Tag Archives: snack

Easy Cherry Smoothie – Post Run Recovery

Cherry Smoothie 1A few of you know I am currently training for my first half-marathon.  Those of you that have known me for a long time also know that I HATE running.   It hurts. Who likes pain?  Ok, some people do or else Cross Fit and Insanity wouldn’t be so popular, but  I  don’t like pain.   I can do dance, martial arts, yoga, circuits, etc.   Just as it becomes too painful, you’ve moved onto something else.   Running, on the other hand…well, there are only two ways to escape the pain: stop or push through it.   Now, I know I said I didn’t like pain.  I never said I couldn’t handle it.   I am not a quitter, either, which is why I registered for this race.  I needed something to get out of this rut I’ve been stuck in for far too long.  It’s been funny finding how everything I am going through in my race training has direct parallels to what’s going on in my heart and mind.  That is how I know that when I conquer this race, I’ll have pulled myself out of this horrible pit, too!

Now as I write this, I am wrapping up week five of my 10 week training, which culminated in a very hilly eight mile run.  I never imagined in my Cherry Smoothie 6entire life that I would ever run so far of my own volition.  Of course I also discovered that running beyond my previously usual 5Ks started making my body do some not so nice things.  Two weeks ago, I ran six miles, at the time my longest distance.  After braving the shower room, I began preparing my breakfast of oatmeal and flax at my desk when my stomach began clenching. Despite my hunger I couldn’t bear to eat.  Now, I had researched that you shouldn’t eat anything but simple, easily digestible food before (and during) a run, because your body will focus its energy on your digestive system instead of powering your run.  I guess it works the other way, too.  If you’ve taxed your body for your run, it doesn’t have energy to help your tummy do its job.  After about another half hour, I was able to down some Greek yogurt.  It happened to be cherry yogurt, which triggered the idea for this smoothie.

Cherry Smoothie 4You see, I remembered that cherries, particularly the juice of tart cherries, have been a growing craze in the fitness world for a few years now.  Studies have shown that they reduce inflammation and speed muscle recovery due to compounds called anthocyanins.  Another key to helping your body recover from a tough workout is protein, which the yogurt and milk in this smoothie provides.  Protein, as many of us know, is also responsible for building our muscles and making us stronger.  Not to mention our bones take quite a beating during a run, so the yogurt and milk’s calcium keeps our inner framework strong, too!  Talk about a super smoothie.

However, the test was whether my stomach could handle it after a tough workout.  The following week, I had this smoothie ready to go in the fridge for after my seven mile run.  It took a little coaxing.  My body wanted water more than anything, but after I satiated my thirst I found that I could indeed sip on this cherry smoothie to satisfy my grumbly tummy without upsetting it. Score!

Cherry Smoothie 7

Easy Cherry Smoothie

serves appx 2
Ingredients
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen dark cherries
  • 6-7 ounces cherry or plain Greek yogurt, appx. 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup  tart cherry juice or cold water
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • mint for garnish (optional)
Directions
  • Cherry Smoothie Blender 1Combine all ingredients except garnish in a blender. 
  • Pulse to puree until smooth.
  • Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days in air-tight containers.
  • If refrigerating,  shake before serving.

 

 

Cherry Smoothie 2

Breakfast Apple Streusel Muffins

Apple Streusel Muffins 3I have been craving these little beauties since Thanksgiving morning!  I woke up that morning and a vision of these piping hot from the oven and smothered in butter popped into my sleepy head.  Too bad I had finished all my delicious apples from Rinker Orchards by then!  Airy and not too sweet, these muffins are a lovely addition to any brunch pastry basket and the perfect breakfast strategy to stay the grumbling tummies of holiday guests as they awaken from their slumber.

How do I know this? When I first made this recipe back in October, they Apple Streusel Muffins 5disappeared faster than my very popular Banana Chocolate Chip muffins! Now my co-workers are very, very picky when it comes to baked goods.  Or maybe I should say careful.  Pure sugar is a big no, no. So when I brought three dozen of these to the office, I was expecting they would last until about 10 o’clock.  Nope, they were gone by 7:30! I had to dash my muffin/cupcake carrier back to my car to hide the evidence from the folks that came in at 8 so they wouldn’t feel left out.

