Tag Archives: hummus

Party Snacks: Hummus and Meatballs and More!

20 Feb hummus

I had a couple of friends over to watch the Golden Globes last month. Nothing fancy, but I did have a few snacks. I made Giada‘s baked meatballs, fresh guacamole, hummus and bought chips, pita bread and vegetables for dipping. All finger food and all easily made. So for your next viewing party check out these yummy recipes to impress your friends.

Last fall my mom shared her hummus-babaganoush recipe with us, but for the party I made regular hummus. It’s much simpler and quicker than making the babaganoush recipe. The great thing about hummus is it can be used as a vegetable, bread or cracker dip or a sandwich spread. The hummus went great with the meatballs too!

Hummus Ingredients L-R: Tahini, Ground Cumin, Lemon, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Pepper and Salt, Olive Oil

Hummus Ingredients L-R: Tahini, Ground Cumin, Lemon, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Pepper and Salt, Olive Oil

HUMMUS (small batch)

  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans
  • 2 to 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Paprika for Taste (optional)

Peel your garlic cloves and add into your food processor or blender along with juice of your lemon, the salt, pepper, ground cumin, tahini and half of your olive oil. Blend well.

Squeezing fresh lemon juice with a hand juicer.

Squeezing fresh lemon juice with a hand juicer.

hummus, Tahini, garlic, oil and spices

Tahini, garlic, oil and spices ready for mixing.

Open your garbanzo beans and rinse, then add into your mixture and pulse until well mixed and at your desired consistency. If it seems a little dry add in more olive a tablespoon at a time. Taste after mixing and add in more of any of your spices or tahini as your taste buds desire.

Rinsed garbanzo beans

Rinsed garbanzo beans


I like chunky hummus, just the way my mom makes it.

Once it’s at your desired taste and consistency transfer to either a bowl to serve immediately, or to Tupperware to store in the fridge. Be sure to pour more good quality olive oil on the top. Enjoy with bread, chips, vegetables, whatever your heart desires.


Hummus ready for eating or storing!

The meatballs were easy and I’ve actually made them before with spaghetti. Giada has you use 3 different meats, but to save some money I just used ground beef. I also used bread crumbs instead of corn flakes. Once they were done baking I tossed them with a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. We ate them alone and stuffed them in the pita bread with some hummus.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Fresh from the oven and still sizzling!

Fresh from the oven and still sizzling!

Ready to eat! Yum!

Ready to eat! Yum!

Thanksgiving 2013: Whipped Ricotta and Appetizers

31 Dec Whipped Ricotta and Toasted Baguette

Any good party has appetizers, and at the Anderson-Bauer Thanksgiving we are no exception. Our appetizers vary a little every year and it’s always a communal effort. This year saw hummus by my mom, a toasted baguette, cream cheese, home smoked salmon by my dad and whipped ricotta dip by yours truly. One of the blogs I subscribe to is Joy The Baker and one day I opened her email to a beautiful picture of whipped ricotta. I was instantly in love. Although I wasn’t sure when I would make it. The moment presented itself when Thanksgiving began to loom and I decided I would make it for our appetizer spread. I sent it to my parents for their approval and to make sure the ingredients were bought, including a baguette for dipping.

In addition to the whipped ricotta, my mom brought her infamous baba ghanoush/hummus dip and my dad smoked his own salmon, which went great with the whipped ricotta dip. For our small gathering of eight people this year, this was the perfect appetizer spread for Thanksgiving this year. Hope you enjoy too!

Whipped Ricotta Ingredients L-R: Half & Half, Cream Cheese, Ricotta, Lemon, Pepper and Salt

Whipped Ricotta Ingredients L-R: Half & Half, Cream Cheese, Ricotta, Lemon, Pepper and Salt

WHIPPED RICOTTA DIP (makes about 2 cups)

  • 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Milk (I used Half & Half)
  • 1 Lemon
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Olive Oil for drizzling
  • Baguette

Pull out your stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a mixing bowl and your electric hand mixer. You don’t want to do this by hand. Beat just the cream cheese so it’s smooth, then stop the mixer and add in the ricotta and the milk. Beat for about 5 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is less grainy and fluffed.

cream cheese and ricotta

Whipping the cream cheese and ricotta.

