Thursday, February 18, 2010

Baby Spring Fling

I am a co-leader of a local chapter of BirthNetwork. We believe that birth can profoundly effect a woman and that she should know her options. Did you know that most people spend more time researching a computer or a cell phone than they do their birth options? We are planning our first annual Baby Spring Fling, a baby fair open to the public. In Idaho Falls on, 10 April 2010 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., we are bringing together people with information, products, and services for pregnancy, babies and beyond. There will be door prizes too. It's going to be the baby event of the year. For more information or to be involved email birthnetwork (at) gmail (dot) com.


Last week my best friend and I had a fabulous Valentine's Day party with some of our favorite people. We had a nice spread of food with some of my favorite things to eat. I love serving guests build-able food that can easily cater to different tastes. Hummus is one of my favorite dips. It's full of flavor and nutritious. It wasn't part of the initial menu, but I decided to add it on a whim. Hummus goes well with Taziki. I keep my Taziki simple.

Foolproof Hummus
2 TB sesame seeds
2 TB creamy peanut butter
2 TB olive oil
2 TB liquid aminos (Bragg's)
2 TB lemon or lime juice
1 TB minced fresh garlic
1 TB paprika
4 cups of cooked garbanzo beans drained (1 quart or 2 14 oz cans)

Put sesame seeds in blender and blend until fine meal. Add everything else and blend until smooth. You will need to stop and push the beans from the top down into the blender a couple of times.

Note: It is a bit easier to blend everything in a food processor. The processor will not make a very good seed meal though and I don't like to dirty extra dishes. A coffee grinder will make a great seed meal. This is a large recipe and can easily be cut in half.

6 oz plain yogurt
1/2 head of FRESH garlic minced
1/3 cucumber peeled, seeded and minced

Mix everything together then put in tea towel and allow to drain over a bowl for at least 2 hours in the fridge. I like to put mine in an old sour cream container with the lid on to secure the towel from dropping down to low.

Layered Greek Bean Dip
1/2 hummus recipe from above
1 batch of Taziki
3-4 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 small diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives

Layer ingredients hummus first in an 8x8 in pan. Best served at room temperature, though delicious cold too. Serve with crackers or cucumber slices.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breakfast in a Cup

These are tasty and simple. I like to make extra and freeze them to be reheated later for a quick snack/breakfast. In the microwave they reheat in just 1 min.

Breakfast in a Cup
recipe adapted from Kids Cooking ISBN 1-4127-2469-4

3 cups cooked quinoa (or rice)
4 oz (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can diced green chilies
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten (2 also work, but I prefer 3)
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

Combine 1/2 the cheese with everything else in a bowl. Evenly divide mixture into 12 greased muffin cups. (Can use paper muffin cups, but make sure to spray with cooking spray when using chilies.) Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 400 for 15 min. or until set.

Variation: Leave out chilies, cumin, salt and pepper and add 1 cup crumbled, cooked breakfast sausage.

Note: Quinoa has the highest protein values of any grain. It has a bit of a nutty taste and is delicious. You can use it as a substitute for rice in many recipes. It cooks quickly. You cook it like rice; 1 part grain - 2 parts water. Soak your quinoa for 12 hours before cooking. (Start it in water before bed if you are cooking ti in the morning, start in the morning if you are going to cook at dinner.) It will sprout the grain and all of the nutrients will sky rock. The protein levels even go up.