Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Cook - Homemade Hummus and Pita Chips

Welcome to a life made simple's Sunday Cook. Since I take things a little slower on Sundays I have a bit of extra time to cook or bake for our little family of three, with fingers crossed that it lasts at least part of the week ahead!

I was really scratching my head this week about what to make because we are coming to the end of our two week stock of groceries - our last shopping trip was May 1st. With a trip planned for tomorrow to Kamloops I don't have much left in the house - or I have one or two items missing. 

Last week I was excited to find Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Women Cooks cookbook at the library which I had ordered in. Have you heard of Ree? She is somewhat of a star these days - a mom blogger The Pioneer Women - that has gone big time - I mean BIG TIME! From the humble beginnings of her blog from her ranch in Oklahoma she has two cookbooks, a book about their dog Charlie and now her own TV show. 

For inspiration I started looking through the pages - hmmmm - what to try what to try. It wasn't looking so good - I was seriously missing some key ingredients. 

The cookbook just came out - I was excited to get my hands on a copy!

Until I stumbled upon this.....

Hmmm - hummus - to be honest I was surprised to find it in her cookbook. Hummus is a staple in our house - I make it every so often - it, paired with pita chips is a great mid morning or mid day snack. I thought it would be too 'normal' to post about but then I thought - well - maybe not - maybe not everyone knows about it - I mean if is in The Pioneer Women's cookbook then it must be worth posting.

And guess what!

Yup - I had all the makings for homemade hummus and pita chips. Now you can buy both in the store - but why - they are way cheaper to make yourself and are VERY EASY and QUICK.

I don't really have a recipe - well I did once. But with making it so much with so few ingredients over time I have adopted the 'a little of this and a little of that' - it all seems to come out in the end. But that won't work here. So here is Ree's version from her cookbook (gee - I hope it is ok for me to type out?) or if you prefer you can find the print version on Ree's site - Classic Hummus.

Classic Hummus

3 x 14.5 ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 tsp ground cumin or more to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup to 1 cup cold water
2 tbsp olive oil

Makes 8 servings.

Just a note here - I am a bit of a purist with my hummus - there are tons of versions for every taste - just google it and you will have no shortage of recipes to choose from.

Me? I just go with the chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini, and olive oil. I do use a bit of water to help blend. Here we go....

Throw it all in the blender - here are the chickpeas and chopped garlic.

If you are not familiar with Tahini - it is sesame paste. It is really good for you and can be added to tons of things - even smoothies. You should be able to find it at your grocery store in the ethnic food aisle. It isn't cheap but it lasts a long time.

Chickpeas, garlic and now the tahini. Add the rest and blend until...

this consistency. You may need to stop and taste while blending and add ingredients as your taste dictates - I like a LOT of garlic and a LOT of lemon in mine.

Homemade Pita Chips

Yes, you can buy pita chips ready made in the store! I have never tried them - I just can't bring myself to buy them when I KNOW how EASY they are to make. PLUS! I can almost always find pita bread on sale - I just don't think it is a big seller! I usually get it for 50% off - come home and put them in the freezer until I am ready to make them.

Once I get around to it - they go fast - and I mean fast - in our house - Cassia is a little pita chip junkie!

Cut like so....

pull the pieces apart....

and ensconce them in olive oil. Pre-mom days I was a bit more particular - I had nicely cut triangles and I would lovingly bath each one separately with olive oil...

There are just not enough hours in the day for that kind of nonsense - cut, throw in a bag, shake, shake, shake and on to the pan!

I bake them at 400F for a few minutes - watch the oven they bake really fast at that heat.

Done! A great snack - at least for a few days.

Nope - it didn't take Cassia long!

Next week on Sunday Cook: Cream Cheese Pound Cake from pinterest

And today is ...  Mother's Day.


I am still new to this day being for me - today is my THIRD Mother's Day. Of course it always had special meaning to me - I have a GREAT mom! GREAT! AND I was born on Mother's Day. May 10th, 1970 was Mother's Day. As a mom now I can see how that would have been a really nice thing for my mom. She call's me her 'Mother's Day present' which has meant a lot through the years.

I wanted to share a paragraph that has been floating around on fb - maybe you've seen it - but maybe you haven't. It sure struck a cord with me - being an older mom I am in the position of having a fairly senior mom (she just turned 75) and a very young child (she is almost 3). Here it is - I have no idea who wrote it or where it originally came from (as with most things on fb - right!?):

A letter from a Mother to a Daughter:

"My dear girl, the day you see I'm getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I'm going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don't interrupt to say: "You said the same thing a minute ago"... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times  when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don't want to take a bath, don't be mad and don't embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? 

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don't  look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life's issues every day... the day you see I'm getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I'm going through. 

If I occasionally lose track of what we're talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can't, don't be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don't let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way I offered mine to you when you first walked. 

When those days come, don't feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I'll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. 

With a big smile and the huge love I've always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter."

From one daughter to another and one mother to another - 

Happy Mother's Day MOM - I love you!


Today's Interesting Link: Well, I'm a mom because I have a child - Cassia - a toddler! I had to laugh a while ago at this picture of a toddler's brain - no Elmo is Cassia's but the endless repetition sure strikes a cord! Visit Wub Boo Mummy to find out How does a Toddler's Brain Work - too funny!

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