Homemade Hummus

To me there’s something to homemade recipes and fresh ingredients. Like salsa, guacamole, and hummus… Yum!

Ever since they started carrying Sabra Hummus at the grocery store I was hooked. It felt like the perfect snack for the beach with some pita chips. My favorite flavor was garlic. Well once I found a recipe for homemade hummus (and it seemed easy enough) I went for it. My husband absolutely loves it! So here’s what I do.

Homemade Hummus

what you need:

  • food processor
  • 1 16oz can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 1-2 lemons; about 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • splash of water (or liquid from can)

First I drain my chick peas. Some people save a little bit of the liquid from the can to add to the mixture instead of water; I do not. But that’s up to you. I also pulse my chick peas for about 20 seconds before I add everything else. I don’t know if this really makes a difference but I do it every time.

Then I grate in the garlic with my zester.

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I add the Tahini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You’ll have to keep scraping the sides down and checking the consistency. This is too chunky for me, I like it smooooth. So add more water and/or oil to get it the texture you like.

After adding more oil, about a tsp at a time this is what I got, and I was happy with it.

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Taste it and adjust accordingly! add salt maybe some more lemon juice…. hummus is really a canvas and there are plenty of variations you can find online. Once you get the hang of it it’s super easy to make!

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A Month of NO spending….

What’s a girl to do?! A whole month of NO spending!

Over the last few months I’ve been going through our finances with a fine toothed comb. Tracking every bill and expense, and driving my husband crazy. I’ve also been browsing the internet looking for tips on how to save money. I found some great information on The Budget Mama and Living Well Spending Less.

How you decide to tackle this challenge is up to you and your family. This is definitely something you want to discuss with your spouse. You should both be on the same page as to what’s acceptable and what’s not. Tony and I have decided that gas, diapers, and a few groceries, like milk, fruit, and veggies, are okay, and of course all our bills. Some people use this financial ‘purge’ to clean out their pantries and freezers. So bottom line NO fast food, NO eating out, NO trips to Walmart/Target, NO new clothes, NO unnecessary spending.

We are going to start this August 1st. We are still recovering from a two and a half week vacation to FL, so I think this will be great for our bank account. You don’t realize how much those little trips to Walmart add up. Plus it’s only 31 days…. I think we can do it! I’ll be updating every week to let you know how things are going. Wish us luck as I try to mentally prepare myself for this… =)

Mini Goodness

I love Sundays. Sunday is daddy’s day to get up with Ava, and mommy’s day to sleep in! Don’t worry daddy gets to sleep in on Saturday- so it’s fair.

Well I have this (bad) habit of checking my email and scrolling Facebook before I get out of bed and face the day… But this morning it paid off! I follow a blog on FB called Sally’s Baking Addiction. If you haven’t checked this out expect to spend a good chunk of time browsing all of her amazing recipes. Well this morning she posted a cinnamon doughnut recipe-looked absolutely delicious! BUT I don’t have a doughnut pan yet. So I found another recipe Mini Cinnamon Rolls.

I pretty much followed this recipe to a T and when my husband put the first one in his mouth (all at once?!) he looked at me and said “I’d marry you all over again” Ha- guess they were a success! I know they are “mini” but I savored mine, taking a few bites at a time, but to each their own.

What you’ll need:

  • mini muffin tin (a wise investment especially if you have little ones)
  • tube of crescent rolls (I had the buttery flake but I don’t think that made much of a difference)
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • melted unsalted butter
  • flour for rolling
  • rolling pin/ glass cup/ whatever works for you!

Preheat oven to 350, or whatever temp the directions say.

First thing, flour a surface you want to work on. Take half of the crescent rolls (4 triangles) and pinch the seams together, then flip it over and pinch the seams on the other side. You can roll the dough a bit to make it even.

Note: they now sell seamless crescent roll which would work great for these! 

Next take a Tbsp of melted unsalted butter and cover the dough with it. Then take brown sugar (I used about a Tbsp) and cinnamon (I used about a tsp) mixed together and sprinkle all over the dough. Use as much or as little sugar mixture you want.

 

 

 

 

 

Then roll the dough into a log. I rolled from the longer side. The original recipe says the log will make 8. I ended up getting 10, with the last one a little crazy. I think these were the perfect size for my pan, they fit in there leaving a little room to grow. (score your dough first to make sure you cut enough and they are about even)

 

 

 

 

 

Cut dough and place into mini muffin pan. I went ahead and brushed a little more melted butter on top and sprinkled a little more of the sugar mixture..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are cooking up perfectly in the oven! Yum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While they are cooking make the icing. I used this recipe because the original one called for maple syrup- which sounds amazing but we were out of.

