Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Hummus

Hummus is good food. Really, it is. It's good for you, tastes great and is a snap to make. That is if you have all the ingredients to hand, and I usually do. I think I've written about this before, but I like to keep some stuff on hand so I can throw together a quick appetizer or two, or just keep a can or three of say Black Olives, Garbanzo Beans, Pinto Beans, on hand. There are so many things you can make with a can of beans as the basis of a dish. Or a can of Black Olives. But I've posted about my Black Olive Tapenade before so you should have that recipe memorized by now. Last weekend I decided to make some Hummus for our monthly Tapa's night get together. I got out my can of Garbanzo Beans, took out the Tahini from the fridge, when I spotted the mushroom stems I'd saved from the Stuffed Mushrooms I made last week. A little light went on in my head and I got one of those AHA moments, and I thought I can brown those mushroom stems and puree them, and if I add them to the Hummus they will add a lovely earthy note to the hummus. I already had my garlic cloves in a pan with some olive oil (my quick and easy approach to roasted garlic), so I added the mushroom stems and let them cook over low, low heat with the garlic cloves until the garlic was softened and browned just a smidgen. Then I took the garlic out and browned the mushroom stems a little more.   Hint:   If you add a little more olive oil and let the garlic cook very slowly in the oil, you have some lovely garlic infused oil you can use for other stuff.   And if you happen to make too much garlic, just submerge that garlic in the oil in a little spice jar in the fridge for up to a month and use it in other recipes.
Mushroom Stems and Garlic
 While that was cooking I put the garbanzo beans or chick peas if you like the other name better,  in my handy dandy little hand operated food processor.    I actually got this many years ago to use while camping, and it is a wonder .   You can make salsa quick as can be in this.   And it did a great job of breaking up the beans and mushrooms.

 But it didn't get the beans as smooth as I wanted so I got out my little electric 2 cup processor and finished the Hummus in there.    The flavor was wonderful, but I outsmarted myself on the mushroom stems, I could not get them to process down as much as I wanted.   The Hummus was lumpy, well more fibrous.  Sigh.   So out came the sieve and I pressed the hummus through that and got my silky hummus.
I did say I would tell you about my triumphs as well as my failures.

Well, this wasn't a failure, but an interesting detour.   Mushroom stems are rather fibrous and don't process down all that well.   However, once I got the Hummus through the sieve, it was wonderful.
I served it with some Pita Crackers and some warmed Naan.
And it was yummy, silky, full flavoured and everyone ate it.   I only got one taste of it.    But that's OK, I have more beans in the cupboard, and I can make some later on and next time I'm not sharing.

Yield: 6

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Hummus

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 8 MINStotal time: 18 mins
This earthy rich hummus gets a lot of flavor from the slow roasted mushrooms.


  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed and peeled. Reserve the liquid.
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini paste
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup browned mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid. Peel the garbanzo beans by rubbing the skin off, discard the skin. Brown the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the garlic cloves, turning the heat down low. Let cook until the garlic is soft. Place the drained and peeled garbanzo beans into a food processor, add the tahini paste, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the mushrooms and garlic. Process to a smooth paste. If it appears too dry, add a little of the drained garbanzo bean liquid. Drizzle 1 teaspoon Olive oil over top. Serve with Naan or pita bread.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Tapa's and Oatmeal Cake

I know you've been waiting with bated breath for pictures of the food from our Tapa's night this month. You haven't? Geee, and here I thought you all would be wanting to hear all about it. Well, I really don't care, I took the pictures and have a new recipe and if you don't have to read any further you don't have to. So there.

Despite the fact that it was a holiday weekend, we still had a few people come and as always, the variety of appetizers brought and consumed was top notch. And best of all I got a new recipe and also got to try something I would never have tried. Mainly cause I would never have thought of putting those two items together. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've had a busy couple of weeks cooking and demo'ing so I really wasn't up to making anything really elaborate, I put together a Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Hummus, (the recipe and how to's will follow in a day or so), some spicy dip, cheese and crackers. How simple is that? But, as usual our guests brought some cool stuff. A totally delightful Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Asian dipping sauce (I still have some of the sauce in my fridge, but don't tell anyone), Pimento Cheese Stuffed Pears, Potato Salad, Crab Dip and Crackers, Carrot Loaf and Chutney, Oatmeal Cake and Rice Krispie Bars. I want to say something about the Stuffed Pears here. I tried them out of politeness, cause I'm not very fond of canned pears, well, pears in general, but it made a believer out of me. I have to try making this up sometime, maybe the next time I'm with my sibs, I think they would all get a kick out of it. And I know I won't be passing it up if it's served to me again. I really liked it. 
Cheese and Crackers and Spicy Dip with Naan Bread

