Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Sadly, I took horrible pictures of this hummus dip.  So you will just have to use your imagination and know that it was awesome if you are a garlic lover, which I am!

I feel like I have been struggling with my food photography lately.  I think I am either in a hurry or super hungry.  I just assume one will turn out good, and lately they have not.

Enough complaining!

Our small group had an outing at the shooting range the other week.  Yes, I actually enjoy to shoot my husbands guns.  He has always loved this hobby. I have always been terrified by guns!  I hate that they are all over our house. I feel like they are an accident waiting to happen...until recently.  I finally went with him one afternoon to the range.  After getting acquainted with the gun and over my fear, I loved it!  My husband was so excited that we could finally go shooting together and have a really good time.

Trying my best to not look afraid.

Old pro right here

He looks good in action!


Beth shooting Alex's AR15

Jordan with his new gun.  I love that I caught the "fire" in this shot.

Mark and Mary showing off the cool gear we got to wear.  Safety first:)

My hot husband showing off again.

Lauren patiently taking instructions from Jon

And she is off!

Roasted Garlic Hummus
Source:  Annie's Eats

  • 2 heads of garlic, intact
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tbsp. tahini
  • 14 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Remove the papery outer skins of the garlic heads, leaving them otherwise intact.  Chop off the top quarter of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed.  Wrap the garlic in foil and bake until very tender, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the cooking oil.  Set aside.  Once the roasted garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their skins (you should have about ¼ cup).
In a small prep bowl, combine the lemon juice and water.  In another bowl, whisk together the reserved garlic cooking oil and the tahini.  In the bowl of a food processor, process the chickpeas, the roasted garlic puree, the remaining clove of garlic, salt and cayenne until the mixture is finely ground, about 20 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the machine running, add the lemon juice-water mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Scrape down the bowl and process for an additional minute.  With the machine running, add the oil-tahini mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Scrape down the bowl and continue to process until the hummus is smooth and creamy.  Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, top with toasted garlic slices and minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thai Chili Sauce

This is not my finest photography!  I promise it taste good!

I know I talk about my small group A LOT, but they are just such an awesome group of people!  We never get tired of hanging out with these smiling faces.  

In the beginning of August, Mark and Mary rented a lake house on Lake Burton for all of us to enjoy for a long weekend.  We had so much fun!  You can't beat being on the water for a whole weekend.  We cooked at home, ate some great meals at resturants on the lake (taking the boat to dinner might be the coolest part), playing games (this got a little interesting:)), riding in the boat, skiing and wake boarding, and just floating in the lake with good friends.  Can we go back, please?!

The view from the upper deck

My handsome hubby about to wake board 

He's up

Showing off his skills

Skills that I do not have!

All the girls in the boat ready for dinner

I could go to dinner like this each night

Hostess with the mostest, Mark and Mary

Jordan and Tara

My favorite person in the world, my husband!

Jon and Lauren

Speaking of Mrs. Lauren...definitely check out her blog.  She is doing an awesome blog link up with photos each week.  

Happily Mother After

I couldn't resist this one of my sweet dog, Jackson.

I hosted a little get together last month.  The menu consisted of a Mexican dip (it wasn't exactly healthy so I haven't posted it yet:)), roasted garlic hummus (recipe coming soon), sweet thai chili sauce over baked chicken, and a few other things that I have already forgotten.  This sauce was easy to make and gave a great kick to the baked chicken.


Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
Source:  She Simmers

  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 red jalapeno or serrano peppers (I deseeded mine and they still had a lot of heat, but the more seeds you leave the hotter it gets)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch or potato starch
  • 2 tbsp. water

Puree all the ingredients, except the last two, in a blender.  

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower to medium and simmer until sauce thickens, ~3 minutes.

Combine last two ingredients.  Whisk in the cornstarch mixture until well blended and simmer for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and place into glass container.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vanilla Pudding

Last month we went to a wedding reception for my sweet friend Beth.  She and I met in Physical Therapy school.  It was so fun to see these girls!  It has been way too long!  We missed you, Ashley Peevy and Lindsey!

Nicole, Lauren, Beth, Me, Ashley, and Blythe

I love vanilla pudding!  It is easy to make and is the perfect little treat after dinner!  I doubled this recipe for our small group and still had left overs.  Hope you enjoy!

Classic Vanilla Pudding with Vanilla Honey Whipped Cream
Source:  Food Everyday Magazine

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbps. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Optional:  Vanilla Honey Whipped Cream and fresh fruit (I highly recommend both!)

Place a fine-mesh sieve (fine strainer) over a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream and egg yolks; add to saucepan.

Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high until mixture thickens and is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and pour mixture through sieve into bowl.  Stir in butter and vanilla until combined.

Press plastic wrap directly against surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate 3 hours ( or up to 3 days).  To serve, whisk until smooth and divide among four small bowls.  Top with fresh fruit and whipped cream!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

Last month we had a lot of things to cook for.  Our sweet friends, Scott and Katie, had their little boy Mason, a dear friend lost his mom, and I was going out of town and the hubby needed to be fed.  So I figured I would go ahead and pre-make three spinach lasagnas.  It was super easy to throw them together and pop them in the freezer until I was ready to cook them.  

Overall this is a great time saver.  If you are making a dish for a friend, go ahead and cook one for yourself too!

Little Mason is so sweet and precious.  I was grateful for all the time we got to spend with him and his wonderful family!

My hubby looks like a natural

Big yawn!

Mason says, "Oh dear, another admirer."

"I'm tired."

Proud dad, Scott!

This recipe is from my wonderful mother-in-law.  I tried one batch with gluten free noodles.  Not good!  Maybe I will try a different brand next time.  My picky husband was a trooper and ate maybe two servings of it, but decided he really didn't like the gluten free noodles either.  The regular noodles got great reviews by everyone who tried it!

Spinach Lasagna
Source:  My mother-in law 

  • 1 box of oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 15 oz. container of Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 boxes frozen cream spinach (cooked to package instructions-I did it in the microwave)

In a 9x13 pan layer with sauce on the bottom, noodles, ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese, and continue with the layers until you run out of ingredients or fill up your pan.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.  Let sit 10-15 minutes.