Sunday, January 31, 2016

Simple Hummus {without Tahini}

I've been eating hummus for a long time. It's one of my favorite dips to have with veggies for a snack. However, one of the main ingredients in hummus - tahini (a sesame seed paste) - can be a little on the expensive side and hard to find for some. And, I never seem to use it fast enough when I do buy it since hummus is really the only recipe in which I use tahini. So, it often goes bad before it's used up. In this recipe, I start with toasted sesame seeds that I make into a paste myself. It eliminates the need for purchasing tahini.
I pretty much always have the other main ingredients (chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and lemons) for hummus on hand. And, I buy sesame seeds in bulk at my local health food store very inexpensively. So, this is a fabulous recipe to have in my back pocket to whip up whenever the mood for hummus strikes or for when an occasion comes up last-minute that I need something snack-y to serve on the fly.

You can embellish hummus any way that you like. It's so easily adaptable. Roasted red peppers are a great addition. I sometimes like chopped green olives sprinkled on top of my hummus for a briny kick. You can add in your choice of herbs or spices to change up the flavors, too. Some prefer garnishing hummus with whole, cooked chickpeas, olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. And, hummus can be served with pita bread/chips, raw veggies or crackers.

Yields roughly 2 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blueberry Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding

This recipe is incredibly simple and quick to throw together. Some of my bread pudding recipes are loaded with a long list of ingredients, but this one requires just a handful of basic pantry/fridge staples and some berries. Everything comes together beautifully to create a dish that can be served for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

If you have some day-old bread, milk, eggs and sugar, you have the foundation for bread pudding. From there, it's pretty much just about flavoring(s) and any add-ins that suit your fancy. I love the combination of blueberries, lemon and vanilla. (Here, I've utilized a vanilla bean to amp up the vanilla flavor, but a good-quality vanilla extract would work wonderfully, as well.)

Whether you serve this hot out of the oven, at room temperature or cold out of the fridge is entirely up to you. I have found that most people who enjoy bread pudding have an opinion on which of the three they prefer. So, it's totally up to you.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Ribollita {Tuscan Soup}

Ribollita is a hearty Tuscan soup. There are many variations, but most recipes include beans, vegetables and bread. I've, basically, declared it my new favorite comfort food recipe of 2016. I think you'll find that it's a great new soup recipe for you to try out this year ... and one that you'll come back to time and time again once you've tried it.

What makes this soup so amazing?

For starters, it's bitter cold here in Michigan right now and well, soup is warm. Pretty self-explanatory.

Secondly, I like that this is a vegetarian soup. My twenty-three year old daughter has been a vegetarian for years and I've come to follow a mostly vegetarian diet most days. This is a pretty healthy soup ... perfect for kicking off the new year.

Lastly, the ingredient list is a budget-friendly one. Grab some dried beans, water, a few veggies, a tiny bit of marinara sauce and some bread ... and you've got yourself the makings of a big pot of heavenly soup. (Splurge a little on some real-deal Parmigiano-Reggiano, though ... totally worth it and it really finishes the soup perfectly!)

Serves 4 - 6.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Peek Around The Joyously Domestic Kitchen

I shared with you My $500 Kitchen Remodel not too long ago. I, personally, love getting to look inside the homes of others. The nosey inquisitive part of me loves seeing how people live, so I thought maybe you'd be curious to peek behind the scenes so-to-speak in the Joyously Domestic Kitchen. I've shared my recipes and stories with you for a few years now, so I figured I'd share a glimpse into the space in which I love to spend most of my time - my kitchen. It's not glamorous or extravagant by any means. But, I thought I'd show you the spot where I test and prepare the recipes that I share with all of you here on the blog.

First, here is an overall shot of my kitchen (in case you missed my recent post regarding the inexpensive, but painstakingly time-consuming updates we made just after getting the keys to our new place).

Friday, January 01, 2016

Chocolate Chunk Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding

I know that many of us are embarking upon resolutions to eat healthy as we start the new year. So, I do apologize upfront for tempting you with this over-the-top sensation that is Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding.  But, I just had to shout from the rooftops how aaahh-maaaay-zzzzing this little ditty of a recipe truly is. So, maybe take a deep breath and hear me out?

This is heavenly. This is sinful. Yes, it's both. But, darn it ... it is fabulously worth every calorie.

The most dangerous thing about this recipe? It takes like, only a handful of minutes when it comes to prep time. So, it's almost way too easy to create something this naughty. Again, I am sorry. But, "everything in moderation" really is a great motto to live by when it comes to food indulgences. So, allow that to apply with regards to this decadent recipe, then smile and savor.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.