It’s 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1-2 tsp of milk or cream. Just mix everything together until the sugar lumps are gone.

I baked mine for exactly 10 minutes and they came out perfect!

 

 

 

 

Drizzle (pour) icing onto mini cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

You can repeat this with the rest of the dough or save it for dinner crescent rolls.

Enjoy!

My Weapons!

Well what I consider my weapons in the kitchen. Before I met my husband I could barely boil water! Well really I could make a few dishes but nothing major. Now my husband- he can cook. He would throw all this stuff together (as I looked on in horror) and it would taste AMAZING! Once we got married I let my cooking ‘inhibitions’ down and began to really enjoy cooking. I love using fresh ingredients and fresh herbs. It makes such a huge difference! And surprisingly even after a 3 week vacation my potted herbs (that were left outside) are still going strong. It such a great feeling when a recipe calls for basil and I can just walk over and pick it from my window box =)

Anyways! here are some kitchen tools/gadgets that I’ve accumulated over the last year. While these aren’t a necessity, they definitely make things easier.

 

zester

 

1. Microplane Zester. I use this all the time! I have one similar to this, and I love that it slips into a cover. I use this to zest lemons and limes mostly. I also grate fresh garlic with it. It’s amazing what fresh lemon, lime and garlic can do to recipes!

 

 

 

2. Grater. Another tool I use on a weekly basis. Great for grating garlic, which I always do because it’s so much faster than trying to chop. I also use this to grate fresh parmesan on pasta- YUM!

 

 

 

3. Trash Bowl. This was a bit of a splurge (any big bowl would do). But this bowl is super cute, and when you are peeling onions, potatoes, garlic, opening cans-Watever- having this bowl to drop everything in is super helpful.

 

 

 

4. Spatulas. These are my most recent purchase. I thought they were a little pricey but I really love them! they are great for scrambling eggs, flipping pancakes, and cooking fish. Very strong, yet really flexible. Plus they’re cute!

 

 


 5. Measuring spoons and cups. I’m sure most people own these. I use theses alllll the time! Whether I’m making my own spice mixture, or baking these are a must. I love these sets because they are magnetic. I stick the spoons on my magnetic knife rack. (although the picture looks off they do match)

 

6. Thermometer. I use this when frying. I’ve yet to attempt candy making so I’m not sure if this is completely accurate for that. Once I started using this I was shocked by how much oil temp fluctuates while frying.  Highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

7. Bench Scraper. Unfortunately I don’t have this exact one (I wish I did!) but I couldn’t find it in store and refused to order it online and paying shipping. So I settled for a dough scraper and cutter I found at Target. This is great to scoop up all the veggies you dice up. I love mine.

 

 

 

8. Masher.   This is a potato masher but I seldom use it for that reason. I usually mix up my potatoes with an electric mixer. I use this to mash meat. Wow that sounds gross. Whether it’s ground chicken, beef, sausage this works great to make it super crumbly. I use it every time I make tacos.

 

 

 

    9. Chef Stand. Yes I feel like a chef when using this! This was my Mother’s Day present. I’m always using my iPad to cook and this stand includes a stylus that feels just like a cooking utensil AND its washable! How cool!

 

 

 

 

 

While you don’t NEED all of this to make great meals, after time you might realize that some of these gadgets would help dinner preparation run a little smoother!

Up-Graded Mason Jar!

So I saw this tutorial on Pinterest. I have quite a collection of mason jars (they were half off at Hobby Lobby one day- couldn’t resist!) Well this looked easy enough, and I just happen to finish a carton of milk that morning!

 

 

Gather what you need: Carton, scissors, a pen and a mason jar

What you need

 

 

Cut a big square out of the top of the carton (after you open the carton)

Cut off the top

 

 

Then trace a circle. Make sure you put the spout where you want it. I put mine closer to the rim.

I traced the outside but ending up trimming it a bit. You want it smaller than the outside but bigger than the inner hole.. hope that makes sense!

Trace your circle

 

 

Ta-Da!! Now I have to find something to fill it with.. I’m thinking baking soda!

That little project took about 5 minutes. Yay.

There you go!

 

PS: After cutting the piece I needed from the carton I cleaned it with a little soap (checked to make sure it doesn’t smell) and dried it. Now I’m letting it completely dry before I use it.