Here is a little throw back to how I started this blog. First and obviously, I loved cooking. I also loved taking pictures of the food and as a new mom I was looking for something creative to do with little of my free time and in the house, while the baby was sleeping. Luckily,right around then I stumbled across the most amazing Joy the Baker blog.
I love so much how she was writing about the food, she was funny, knew what she was doing, and her pictures were gorgeous. The food I saw there was what I really wanted to eat, so that helped a lot.
I decided to try out her Southern Style Strawberry Cake which I made then for my now brother-in-law's birthday. That was about four and a half years ago and the Strawberry Cake was delicious! The baby is five now, and I have another ten month old baby. So much has changed since, but here we are, still.
With some breaks here and there, I am really surprised I am still doing this and that I love it so much.
Do you know what I also really, really love? Making gift baskets. I love the opportunity to prepare something with love and care and bundle it all up in a cute edible gift. Recently I tried another recipe from Joy, and I can tell you that in the past three weeks I've already made it four times. It is this amazing Creamy Avocado Hummus. I love hummus to begin with, and don't even get me started on how much we love avocados in this house, and together they are just ridiculous. My favorite way to eat it so far is in a very simplified Eggs Benedict. I toast a whole wheat English muffin, spread some avocado hummus on top and put a poached egg on it. I season it with salt and pepper and it is INSANE.
Ms. Joy, I'm forever grateful for this one, plus, it inspired this gift and look how cute it turned out!
I paired the hummus with a lovely and easy to make roasted eggplant spread and homemade Baci chocolates, wrapped it all up and had a great hostess gift. I wish I could do stuff like this every day!
Creamy Avocado Hummus
from Joy The Baker
makes about 3 cups
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
2 ripe avocados, cut into chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts for topping, if desired.
Peel the chickpeas, it is really not that hard, I can do it in about ten minutes and I love the smoothness of this hummus. If you don't want to it will still be delicious, but I vote for peeling. Put the chickpeas in the food processor and blend for about ten seconds. Add rest of the ingredients and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Blend for two or three minutes until completely smooth.
This sounds like my five year old could do it, right? Actually, my five year old did do it with me. I operated the food processor, no worries. But my point is that anyone can make this, and there is something special about a freshly made yummy dip or spread. My secret for this was using my special mini stash of Croatian olive oil that is like non other, I swear.
When I put the hummus in the jars I topped it with little more of the olive oil, freshly ground pepper and toasted pine nuts.
You could serve it with fresh veggies, pita chips or any number of ways, I love it with Milton's everything crackers or as already mentioned, on whole wheat toast or muffin. I am just about ready to make another batch because we are almost out, and you should make one too.
Thank you, Joy!