basil pesto hummus

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, full of protein, easy to eat, comes in tons of flavors, I could go on and on. I have been searching for the perfect recipe to make it myself ever since getting my beloved food processor. I found this recipe from What’s Gabby Cooking and peeling the chickpeas made all the difference! This recipe is cheap, healthy, and can be used in so many ways. So what are you waiting for…let’s make some hummus!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: makes 1 ½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

For the hummus:
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and peeled
½ cup tahini
Freshly squeezed juice from ½ of a lemon
3 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
2-3 basil bombs or ½ cup fresh packed basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons water

For the pita chips:
Pitas cut into triangles
Olive oil
Salt
Paprika

Make it your own: If you leave out the basil bombs, this is just a hummus base. You can make a large base and then divide and create different flavors anywhere from spicy sriracha to sweet roasted red pepper. The possibilities are endless! A trio of flavors is perfect for parties!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Before making your hummus, get your pita chips in the oven. Brush pita wedges with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and paprika. Repeat on both sides. Bake for 12 minutes. While these are baking you can make the hummus.
  2. Peel the garbanzo beans by gently squeezing or rubbing them between your fingers until they pop out of the skin. Discard the skin. While you are doing this set out the basil bombs to soften.
  3. Set up the food processor with the chopping blade and put the peeled garbanzo beans in the food processor.
  4. Pulse the food processor 4-5 times to chop the chickpeas finely.
  5. Process on low for about 1 minute until chickpeas become powdery.
  6. Scrape the sides and blend again for 1 minute on low.
  7. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, basil bombs, and salt. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t take it out. During this step you can choose to add half of each ingredient, then tasting to see how much more you want to add. You may end up adding more or less then what I recommended (especially of the basil and garlic)! 
  8. Process on low until ingredients are incorporated. While machine is running, add oil. Then add water 1 tablespoon at a time until hummus is smooth and is your desired consistency.
  9. Enjoy with your fresh pita chips and fresh veggies.

Tip: Save in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. Use on wraps, sandwiches, in salads, spread on chicken and bake or simply use it as a dip with pretzels, chips, fresh veggies and more!

Let me know what your favorite flavor of hummus is in the comments!

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french onion soup

French onion soup is one of my go-tos at a restaurant. It’s a comfort food for me and I love seeing how everyone puts their own spin on the classic. I have been wanting to make it for a while now and finally did. It was a fun activity for Dyl & I and turned out AMAZING. It takes some time (I like to call it a labor of love), but the soup was well worth the wait and definitely hit the spot. The time that went into it also gave me an appreciation for anything with caramelized onions on it! This recipe was a winner, but there is a lot of room to put your own spin on itimg_2846

Servings: 4-6
Cooking Time: 1 ½ hours

Make it your own: try a few types of onions, a different cheese, or a mix of chicken and beef broth!

Helpful Hint: Make sure your knife is sharpened and put onions in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting…this will help avoid crying better than my goggles did!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
4 vidalia onions, sliced thin (about ⅛” thick)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 cups beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 Fresh thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 baguette
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (this is usually expensive, but I found it preshredded at Wegman’s for around 3 bucks in the cheese section!)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add sliced onions to the pot with melted butter. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and golden, about 20 minutes.img_2900img_2930
  3. Add the sugar to the onions to help with caramelization. Cover pot and stir occasionally until onions become brown in color using a splash of beef broth when you stir to help with deglazing which removes brown bits from sides of pot. Be patient, caramelization takes time, but is worth the wait because the caramelized onions are the star of this dish. This took me 30-40 minutes.img_2940
  4. Once onions are a light brown, add the minced garlic. And allow to cook with onions for 2 minutes.
  5. Add flour and stir. Then add remainder of broth, thyme sprigs, black pepper, salt, and worcestershire sauce.img_2916
  6. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. While soup is simmering, slice bagette into slices with desired thickness. Lay on baking sheet and sprinkle with gruyere cheese. Broil for 2-3 or until cheese is melted. Keep an eye on these! They broil fast and can get burnt easily.img_2937
  8. Ladle soup into bowl and place gruyere toast in bowl.img_2951
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tip: Serve smaller portions and save the rest for later in the week or make a double batch and freeze for a chilly day!img_2968

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breakfast sandwiches

   Breakfast is something Dyl & I love. During the week I’m usually eating cereal out of a baggie on my way to work. On weekends I cherish being able to cook and enjoy a nice hot breakfast. I also love ordering breakfast sandwiches at restaurants or even from fast food places, but nothing beats making your own breakfast sandwich with all the fixins just the way you like it, enjoying it in the coziness of your own home. I make these almost every weekend for Dyl and I usually make a smaller version for myself with only 1 egg. They definitely hit the spot and are easy to make. My secret for any recipe I make with bacon is to reuse the bacon grease however I can and for these I fry the eggs in it. You could also make some potatoes in the bacon grease. Yum!img_3385

Serves: 1
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 bagel
1 slice of cheese
2 slices of bacon
2 eggs
Toppings of your choice (Dyl loves using maple syrup, sriracha, and sometimes wasabi, while I love tomatoes and onions)img_3380

Make it your own: Use an english muffin or a croissant instead of a bagel, use sausage instead of bacon, add veggies, opt for a scrambled egg patty instead of a runny yolk!

