Hummus

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I don’t understand why hummus is not that popular in Germany. It is hard to find in stores – there is certainly no comparison to the shelves and shelves of hummus variations in US supermarkets. The hummus I did find here in supermarkets was, what shall I say, not what I had expected. So, there is only one way to a good bowl of humus: I have to making it myself. Cooking the chickpeas is not such a big deal, it is mainly about remembering to soak them over night. And whenever I make my new favorite summer dish, I cook plenty of chickpeas and turn the extra amount into hummus.

There are many ways of making hummus. I tried out several recipes, but the essential parts are chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), salt and garlic. Many recipes add olive oil into the mix, but, depending on the oil it might give it a slightly bitter taste. Finally I found this recipe, which makes a very yummy, fresh and smooth hummus:

  • 2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (how I cook the chickpeas see here)
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped or squeezed
  • salt to taste
  • ca 1/4 cup water or reserved chickpeas cooking water
  1. The original recipe calls for peeled chickpeas. I just don’t do that. Maybe my hummus is not as smooth but certainly smooth enough for me. I just chop my un-peeled chickpeas in the food processor until they are turned into a fine powder.
  2. Add lemon juice, tahini, salt, garlic and water and blend into a smooth paste.
  3. Adjust the taste by adding salt, lemon juice or garlic, but remember that the garlic will intensify with time.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

This is great with toasted pita wedges, as a dip for veggies (I mix the hummus with some yogurt), in wraps, on sandwiches, with pasta, etc….. or just by the spoonful!

Enjoy!

This is my contribution to Veggie-Thursday, and siebenhundertsachen‘s collection.

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Und nun noch fix auf deutsch:

  • 2 Tassen (ca. ml) gekochte Kichererbsen.
  • 1/2 Tasse  Tahini (Sesammus)
  • Saft einer Zitrone
  • 2 kleine Knoblauchzehen, fein gehackt
  • Salz
  • ca 1/4 Tasse Wasser oder Kochwasser von den Kichererbsen.
  1. Das Originalrezept verlangt geschälte Kichererbsen. Aber ich spare mir die Mühe. Vielleicht wäre das Hummus dann feiner, aber so ist es auch gut genug für mich. Ich gebe also meine ungeschaelten Kichererbsen in die Küchenmachine und verarbeite sie zu feinem Pulver. (Kichererbsen kann man in Dosen kaufen oder auch ganz leicht selber kochen. Einfach Kichererbsen über Nacht in reichlich Wasser einweichen, am nächsten Tag abspülen und in reichlich frischen Wasser ca. 45 min kochen, bis sie weich sind.)
  2. Füge Zitronensaft, Salz, Tahini, Knoblauch und Wasser hinzu und verarbeite alles zu einer glatten Paste.
  3. Schmecke das Hummus mit Zitronensaft, Salz, und Knoblauch ab, aber denke daran, dass der Geschmack des Knoblauchs mit der Zeit noch intensiver wird, warte also erst mal ehe Du mehr Knoblauch hinzufügst.
  4. Gieße zum servieren einen Schuss Olivenöl darüber.

Hummus ist wunderbar zu geröstetem Pitabrot, als Gemüsedip (ich mische es dann mit etwas Jogurt), in Wraps, als Brotaufstrich, in Spaghettisosse, usw. Oder auch einfach pur. Löffelweise!

 

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Summer skirt

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Hurray! This skirt was hiding as an UFO since May and I was afraid it would not be finished in time to see the summer sun. But, thanks to my lovely sewing class, I managed to finally finish this skirt and could wear it today. I even managed to insert my first invisible zipper.

Although I usually prefer more gentle and toned down colors, I really enjoy wearing this skirt and it makes me smile each time I look at it. It is a very happy summer skirt.

The pattern is a download pattern from Burda. I omitted the pockets, because the fabric is quite thick and I was afraid that pockets would make it too bulky. I chose a rather large size so that the skirt is sitting loosely on the hip. As a result, it bulges a bit on the hips – the pattern is a bit more curvy than I am. I also did not cut the waistband on the bias, a mistake I only realized after finishing the skirt, but I don’t think it matters much since the skirt is rather loosely fitting in the waist. Other than that I have to seriously improve my fitting skills, the skirt was relatively simple to sew and to insert the zipper was much easier than I thought. I made some effort to center the pattern on the front and match the pattern at the back seam – I would say almost successfully…. The hem I just turned and top-stitched. I could have done a better job, though. I am just not able to sew straight, and the stitching is a bit of a zig-zag at times. What is the secret to straight stitching?

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B without pockets.

Fabric:  FREDRIKA from IKEA 100% cotton

This is my contribution to RUMS!

