Creamiest Hummous

Hummus 1

Drizzle the finished hummus with your best olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika.  A few toasted sesame seeds would be a great addition also. (I just didn’t think of it until I looked at my photos!)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
  • Dash ground paprika, for serving

 

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.

Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.

peeled chickpeas

I know, you are thinking “what goof peels chickpeas?”  Me.  Especially after Stella raved about the creamiest hummus she’d ever had.  At 5 years old, this girl knows food.  After that, how could I not peel my hummus.  After all, even if it takes you 20 min to peel that can of chickpeas, haven’t you ever wasted 20 min on something less interesting??

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.

Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Hummus 2

We served the hummus today with fresh vegetables as well as                                                            lightly seasoned and toasted pita wedges.

 

I heard a rumour that hummus made at home could be creamy, dreamy & simple, but every time I tried it I was less than satisfied.  Sure, it was tasty …. but dreamy?  No.  So I hit the blogs looking for a trick, and “inspired taste” provided it.  Look up the blog – Adam and Joanne have some amazing photos and descriptions, plus tips for cooking your own chickpeas and many other great ideas.  I’ve made this recipe a few times now, exactly as written (except that I am that weirdo that doesn’t mind a 10 minute mindless activity like skinning chickpeas).

Hummus 3

A few days later, my grand daughters Sloan and Stella were here, asking for a snack …. when I produced the vegetables I got a look ….. “Well Nana ……..do you have any of that amazing peeled chickpea hummus left?  Could we please have some of that too?”                                                       That, my friends, is how foodies are born.

Banana Apple Orange Loaf

You know how it goes when the fruit on your kitchen counter starts talking to you when you walk past ……. “Hey Kathy, whatcha gonna do with me”??  That happened this week with a couple bananas looking spotty and a few Mac apples.  Add in a little fresh orange juice and you’ve got a fruit salad in a loaf.

Banana apple orange loaf 1

Chunks of carmelized apple and a bit of orange juice make this the most moist loaf ever.

  • 1 stick (+ 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 apples: peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed  to equal 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • raw sugar

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter with the brown sugar.  Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat stirring until tender and golden, about 4-6 minutes.  Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla and transfer apples to a plate to cool off.

Banana apple orange loaf 5

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.  I also like to line it with parchment paper.  In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg and the remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Banana apple orange loaf 6

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time and mix until smooth.  Add mashed banana, orange juice and the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add dry ingredients, and beat on low speed just until combined.  Gently fold in the apples.

banana apple orange loaf 4

banana apple orange loaf 2

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Sprinkle raw sugar over the top.  Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  (cover loosely with foil if the loaf starts to brown too quickly).

banana apple orange loaf

The raw sugar sprinkled over top creates this crunchy, crackly crust.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

 

 

 

Peach Crumble Muffins

Peach muffins 1

Delicately delicious with peach in every bite, peach season is made for these muffins.

Ingredients:

CRUMB TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup (84g) all-purpose flour

MUFFINS

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
  • 1/2 cup (120g) yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) milk (any kind)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped peaches

Directions:

  1. First, make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. Make the muffins: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, all-spice, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk. Add the milk, gently whisking until combined and little lumps remain. Fold in the peaches with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Peach muffins 2

Gently wash the peaches before using, softly removing the fuzz.  No need to remove the peel if you do this, keep all that goodness and add a bit of colour.

Spoon the muffin batter evenly between all 12 muffin tins. There may be enough to make a 13th muffin in a 2nd batch, depending if there were a few extra peach chunks thrown in. Fill the muffin tins until they are full all the way up to the top. Press a handful of the crumb topping into the top of each; crumble it with your hands to make some big chunks.

Peach muffins 3

It’s peach season, and the workers are hard at it, so we made a double batch.  I love these deeper silicone muffin trays, keeps a generous amount of crumble where it belongs – on top!

Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and bake for 15-19 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I think these might be my new favourite cookie. I usually go for a crisper cookie, but these are soft and chewy and absolutely delicious.