Needless to say, these muffins are a delicious grown-up treat.  Substituting sour cream and buttermilk for the traditional butter give these Apple Stressel Muffins an almost sponge-cake like airiness. They are not heavy and dense at all.  Then of course there are the yummy apple bits scattered throughout which give you that tart sweet burst against the sweet bread.  And how can we forget that yummy streusel on top?  Just that bit of fun where we can pretend we’re still kids for a couple of bites.  You’ll definitely need a napkin for these!Apple Streusel Muffins 1

Apple Streusel Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

Muffins: 

  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour (sometimes called whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ – ½ cup buttermilk (start with ¼ then and add as needed)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium-sized baking apples, peeled, cored, and diced small (I actually kept the peel on some of my apples)

Streusel topping:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease a regular-sized muffin tin with cooking spray or butter.
  3. For the streusel, add the flour, brown sugar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. (A cereal bowl worked fine for me.)
  4. Pour in the melted butter. Use your fingers or a fork to combine until small clumps of streusel form.  Set aside while making the muffins.ASM Struesel Topping
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.ASM dry ingredients
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk wet ingredients together.ASM wet ingredients
  7. Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Don’t worry about a few lumps. Over mixing will give you dense, gummy muffins.ASM Making Batter
  8. Fold in the chopped apples again being careful not to over-mix the batter.ASM Apple Time
  9. Fill each well of the muffin tin to the top with batter.
  10. Generously sprinkle streusel on top of the batter, pressing the topping lightly into the batter.  This is a messy step, but fun! I had leftover streusel for another dozen muffins, but feel free to use all of it.ASM Struesel Time 1    ASM Struesel Time 2
  11. Bake muffins for 18 to 22 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.ASM Fresh from Oven
  12. Cool for 10 minutes before removing muffins from the muffin tin.  Store the muffins in an airtight container no longer than three days.Apple Streusel Muffins 4

Cayenne and Lime Watermelon Wedges, a Recipe from The Kitchn

CLM 5 So what do you get when you put a Political Science major and an International Affairs major in the same room on Independence Day? Lots of fireworks…figuratively and literally! I’m telling you, it gets quite interesting discussing the latest headlines when you add in our sprinklings of Psychology, Sociology, Privacy, Jane Austen, and the wisdom of bartenders. Our conversation about Chick-Fil-A was definitely worth being a fly on the wall for.

Anyway, with all that has been going on, Emilie made it perfectly clear that I would not be permitted to sequester myself for the holiday. I had to agree with her. If Pat Summit (see my last post) can keep on living her life to the fullest despite the Alzheimers, I have no excuses not to do the same. So rather than spend Independence Day having left over pancakes with Death, I chose to fill the holiday weekend with joy, friendship, delicious food and drinks, the laughter of children, minions (eeeeeep!), and of course amazing fireworks.

“It is what it is, but it becomes what you make it.” I chose to make it scrumptious!

For our pre-fireworks cookout, I was assigned fruit duty…more specifically CLM 4watermelon duty. Now you all know me, I couldn’t bring just watermelon. No, no, no that would not do at all. Okay, so how to make something already completely delectable on its own even more yummy? Enter The Kitchn’s Twitter feed and this seriously refreshing and mouth watering recipe posted by Emily Ho. I quickly shot Emilie a text. The decision was unanimous and this delightful dish found itself on our July 4th menu.

You must try this dish the next time you bring home a watermelon! The combination of spicy cayenne and zesty lime with the cool and sweet watermelon is amazing. You will not lose the flavor of the watermelon at all . Instead the salt, lime, and and itty bitty kick of spice accentuates the refreshing nature of the watermelon. Trust me on this one. It’s sure to become a staple in your summer cookout repertoire.

Cayenne and Lime Watermelon Wedges

based on a recipe from: The Kitchn

Ingredients

CLM Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, such as kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey mint julep syrup*
  • chopped mint for garnish (optional
  • 1 (10-pound) watermelon, cut into wedges
*Remember to leave out the bourbon and ice!
Directions
  1. Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and lime zest in a mortar and pestle. Grind together until combined into a nice powder. (Trick: pour into an empty spice jar for easy sprinkling.)CLM mortar pestle
  2. In a small bowl or jar, combine lemon juice with the honey mint julep syrup.CLM lime and honey
  3. Arrange the watermelon wedges on a serving platter. Drizzle with the sweetened lime juice then sprinkle a light dusting of the cayenne mixture on top.CLM lime and honey juiceCLM sprikles
  4. Serve with a garnish of chopped mint leaves if desired.CLM 1

Note: You can serve immediately…but chilling it overnight brings a whole new dimension with a sneakier kick from the cayenne. Emilie and I discovered this munching on leftovers after our Independence Day cookout. Although both ways are delicious and refreshing, I prefer the “leftovers” version myself.

BLT Deviled Eggs

Rumor has it that there is a huge sporting even happening this weekend. Two brothers duking it out on the gridiron to win the title of champion. At least that’s what people are telling me, because, to be honest, if it isn’t Big10 college football, I don’t know much about it.