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Hummus with Naan Bread and Pita Crackers

Assorted Olives

Crab Dip, Carrot loaf and Potato Salad

Pears stuffed with Pimento Cheese, Crab Dip and Carrot Bread

Tenderloin with Asian Sauce, Rice Krispie bars, and in the back, the Oatmeal Cake.

And as for the recipe I wanted to share the one I got for the Oatmeal Cake. You actually bake it in an electric skillet. (Note to self, must get an electric skillet). I've had this a few times, and just fell in love with it. So good, and not real sweet either. And you can add chocolate to it, if you choose to.

Oatmeal Cake

Mix the following together and let stand 20 minutes,
1 stick Oleo (or butter)
1 cup Oats
1 ¼ cups boiling water

Mix by hand:
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
then add to the oat mixture.
Fold in the following;
1 ¼ c. flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease the skillet and pour batter in, bake at 350 deg. for 25 minutes
Bring to boil
1 stick Oleo or Butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup canned milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut

Mix and pour over cake.


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Cooking demo

Finally, I have a chance to catch my breath and hopefully update my blog. This past two months, have been busy, and I've not had a chance to sit down and tell you about my cooking adventures. And quite frankly, I've been doing the minimal cooking I can, just making those old tried and true recipes, you know the kind I mean, the ones you don't have to think about, you just throw together.

Last week I was guest chef at the Crooked River Grill. 
Salsa Rice
Black Beans
Pico de Gallo
and for dessert they served Cheesecake.

I demonstrated how to roast off chile's, 

shared some facts about Mexican Food, 

and generally had a good time. But didn't get many pictures,
Albondiga's Soup and Enchilada Sauce
Salsa Rice

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms, Egg Rolls and May Boat Club

Well even with the craziness here, I'm still cooking. This week was Boat Club, and I made 'Egg Rolls' from my friend Marge's recipe. It's not the first time I've made them and brought them to Boat Club, but they were well received again. It's always fun to make stuff that others enjoy eating, for some reason it adds to my enjoyment of cooking.

I also made some stuffed mushrooms with some dried tomatoes I'd had in the cupboard, added them to some lovely ripe Brie cheese that needed to be eaten, as well as a couple of other ingredients and have to say they were very tasty. At least I liked them. And since they disappeared in short order I'm assuming that others thought they were as well.

And now for the moment you've been waiting for, the dishes that were brought and eaten at Boat Club this month. And after that will follow the recipe for the Egg Rolls as well as the Stuffed Brie Mushrooms. So, sit back, grab a napkin (to wipe the drool off with), and it wouldn't hurt to have a snack handy either. As usual, everything was so good. And I regretted eating way too much, again. But, what can I say, when we have such awesome cooks, it's really hard not to over do it a little.
Mushrooms and Egg Rolls


Roast Chicken



Fried Chicken

Cheesecake Bites

Veggie Casserole

Strawberries and Angel Food Cake

Lemon Bites

Black Bass


Chile Dip

'Marge's Egg Rolls'

12 hard cooked eggs, mashed up with a fork
½ - ¾ cup Miracle Whip (enough to moisten the eggs)
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Mustard (I used Spicy Brown Mustard)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1-2 bunches green onions, minced
Sourdough Rolls, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into quarters or
I used 16 Brown and Serve rolls, cut in half. This tastes best on Sourdough Rolls, but hey, in my neck of the woods, we take what we can get.
8 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix the eggs, Miracle Whip, Mustard, salt and pepper together, you want this moist but not too moist. Mound on top of the rolls, top with the shredded Cheddar Cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Egg Rolls ready for their cheese topping

Stuffed Brie Mushrooms

1 lb. Fresh Mushrooms, stems removed
4-6 oz. Brie cheese
4-6 slices Sun dried Mushrooms, (the kind that comes in oil), minced
6 oz. Cream Cheese
½ cup Panko Bread crumbs

Mix the cheese, tomatoes and bread crumbs together and stuff them into the mushroom caps. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 deg. for about 15-20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are done. Broil them for another minute or so to brown the tops, then serve.
Tomatoes, Brie and Cream cheese


Mushroom Stuffing mix

I think the next time I make these, I'll add some fresh chopped Basil to the top when I serve them, I meant to this time, but as usual I got into a time crunch and forgot to 'garnish' them. But people ate them anyway.