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon in a non-stick skillet.img_3382
  2. While bacon is cooking, toast bagel.
  3. When bagel is toasted place a slice of cheese on one side.
  4. When bacon is finished place on bagel.
  5. Turn stove to medium low and cook eggs in bacon grease to liking (I made mine over easy).
  6. Put eggs on bagel.
  7. Top with any sauces or veggies you like.
  8. Serve with any of your breakfast essentials like coffee, OJ, hashbrowns, or fruit!
  9. Enjoy the most important meal of the day!

Tip: If you use a scrambled egg patty you can form sandwiches ahead of time, freeze them in plastic wrap, and then microwave them for a hearty, quick breakfast.img_2788

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basil bombs

As summer comes to an end I am trying to find as many recipes as I can to use up my basil. For me, basil reminds me of summer and I want to hold on to that all year long! These basil bombs will keep your fresh basil all year long and all you have to do is throw them in a sauce, soup, or use them as pesto starter when your basil plant is no longer flourishing during the cold months. This is a great way to preserve any fresh herb, so use these same directions for any herbs in your garden.img_3837

Serves: Makes 12-16 cubes
Prep Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
⅓ cup water or oil

Make it your own: Try combining different herbs you use often. I made some basil bombs with a mixture of green and purple basil for a sweeter, more licorice flavor.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process on low for 1-2 minutes or until leaves are finely chopped and a pasty consistency.
  3. Spoon mixture into an ice cube mold.
  4. Freeze overnight.
  5. Remove cubes from tray and store in a container or baggie.
  6. Each cube is about 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. Add to soups, sauces, or use as pesto starters.img_3752

Tip: Try this method with any fresh herbs you are growing!

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blueberry waffles

Blueberry season is in full swing and we have been eating blueberries non stop since picking 9 lbs at a local farm and we’ve incorporated them into lots of recipes. Breakfast is our favorite meal and when you get the time to make a warm, hearty breakfast, it can make your whole day or even your week. Mixing blueberries into your favorite waffle mix is such an easy way to use them and adds some extra flavor and freshness to a plain waffle breakfast.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutesIMG_3078

Ingredients:

Waffle Mix and ingredients needed (oil, eggs, etc.)
3/4 cup blueberries
Whipped cream and maple syrup for serving

Make it your own: Add fresh strawberries to the mix or even some nuts for crunch!

Directions:

  1. Make waffle batter according to box directions or your own recipe for 4-6 servings.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries to batter and stir to incorporate.
  3. Prepare waffles on a waffle iron.
  4. Top with whipped cream.
  5. Top all waffles with remaining 1/4 cup blueberries.
  6. Serve with maple syrup and any sides you want. I made bacon with mine.
  7. Enjoy and get your day started off right!IMG_3095

Tip: Making your own whipped cream is easy, fun, and only takes a few minutes. Make it fresh with your breakfast with my recipe here!

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berry smoothie bowl

Ever since going berry picking I have been using berries in every way I can. The latest creation is this smoothie bowl. The combinations you can create are endless and it is such a great way to pack all sorts of nutrients into breakfast or an afternoon snack. This smoothie bowl gives you all the comfort of cereal, refreshment of a smoothie, and tons of nutrients all packed into one, plus its really fun to try to turn your smoothie bowl into a work of art. Let me know what combinations you come up with!

IMG_3061Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:IMG_3051

3 cups fresh or frozen fruit (we used a mix of berries we picked at the farm last week)
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 Kiwi, sliced
1 Banana, sliced
Dried coconut
Favorite seeds or granola

Make it your own: Add yogurt to make it creamy and add protein! Get creative, try all sorts of topping combinations.

Directions:

1. Process fruit and agave nectar or honey in blender or food processor until smooth.
2. Stir in chia seeds
3. Pour blended fruit and chia seeds into bowl.
4. Top bowl with sliced fruit, seeds, coconut, and whatever other ideas you have!