Instead of adding the lemon zest once it was in the bowl, I took my lemon and zested it right into the mixture, along with about a teaspoon of salt and pepper. I beat it for another 30 to 60 seconds then transferred it to a bowl. I sprinkled a pinch more salt and pepper on top then drizzled some olive oil.


toasted baguette

Toasting the baguette slices

Slice up your baguette and toast lightly (or not) and serve with the dip. I topped mine with pieces of the smoked salmon. Delicious! Enjoy!

Whipped Ricotta and Toasted Baguette

Whipped Ricotta and Toasted Baguette

Whipped Ricotta, Toasted Baguette, Hummus, Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon

Whipped Ricotta, Toasted Baguette, Hummus, Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon

Babahummus or is it Hummusganoush Dip

15 Jul Hummus, Babaganous

My parents came down for a visit to see my play “To Carry The Child” and in addition to bringing cookies that my dad made and baklava that my mom made, my mom also brought ingredients to make a hummus/babaganoush dip-or as she says: Babahummus or is it Hummusganoush? I know I talk a lot about my father’s recipes, but my mother is also an amazing cook and her favorite dishes tend to have a more international flare. She spent her junior year of high school in Brussels, two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa after college, and also was a private chef for a family in Berkeley, CA. And before we moved to California, she was a stay at home mom who cooked all our meals and even made pasta from scratch. (One of my favorite memories is walking under pasta drying on broomsticks spanning from the kitchen table to the counter top!) Since my mom did the cooking I asked her to write the post and to be my first guest chef. So from my mom to your table, enjoy!

My mom working hard in the kitchen.

My mom working hard in the kitchen.

Hummus-Babaganoush Ingredients L-R: Ground Cumin, Red Pepper Flakes, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Tahini, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil

Hummus-Babaganoush Ingredients L-R: Ground Cumin, Red Pepper Flakes, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Tahini, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil (not pictured-eggplant)

BABAHUMMUS/HUMMUSGANOUSH DIP (as written by Helen Bauer)

  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans
  • 4-6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin, Chili Powder or Fresh Jalapeno
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup Good Quality Olive Oil, plus some for topping
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Paprika or Chili Powder for topping

I developed this combined dip for two reasons. First my kids, and some adults, turn up their noses at eggplant. Second, I am a lazy cook…or as I see it, an efficient cook. When I made this in Sarah’s apartment from beginning to end (including washing up the dishes and the stove top), I was done in 40 minutes. I have always made hummus slightly chunky as this is how the Lebanese women taught me when I lived in Senegal, West Africa.

  1. Put a large eggplant on your gas burner or on the gas/charcoal grill, or even in the oven. And YES, it will leak juices…especially if you prick it with a fork ahead of time to prevent weird explosions. When is it done? The skin will be charred and a long fork pierces the globe easily through the thickest end. Remove and set aside-cover with a piece of tin foil to help finish cooking and to aid in easy removal of the skin. I will often cook two and put one in a zip lock bag in the fridge for the next day or two.
    eggplant, babaganoush

    Roasting the eggplant for the babaganoush part of the dip

    eggplant, babaganoush

    The eggplant is all done!

  2. In the blender put your cloves of peeled garlic, salt, pepper, ground cumin, chili flakes or fresh jalapeno to taste, the juice of one lemon, 2 to 4 tablespoons of tahini, and a 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil. Whirl.

    Hummus, tahini, garbanzo beans

    Adding the tahini into the food processor

  3. Open and RINSE well two cans of garbanzo beans. Add one to blender and blend until smooth. Add the second can and pulse until your favored consistency.
  4. In the meantime, cut off the stem end of the eggplant and peel. Some are filled with seeds and others are not. Sometimes you can strip out the long threads of seeds all at once. The seeds can make the mixture bitter. But if mostly seeds then you’ll have no eggplant left, so use your discretion.
    eggplant, babaganoush

    Peeling away the skin from the eggplant

    eggplant, babaganoush

    Peeling away the skin from the eggplant

    eggplant, babaganoush

    Pulling the seeds out of the eggplant.

  5. Add eggplant to blender and pulse until you have your desired consistency.

    Hummus, Babaganous

    Hummus Babaganoush to our desired consistency, a little chunky.

