Thursday night I was having some people over, and once again, I wanted to make a snack. Well, you should know now, a week into our relationship, that I am partial to dips. Especially to cheesy dips, with spinach and artichoke preferably. Yum!! But… it is the New Year, and people have had their share of cheesy indulgences over the past month or so. PLUS, one of my friends coming over can’t have dairy, and I always feel so bad when I make something she can’t eat.
So, I was looking around for some different recipes. I came across one on www.dinnerwithjulie.com. A word, first on the author of this blog, Julie VanRosendaal. Julie is a cookbook author, turned blogger, still writing cookbooks as well. When I was in university, I worked at the Starbucks in Safeway for 8 months or so. Well, from our kiosk (which was rarely busy) I could see the small turn around stand of cookbooks that Safeway sold. On the top shelf, they got in this one cookbook called Grazing. I would go over and peek at it occasionally, and pine for it. (A university student working part-time at Starbucks in Safeway cannot afford cookbooks whenever they want them!) I am a snacker at heart! Put a bowl of something salty in front of me, and I will eat, and eat, and probably eat some more. My mom calls me a grazer. So, obviously a book like Grazing is something that called out to me. For Christmas that year, my grandma gave me $20! PERFECT! So, I bought the cookbook, and thus began my relationship with it.
This book is falling apart, written in, and recently placed in a puddle on my counter, and water damaged. BUT, I love it. It has soooooo many good recipes in it, I can’t even begin to describe it. I have read it so many times it is practically memorized. You must check it out! I looked on Amazon and there is an updated version. I emailed Julie to ask her about it, I can keep you posted.
Julie has also written 2 other cookbooks that I have, One Smart Cookie and Starting Out. Starting Out is a wonderful cookbook that I give to all new brides, or people who are learning how to cook. Seriously, great. Ok, I could go on for a long time about my admiration of Julie, but I’ll stop now.
So, on www.dinnerwithjulie.com I came across a recipe for Lemon Parsley Hummus. I made it and it was amazing!
I also made homemade pita chips. There is a local chef in the Fraser Valley, Chef Dez, who gave the recipe for the pita chips at one of his cooking classes at Limbert Mountain Farms in Agassiz. Go, if you can. You get dinner, wine, dessert and a cooking demonstration. Seriously fun!
Lemon Parsley Hummus
recipe from Dinner with Julie
1 small bunch parsley, chopped (no stems!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
2-3 tsp sesame oil
Put parsley and olive oil in food processor. Pulse until parsley is finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients, and process until as smooth as you like it. Taste and adjust seasoning. I added quite a bit more salt after tasting it. You can serve it right away, but it tastes way better a day or two later! The garlic also gets a bit more pronounced over time, so be careful adding too much at once. And yes, use fresh garlic. I don’t think garlic powder will cut it here. Serve with pita chips (recipe below).
(recipe from Chef Dez)
Buy a package of pitas from the grocery store. Make sure that they are the pita pocket kind, not the thick Greek kind. Now, there are two ways to make them into chips, both work, and I don’t have a preference. The first way– take out a pita, and cut it into eighths. Separate each eighth into two chips by ripping at the seam. The second way– take your knife and cut around the outside of the pita, so you will separate it into two halves horizontally. Then, cut those rounds into eighths. Put the chips on a baking sheet, smooth side up. Brush the chips with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in a 450° oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch these carefully, they burn FAST (I learned that the hard way!). Serve and enjoy!
Off to make dinner!
The Hungry Teacher