Tag Archives: hummus

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

The past three weeks have been insane! I’ve been working like crazy. I finally handed my first cookbook off the publisher and it should be printing soon. Aside from that, I’ve taken on a ton of food writing this month. The holidays are good for food writers, but I’ve neglected my column. So here are some last minute Halloween ideas for your party tonight.

For me, creativity is key when celebrating. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, so I immediately hit a dollar-type store before I do any other buying. Then I supplement with merchandise from bigger retailers. It’s amazing what you can find for $1 to use for a party.

One of my favorite finds was a bag of plastic assorted spooky rings (a mix of spider, skulls and bats).  I use the rings around the stem of a wine glass to decorate it; use them to top cupcakes; glue them to a sturdy toothpick (the plastic variety) to skewer meatballs or fruit;  use them to decorate food plates (just be sure it’s obvious this isn’t edible).

ring wine charms

rings

You can also dangle plastic spiders from the ceiling on dental floss; place them in cobwebs; or cut a sliver into a pumpkin or winter squash and have the spiders climbing all over the pumpkin, which is how I serve one of my recipes this week.

An idea I saw online was to freeze ice in plastic gloves and then use those to chill punch. You can also fill plastic gloves with candy or popcorn to serve.

I like to add a splash of food color to drinks. I’ve found that a few drops of food dye to Moscato doesn’t seem to affect the flavor. I’ve tried other dry wines and it does change the taste; I think this works in Moscato because the wine is sweet. Just empty a bottle of Moscato into a pitcher and add 3 drops of red dye and 6 drops of yellow and stir. You can adjust the color as needed with more dye.

orange moscato

I’ve also added food dye to margaritas and it doesn’t change the taste either. If you serve orange margaritas, rim the glass in green salt and place a spider ring on the stem of the glass.

Take your favorite hummus recipe and spread it on a plate (store-bought is fine). Then buy a jar of roasted red bell peppers and puree 1 of the pepper without liquid. Place in a piping bag and make a pumpkin face on the hummus or a scary face. You can add a celery stick to the top of its head to look like a stem.

The flavor of the roasted pepper is great with hummus. It can be a little runny, so if you want to make a bloody looking creature this will serve you well.

Hummus with roased red pepper

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Spooky Squash Stuffed with Roasted Garlic Hummus

My Halloween fun continues! I’ve mentioned before that I love hummus. I eat it all the time. And I didn’t even know that it has a low glycemic index. I just found that out this week.

One thing I don’t love in hummus though is an overwhelming amount of garlic. This hummus is mild but has a rich flavor because I roast the garlic first.

Roasted garlic adds so much depth of flavor and you can use the remaining garlic cloves to create a second easy dip for your party (see the instructions under my recipe).

You can make this a day in advance, just be sure to cover the hummus with plastic wrap. Happy Halloween

I served it to company last night and they loved it.

You can make a little sign on a toothpick so guests know what they are eating. I love doing that at parties.

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Spooky Squash Stuffed with Roasted Garlic Hummus

1 small Kabocha Squash

1 head of garlic (you will roast it all, but only use three cloves)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

1 1/2 tablespoons of the chickpea liquid reserved from the can

3 tablespoons tahini

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cloves of roasted garlic (see recipe below)

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt or to taste

To roast the garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take an entire head of garlic and cut off the white tops of the garlic and drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You are not peeling the garlic, you just want to cut off the tops to expose all the cloves.

Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the head of garlic has caramelized (your house will smell incredible). Allow to cool and then squeeze out the garlic cloves.

Before making hummus, reserve some of the liquid from the chickpeas and drain the rest of the can.

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, chickpea liquid, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, roasted garlic, cumin and salt and pulse until smooth. Adjust salt, if desired.

Cut off the top of the Kabocha squash and remove the seeds and any stringy flesh. Use a knife to cut thin slits around the outside of the squash top and even the base, if desired. Stuff plastic spider rings in these crevices or any other creepy ring. Fill the center of the squash with hummus. Serve with pita chips and vegetables.

Tip: Serve the rest of the roasted garlic as a dip. Chop the cloves and add it to ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Warm it slightly (just slightly) on the stove top and add ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon rosemary and 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, a dash of salt, and serve it with French bread.

I couldn’t decide which way I wanted to style my photos this week. Black background or orange? Spider web or no spider web? Which do you prefer?

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Basil Hummus

I love just about every type of hummus. When I was 9, I never thought I’d eat it again. My family lived in Sudan for about 8 months and the first two months we lived in a hotel. The hotel had the most limited menu so we eat hummus twice a day. I hated it by the end of that stay. I swore off hummus. It was so strong, too, incredibly heavy on the tahini.

Well, I started eating it again in college and now I can’t get enough. Right now, I literally have homemade basil hummus, olive tapenade hummus, black bean hummus and a regular hummus in the fridge. I am not kidding. My husband eats it like crazy.

Anyway, I came up with this hummus earlier this summer.

This homemade hummus is always popular when I take it to a party. I don’t add fresh garlic to this hummus because I want the basil to shine. If you really love garlic, add one chopped, small clove.

I serve it with warmed garlic Naan, instead of pita bread to add a kick of garlic (but pita works fine, too). It takes minutes to whip this up in the food processor and it keeps for several days, so you can make it ahead of time (which is great when entertaining).

It’s even better the next day. Look how quick and easy this recipe is.

Basil Hummus

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini

¾ teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)

1 ½ teaspoons basil paste (in a tube in the produce section)

½ teaspoon garlic salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve with warm pita or garlic Naan, and sliced vegetables.

EASY Mediterranean Quesadillas with Feta, Red Pepper Sauce

I LOVE this recipe. It comes together in about 10 minutes so it’s perfect for lunch, a snack, light dinner (serve it with a salad) or a quick appetizer.  If you want to cut  calories and fat, you can omit the cheese inside the quesadilla and only use the feta in the red pepper sauce. I have done that and it was still popular.

You have to try these!

EASY Mediterranean Quesadillas with Feta, Red Pepper Sauce

1 cup chopped, skinless rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup hummus

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chopped black olives

1 tablespoon chopped green olives

3 (8-inch) flour tortillas

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Parsley or cilantro to garnish (optional)

Sauce:

1/3 cup feta cheese

¾ cup roasted red pepper slices

These quesadillas are so, so, so easy and delicious!

Make the sauce first. Place feta and roasted red pepper slices in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Set aside.

Next, mix chicken, hummus, onion, cumin, and olives together and set aside.

Place mixture in half a flour tortilla shell (so when you fold it over it looks like a half moon). Top the mixture with cheese.

Preheat a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. When hot, place the folded quesadilla down and cook about 3-4 minutes per side.

If desired, garnish with parsley or cilantro (I did this more for the photo than the taste).

Remove and top with red pepper sauce and serve immediately.