Saturday, September 11, 2010
Welcome to the World
Last night, I had just gone to sleep when my phone beeped for an incoming message...

  [image source]

I thought I knew what it was, and rolled out of bed to get my phone. I guessed right: my little nephew had arrived! My sister was a couple of days past her due date, so we had been expecting him any day. We were so happy to hear the news, and glad that everything went well. I can't wait to meet the new family member. :) The baby also chose a great day to come into this world: it was my parents' 30th wedding anniversary!

[image source]

Now, on to food...

It was a gloomy, dark and rainy day today, and I was craving comfort food.

 A few days ago, I saw someone mix beans into their mashed potatoes. I had done something similar with red kidney beans earlier, simply by mashing them with the potatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, and some spices. They tasted good, but looked quite gross (pureeing them might have solved the problem ;)). However, seeing her beautiful dish, I couldn't get the idea of mashed potatoes out of my mind. I thought: why not take it one step further and combine two of my favorite foods, hummus and mashed potatoes?

Easy Hummus
  • 1-2/3 c (or one 15 oz can) cooked chickpeas
  • (1-2 garlic gloves, minced and cooked on a pan for about 1 minute)
  • 2 tbsp water or liquid from the chickpeas
  • 2 heaping tbsp tahini
  • juice of half a lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
  • pinch cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp paprika
  • about 2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
  • salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, and process with a food processor until smooth (add liquid little by little, until you reach the desired consistency). Taste with salt and hot sauce: I like mine quite spicy, but feel free to use mild, sweet chili sauce instead - or even leave it and the cayenne pepper out completely, if you're not into spicy food. I usually omit the garlic, as I get enough garlic taste from the sriracha; but when I do add it, I like to cook it on a pan for a minute or two, to avoid the raw garlic smell/taste (which I hate). If you add this to mashed potatoes, however, I would use 2-4 gloves, and roast them on a pan or in the microwave - but be careful and do not let them brown.

Hummus Mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 batch easy hummus
  • 1 lbs starchy potatoes (about 6 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
  • (1-5 tbsp non-dairy milk)
  • handful of fresh herbs: basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, bear's garlic or chives
  • pinch black pepper and white pepper
  • salt to taste
Cook the potatoes, drain the liquid, and mash them with a potato masher. Add the margarine, herbs,  spices, and hummus. Mix until well combined. Add some non-dairy milk if necessary. Check the taste, and add some more salt, pepper, or hot sauce/cayenne pepper, if desired.

Serve by itself, with a nice salad on the side, or together with vegan mushroom gravy (my favorite way to serve mashed potatoes). 

For dessert, I tried a new blackberry dark chocolate I picked up in the store yesterday. 

I usually buy organic, plain dark chocolate, and am frequently disappointed by "flavored" dark chocolates: most of the time, I find the flavors artificial, too bitter, or I can't taste the "fruit pieces" at all. As I have tried several "berry chocolates" earlier, I didn't have very high expectations for this chocolate - but I thought to give it a try, as it has been just launched on the market and is made by a Danish company. As it turns out, I like it very much! It is a little sweeter than the chocolate I normally eat, but I like the crunchy berry pieces and the taste of the chocolate itself. Apparently, this chocolate is developed spacially for the "Danish taste" - I wonder what that means? - and fermented in special wooden boxes that are supposed to enhance the flavor. Unfortunately, it is neither organic nor fair trade, so I will probably keep buying my "regular" chocolate instead (which is organic, fair trade, has a higher cocoa content and is about the same price as this one); but this may be a nice treat every now and then. ;) I can also imagine this would be the perfect chocolate for someone who thinks that regular dark chocolate is too bitter: this had a very soft, sweet taste and was not bitter at all. I saw they also had strawberry, orange and plain dark chocolates, and I'm now quite tempted to try the strawberry...
I admit eating dark chocolate almost every day - but I only eat a piece or so at a time, so one bar lasts for a while. My boyfriend hates chocolate of any kind (can you imagine?!?), so I can keep it all to myself! ;)

I also finally pulled out my candles from the storage today. Because of the sunny, summery weather we have enjoyed lately, I have been postponing lighting the first candle - but today was the perfect day. I always forget how much I love having candles around the house. :) As a huge Christmas person, now I just have to control myself and not get into Christmas mood before time - ha ha!

Have a happy Friday!
posted by Seglare at Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Permalink |


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