Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts

I love memories that so many of my memories are related to food in some way or another.

I attended a sleep away summer camp for 5 years while I was growing up, and I have so many wonderful memories from those summers, but some of the best ones are related to the food. And I’m not talking about fond memories about toasted marshmallows, I’m talking real deal awesome food.

Chef Jean was in charge in the kitchen at camp. He, and his crew, made wonderful food, but the best was his bread. Big loaves of freshly baked bread were served at meals. Most often the bread was still a bit warm. The strategy was that the moment grace was done everyone would snag a piece of bread from the serving platter so a camper at the table could grab the platter and bring it back to the kitchen for another loaf. This had to be done quickly so that you could get another loaf as they typically made 2 loafs for a table, but some tables would get sneaky and rush back and forth so quickly they would steal another loaf of bread. Thieves!!!

While most people would put butter on the bread, I would put hummus. I first tried hummus at camp and I was hooked. I loved the subtle flavor of the chick pea spread. The thick, creamy texture was a hit too. Plus, this felt a bit exotic to me as hummus wasn’t as popular and readily available as it is today.

I have to tell you that the best hummus I have ever made is from Liz‘s latest ebook in her Food From Our Ancestors series: The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner. Her previous ebooks  The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat DinnerThe Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner and The Ultimate Mexican Sunday Dinner were all also fantastic. Liz really immerses herself in the culture of the food she is writing about.

In this case, she pulled together 12 classic family recipes that she has grown up on. The favorites that she makes now for her family have been compiled into this great collection of recipes.

Of course, I was immediately drawn to Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts because I loved that it was named after someone that put so much love and care into it. And I love, love, love hummus. A total win, win!

The scallions, parsley, and toasted pine nuts are an optional garnish, except that I don’t think they are optional. I just think that you would be doing yourself a major disservice if you skipped them. And you should trust me as I shoveled way too much to admit into my mouth.

I enjoyed this hummus with some pita, but it would also be great with some veggies. Or your hand. Just scoop it up and eat it up. Okay, I do admit is a bit much, but if you happen to do that, I make no judgement. Autumn used to eat hummus that way when she was younger. And babies eating foods with half their fist in their mouth is hilariously cute, a grown adult… Not so much. Ha!

She did tell me that it was too ‘spicy’ for her, but she was telling me “yo mom, I know you added more lemon juice than what was called for since you love a really lemony hummus, but that’s not my jam.” One day she will learn to describe food in another way, besides it being spicy. And also stop telling me that ketchup is spicy. She isn’t to be trusted.

But please trust me when I say that this hummus is a life changer!!!!

Aunt Vieve’s Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  •  juice of two lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 Cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, optional
  • chopped scallions, minced parsley, and toasted pine nuts, for garnish
  • pita bread for serving

Process

  1. Place first eight ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Check for
    seasoning and add more garlic, lemon or salt, as desired.
  2. To serve, spread on platter in a thin layer and garnish with toasted pine nuts,
    scallions and fresh parsley. Drizzle with some olive oil. Serve with pita bread.

Notes

Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
To toast pine nuts, put in a single layer on a sheet pan or cookie sheet, place in a
350-degree oven for 7-9 minutes. Alternatively, you can toast in a dry skillet over low heat. Stir every few minutes until golden brown.

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To purchase Liz’s great ebooks:

The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner ($3.99):  https://gumroad.com/l/cahid

The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat Dinner ($3.99): https://gumroad.com/l/Ngjqj

 The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner ($3.99): https://gumroad.com/l/ztsf

The Ultimate Mexican Sunday Dinner ($3.99) https://gumroad.com/l/lwDa

Bundle of All 4 of Liz’s great ebooks at a value of $12.99: https://gumroad.com/l/yFImK

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Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

 

How are you creative?

For the longest time I was feeling really blah.

I didn’t know what was off but something was off. And it wasn’t because life was insanely busy and I was tired with the kids and life, but because I wasn’t creative because of all of those things.

Years ago, I started the blog as a creative outlet when I was insanely busy while at work and in college. Basically my life was architecture 24/7 and I needed an outlet where I could brain dump something other than architecture.

Since then, blogging has really changed and it was feeling somewhat soul crushingly overwhelming. What host? Was Pinterest changing things again and effect traffic? Did I need to take the time to redo recipes to photograph them again? Was the recipe title the right so it hit all the correct SEO things to get traffic? BLAH BLAH BLAH

I felt overwhelmed and so behind with everything. Behind with the blogging I wanted to do, blogging I was behind on, blogging I wanted to redo. So behind with everything in life, besides the laundry.

