Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Recently, I was able to make it over to Empire State South. It was a fantastic experience; truly one of the best meals I've had in a long time. While there, I tried some of their boiled peanut hummus. It was great! Like Mediterranean peanut butter. After thinking about the boiled peanut hummus, I realized that maybe Black-Eyed Peas would be another yummy, southern-take on hummus. I spread some on a toasted slice of bread with some watermelon radishes and carrots from our co-op for a delicious and healthy southern lunch!

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus


1 Cup of Hydrated Black-Eyed Peas
1 Cup of Hydrated Chickpeas
5 Cloves of Garlic
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Tablespoons of Tahini Paste
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Hot Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste


If you'd like to use dried peas, place them in a bowl, submerge until there is an inch of water on top of the peas, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and soak overnight. To begin cooking, place the strained peas in a pot with water covering them by an inch or two. Add the cloves of garlic, no need to peel. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes. Strain out the liquid, but reserve 3 tablespoons. Place the peas into your food processor, add the other ingredients, including the reserved cooking liquid, and puree to your desired texture. Salt and pepper to your liking and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Cocktail to Ring in the New Year

My husband and I went crafty for our holiday gifts this year, making soap and infusing brandy. The brandy was really great, and feeling inspired by a drink at Cakes and Ale, I decided to come up with a custom cocktail to celebrate the New Year.

Quince-Pear Holiday Brandy (makes one pint)


1/2 Anjou Pear, Sliced into 4 Pieces
1/2 Quince, Sliced into 2-3 Pieces
1 Stick of Cinnamon
1/4 Vanilla Bean
3 Allspice Berries


Place all of the ingredients into a pint sized canning jar, then cover with brandy, leaving approximately 1/2" of space at the top of the jar, place lid on jar and let cure for 6 weeks. It's actually delicious at 4, but 6 is ideal, if you can wait.

The Brandy Resolution


1/2 Ounce Blood Orange Bitters
1 Ounce Infused Brandy
1 Ounce Orange Juice
1 Egg White
Cinnamon to Garnish


Place all of the wet ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously to foam up the egg white and pour into a martini glass. Add cinnamon to your liking. Drink up!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Chocolatey Twist on my Grandmom's Poundcake

We have passed this simple pound cake recipe down three generations, if not more, and I thought about humbly trying to improve upon the classic. I loved it! The cream cheese addition makes the cake wonderfully moist. Even after a week, it was still delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake


1-1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour, Plus a Bit More for Flouring the Bundt Pan
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Stick of Butter, Room Temperature
2 Eggs
1 Package of Cream Cheese
1 Cup of Milk
1/2 Package of Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (Or chop your favorite dark chocolate bar into chips and add instead)
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Paste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together all the dry ingredients (sugar is always considered a wet ingredient.) In your electric mixer, put in the stick of butter and the sugar and cream together on medium speed. Add the eggs, then cream cheese, then milk. Blend until smooth. Slowly add in the sifted dry material, a little at a time, to the wet mix, until it's all incorporated. Add your chocolate chips and vanilla paste, blend until just incorporated. You do not want to over mix. Meanwhile, take your bundt pan and smear the entire inside surface with butter, then put in a bit of flour and shake around the pan until all inner surfaces are coated in flour. Pour your batter into the bundt pan, and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until the sides start to pull away from the pan and a knife comes out of the cake without any batter attached (you will see some melted chocolate on the knife, which is fine, but you don't want any wet batter on the knife.) Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, run a knife around the sides and the center of the pan, then place a cake plate on top of the pan, and flip the cake out. It should release easily if the pan was evenly floured. Serve hot! To store the cake leftovers, I recommend covering and placing into the refrigerator. A cold slice can sometimes make a delicious breakfast treat!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Local North Ga Smoked Trout Spread

On our last visit to the farmer's market, my husband picked up some North Georgia Smoked Trout, of which he cannot seem to get enough. Feeling inspired to do something a little different, I experimented and came up with this spread. I was so tickled with the results. It's creamy, tangy and delicious, but best of all, super easy!
It's great on onion flatbread, or crackers, or even little toast points. I had some the next day on toast with a fresh tomato sliced on top, it was so good!


1 Fillet of North Georgia Smoked Trout
1 Package of Cream Cheese

1 Tablespoon of Greek Yogurt

1 Tablespoon of Buttermilk

2 Chopped Green Onions

1/2 Teaspoon of Lemon Zest

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Remove the skin from your fillet and toss into the food processor with all the other ingredients except Salt and Pepper. Puree until a smooth, spread consistency, then add salt and pepper to your liking.