  6. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  7. Pour into a serving bowl and smooth the top. Sprinkle some paprika or chili powder for some color and press a beautiful flat leaf parsley leaf in the center. And in true middle eastern style, pour a thin layer of your favorite olive oil on top, about 1/8″ deep.
  8. Store any extra in the freezer. Otherwise, enjoy fresh!
Hummus, Babaganous

Babahummus or is it Hummusganoush Dip ready for eating!

Thanksgiving 2012-Part 1: Turkey and Stuffing

26 Nov

We all know that on the third Thursday of November we take the time to travel (far or near) to be with family and friends to devour large amounts of food. It’s a national holiday and it’s been celebrated since the pilgrims landed. It hasn’t always been the fourth Thursday, but I’ll let Wikipedia tell you the history, I’m here to talk about the food. And food there was at my Thanksgiving this year. With 13 adults, 2 kids and an infant at the table, we had a turkey weighing in at 21 lbs, 3 lbs of garlic mashed potatoes, 3 lbs of sweet potatoes, 2 lbs of pearl onions, 2 cranberry sauces, a 2 lb green bean casserole, stuffing made from 4 loaves of bread, 2 lbs of squash and apples, a huge salad, 24 dinner rolls, giblet gravy, a pumpkin pie, 2 apple pies and 2 chocolate cream pies. Needless to say, we had more than enough food. (Disclaimer: I will not be be sharing all the recipes, especially since I didn’t cook some of the dishes, so please forgive me now.)

The turkey is stuffed and ready for the oven.

Dad and I started on the stuffing about 8:30am. Since we always stuff our turkey it’s the first thing to do. The stuffing recipe we use is one of my grandmother’s and over the years there has been much discussion about whether to dice the bread or shred it so we’ve now settled on half and half. Green onions, white onions and parsley are all chopped. Then we melt the first (but definitely not last) sticks of butter of the day. Sometimes I think the day should be called ButterGiving, haha! Okay, I’ll try to stay away from the bad jokes. Toss in the veggies to the melted butter and once the onions are translucent, pour the mixture over the bread and mix. (By the way, the loaves should be stale. Leave them outside 2-3 days before Thanksgiving and they’ll be perfect!) We also add some chicken stock or broth to add more moisture.

Dicing up the sourdough and french bread loaves

Turkeys can be cooked many different ways, and everyone seems to have their own preference. Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever get on the bandwagon of deep frying a turkey, but if that’s your choice, all the power to you! We like to keep it simple, letting the natural juices and simple spices and olive oil speak for themselves. With all the other flavors on the table, the turkey is the simplest dish that can be mixed with everything else or just with the gravy. Either way-yum! My dad swears by a Butterball turkey and we take out the bag of the giblets and set aside to use for the gravy (another recipe of my grandmother’s), dry out the inside then stuff it at both ends. Not all the stuffing fits and the rest is put in a baking dish and set aside to finish baking later in the day. The turkey goes into the oven, breast side down for the first 3 hours with an onion, carrots and celery in the bottom of the pan along with about an inch of water. The turkey juices will drip down into the pan and we’ll end up deglazing the pan to use in the gravy. Mmmmm. It was now about 9:45am.

L-R clockwise: Turkey before being stuffed; basting the turkey; flipped the bird over before going back into the oven to finish; before flipping the bird-pretty right?

Since my dad pre-made the cranberry sauces and the dinner rolls, we were able to relax for the first hour the turkey was in the oven. My uncle is an amateur photographer and I asked him to take some portraits of me as well as photos throughout the day. So we went out to the porch and under the beautiful sun of San Francisco had some fun. (Those pictures will come later!) The weather was so beautiful this year, it was hard to go back into the kitchen, but I did, as there was still much to do! The heat was turned down on the turkey and we set our timer to baste every 30 minutes.

Mom making her famous hummus!

Meanwhile, my mom made her yummy hummus and my aunt set out some appetizers to knosh on. There were cheeses, baguettes, veggies and the wine was opened. Mom’s hummus was homemade and mixed with grilled eggplant (which is the basis for baba ghanoush. This gives her hummus extra texture and taste!) and she chopped up a small home grown jalapeno for a little spice. It was a great mini lunch before we started in on the rest of the side dishes. Those side dishes will be in Part 2 later this week, as will the finished turkey, so stay tuned!

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