Potato stamps

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Oh, this is so much fun! My boy wanted to do some printing and tried to make a stamp from wood and foam, but it didn’t really work out. Then I remembered the potato stamps from my childhood and we carved a few potatoes. Even Papa joined in and we happily stamped away with our potatoes and watercolors…. The stamped paper we used as gift wrapping paper.

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The advantage of using potatoes is that the material is relatively cheap and we can just compost the not so nice ones. However, the disadvantage of potato stamps is that we have to toss all your stamps at the end of the day, also the ones we would like to keep. So, I guess, next time we will try to make real stamps!

This is my contribution to Creadienstag!

Calina’s favorite summer drink

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Right now, the summer is absolutely perfect. 25 degrees, a few fluffy clouds, a fresh breeze, hot in the sun, cool in the shade. And the best part, at night it cools down to a refreshing 16 degrees, which almost guarantees good sleep. Ahhh  – it could stay like this all year round!

On this marvelous summer day I am sitting on the balcony, mending pants –  my boys jump through their pants in no time, including the very big boy! – and enjoy my favorite summer drink:

  • 1/2 glass of cold dry white wine (Riesling)
  • 1 -2 tablespoons mint sirup
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • cold water

Mix all, fill in large wine glass and enjoy!

Cauliflower and chickpeas

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I think this is one of my favorite dishes this summer! Although I don’t particularly like cauliflower, the combination of its slightly roasted flavor, the fruity sweet and spicy flavor of the curry and tomato paste, the soft saltiness of feta cheese and the freshness of lemon, make this dish such a delight on hot summer days. The recipe is from here and I first saw it here as part of the veggie-day initiative.

  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups boiled and drained chickpeas (*)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon curry past (**)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (**)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150g feta cheese (goat and/or sheep)
  • hand full of parsley and/or cilantro
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and cumin seeds so that the cauliflower is well coated and spread it on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, but still a bit crunchy, and golden brown. Add the chickpeas and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Stir in the curry paste and tomato sauce and add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Combine the cauliflower with the onion mix in a bowl. Add lemon juice, feta and chopped greens and mix well.

(*) This is probably equivalent to a can of chickpeas. However, it is so easy to cook them yourself and they taste so much better. Soak dried chickpeas over night in water (I usually soak them for close to 24 hours, changing the water halfway through). Then rinse and boil in plenty of fresh water for ca. 45 mins or until tender (in a pressure cooker it takes only 15-20 min). I usually cook more chickpeas than I need for this recipe. The leftover chickpeas I turn into hummus, recipe will follow.

(**) The original recipe calls for Harissa paste, which I could not get. Therefore I am using a mild Indian red curry paste and add some tomato sauce.

mmmmhhhhhh!

Short Juist

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I finally managed to finish a sewing project again (apart from doing lots of mending). My older boy is in desparate need of shorts and I finally managed to finish a pair for him (it took me quite a bit of persuasion to have him pose for me – the shorts are better fitting in real life…). I used again the pattern Juist, but this time I made this pants in short form (the first and long version is here). The fabric is a lovely thick cotton from hilco. I realized only while sewing that the fabric has a stretch horizontally, and I would have preferred it without stretch, but the fabric feels great.

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This time I made the elastic in the waist adjustable. In the original pattern the waistband is one long piece that gets longitudinally folded and attached, and the elastic is inserted before the waistband is fully closed. Here I cut the waistband along the longitudinal fold, which yields an inside and outside piece. The inside piece I divided further into three pieces, cutting it where the elastic should enter the waistband. Then I added seam allowance to all edges and sewed the waistband back together, leaving openings for the elastic. Because my son always complaints that the folded over elastic and buttons hurt him, I covered the parts where the elastic enters the waistband with an extra piece of fabric, which can be opened and closed via snap fasteners. I don’t think that this is the best solution, though. Has anyone experience with adjustable elastic and how to hide it?

Fabric: Cotton with horizontal stretch from hilco.

Pattern: Juist Cargohose from Schnittreif bought at farbenmix, size 110-116. I made the following alterations: I made it as shorts, only using the upper leg parts. The waistband is composed of four pieces to allow for the elastic to be adjustable (see description above).

This blogpost is my contribution to Made4BOYS!

Mint-Sirup

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I have a nice big mint plant (I think it is a lemon-mint version) and I found here a wonderful way to utilize its many leaves before it starts to bloom. The sirup is wonderfully refreshing in cold water with a splash of lime. Apparently you can also do delicious cocktails with it but I didn’t venture down that lane yet.

Here is the recipe:
combine 4 cups of sugar (I used raw cane sugar) and 4 cups of water and heat while steering until the sugar is dissolved. Add juice of two lemons and 1 cup of mint leaves and simmer for 20 min. Strain through a fine mesh and fill the sirup into bottles.

Enjoy!