Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

Fruit and Yogurt with Walnut Date Topping

Yummy as a light breakfast or as a little pick-me-up snack, this simple fruit bowl has been a favorite of mine this summer. Try it out!

Fruit Bowl

Ingredients:

Swap these 1st four ingredients out as desired to include your favorite fruits. Apples, raspberries, peaches, strawberries…whatever is fresh and in season.

  • 1 chopped nectarine (pit removed, of course!)
  • 1/2 mango chopped
  • 1 handful grapes
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • dollop of greek yogurt

For Topping

  • 1/4 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

You will also need: 

  • A Magic Bullet Blender or a food processor

Directions:

For Topping, Place your walnuts in your food processor and pulse about 3-4 times (quick pulses – you just want to get them started.) Then, add your coarsely chopped dates and continue pulsing until they are well combined and the mixture resembles a finely ground granola or crumb topping. I use my Magic Bullet Blender because it is good for processing small batches of ingredients like these. If you don’t have a Magic Bullet Blender and you don’t feel like using a food processor either, you could just chop these by hand, but I find the consistency is much more yummy when they are pulsed together in a food processor. This will make more topping than what you need for a single serving. Simply save the rest in an airtight container in your fridge and sprinkle on your yogurt and fruit as desired.

As for the rest, it’s pretty self explanatory. Assemble your chopped fruit in a small bowl, add a spoonful of yogurt (I like vanilla) and then sprinkle on the date/walnut crumble. Enjoy!

 

 

Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

Scallion Pancakes

Of all the plants I’ve started from seed, I think I’m most impressed with the Parade onions. They start out so tiny, they seem like they are going nowhere, and then all of a sudden – they take off.

When I pick one of these bad boys, I want to make sure I use every last bit. So when I picked one for our nachos yesterday (along with the first jalapeno from “spicy” the pepper plant) I saved the onion tops for scallion pancakes.

Scallion pancakes are another one of our family’s favorites. It’s one of those simple (albeit time-consuming) recipes – but it’s worth every minute! Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

2 cups flour (plus at least a cup more for flouring the rolling pin and rolling surface)
1 cup chopped scallions (I prefer using just the green tops)
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water
salt

Directions

1. Place 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the center.

2. Pour the 2/3 cup of water in the well of the flour.

3. Now’s the time to get your hands a little messy. Mix the flour and water together with your hands, kneading the dough until both are fully incorporated. You want your dough to be smooth and workable, much like pizza dough. Add tablespoons of water or flour until the dough is not sticky, but not too dry.

4. turn your dough onto a floured surface and knead, knead, knead. Just when you think you have kneaded enough, knead a little more. 🙂 You want your dough to be smooth and elastic.

5. Let your dough rest a bit. Meanwhile, gather your scallion/onion tops, oil and salt, along with a cup of flour for your surface and rolling pin.

6. Form your dough into a long rectangle, about 2 inches by 12 inches.

7. Evenly slice your dough into 8 sections. Aren’t they cute? Place these little guys aside, preferably where they will not stick to each other.

8. Flour your surface really, really well. Flour your rolling pin. Seriously – don’t be afraid – let the flour fly. You want nothing to stick during the rolling process.

9. Take your first section of dough and roll it out evenly until it is very thin and about the size of a large dinner plate. I usually know I have it thin enough when the dough starts to “ripple” a little as I’m rolling it.

10. Brush oil across the surface of the dough thinly and evenly. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

11. Sprinkle with scallions as shown above.

12. Now it’s time to roll! Start at one end and make a tight roll…

half way…
All rolled up!

13. The next part is a little tricky, so I decided to use “counter cam” and capture this little move on video:

14. Take your little bundle and roll it out:

Repeat this process with all your dough balls.

15. Time to fry these puppies! Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet and place your pancakes in the hot oil, flipping when brown.

The top two have been flipped.

16. When fully browned, remove to a drying rack covered with paper towels to drain and cool a bit. Serve with soy sauce or your favorite Asian dipping sauce.

I served these for dinner tonight with this recipe for hot and sour soup from the Ranting Chef’s blog!

Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

Lemon Hummus

I never intended to like hummus. I have a long-standing distain for Garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas – never trust a bean with an alias.) And I’ll admit, I cringe when I see a salad with these guys perched on top. Blech.

But hummus, when made the way I like it, really lemony with a little garlic and salt, well, that’s another story altogether. I have my Lebanese sister-in-law to thank for showing me that garbanzos can be quite yummy when done up right. So without further ado, here’s my take on a simple, yummy hummus.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz.) can Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 (heaping) tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Drain 1 can of garbanzo beans and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can. Set liquid aside and place beans in a food processor. Add tahini, garlic (I use a garlic press,) salt and lemon juice and process until smooth. Scrape down sides, replace lid and process again, adding the reserved juice from the can through the “emulsifier drizzle hole-thingy” in the food processor lid (is there a technical term for that? LOL) until the hummus is smooth but not runny (you may not need all the liquid.)

Serve immediately with a little olive oil on top, or keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes:

I don’t use olive oil in the actual mixture itself, but you certainly can if you prefer. Just drizzle a tablespoon or two in with your reserved juice from the can.

While I normally try to use fresh squeezed lemon juice in recipes, I actually prefer the taste of bottled for this recipe – I think it has something to do with the acidity of the bottled lemon juice. Try it both ways and see what your taste buds prefer. There are bottled juices available with no preservatives added, if you decide to go that route.

I always wipe down my tahini jar rim and lid before putting it back in the fridge. Otherwise it gets all crusty and gross. Just a friendly tip from Miss Fussy Pants. 🙂