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Tip: Experiment with all different combinations of fruit and toppings! Use fruit that is about to go bad, or that last bit of granola you want to get rid of – just throw it all in the bowl!IMG_3039

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coconut berry smoothies

Last week Dyl and I went to a farm where you pick your own produce. We ended up coming home with 9 pounds of berries so I have been trying out new recipes with all the fruits of our labor. Once I realized we weren’t going to get through all our berries before they went bad I started washing and freezing them, that way we can enjoy their deliciousness all year. This morning we whipped up some smoothies using our berries and only 2 other ingredients! The best thing is it’s dairy free and vegan, but still tastes just as rich as ice cream!!!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen berries (we used a mix of berries we picked at the farm last week)
3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 can coconut milk

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Make it your own: You can freeze the smoothie mixture for 3-4 hours in a container to create a harder texture more similar to ice cream!

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.
2. Blend until smooth and is desired consistency.
3. Pour into glasses and enjoy!!!!!

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Tip: Experiment with all different combinations of fruit. Never throw our fruit that is about to go bad! Freeze different fruits in containers and throw them into your next smoothie.

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homemade peanut butter

For my birthday this year I got a food processor from Dyl and I can’t stop experimenting! We’ve been trying new things left and right. We continue to be amazed by what it can do. My favorite so far: peanut butter. Even if I never make anything else in my food processor, this makes it worth it. It takes a matter of minutes and makes you feel like a magician!IMG_2806

 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

2 cups peanuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar

 

Make it your own: Create a flavored peanut butter to go with whatever you’re eating! Add some cinnamon, honey or even chocolate! Use your imagination!

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Directions:

  1. Set up the food processor with the chopping blade and put the peanuts in the food processor.
  2. Pulse the food processor 5-10 times to chop the peanuts finely.
  3. Process on low for about 5 minutes until peanuts become creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape sides as necessary.
  4. Add sugar and salt a little bit at a time, pulsing to incorporate. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t take it out. During this step taste every time you add a little until it is how you like it. You may end up adding more or less then what I recommended!
  5.   Enjoy on sandwiches, dessert, fruit, or by the spoonful!

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Tip: Make a few batches at once and save it in mason jars for the rest of the week. Also, you can use this process with almost any kind of nut – try making almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower butter!FullSizeRender

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caprese salad

Caprese salad is so easy to put together and is so refreshing in the summer. When you have an abundance of juicy ripe tomatoes in the summer this is a great way to use them and serve as an appetizer, as a side, or just for snack. I’ve been loving the heirloom tomatoes this summer, they taste amazing and fresh from the garden which is how I remember eating tomatoes as a kid. They’re a bit pricey, but give them a try, you’ll be happy you did.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: More tomatoes more servings! I use one tomato and ¼ log of mozzarella to serve 2

Ingredients:

Tomato
Fresh Mozzarella
Balsamic Glaze (you can make your own balsamic reduction or just buy the glaze at the store)IMG_1494
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Prosciutto (optional)

Make it your own: Add a slice of prosciutto for some extra meat and salt! Or put your caprese right on top of some grilled chicken for a fresh summertime meal!

Directions:

  1. Slice tomato in thick slices and place on plate.
  2. Add a piece of prosciutto on top of the tomato, if desired.
  3. Slice mozzarella in thick slices similar in size to the tomato slices.
  4. Lay mozzarella slices on top of the tomato slices
  5. Place a basil leaf on top of each slice of cheese.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
  7. Bon appétit!IMG_1504

 

Tip: Grow your own basil! I’ll be the first to admit, I can’t even keep a cactus alive…but I bought a pot of basil at Whole Foods and it has been doing great. I keep the little guy on my porch and make sure it is in the sun when I’m home. It’s a great to have on hand for caprese salads, pizza, sauce, and even lemonade.

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mexican street corn

Plan on having a Taco Tuesday?! This Mexican Street Corn, sometimes called by its Spanish name, elotes, is the perfect side to compliment your fiesta! It’s a perfect summer dish and a great way to spice up some corn on the cob while it is in season.

Serves: 2IMG_1966
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 ears of corn
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 lime, halved
3 tablespoons cotija cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Make it your own: Add some red pepper for some extra heat, or use taco seasoning to add a deep blend of spices.

Directions:IMG_1967

  1. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, chili powder, and juice from ½ lime in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Grill corn for about 7-8 minutes, or until it has nice char marks.
  3. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over corn.
  4. Combine parmesan cheese, cotija cheese, and cilantro in small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro mixture over corn.
  6. Use remaining ½ lime to serve lime wedges with the corn.
  7. Enjoy and be sure to have lots of napkins ready!

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Tip: If you don’t have a grill or live in an apartment, like me, simply use a cast iron skillet to achieve the grill marks while cooking indoors!

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