Even if I may be more interested in the Puppy Bowl than the Superbowl, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been to my fair share of Superbowl parties and made my fair share of party snacks that would be perfect for your weekend festivities. For example, these deviled eggs are a fun spin on the classic BLT sandwich with bacon, sundried tomatoes, parsley (for the lettuce). While I used freshly cooked bacon, you could easily substitute Bacon Bits and dried parsley if you are short on time or energy.

finished eggs, up close

So say yes to that last minute Superbowl Party invite, whip up a batch of these eggs, and be ready to talk about the commercials on Monday morning. I won’t lie, I’ll be watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey and sipping wine. I won’t be watching football for another 7 months or so… GO BLUE!

BLT Deviled Eggs
makes 12-24 servings

1 dozen eggs
5-6 sliced of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons diced sundried tomatoes
1.5 tablespoons regular yellow mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper

finished eggs

1)     Place eggs in a large pot cold of water, enough to cover all 1 dozen eggs with at least an inch of water. Bring water to a boil. Once it has reached boiling let cook for an additional 10 minutes.

2)     Remove eggs from boiling water and place immediately in a bowl of ice water. Change the ice water at least once to bring the temperature of the eggs down quickly.

3)      Peel the eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks into a medium sized bowl and set aside the egg whites.

4)     Using a fork or potato masher, mash the egg yolks. Mix in the crumbled bacon, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the mustard and mayonnaise until well combined.

mix the yolk

5)     Fill the egg whites with the BLT egg yolk mixture, top with an additional parsley leaf for presentation (optional) and serve.

pipe the filling

Greek Inspired Cucumber Cups

August in the mid-Atlantic region can be a bit finicky, especially early on when most days are 90ºF with over 50% humidity. So a couple of weekends ago, when the weather was a perfect mid-70ºF, my friend Yusef had the brilliant idea to gather at Gravely Point Park, near the Reagan National Airport. Gravely Point is one of my favorite spots in the metro D.C. region, even if it is packed every time I go and I am stuck parking in the grassy knolls. In addition to a boat ramp, a portion of the Mt. Vernon trail, and plenty of open space for frisbees and soccer balls, you can also lay back and watch the planes take off and land – which is just plain cool.

Watching the planes take off from Reagan National Airport

The Washington Monument and D.C. skyline from Gravely Point Park

So late on a Sunday afternoon about a dozen of us gathered round on blankets and chairs to take in the sunshine, share snacks and drinks, and enjoy each others company. As with any picnic, the key to a successful dish is low-mess finger foods, like 2-bite cups made with cucumbers and filled with veggies, herbs, and cheese.

Greek Inspired Cucumber Cups
makes approximately 20-25 cups

2 regular cucumbers, the longer and thinner the better
1 large shallot
1 red pepper
2 Roma tomatoes
8 ounce package crumbled feta cheese
juice and zest of one lemon
2.5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
salt and pepper

** I meant to add 2 small cans of chopped olives, but forgot, so feel free to add those too!

1)    Finely dice shallot. Seed and chop red pepper and tomatoes into small pieces. Toss the chopped veggies and parsley together (add the chopped olives as well if you have a better memory than I).

2)    Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest toss over veggies to coat. Add feta cheese.

3)     Scrub cucumbers and (if you are feeling fancy) use a vegetable peeler to 4 stripes down the cucumber. Slice of about ¼ inch of each end of the cucumber.

4)     Slice cucumbers into ¾ to 1-inch slices. Using a small teaspoon or melon baller, carefully scoop out the center of the cucumber slices, creating a cup.

5)     Fill each cup with the veggies and cheese.

6)     Serve chilled.

Strawberry Tarragon Bruschetta Topping

My first weekend home from school I spent in sweltering heat. A freak summer storm that caused more damage than our last hurricane left me without power (aka no AC!) for a few days. Unable to cook and no desire for anything remotely warm, I fell back on a lovely, cool recipe I had made a few weeks before I left for Maryland when all the strawberries were beautiful, ruby red gems bursting with delicious sweetness.

Almost everyone has tried the strawberry and basil combination and I was interested in trying a new combination for a savory twist. I knew I wanted to use freshly ground black pepper, but what other herbs to try? Not mint, I wasn’t looking for sweet. Rosemary? Maybe, but I was thinking something more delicate. Ah, what about tarragon? I’d never actually used it before, but I remember “examining” some left overs Emilie had left in my fridge after making her Champagne-Sorbet Dessert while I was in Spain. I liked its almost anise scent and decided to give it a go. Definitely a winner! I think this is a lovely dish to bring to picnics and summer potlucks.

