccoli, pie crust and egg question. The mystery of this party is to have your guests bring the groceries. Yep! You read it right! You give each guest a list of 3 or so items that should cost no more than $10 total. You mix up the items so they are wondering “what the heck?” For example: broccoli, pie crust and an egg. Everyone is instructed to arrive with their groceries at a specific time so the party can get started. This is where it gets even more fun and also where the creativity kicks in. No matter how specific you are on the shopping lists you give out …and I do recommend that you be very specific…inevitably you get something that is different than you expected and you are forced to use creativity to come up with an alternative plan. Other variables are… missing ingredients due to missing guests or other unforeseen or unplanned for things. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a few key items in back up just in case and it is really important that you confirm with your guests that they will be there, be on time, and bring their items.
This particular party menu was an appetizer made of a block of cream cheese with pesto sauce poured over it served with baguette slices, followed by a mixed green salad and a create your own pasta bar. For dessert we made apple dumplings that we served with ice cream. I chose items that could be used in multiple courses and dishes. For example the store bought pesto was used for the appetizer and also in the pasta sauce, there were a few leftover crackers from our appetizer that I crumbled into the salad and the dried cranberries were served as part of our appetizer platter, in the salad and even as a garnish with the dessert!
The important part is to make a plan and then be flexible in how your plan plays out. Make sure that everyone is involved doing something whether it be setting the table, stirring or chopping etc. You can even let them find the dishes, silverware, platters etc. If you see someone standing around give them a task even if they don’t ask! I promise you everyone wants to be a part of the fun! Remember it is all about the fun!
I really hope you will take this idea and run with it and if it sounds like fun yet is more than you want to take on…you are always welcome to hire me to plan and execute it for you! I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than have a party or help you with yours.
Oh and in case you are still wondering what we did with the broccoli, pie crust and egg…the broccoli was steamed and used as one of the ingredients for our pasta bar, the pie crust was used for the apple dumplings and the egg was beaten and used to “wash” the apple dumplings to give them a crackly glaze. Mystery is now solved and it’s on to the next one. What will your next mystery dinner menu be?
Here is to adding a dash of mystery and a bit of fun to your next dinner party,
I loooove all things artichokes! I use artichoke hearts in salads and dips and pasta dishes. There is just mysterious and wonderful about this thing called an artichoke. They are a bit like life…hard to read from the outside and yet once you’ve unsolved their mystery they are yours to do with as you wish. You just have to get to know them at a deeper level than meets the eye. Okay…perhaps I’m getting a little carried away and dramatic…all to drive the point of my passion for these wild creatures.
I’m not kidding when I say this is the easiest and best salsa ever! It’s almost embarrassing to share the recipe but share I must. I just can’t keep things like this to myself. AND I want you to get all the credit when you serve it! It’s your recipe now…
Suzi’s – make it in seconds…tastes like you slaved all day…Secret Salsa Hack!
quick recipes, Recipes, Salsas and Sauces, Snacks
You can serve this salsa immediately or make ahead a few hours or even the day before to allow flavors to blend. Store covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
1 8 oz. can Herdez brand Salsa Casera, come in mild, medium or hot (choice is yours)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 green onions chopped or 2 tablespoons or so of diced red onion
Pour into a serving dish
Add cilantro and green onion
Stir and serve!
If you prefer you may put all ingredients in a blender or food processor
Soooooo Easy…only 4 ingredients and it is awesome!
One night this flavor combination just popped in my head so I quickly wrote it down…a few weeks later I had the opportunity to try it out and serve it at a luncheon. It was a hit! I originally served it as a spread with crackers and also with celery sticks for a gluten-free option. I’ve made it several times since and it is always well received. I hope you’ll give try it outand taste for yourself. Enjoy!
This makes a great party snack. Serve in baskets or put in small treat bags tied with ribbons. You can also use colored candy melts to coordinate with the occasion. I sometimes use colored sprinkles in place of the toffee.
5 cups mini pretzel twists
1 1/2 white chocolate candy melts (approximately 10 oz.)
2/3 cup toffee bits
Line a 1/2 sheet baking pan (13" x 18") with parchment
Spread pretzels evenly over the parchment, they will overlap slightly
Heat white chocolate candy melts in microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, heat for an additional 30 seconds, stir until smooth
With a large spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the pretzels
Sprinkle toffee bits evenly over the chocolate
Allow to cool
Break apart and serve or store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag
Don’t be fooled…these Apple Dumplings look difficult….. but they are soooooo easy! Just watch and see….
Apple Dumplings with Raspberry Sauce
In a small saucepan, mix 1 12 oz. package frozen raspberries (unsweetened)
and 2/3 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until boiling...mix 1/3 cup water and 1 Tablespoon corn starch together, stir into boiling raspberries and sugar, stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
6 Rome Beauty Apples (or other)
2 Packages refrigerated pie crust rolls (4 crusts total)
1 cube (1/2 cup) softened butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
Remove crusts from the refrigerator
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel and core apples - cut the bottom of the apple about 1/4 inch so it will sit flat
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
Fill the hollowed cores with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon mixture
Cut 3 of the crusts in half, roll each into a ball, knead until until mixed together
Using a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface (granite counter works great), roll out to about 8 inches in diameter (so it will cover the apple completely)
Cut 6 small pieces of the remaining crust, about 1 1/2 inches square, place on the top of each filled apple, covering the core
Place apple upside down in center of dough circle
Carefully wrap and pinch dough around the apple making sure dough overlaps a the bottom
Place apples, pinched side down, on a baking sheet
Using a pastry brush, brush with egg wash (egg/water mixture)
Using a sharp knife, cut out 12 leaves, "score" each leaf with a line down the center and marks to resemble leaves
Roll 6 small pieces of dough to resemble stems, pinch and flatten at one end
On top of each apple, place a "stem" and 2 "leaves"
Brush leaves and stem with egg wash
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes until apples are soft and crust is golden
*Raspberry Sauce and vanilla ice cream, if desired
I hope you will push out of your comfort zone and make these “Classy” Apple Dumplings! Remember, if you can dream it… You can do it….and I just showed you how! You can do this! Confidence comes with practice! You’ve heard the saying….If at first you don’t succeed….try, try, again!
Helping people gain confidence in the kitchen is my dream! I’ve put off doing this because I was scared 🙁 I may look confident but to be honest….putting myself out there like this is SCARY! I’m taking my own advice and just doing it!
My greatest desire is that you find your passion and “just do it”