And the story telling in blogging was missing.

I used to just write and share things and now it’s about having the post that is the right length so that people will not blow it off, but keep scrolling down to the recipe. While also having balance so that the people who do read this feel connected and know me.  (hello out there!)

So I could whine on and on, but that is not the point of this post.

I am here to tell you that I am feeling like my mojo is back!

 

For the past year I have been working on growing my own Instagram (@iamahoneybee), but my big focus has been growing the Instagram for my 2 Boston Terriers. Yeah, that sounds silly, right?!?

Well, as silly as it sounds, their Instagram account (@thebostonterrierparty) has grown to have almost 60,000 followers. Woohoo!

It started off just as a fun way to document their silly lives, but it has developed into something that I have a lot of fun with. I’ve met some really great Instagrammers that I have made some great friendships with. We have skype calls every now and then to discuss strategy for growth, boosting engagement, and how to turn this fun thing into a money maker.

I reached out to an illustrator to have cartoony pups drawn in their likeness so that I can work on some fun things like hoodies, leggings, phone cases, beach towels, and totes with adorable Boston Terriers on them. SO FUN!

I’m also working on some simple books that are targeted at young kids (2-5 year age range). It’s been fun to generate different stories and create the books. I’m hoping to have 3 wrapped up after the new year for a launch to go with the Valentine’s Day book that is just so sweet.

Fingers crossed for me that this all goes well. I’ll keep ya posted!

And, oh, yeah… I made sliders!!!

I love snack like food while we watch football on the weekend. Or while we run around after the kids and dogs. Or when the sun is shining. I just like snacks.

The sliders are insanely easy to make, which is great for when you are hosting a few friends over or for a big party. They can stay melty in a warm (150F) oven while the game plays on or your party goes on and on.

Everyone will love the flavors in the burger and the awesome everything bagel topping that makes the sliders extra awesome. But don’t worry, if you can’t find that blend you can whip up your own or just use poppy seeds. Don’t make it complicated, just enjoy them!

Enjoy these at your next party, watching football, or while you relax and create something that leaves you feeling fulfilled.

Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Makes 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 12 dinner rolls
  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices of bacon (approx 1/4 pound)
  • 1 cup diced onion (2 small onions)
  • 1 pound ground beef, 93/7
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Everything Bagel Mustard Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Everything Bagel topping
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Process

  1. Half the rolls to separate the top from the bottom. Place the bottoms in a 9×13 baking pan. Spread mayo on the tops and bottoms of the buns. Set the tops aside for later.
  2. Cut the bacon into very small pieces. Scissors makes this a quick task. Cook in a skillet over medium low until crisp. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain.
  3. Preheat over to 350F degrees.
  4. While the oven is preheating, saute the onion in 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings, over medium heat, for a few minutes, until soft and translucent.
  5. Add the ground beef. Break up the meat while it is browning.
  6. When the meat is cooked through, add the ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Evenly place the meat over the bottom half off the buns in the pan. Then, evenly top with the cheese and bacon. Place the bun tops back on the sliders.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Evenly pour the sauce all over the sandwiches.
  9. Let the sauce sit on the sandwiches for 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover & cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Cheesy BBQ Sliders

Monday, why you gotta do us like that!?!?!?

First, our car Frank has died. Poor Frank.

We almost crossed over the 150,000 mile mark with that 12 year old bad boy. But, my husband had just left work last night when it started lurching and then it was done. It wouldn’t go back into a gear no matter how hard he tried. The transmission died.

He had it towed to a shop near is but it’s very likely we will be saying good bye to Frank so that we can get a new to us used car to add to our family.

While all of that drama was happening, I was taking Hunter back to the dotor to get his cough checked out again. Poor thing is still coughing after going to the Dr a week ago and being out of school 2 days last week. It’s been a long week for him and for me. I can’t wait for both of us to feel better.

I’ve been losing my voice for periods of time since Saturday night. I haven’t seen a doctor, but since my kid’s Dr has seen my 2x in a week she said that it sounds like the virus that they have that settled in their chest, has settled in my throat. It’s not sore but I definitely don’t sound like myself. It’s kinda sad and hilarious.

At least I made it through Price’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon with my voice intact.

We had some leftovers from his party so I whipped up these BBQ sliders. I decided that I could use the BBQ pork we had left to make some sliders, like the Ham and Cheese Sliders I make for parties. I changed things up but kept the essence of the sliders in tact with the meat and cheese slider that gets topped off with a buttery seasoning topping is the perfect finishing touch.