Strawberry and Tarragon Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb strawberries, hulled and diced small
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon (use fresh, not dried)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • toasted baguette slices
  • goat cheese, enough to spread on the toasted baguettes
Directions
  1. Mix the diced strawberries and tarragon in a  bowl and toss
  2. Cover and set aside in the fridge for about 2o minutes to allow the flavors to meld together
  3. Add the freshly ground pepper and mix well.
  4. Spread goat cheese over the toasted baguette slices and top with the strawberries.

       

Dressed up Cracker Jack

Bryce Harper’s rookie debute at National’s Park, by Scott Ableman (via Flicker)

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never come back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win its a shame.”
~Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Jack Norworth

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and I agree. Baseball diamonds that is. We are nearly a third of the way through the season and I couldn’t be happier. The Washington Nationals are hovering at the top of the National League East, we have one of the best pitching rotations in the sport right now, and we have Bryce Harper – a serious contender for Rookie of the Year.

While things certainly are going well, we still have over 100 games left in the regular season, so things could change in the blink of an eye. Sort of like the caramel used in this  dressed up cracker jack recipe. I highly recommend the use of a candy thermometer whenever you make something like this, and the minute the needle hit 225ºF don’t take your eyes off of the caramel. I know they say a watched pot never boils, but an unwatched pot turn into a burned sticky mess before you realize it.

Dressed up Cracker Jack

2 3.5ounce bags freshly-popped popcorn *
2 cups slivered almonds
8 ounce package dried cherries
For the Carmel
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Kosher salt, optional

*Use a plain, light butter, or even kettle corn flavor. Anything else (like movie theater popcorn) will be too much.

1)     Preheat oven to 250°F . In a very large bowl (or two regular sized bowls)  toss popcorn, almonds, and cherries. Don’t worry if the almonds fall to the bottom, but do try to break up any clumps of cherries that stick together, and spread them evenly throughout the popcorn.

2)     In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt butter.

3)     Place candy thermometer on the side of the pan and add stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, and salt. Make sure to break up any brown sugar lumps you find.

4)     Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature on the candy thermometer his 250°F, or soft ball stage.

5)     Remove from heat and add almond extract and baking soda. The addition of the baking soda will make the mixture foam up a bit, so don’t be surprised.

6)     Quickly pour over popcorn mixture and use large spoons to toss until evenly coated.

7)     Spread popcorn on two rimmed, greased cookie sheets and bake at 250°F, stirring every 15 minutes, for a total of 50 minutes.

8)   Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Black Bean Nachos

When most people think of nachos, the image that comes to mind is one of stale tortilla chips and weird neon orange goop that they call “cheese.” If you are lucky those “nachos” include salty pickled jalapeños and greasy beef with MSG fueled taco flavoring.

No MORE! It is time we stand against that sad excuse for late night snack food. With a little time, good ingredients, and a warm oven, you too can have healthier, crispy, tasty nachos. Perfect for a movie night, watching a baseball game with friends, or a quick fun meal when you don’t have much time (if you make the beans in advance).

Black Bean Nachos

Tortilla chips
1 cups fresh spinach, approximate
Seasoned black beans (recipe below)
1.5 cups cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
Fresh avocado (optional)
Salsa (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

1)      Pre-heat oven to 325°F andvery lightly grease a chookie sheet. A rimless cookie sheet will make life a lot easier when you transfer these to a plate.

2)      Lay your tortilla chips on the sheet, making sure not to make this base layer larger than the plate you are going to put the nachos on.

3)      Sprinkle about a half to three-quarters of a cup cheese on the chips. You don’t need to cover the chips completely; this simply forms a nice sticky layer for the toppings.

4)      Place a generous handful of spinach and microwave for about 30 seconds, until just wilted. Spread evenly over the chips.

5)      Spoon black beans over nachos. I usually use about half the recipes per batch of nachos.

6)      Sprinkle remaining cheese over nachos.

7)      Place in oven and cook until cheese is melted.

8)      Transfer to serving dish and top with salsa, sliced avocado, or whatever else your heart desires.

Seasoned Black Beans

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
Olive oil
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 can black beans, drained with 1/2  cup liquid reserved
1.5 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1  teaspoon cumin
1/4 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1)      Heat 1 turn of olive oil in a sauce pan, sautee garlic and onion until translucent. Add diced jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds.

2)      Add beans, reserved liquid, and chicken broth to the sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes, until liquid is reduced by just over half.

