Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The first time I tasted hummus, I hated it!  It was garlic, and I love garlic, but that was some nasty stuff!!  Since then I gave it another try, went for the roasted red pepper hummus, and I loved it!  Now I make my own.  It’s super easy!

Red pepper Hummus (2)

I dump the beans in a colander to drain them and give them a good rinse, toss them in the food processor.  Add the tahini, and 2-3 T of the olive oil and puree.

Add the garlic, half of the roasted red pepper, the lemon juice and seasonings, process again. I use jarred roasted red pepper, its just quicker and easier for me.  Starting with just half of a red pepper allows you to get the perfect red pepper taste that you are aiming for!  The first time I made it I instantly added more than one and it was just too much.

Taste and adjust the seasonings if you need to; also you can add more of the red pepper and garlic if you choose.  If you prefer more of spicey hotness then add more cayenne.  That’s the best part about making your own hummus, you can adjust any of the seasonings and ingredients to your preference.

At this point, you can slowly drizzle in additional olive oil as you need to thin the hummus, only add one tablespoon at a time.  I have this weird thing about the texture of beans, I actually prefer mine thinned than what I made today.

Hope you give this a try!  It’s great to take to work for a snack or lunch.  Play around with it, try other spices.  Next time I make this I want to add a chipotle pepper, that should be delish!!

Ingredients:

1 15/16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 whole roasted red pepper, from a jar, cut in half

1 heaping tsp minced garlic

2-3 T olive oil (plus more for thinning out)

2 T lemon juice

2 T Tahini paste

Dash of cumin, cayenne pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Scrambled Egg Muffin Cups

Or maybe they’re little mini frittatas!!  Whatever you want to call them, they are a nice little treat!

I eat egg whites every morning. Every. single. morning. Needless to say I sometimes get bored with them. So I decided to do something a little different, even though it includes the yolks, it’s a nice change!

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I bake these on Sunday and it works out that I have 5 single egg muffins, so I’m covered thru the work week for breakfast.

I put 4 whole large eggs in a bowl and whisk them, I added 2T of light cream, you could use half and half or milk. Salt and pepper to taste, add hot sauce if you like!

Next, I tore up spinach and tossed that in, stir to mix in but don’t over mix at this point.

I then ladle the egg mixture into the muffin tin. Top each one with about 1T of your favorite shredded cheese. Don’t forget the bacon!!! I cooked about 3 or 4 strips of bacon, crumble that up and top each cup.

Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes or until the egg is cooked.

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There are so many variations to these little frittata cups!!! Your creative imagination can shine!! Smoked salmon, ham, BLT, but I’m thinking adding breakfast potatoes would be the best!

They are easily reheated in the microwave for a few seconds or eat cold as you dash out the door!! These are also great to serve for a brunch. And I’m sure this would work for your kids to eat on the way to school.

Live well friends!

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Salted Caramel Smoothie

Salted Caramel ice cream and coffee’s seem to be a popular flavor these days.  Funny, but I can remember from my childhood that my Mom’s favorite ice cream was caramel, when it wasn’t popular.  Or salted!

There was a little dairy store in a neighboring country town that made their own ice cream, and even though I was always a chocolate kind of girl, that caramel ice cream was fantastic and I would often sneak a few spoonful’s of my Mom’s!  And, she usually had those little Kraft caramel candies in our pantry too so I totally understand the caramel addiction!

I’ve always loved caramel its just that chocolate took first place but now I seemed to have outgrown that chocolate phase (well….not entirely), I seem to choose caramel over chocolate these days.  Is that a sign of old age, or just big girl maturity?

So, when I go out, and I see salted caramel milkshakes, latte’s, etc, I will definitely choose that over chocolate.  Although I can do without the salted part.

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One evening I was craving something caramel and made this caramel smoothie.  Another new addiction!

I prefer to use plain greek yogurt for this recipe, you can use vanilla but I find that depending on the brand, the vanilla can overpower the taste I am going for, you use whatever you want.

Also, I am one to make just about everything from scratch however, when it comes to some things (like caramel topping) I will buy the jarred or bottled caramel sauce.  I don’t use that much so it’s really just a time saver thing for me, again, use what you want or what is easy for you.  But, homemade caramel sauce is the best!

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Here’s the recipe:

Into a small blender or smoothie maker add:

1/4 cup milk (almond or coconut works well too)

1 T sugar

1 cup plain yogurt (I always use greek)

1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend well.  Add 2 T caramel sauce and 2 dashes of salt and blend again.  Taste, adjust the caramel and salt to your liking, I added another tablespoon of caramel (total of 3 T for me!!)

Pour into your glass, top with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel sauce and enjoy!

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Washing Fruit and Veggies with White Vinegar

I’m a little late in posting this for some of the local fruit this season, but since we can still purchase produce from the local farmers markets and if you are buying berries from the grocery store, you will want to give this a try!!

I’ve always washed my produce well, just imagine all the people that are touching that food!!  ICK!  Loving this white vinegar wash!!  What a difference!!

If you haven’t yet tried washing your fruit and veggies with a little white vinegar, you really should!  It works great AND I have noticed that my berries last a little longer.  You don’t need much, and it really depends on the fruit you are washing.

For example; for a box of strawberries, put them in a large bowl so that you can cover them with water and swish them around, add about 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar, swish for a few minutes and then pour off the water.  I like to run some clean water over them and drain again.  I put them in a bowl (covered)and keep them refrigerated. Same thing with blueberries.

You can also fill your kitchen sink with water, add your vinegar and produce and swish.  Just remember, the bigger the bowl of water (or sink) you will need to add more vinegar.  For a sink full of water and produce, I would add about 1/3 cup.

*Remember, when shopping for strawberries no matter the season or farmers market vs grocery store, make sure you look at the green caps, if they are looking dry and starting to curl, the berries are not the freshest and may not last as long.  Also, if you are going to sugar them for an ice cream topping or to pour over cake, try adding a little balsamic vinegar along with the sugar so it all has time to marinate.  It’s the best!!!

Additional note on the vinegar wash:  I’ve done this with blueberries, apples, squash, and peppers.  I don’t do this method on melons, I have used a very mild dish soap and a veggie brush and rinse well.

Live well and enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies!!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

I love French toast!  And I love Autumn, so why not combine pumpkin & spice to my French toast?  Sounds reasonable to me!

I had a loaf of Italian bread…..yea making “French” toast with “Italian” bread, I’m silly that way!!  I sliced half the loaf about ½” thick. I like to let the bread sit on the counter so it can start to dry out a little while I prepare the batter.

In a bowl place 3 eggs and whip them a little.  Add ½ cup of milk or half and half, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, a dash of salt, ground cloves and nutmeg.  Mix together well and then add 3 HEAPING tablespoons (or a ¼ cup) of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie although I’m sure it would work).  Blend well.

Here comes the fun part, soak the bread, bathe it in that wonderful pumpkin batter!  Let the bread absorb but not get mushy, and then toss it in a preheated pan.  I usually do a medium low heat and flip the toast numerous times to make sure if gets heated thru completely and toasted nicely.

With this batter I was able to make about 7 or 8 slices of toast.  Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, your favorite syrup and a very tall glass of ice cold milk!

Enjoy and live well my friends!