Hummus – It’s Just That Good!!

hummus2Oh where have you been all my life… Hummus. All the things my mother never knew. Asparagus…. hummus… black bean chili.. No not all together- just all the new things I am trying and loving.

So on with it.. I have discovered hummus. For a while now, fire child has been eating it from the jar out of the supermarket.. Wild Garden brand or something like that. It looks good, I tried it, but it seemed to have to much lemon in it, or something. As my tonsils would cringe the first few bites- so a little too bold for me. But there was potential. So.. I went scouring through a bunch of recipes and experimented making hummus.  Doesn’t that photo look so yummy!?

Lots of celery- oh soo good. Nice crunch, and with hummus as a dip- super filling and so healthy. Kashi crackershummus1 are also to die for with this dip! I basically have been making a batch of beans a week, then turn them into hummus- and it is my impulse food in the fridge. Works magic when you need something and want it now!

I have this neat little food processor- it is only a 3 cups- so it works perfectly for me. First thing I do is soak a bag of chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans) over night. The next day, rinse them super well and put them in a pot. I bring the pot to boiling, then let the beans simmer for a couple of hours. I basically go by taste to know when they are done. They should be tender.



My Hummus Recipe:

3 cups cooked chick peas

3 tbs of tahini


2 garlic cloves

2 tsp of paprika

1-2 tsp cumin (try one, then taste, add more if needed)

1 tsp salt (add more to taste if needed)

1/3 cup water

1 tbs of olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced (you can start with 1/2 of a lemon juiced and work your way up)

TahiniI take 3 cups of chickpeas, maybe just a tad less and put it into my food processor. Along with that I add parsley, I am a garlic lover, so I add on most days 2 cloves of garlic. Some days 4 :) Maybe one day I will be bold and go 6… yeah, I better stay away from people on those days!!

I add in about 3 tablespoons of Tahini. Tahini is a sesame seed paste- and it is oh so yummy. It is high in fat, but at least these are good fats. Each time I make this, I start off with the basic recipe above, and then fine tune it, with the salt, the cumin, garlic. Also, when you begin to blend- go in baby steps. Let it pulse a few times until you get it up to a roaring spin. Add water as you go, but not too much! You can always add water but you cannot take away! Though, you could add extra chick peas if need be.

The water is there to help give it a smoother consistency – or else it may be too thick and break your crackers. Just add as much as you like until it is how you prefer.I also like that with the water, I add less oil. My first batch, I added lots of oil- just to make it creamier.. and while it was good, it definitely was overboard! Maybe you can add more lemon juice- but for me, more than a half of a lemon is too much. So the water turned out to be a perfect addition.

hummus6Another thing you can try (I have not yet) is maybe some vegetable broth. It would give it a veggie taste, a little more depth of flavor. I will have to try this as I am now really liking this idea of making different flavors of hummus!

You really just add things a little bit at a time, and try as you go… Keep a paper and pencil of what you change, until you get your recipe down to the way you like it. And you do not have to have a 3-cup processor. Just measure out 3 cups! The leftover beans from the bag I either make soup with, or I put in the freezer for later. Or I just leave in the fridge for a few days and add to salads and such- or keep it at hand for an emergency when I run out of hummus.

This stuff so rocks with celery. It also makes a great spread. If you cannot give up your bagels, try hummus instead of cream cheese.

Now mind you, I am no expert on any of this.. I am just a crazy crochet lady who loves to learn and implement healthy foods in life… So take what I say with a grain of salt, and toss it out the window if need be! My taste buds can be pretty wild and cover wide ranges! And, I am a veggie nut… If you make this… let me know how it turns out!!!



And so, the “diet” begins. Different Approach.

Well, since I quit smoking, I put on some weight. Time to lose it. I figured it out- I just need to put my mind to it and figure out my strategy instead of just winging it. Just like with quitting smoking.. I made an agenda, I had a plan, and I did it. If I can quit smoking, I can do anything.

So, here it goes, we are going to transform a body… My bod, that is.

What is my plan?

1. No fast food – No more. That goes for the kids as well as myself. We really did not eat it often, but, even those few times are bad enough. Each time I eat out, I feel tired…  sometimes even sluggish.

2. Plant some veggies – I think that is going to give me a little pride, to have some fresh produce, and know I grew it myself. I did buy some seeds (toooooo many seeds). But with all things small steps seem to work for me. So I am going to pick 5, and begin growing. Others I will save for next season.

3. Walk every day – Well at least try to. Last night, I took a walk around the neighborhood with fire child. Note to self: Do not walk right after dinner. I do know this walking each day will not last when the temp rises- as I very much dislike warm humid weather. But, I did get a family pass to the YMCA. So that is when we will be putting that to use. But if I make it goal to do some sort of walking each day, not only is it good for my physically.. I felt better mentally last night after we took our walk. And ire child- she did not walk, she ran, then stopped and waited for mom.. ran, stop, wait for mom. ran, ran back, ran forward, stop and wait for mom.

