Saturday, January 26, 2013

Made Some Hummus and Grilled Cheese Tonight

I like the weekends at home, especially Saturdays. That's when I have more time to for cooking. I do cook during the week, but the weekends are good for experimenting and cooking more than usual.

"Hummus is a Middle Eastern Arabic food spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it is popular throughout the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, and in Middle Eastern cuisine round the globe."

I came across this recipe in the cooking section of Craftster, but I'm not sure if this recipe would be a true hummus recipe, but it sure is good! As mentioned above, true hummus has tahini and lemon juice in it. This recipe doesn't.

I used a hand held blender to mash the chickpeas, and actually, made a larger bowl than the recipe calls for. I used 5 cans of chickpeas, because I'm taking this to a get-together tomorrow.
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth 
  • 1 clove of garlic (I used powdered garlic because that's all I typically buy)
  • Dash of paprika 
  • 1 TBS of olive oil
  • I added in the smallest dash of Tabasco hot sauce.
Right now, this is in my frig, chilling and letting the flavors mix. I wish I had some shredded Parmesan cheese to go on top but I'm out of that. I might toss some feta cheese crumbles into the middle of it though. The little sample I tried tonight, immediately after making it, was REALLY good.

After the hummus was done, I used a recipe from Sam the Cooking Guy and made his Pesto Grilled Cheese sandwiches for supper. I never cooked with pesto before and told Shane if he didn't like the sandwich, I'd make him a different one. (I didn't tell him the pesto had spinach in it...he probably wouldn't have eaten it.)

At first bite, we decided we both really liked this sandwich. Shane told me later on, "I thought it was strange when you said you had a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich."

  • About 1/4 cup pre made pesto (I bought a jar at Kroger)
  • 4 slices sourdough bread (I don't like sourdour and used regular white bread)
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices Havarti cheese
  • Soft butter

    1. Warm non stick skillet over medium heat. 
    2. Spread pesto on two slices of the bread, top with tomato slices, fresh ground pepper, 2 slices of cheese on each and then top with the other slice of bread. 
    3. Butter both sides of sandwiches and cook in pan until golden brown on both sides.
    I'm definitely going to have to start keeping a jar of pesto around as a staple now!

    The Mini Quilts

    These two mini quilts are ones I received in swaps on Craftster. I've had these hanging in my crafting room for some time and decided I needed to post a picture of them. I'm on a cleaning frenzy today, nothing else to do because of the 2" of snow we got here in Virginia (the'd think the entire region was SHUT DOWN!!!!), so I might as well do something constructive.

    The Spider-Man one came from the 80's Cartoon Swap, Round 2, in 2011. A mini quilt wasn't required, but my partner, Homboltcherry, is a quilter. :) For her, I sent an Andy Warhol-esqe hoop of Tom the cat and a crocheted Tom to go along with.

    The R2-D2 one came from the Mini Art Quilt Swap in 2012. My partner, StickerChic87, and I both listed ourselves as beginner quilters. :) I wouldn't call a quilt of an astromech droid beginner anything! :)

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Pictures of Progress?

    I snapped a couple quick pictures with my phone today while out running a few work-related trips again. This is the empty lot in Ward's Corner here in Norfolk that's going to become a new Harris Teeter grocery store in 2014.

    The buildings that were here on this lot were the Ward's Corner Shopping Center (a strip mall that included a Radio Shack, a Dollar Tree, a Thai Restaurant, a Kindred Spirits store, John Lynch Books, a Tokyo Mart, men's barber shop, vacuum and sewing machine repair shop, shoe shop, and others), an AJ Gators restaurant (that used to be a Warehouse Music as well as a Blockbuster). a plasma donation place, and a building that had a dental office and another barber shop in it.

    BTW, see the green crane looking thing on the left of this picture? That's where I killed my '88 Plymouth Horizon, as mentioned in the previous post. That's about where the cement-filled metal pipe was sticking up out of the ground. There were actually two of them, and I guess they were meant to guard a back door out of the Warehouse Music (because that's what the building was when I hit the pole).

    "Harris Teeter, Inc. (Harris Teeter), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., was co-founded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter. Harris Teeter now operates over 200 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia and is traded under Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange."

    This is entirely the wrong spot for a Harris Teeter. HT is kind of an expensive grocery store. This area has strip malls and lots of apartment buildings. This is not an affluent, or even high-income, area. This is a low to medium income area. It's fairly pedestrian-friendly and the buses go through here regularly. There are still three other strip malls within a one block distance and four fast food restaurants just as close. I'm not insulting the neighborhood, I know this area: we used to live in an apartment not too far away from here and the book store I go to is across the street from this lot. I still shop over here. While Ward's Corner has really cleaned up and become all around better over the last 10-15 years, this is still not a HT-type neighborhood.

    Just down the street from this lot, there's a Farm Fresh and a Kroger grocery store. Go a couple miles down further, and there's a Super Wal-Mart. Turn and go away from these pictures, and there's a Food Lion. Further in another direction is the Navy Commissary. We just don't need another grocery store there, but the deal with the city is done and time marches on.

    Personally, I would have liked to see a Taylor's Do It Center here, or maybe a Petsmart or an AC Moore. Something retail that we didn't already have now would have been a better way to go. With a glut of grocery stores, I don't think Ward's Corner can support this one.