These sliders are going to be an instant favorite in your house. They are perfect for enjoying while watching football, tailgating, or at birthday parties. It will be amazing how quickly they disappear too.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Makes 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 12 white dinner rolls
  • 1/3 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Cups pulled pork
  • 1/3 Cup bbq sauce
  • 6 slices of cheddar cheese, broken into pieces

Poppy Seed Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 Tablespoon minced onion (dried spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange the bottom half of each roll in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
  3. Add a bit of mayo to each of the rolls.
  4. Evenly coat the rolls with the pulled pork.
  5. Spread the BBQ sauce over the pork, then add the cheese to the sliders
  6. Place the top of the rolls on the cheese to close the sandwich.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Evenly pour the sauce all over the sandwiches.
  8. Let the sauce sit on the sandwiches for 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover & cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy and Short Rib Tacos

I just started going back to work from maternity leave with Hunter. Man, it’s been a rough week. Oh shoot, it’s just been 3 days. Wahhhh!!

I am thankful that starting on Tuesday has meant that it is a short week for me. Same with next week with Labor Day. Starting off slow is much better than being thrown into the deep end.

Hunter has been great but I have been a useless mess. I have sobbed driving to work every morning.

I even ditched Price on the first day by dropping off Autumn and leaving him standing at the door to Hunter’s classroom with a puzzled look on his face as I ran our through the main doors waving a frantic bye among other kids trying to get out and get on a bus. I then followed that up with a text in the car apologizing but explaining how I couldn’t go in the room. Very much like the post it that Berger left for Carrie in SATC “I’m Sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

I’m hoping for a better week next week, but lets be real, it will probably suck too. Gotta keep some realistic expectations over here.

Besides that, it’s all about adjusting to the new morning routine and how to get prepped for the day. I already had 1 issue with forgetting nipples for Hunter’s bottles and my neighbor saved the day by dropping off some at his daycare. It takes a village!

One of the things at makes life a bit easier is having dinner ready when I get home. I do love using my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, but there is something so nice and familiar about using a slow cooker. Plus, it’s awesome to come home to a house that smells so good.

Short Ribs are my go to meat right now. I love them in tacos and in marinara sauce. Last year I shared another short rib taco recipe using a slow cooker, but I swear this one is different! I love finding new-to-me spices and ingredients so I was excited when I grabbed a bag of Chile Guajillo peppers. They are a mild to medium spiced chili that is often used in salsas, sauces, and rubs to flavor meats.

I wanted to try them with the short ribs by allowing them to flavor the meat as it cooked all day. To cut some of the heat, I used some orange juice for sweetness. And the beer is another great way to add some flavor. If you prefer, you can sub our the beer for stock as that is just as flavorful, in a different way. I think it worked out so well. yum!

Hoping you enjoy these tacos just as much as we did!

 Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Tacos

Makes 8 Tacos

Ingredients

For the Short Rib Filling

  • 2 pounds of boneless short ribs
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup light beer or beef stock
  • 3 dried Guajillo chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Tacos

  • Flour Tortillas
  • desired fillings such as greens, avocado, tomato, diced onion, cheese

Process

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 8 hours on low.
  3. Discard the bay leaf and chilies.
  4. Shred the short rib meat, discarding pieces that are too fatty. Return short rib meat back to liquid in slow cooker.
  5. Assemble tacos with desired toppings.

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S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s the last day of S’mores Week 2017!!!

Amanda and I have hoped that you enjoyed the fun S’mores recipes that we shared this week. We have always had a blast sharing these recipes. I an’t believe it was already our 5th year doing it.

I wanted to really go all out this year with fun things like S’mores Monkey Bread, the Boozy S’mores Milkshake I shared yesterday and I wanted to end the week with a bang! So I decided to hit the scales hard with a fun combination of elements to make this crazy treat.

Let’s go… Chocolate chip cookies! Nutella! Marshmallow! Ice Cream!

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 8 chocolate chip cookies
  • 1/4 Cup nutella
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • 4 scoops of ice cream, vanilla is suggested

Process

  1. Arrange 4 chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet. Spread a Tablespoon of Nutella on each cookie.
  2. Place a scoop of ice cream on each cookie and immediately put into the freezer.
  3. Roast the marshmallows and put them on the other cookies.
  4. Sandwich together while the marshmallow is still warm.

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