4. Pilates – I realized, over this past year or two, I have lost muscle mass. I think that was a key factor in gaining weight and just feeling out of shape. Makes sense. So, got some Pilates DVDs. I will keep you posted how it goes with them.

So, I have tried to diet in the past and it just never really worked. I would gain back – not because of the diet but because of going off the diet. I have really been thinking about this – I do not think there is one solution to lose weight. It is a combination of sensible eating and exercising. So I am going to try an experiment. I am simply going to eat more whole foods, avoid processed food (almost anything out of a box is processed).

Use only Olive oil – no butter if at all possible. ALWAYS keep a stash of ready to grab celery carrots etc in the fridge. One of my problems is I work so hard and so long, that when I am hungry, I want to eat “now.” That will help with impulses. Luckily, the kids both love fruits and veggies- as I really have always had an abundance of them.. but now, they will be in “ready to go form.”

I am not going to deprive myself. If I am hungry, and I am going to eat. I will keep you all posted on how this goes… post recipes I find.

Anyone have any good lentil recipes??

Tomorrow I will be posting about Hummus – I am so addicted.. What a good thing.

Hello, again

It has been quite a while and I sort of fell out of the blogging loop. Well, time to get back and on top of things again. Some may know (if there is anyone still out there) that I moved last year. It was quite an undertaking. I am still in unpack mode, but at the end of it, and transitioning into the – Oh I need organization mode!

craft / work room

craft / work room

All I can say, is what a difference. We went from a small, (very small) place to a nice 3 bedroom (with 4th room in basement), 2 1/2 baths! It is wonderful. Water child and fire child both have their own room. Which, at the old place, there were only 2 bedrooms, and fire child and myself slept in the living room since the stairs were so treacherous for her anyway. It was so suffocating, with my mounds of yarn, fire child’s avalanche of toys, water child’s cloths, and on top of it, a 90 pound German shepherd!

I worked so hard… worked to keep my credit as best it could be. I did not think I would qualify – being a single parent, being self employed (crochet is what I do full time), during the recession. I feel relief. We have a great place to live, wonderful neighbors… It is amazing how living conditions can affect you. Not that mine were bad – they were stressful, having a galley kitchen that only 1 person could stand in.. and having to sleep on the couch- there is far worse out there. But I have to say, having space, it made such a difference. Not necessarily in my mood or anything like that, but it was like a little weight was lifted – I can breathe. And not only that- being able to decorate and paint, truly make it our own is what is amazing.

My room is going to be a certain shade of green… I wanted something calm. I also adore whitewash furniture, so eventually  that will go perfect. (I even have my own bathroom in my room!!!) Something else I wanted- all the bedrooms to be on the same floor, so I would be close to the kids. So all 3 bedrooms are upstairs. Fire child’s room right now is a shocking, bold, pink. It will soon be a lilac with floral murals and of course, with some added momma magic dust since she is the princess :) Water child is going with a deep burgundy-wine color. He has picked out black and white decor- very modern, clean lines. He also now has a queen size bed that fits his feet . I asked him has he been able to get used to not having his feet dangle off the edge of the bed- and happily, he says it is great! (He is now 6’3).

craft / work room

craft / work room

So, this spring or summer I will have lots of painting to do… I think I will hire the teen residents that sometimes make their way here and – stay here. I went with a no VOC paint for all of the rooms. Fire child’s is a low-VOC since he was very particular about the color. I will have to get before and after shots once we begin this great undertaking.

I also have a dishwasher – my first! And you know what is funny- I never use it. I still do dished by hand. But hey, I guess if I ever need it, at least I have the option! I also have central air conditioning. I have never had this before. The last couple of summers were excruciating at the old place- the window air conditioner kept blowing fuses on really hot days (when we needed it most) – and let’s just say, I should have bought stock in fans!


craft / work room

The basement is a finished basement (yay)! It is so neat to walk down there, and say wow, this is mine! Sometimes I am still in disbelief. It is such a change. In the basement, there are actually 2 rooms. One is the utility room, with the washer, dryer, tools, etc. I can put all the laundry in there and close the door!  The 4th room in the basement, it my craft room!!  It is small, but I am happy… I have a place to get somewhat organized. I will admit, I am a VERY scatterbrained disorganized person- but I can close the door! And at least I know if I need my swift, or I need a hook, it is in there!!

Well, speaking of work, time for me to get back to it. I will post more photos of the house, and before and afters as I DIY them. And more on crochet stuff soon! :) :) Thanks for sticking around, if you are still here during my move.