Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time to Get Your Garlic On!

Ok, so I made this dip from a mix.  But it was a really good mix and definitely worth trying to make fresh from scratch.  I just have to figure out how.  We found Judi's Best Garlic Butter Olive Oil Dip when we were looking at nifty new RV's at an RV show a couple of weeks ago.  We walked away from the RV's but could not pass up on this delicious dip.  The vendor had a display with tester samples spread out for everyone to try.  It tastes really great on a piece of freshly baked bread.

The ingredient list includes garlic, onion, sea salt, spices, dried butter and natural flavorings.  The directions say to mix the package with 2 - 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for five minutes.  Then add 3/4 to 1 cup of olive oil and mix together.  There is a LOT of garlic in this dip.  I'm pretty sure that there's at least parsley and black pepper, maybe some red pepper too.  It's got a nice kick to it.

If I can't figure out how to make up a fresh batch of this, then I might just find myself buying this dip again.  It was that good.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I looked at a lot of hummus recipes and kind of gave it my own twist--like here I am alone, and I still cook for an army! But it's so good, and it freezes well, too.

I soaked one pound, about 2 cups, of chickpeas overnight.

I also soaked one cup of hulled sesame seeds overnight--this will be used to make the Tahini.

Cook chickpeas until softened, at least an hour or more. Drain the water off and set aside.

Yes, I used this much garlic to roast--then I used that much more again raw because I felt it needed more punch--am I desensitized to the herb?
Anyway, rub the garlic cloves with olive oil--keeping the little skins on and bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

I used two red bell peppers. Cut them in fours, deseed, rub in olive oil and set on parchment, skin side up.
Broil in oven until the skins are black.

Here's that roasted garlic--you can't believe how wonderful your house smells when you are roasting garlic and red peppers!
Take the skins off now and set aside.

You could even go blacker with the skins. Put a dish cloth over them for a bit after you take them out of the oven. After they have become cool enough to handle, pull the skins off and set aside.

So here we have the Ingredients: 
4 cups garbanzo beans (cooked chickpeas)
2 roasted red bell peppers
Garlic--you be the judge!
1/4 Cup lemon or lime juice
1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
Salt to taste
Olive oil, as needed
1 Cup of soaked sesame seeds

Drain and rinse the hulled sesame seeds and place in blender with enough water to make a paste, Also, add a couple of Tablespoons Olive Oil and salt to taste. This is now Tahini.

I only used 1/2 of the Tahini, the rest I put in the refrigerator to use later for something else. It's good even just spread on a cracker. It contains a lot of usable calcium.

Now, just put everything in the blender (1/2 the tahini is already in the blender) and blend away. Add more water as needed, maybe a little more oil--me, I added a handful more cloves of raw garlic, but that's not for the average bear.
At this point, tasting is important. Add salt if you need it, don't if you don't. To be honest, I blended mine until the thermal shut-off kicked in!
You can garnish with some of the roasted red peppers and some of the garbanzo beans, and of course, my lovely mint leaves! Great with chips, pita bread, tortillas, even by the spoonful. I sprinkled paprika on top just for kicks!

Homemade Ketchup

So, last week I made these wonderful french fries, and wouldn't you know it, I ran out of ketchup!  But I did have onions and tomato sauce, so here we go...

Saute  one large onion in 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil until translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add about 4 cups of tomato sauce...

Add 1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar...

Add 1/2 Cup Sucanat or 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar...

And 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Simmer uncovered on low heat for as long as it takes, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Puree in blender, and cool in refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Then make sure your old ketchup bottle is well cleaned and rinsed (thank you, Trader Joe's!) and funnel it in. Smushing it in with a spoon in the funnel works very well.
So, I'm making more French Fries right now, because now I have all this ketchup--it's a vicious circle! Anyone wanna come over for fries and ketchup?

Sunday, February 19, 2012