Last minute party Hummus

 

Pomegranate Pistachio Hummus- A stack of Dishes

Pomegranate Molasses and Pistachio Hummus

Now that the summer is unofficially here I have begun to think about weekend entertaining. To make my life easier I have created a few variations on hummus. The idea is to have some easy fall back or go-to that is not the same ol’ same ol’. Let there be NO humdrum hummus!!

If you’re like me we have at least one or two impromptu cocktail hour get togethers. Keeping stock on some sprightly rose is fairly easy, but the snacks! I grapple with trying to come up with something different. Last summer I easily ate my weight in delicious cheese. Now there ain’t nothing wrong with that- and trust me, it will happen again and again- but it also can feel like a cop out sometimes.

White Bean Hummus with Dill Oil and Black Salt-A Stack of Dishes

White Bean Hummus with Dill Oil and Black Salt

And I will be honest- all that goodness did not do my waistline any favors either. (no complaints, it was deelish!!) The reality though is I would rather spend my time on the tennis court or relaxing on the beach. Futzing in the kitchen is ok on a gray or rainy day, but I pretty much want to open the fridge and pull out some magic.

So here you go my friends- You can make your hummus from scratch, or keep a master tub of plain hummus in the fridge- you know, next to the rose…. [Read more…]

How to Make Oven Crispy Root Chips

Crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

Let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m making a batch of snacks all the time. If you have company coming though, these crispy root chips are not tough to make and will make your guests feel oh so spoiled.

What I’m really imagining though is a cold Winter’s day where you decide to have a few pals over to sip and chat. It’s helpful that the oven will warm the house, and there is nothing like coming into a home where something good is cooking. I used parsnips and turnips here, but any ol’ roots kicking around your kitchen would work. Got a carrot or two in the drawer? How about a sweet potato, rutabaga and the golden child, regular potatoes! They don’t have to be the freshest either, so you would get a Home-Ec gold star from me from using all those latent bits in your veggie bin.

Sliced Turnips and Parsnips for crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

At first I thought I would slice the turnips with my favorite knife, but I then decided for best even cooking I should use my mandolin. So completely worth it. Whip whip whip and they are done. I was happy to cook and eat some turnips too. Who really eats those these days? I happen to love them roasted, but I can’t say they are anywhere near the top of my veggie hits list. Why is that? Perhaps I should do a turnip series, that could be fun…. parsnips are pretty miraculous too. The sophisticated cousin of the carrot. So refined, pale and delicate. They need to get their due also. [Read more…]

Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts

Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts - A Stack of Dishes

In anticipation of next weekend’s big game I decided to get my groove on and make some dark chocolate popcorn with sea salt and peanuts. As you can imagine, watching the game is more of a social event than a die hard fan thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch football. In fact, I was Captain of my cheerleading squad in high school- so I’m pretty sure I have the rules down. I’m just not much of a sports chick- I’m interested, just not involved.

So my “game on” is what ends up on the cocktail table in front of the TV. So why not some jazzed up popcorn? All that game day food is usually pretty cheesey, greasy and heavy on the gut. Who doesn’t love it- I just want some fresh ideas out there. 

Making popcorn certainly is not the same as when I was a kid. There was real reverence and hard core focus when it came to making popcorn. It was a bit of right of passage for us kids. We had a certain pot we used only for popcorn making. We knew just how much oil to put in, how high the flame, and a capful of kernels was the perfect amount for the pot. Standing on a chair it was sacred duty to shake the pan relentlessly during the furious popping stage, and then came the fine art of knowing when to remove the pan from the heat to get all the kernels popped without scorching the pan. Ain’t nothing worse than burnt popcorn. Not Pleasant.

Dark Chocolate Popcorn- A Stack of Dishes [Read more…]