Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

Lunch can be kind of a challenging meal.

The quick options are not usually the best or healthiest.

We eat our fare share of pasta salad and peanut butter sandwiches but no one ever complains about a sampler plate.

A sampler plate for us includes, cheese (cottage or cheddar), crackers or pita chips, fruit and veg slices and sometimes pieces of meat and a pickle.

For my sampler plate, I enjoy a dip for the vegetables and pita chips.

Today I made a really fast and easy navy bean dip because (much to my dismay) I had run out of chickpeas.

So many times I have found that it is when my pantry is dwindling and bare, I get the most daring* and make the most happy discoveries.
(*Yes, I guess changing up my usual hummus for a white bean dip is pretty daring for me.)

But now I really love white bean dip...who knows what I'm capable now that I'm willing to take these kinds of risks...

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

1 19oz can navy or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp parsley flakes (or a handful of chopped fresh)
2-3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
4 whole wheat pitas (I used greek)
olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Set oven to 400.
Puree beans, lemon juice, oil, parsley, and garlic in a blender or food processor.
Taste and season to your liking.

Chop each pita into 8 wedges, toss with a couple tablespoons of oil.
Place in a layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano.
Bake for 8-10 mins.
Serve pitas warm with the dip.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My new fave: Apple Chips

I remember eating apple chips as a kid but I haven't seen them or eaten them in years.

Today I was looking up a recipe for cough syrup and stumbled on this recipe from Mama Earth Organics.

I made them and then ate the whole batch.  They were just so good.

For me, it was the right combination of crunchy, sweet and slightly sour.

If you like apple chips, try these.

They're easy and delicious.

Apple Chips

2 crisp apples (I used Fuji)
1 tsp cinnamon

Thinly slice apples lengthwise removing any hard core or seeds.
Layer on apple slices in a single layer a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle apples with cinnamon.
Bake at 250 for 1 1/2 hours flipping ever half hour to dry them out.
Allow to cool and crisp up for a few minutes.
(Honestly next time I will quadruple this because it was just enough for me to have a snack.)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

When Clara was baby, Jimmy and I used to made hot chocolate with melted down Lindt Chili Chocolate bars and cream.

(That was totally, sickeningly, decadent and we don't really do that any more.)

Really, hot chocolate is not something I normally enjoy.

In general, I'm more of a coffee person.

(And now that I've talked you out of trying this...)

With the right person, just the right chilly night and the right book...I was persuaded to make a batch of mix for hot chocolate.

This hot chocolate mix is so simple and, I think, better than what you would find in a paper package or tin.

I found this recipe on Martha's site and added a couple handfuls of micro marshmallows.

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

3 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
2 1/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp salt
some micro marshmallows (I buy these an Amish bulk food store called E&S in Indiana)
milk for serving

In a large bowl, stir together cocoa, sugar, and salt.  (I added my marshmallows here too.)
Store in a large mason jar or hinge top canning jar.

When you're ready for a cup, heat 1 cup milk in a small sauce pan (or in the microwave, if you have one) and stir in 1 Tbsp mix when the milk is steamy.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Whipped Lemon Dill Cream Cheese

The other day, Renee and I bought some amazing bagels and whipped up a batch of this amazing cream cheese to go with.

I was thinking dill and she was thinking lemon, so we did both.

It was so good.

We toasted the bagels, loaded them with the lemon dill cream cheese and topped that with slices of smoked salmon and cucumber.

Whipped Lemon Dill Cream Cheese

1 8oz package of Cream Cheese (We used Philly)
2 tsp dried dill (or 2 Tbsp fresh dill)
1 lemon, zested and juiced (2Tbsp juice)

Whip all ingredients in a food processor or stand mixer or use and hand held mixer.