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Crazy busy......

I've been swamped, crazy busy, nuts!!! this past month or so and haven't even given much thought to making anything new for dinner. It's been almost strictly everyday cooking, the kind you can do without having to think about. You know what I mean, those tried and true, never fail meals that you can throw together without thinking about them. Sigh. I really hate it when I get to this point, but I'm about ready to break out of it again. YEAH!!!!! Got a little excited there.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some pictures from some of the senior lunches we've been cooking lately. Last week I totally spaced taking pictures, I'd made some really lovely pork roasts which we served with mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, cornbread and loose cabbage rolls. This week we're making Fried Chicken for lunch, potato salad, coleslaw, maybe some carrot salad, and Chicken and Rice. So stay tuned for that, maybe I'll remember to take pictures.

I've been reading cookbooks again, have to say they are some of my favorite reading materials. I used to collect cookbooks, but then ended up with way too many, and worse than that, the recipes in them were all variations, very few interesting dishes to try. So, I started collecting cookbooks that have been published prior to 1965, just an arbitrary cut off date, but so many of the recipes in those books don't rely on pre-packaged, precooked food. Gee, what a surprise, they didn't start off a recipe with the following: Open one can of cream of mushroom soup, whisk in a half a can of water, then layer....

You get my drift. They started out their recipes by saying things like, Take a whole chicken, place in pot with sufficient water to cover, add carrots, onions and celery and simmer for 2 hours....

That being said, here's some pictures of the lunches we make for our seniors, (and they are made from scratch). 
Poached Chicken ready to be 'picked' for Chicken and Rice

Corn Pudding and Baked Beans

Roasted Pork

Pork getting 'pulled' a part for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Chicken for Chicken and Rice

Biscuits and Meat

Stuffed Eggs one of our wonderful volunteers makes most weeks


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Monday, May 7, 2012

Carnita's for taco's or ...

OK, so Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, and I screwed up on getting this posted in time. I really had every intention of posting some Mexican recipes in time for Cinco de Mayo, but real life got in the way and here I am, a little  late with my recipe for Carnita's.
But that's OK, you don't have to wait a whole nother year to make this. In fact I would encourage you to hie down to your local supermarket and pick up a nice Boston butt roast and some oranges and make this today or next weekend or the weekend after that. This may take a few hours, you don't have to pay attention to the details of cooking it until the final browning stage. Which is a good thing, I mean I have stuff I like to do, and my idea of a great meal on a Sunday is one I don't need to fuss over too much and this one fits the bill. And it tastes great as well. By the way, this is one of the dishes I'll be showing you how to do during my stint as guest chef this month at the Crooked River Grill.

Pork Carnita's

1 large Pork Butts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
1-2  or more finely chopped jalapeno

2-4  oranges, halved or 1 cup pulpy orange juice

Cut the meat into chunks, about 4 x4 inches or so. In a heavy pan, arrange the pieces of pork in a single layer and cover with water. It’s fine to crowd the pan initially –  the pieces of meat will shrink after some of the fat is rendered. Sprinkle with some salt. Throw in a couple of orange halves as well, and a jalapeno if you like.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer while uncovered. It may take around 2 hours for the liquid to completely evaporate. You can also do this in the oven, whatever turns your crank. Or even the crockpot, but in the Crockpot the liquid won't evaporate.
Once all of the water has evaporated, take out of the pot and use a fork to break the meat into smaller chunks, then place the meat into an oven safe pan,

with a little of the rendered fat in the bottom and squeeze the juice of 4-6 oranges over them, sprinkle with some finely chopped jalapeno's, and stir together. Roast until the top of the meat is browned and lightly crispy.

 Serve with some warm flour tortillas, rice and beans.

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