Greek Pesto – How I Used Up Some Not So Pretty Herbs

This always happens to me. I buy fresh produce…and then I’m on the road before I can finish everything. This past week wasn’t too bad. I refrained from grocery shopping and happily Emilie came over for dinner and brought along all the fresh ingredients we needed. Even then, I came home from my trip to some very unhappy herbs. I swear they were staring at me forlornly while I executed my post-travel fridge purge (Adios, arugla! Sayonara, snow peas!) .

Luckily, these bunches of mint, basil, and parsley, though sad looking, had not gone bad per se. The basil and mint leaves were starting to discolor, but not rot. The parsley had started to loose its snappiness, but retained its dark green color. Anything requiring presentation was a no go, but then I remembered I had some pine nuts in the freezer and thought:  Eureka! Why not a pesto? The mint would give it a nice Greek twist. Thanks to Emilie, I even had some Greek olive oil (I usually go for Spanish) in the pantry.

Now pesto is a very versatile…condiment? sauce? dip? Ummm…ok, so you can do a lot of things with pesto. Today I’m showing it to you as a dip, but stay tuned! My next post uses this Greek Pesto to tackle a quick and heart healthy dinner!

Greek Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp Greek olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
  • freshly ground sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place herbs, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor or
    blender. 
  2. Pulse/blend until ingredients are well blended and chopped. Pour into a small bowl.
  3. Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the blended herbs and mix well with a spoon or spatula.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

~Ruth

Creamy Garlicky Homemade Hummus

It’s the first week of January and that means everyone is making plans, setting goals, and resolving to improve themselves in some way. Yes, even you non-resolution people have, in fact, resolved not to resolve. Accept it. While my 2012 goals are mostly related to my financial health and career, I am seeing no shortage of food related resolutions among the bloggers I follow. In my very unscientific analysis, the resolution of 2012 is to eat more vegetables (see We Are Not Martha’s resolutions here and Capitol Hill Style’s resolution at the bottom of this post, for example).

Long ago (probably about 5 years ago) I made a similar resolution, and found that it was a relatively easy goal to meet.  I experimented with Brussels sprouts , Swiss chard, various squashes, and more to find delicious easy ways to fill my plate at least half full with veggies. Now, I am a happy consumer of just about every vegetable out there, from asparagus to zucchini.

The hardest hurdle for me was finding ways to enjoy veggies as snacks. If just once or twice a week (let’s not push it) I could substitute my afternoon cheese and crackers or peanut butter M&Ms with a handful of carrots and celery (weird stringy vegetable that it is) I knew I would be doing my body a world of good. However, I found raw veggies kind of bland and no matter what those Hidden Farms commercials are trying to tell you, your broccoli isn’t as good for you drenched in ranch dressing. I needed a new option to bring flavor to these snacks, so I tried hummus and I was hooked. A delicious dip made of garlic, lemon, and chickpeas (more veggies!) – how could I have missed such an easy answer? While it is abundant on grocery store shelves everywhere and comes in dozens of flavors from multiple brands, it is also incredibly easy and inexpensive to whip up in your own kitchen. If your New Year’s Resolutions are multifold and include getting your body and your bank account healthy, then I suggest you give this simple recipe a try. You know what, even if you resolved not to resolve, you can still make hummus.

A quick note on the recipe: many hummus recipes call for tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds. I actually prefer my hummus without it, but if you choose to include tahini, simply add about 1 tablespoon or more depending on your preference.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

6-7 large garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
1 16-ounce can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), liquid reserved
1 large lemon
Dash of salt
Fresh herbs, optional (I used some parsley I had in the fridge. In the past I’ve used rosemary or dill)

1)      Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel all garlic cloves and lay them on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to close up into a packet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil (I use about 2 tablespoons) and place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until garlic is soft and just barely turning golden.

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2)      Open your chickpeas and pour liquid into a small measuring cup. You will definitely need 1/4 cup of the liquid, but you may want more if you like thinner hummus.

3)      In a small food chopper, a food processor, or even a blender pour chickpeas, 1/4 cup liquid, juice of half of the lemon (or more depending on taste), salt, roughly chopped herbs, and the roasted garlic and all of the roasting oil.

4)      Pulse until you have a pretty smooth puree and taste it. Add more lemon or herbs if desired. If the mix is too thick for you add additional olive oil (I wouldn’t recommend more than 2 tablespoons) or some more of the liquid from the chickpeas. Always add a little at a time, it’s easy to add more liquid, but impossible to take it out.

5)      Serve with veggies like sliced peppers, carrots, and celery. It is also great with warm pita bread or pretzels and as a condiment on turkey sandwiches with sprouts and cucumbers.

Yep, you just made hummus and your options are limitless (although maybe not on ice cream.)