Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giveaway Time!

Giveaways are everywhere lately, it seems.  I've come across one that I thought some of you guys might be interested in, so I had to share it!  It's not food related, but it's a great one!

Anyone with a baby nursery or a child's room has seen the beautiful wooden wall letters that spell out the child's name or an inspirational word.   They add a lovely and personal touch to the room.

Pink Taffy Designs, a baby boutique, is hosting a giveaway where you can have a chance of winning a set of wall letters, valued at $23.99 per letter!  I know I'd love a set of these in my kids' rooms (hint, hint). :)

Entry is simple and I'm adding a link to the contest right below.  Just click and you're all set! The contest runs for the next couple of weeks.

Hope you win!  Come back and make sure to tell me if you did.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 22, 2012

Garlic Hummus

Abe is the breakfast cook in this house.  I cook the vast majority of dinners, but if there's a weekend breakfast being whipped up, you're likely to find my man at the stove.  It's a girls' dream. :)

One of his famous breakfasts is his garlic hummus.  It was taught to him by his mother, who was taught by her mother and so on.  Middle Eastern cooking at its finest.  When I first saw him make it, I was surprised to see him boiling the chickpeas right in the can on the stove.  While I convinced him to start doing it in a pot, he still makes it sometimes like that.

The recipe is in Abe's words.  It will be some of the yummiest hummus you'll ever have (those are my words).  Make it for breakfast, a quick dinner or anytime!

Garlic Hummus

1-3 cloves fresh garlic
Dash of cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can of chickpeas  (or equivalent dry chick peas, soaked over night in water)
1 tablespoon plain yogurt

Bring can of chickpeas to a boil.

Grind the garlic in a food processor.  1 clove minimum.   3 cloves gives a fairly strong garlic flavor (more than that can be certified Garlic Flavor). Add tahini, salt, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil.

Using a straining spoon, add the chickpeas.  Save the liquid from the chick peas.

Add the contents of the pot to the food processor.  After initial grind, add tablespoon plain yogurt.
Continue food processing, slowly adding liquid from the chick pea boil until you get your desired consistency.    Be careful, once you get too liquidy, it is tough to go back...

During final processing, one could add flavors....fresh parsley or fresh cilantro, or even roasted peppers.

Serve on plate, adding a dash of paprika if desired, but most definitely a table spoon or two of olive oil.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Dip Sandwich

Courtesy of Google Images

Abe went to Boston to visit a life-long friend.  We was gone for 5 days, so long enough for me to really miss him (you know the first few days are known as Oh Good, I Can Watch Real Housewives Without Ridicule Days).  So, I wanted him to come home to a special treat.

This recipe is crazy easy.  Like, I was a bit embarrassed at how much praise I got because all I did, really, was dump some stuff in a crock pot and walk away.  But, hey, I'll take it.

Can also be made in a covered dutch oven in the oven at 275 degrees for 5-6 hours.

I adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. 

Crock Pot Beef Dip Sandwich

1 whole beef chuck roast, 2.5 To 4 pounds
1 can beef consomme Or beef broth
3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning (I used a packet of Italian salad dressing)
1 teaspoon salt (don't add if you are using salad dressing)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1/2 jar (16 Oz) pepperoncini peppers, with juice
Buttered, toasted deli rolls
Cheese of your choice 

Combine all ingredients in  crock pot.  Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 9-10 hours or until fork tender.

Remove from crock pot. With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind.

Serve on buttered, toasted rolls with some of the peppers, if desired. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler if desired. Serve with juices from the pot.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Autumn.  My favorite season.  The days get cooler.  The trees change colors.  Halloween.  Tank tops and flip-flops are packed away, replaced by sweaters and boots. 

For many, me included, Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte is tasty and addictive tradition of the season.  Only here for a while, millions flock to get their fix. 

As yummy as it is, the cost starts to add up at $3.50+ a pop.  Not to mention, sometimes I just want one and I'm just to dang lazy to leave the house.

So, I decided to look up how to make one at home.  And, wow, it's a damn good and freakishly easy.

And it's all natural, no weird syrups and you can control the sugar content and what level of spice you want. 

Store extra pumpkin puree in the refrigerator for your next pumpkin spice latte fix or even yummy pumpkin pancakes or muffins. 

Brew coffee with double of grounds that you normally do.  For an extra kick, add a teaspoon of instant espresso.   And, of course, if you have an espresso machine, use the real stuff in place of the coffee.

Full milk makes it nice and creamy, but it's just as delicious with reduced fat milk. 

Pumpkin spice can be made at home, by the way.  Equal portions of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ground ginger can be stored in an old spice jar.

Recipe adapted from recipegirl.com.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes 1 drink

1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoon unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (add a bit more if you like it spicier)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed, strong coffee
2 tablespoons half & half cream
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar, or more to taste
whipped cream, optional
ground nutmeg

1. In a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, spice and vanilla. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until it's hot and frothy.

2. Pour the pumpkin milk into a tall mug or glass. Add hot coffee. Pour in the cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir, and taste. Add more sugar, if desired.

3.Add optional whipped cream and nutmeg and enjoy hot!

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