A Spoon Full of Lovin'

One Scoop of Love at a Time

Red Pepper Hummus and Spicy Baked Eggplant Chips — January 7, 2012

Red Pepper Hummus and Spicy Baked Eggplant Chips

For the last week I have had an intense craving for hummus. I think that hummus is the most delicious dip ever created, as it is a mixture of all of my favourite ingredients, and it is such a sly, smooth devil. I decided to add some kick to this hummus by mixing in a bit of cumin and 3/4 of a fresh red pepper. I always overload on the garlic so I have kept this recipe tame, but I added in another garlic bulb to what is listed below, and it was delicious.

I have always enjoyed the deep color and taste of red peppers. I cannot explain it, but red peppers make me feel a little daring, as if I’m adding some sinful spice to my dish. I think I may be the only one to have such emotions and reactions associated with vegetables, but I have come to see it as a positive thing, as red peppers usually inspire me to listen to some spanish guitar and dance as I cook. Needless to say, this red pepper hummus was not only simple to make, but it definitely spiced up my evening. Alongside some  eggplant chips coated in paprika, it was one of the most delicious late night snacks I have ever devoured. I dare you to try this one!

Red Pepper Hummus

1 19 oz. can of Chickpeas

3/4 medium Red Pepper

4 Tblsp. Tahini

4 Squirts Lemon

3-4 cloves of Garlic

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp cumin

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Crush the bulbs of garlic. Then proceed to mix all the ingredients together in a food processor, including the already crushed garlic. And voila!

Baked Eggplant Chips 

1 Eggplant (cut into thin circular shapes; not too thick)

Olive Oil

Paprika

Dash Sea Salt

Set your oven to 400 F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the eggplant circles on the parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil and as much paprika as you want. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip them over and put them back in for another 5 minutes or until brown and slightly crispy.

Now, it is important to keep that spanish music playing as you grab a glass of white wine and enjoy this amazing creation that you have just slaved over. Put your feet up, and enjoy 🙂

Still Feels Like Winter but Tastes Like Spring Biscotti — January 3, 2012

Still Feels Like Winter but Tastes Like Spring Biscotti

 Now that Christmas is all said and done I am so ready for the arrival of summer. I know it is so far off but a girl can dream right? I can almost taste the fresh fruits for breakfast and smell the BBQ cooking on the outdoor grill at night. I would really like summer but I guess for the next five months I will have to settle for some Spring Biscotti. I actually found this recipe online (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spring-biscotti/) last summer and made it in June for my dad’s birthday gift but because it was so well liked I brought it back as gifts for this Christmas season.  Not going to lie, I may have saved three of four pieces for myself but I just had to test it to make sure it was good… it was. I modified the recipe a little from the one I found online because I don’t like making biscotti too hard. This way you can eat it with or without dipping it in a good strong cup of coffee and not have to worry about breaking your jaw.  I also added more orange zest than the original recipe called for because I love having a citrus hint in my baking. Also note that for those who prefer dark chocolate to white chocolate, you can easily switch it up to please all taste buds.  

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1   and ½ tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-2.5 ounces white chocolate, chopped (I also baked some with dark chocolate and they were equally delicious
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups pistachio nuts

Ready Set Bake:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually blend into the creamed mixture using a wooden spoon. Stir in the white chocolate, dried cranberries, and pistachios. Cover, and chill for 30 minutes.

     2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-PLEASE NOTE: Parchment paper and wax paper are two completely different things. I may or may not have confused the two while baking these biscotti and the result was one very smoky kitchen and one completely loopy mother (sorry mom!).

       3. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and divide into halves. Form each half into a flattish log about 12 inches long by 3 inches wide. Put each log in centre of their own baking sheet.

       4. Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven, or until pale gold. Allow logs to cool on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle. On a cutting board, cut logs crosswise on a diagonal into 1 inch thick slices. Arrange on baking sheet on their side.

       5. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer biscotti to wire racks, and cool completely.

 Happy New Year!

-L