Deliciously soft and chewy

Deliciously soft and chewy

IMG_6211

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup fine coconut flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate
(We really like a fine bit of chocolate throughout, so we grated it, but if you like it a bit chunkier, just roughly chop it)
1 cup pecans, chopped
large flake sea salt for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl … Flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon and kosher salt. Stir well to combine.

In large mixing bowl cream butter with the 2 sugars. When this is light and fluffy add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla.

Add the dry mixture to the egg mixture until well combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate.

Roll into 2″ balls and place on cookie sheet, about 2″ apart. Gently press down slightly.

Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.

The minute they come out of the oven, quickly toss on a bit of sea salt for garnish.

IMG_6209

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Hot Layered Bean Dip

I know, we all have a layered bean dip recipe …. but this one is hot, creamy and delicious! Serve it with taco chips or toasted pita chips. Thanks to Lorellei for sharing this one – a brilliant addition to Sloan’s 5th birthday party.

Any time you have a crowd to please, go for this hot bean dip!

Any time you have a crowd to please, go for this hot bean dip!

1 tin refried beans
2 avocadoes (soft and ripe)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp hot sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3/4 cup grated cheddar
3/4 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

Grease a 9 x 11 baking/serving dish.
Spread out beans on the bottom of dish
Mash avocado, lemon juice and hot sauce – spread on top of bean layer
Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic and spices – spread over avocado layer
Mix cheeses together and sprinkle over sour cream layer
Top with halved olives, then scatter with green onions and cilantro

Bake at 350 for around 25 minutes, until cheese is golden, bubbly and looking delicious.

This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to heat.

Raspberry Coconut Oat Muffins

Be prepared for your house to smell fantastic when these are baking – pretty difficult to wait for them to cool enough to eat!

Delicious muffins - loaded with coconut and raspberry with just a hint of lemon to brighten them up.

Delicious muffins – loaded with coconut and raspberry with just a hint of lemon to brighten them up.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups of white flour
1/2 cup oat flakes
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut, divided
Fresh raspberries

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners. (you can also use coconut spray)

In a small bowl, combine the flour, oat flakes, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, mix well. In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, banana, and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then continue beating until well combined, finishing with the lemon zest and juice.

When Sloan and I are cooking we taste and add ingredients by a smidge of this, a dab of that - but baking I tell her,  must be precise!

When Sloan and I are cooking we taste and add ingredients by a smidge of this, a dab of that – but baking I tell her, must be precise!

Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Add the 3/4 cup of coconut, 1 cup fresh raspberries, and gently mix them into the batter.

Spoon the batter evenly into each muffin tin. Add one fresh raspberries to each muffin, pushing them in gently. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut to the tops of each muffin.

Place into the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool on a rack.

Nuts and Bolts/Bits and Bites

nuts and bolts 4

Whatever you use here is up to your families interests!  This year we made it peanut free for Liv, who is allergic, but pecans, cashews and coconut flakes added lots of interest.

 

This is our families favourite savoury Christmas treat … we only make it at this time of year for some reason, and we all love it. The butter makes it a treat you shouldn’t have often, but enjoy when you do!

Remember – use your own families favourite ingredients, whether it is the cereal aspect or the nuts – make it your own to enjoy.

1 pound butter
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp celery salt

Melt and stir until seasoning is well mixed. Dip a Bugle, or or shreddie or something in it at this point and make sure you can taste the seasoning – if it needs more flavour, add a bit of each. Remember – critical – taste!! Everybody has different seasoning, and each brand is different in it’s level of flavour. (and freshness)

Nuts and bolts 1

If you taste it enough you might end up with less to cook………

4 cups Cheerios
4 cups Life cereal (or Shreddies)
1 package pretzels
1 package Bugles (4-6 cups depending on your preference)
1 bag  cheese crackers (goldfish) (3 cups)
2 cups peanuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts

Stir the melted butter/spice mix over the dry ingredients – mix well and bake in the largest roaster you have – it makes a lot.

nuts and bolts 2

Bake at 250 for 1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container. (at least, try to store it – doesn’t last long….)