Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasted Chickpeas

I've got another healthy snack to add to the roster:  Roasted Chickpeas!  They are crunchy and addictive and you should definitely try them.  Flavor them any way you want using savory and/or sweet seasonings.  Lately I've been using a similar spice combination that I do for the Spiced Almonds. I'd like to experiment with a sweet version too (brown sugar, cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of cayenne pepper).

Sooo, where can I buy chickpeas in bulk? 

Side Note: I did a cost comparision of dried vs canned and it was cheaper to get the canned chickpeas.  I thought that was interesting so until I can prove otherwise, I'm going with canned.  Less work and less money!

UPDATE: Roasted chickpeas taste great on a salad!

Roasted Chickpeas
Original Recipe
Yield: 8 servings (about 4 cups)

4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp of any seasonings (I've been using about 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp hot chili powder)

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line two rimmed cookie pans with foil.

Lay a dish towel (or paper towels) over the sheet pans.  Dump the rinsed chickpeas onto the towels and give them a rub to remove some of the water.  If any of the papery skins fall off, remove them.  Mix the chickpeas, olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl to coat evenly, then divide between the two sheets.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the insides of the chickpeas are dried out.  Stir occasionally, and keep an eye on them toward the end so they don't burn.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pickled Turnips

I love the pickled turnips that come with the hummus platter or on certain "sandwiches" at Middle Eastern restaurants.  I didn't have plans for the turnips in the fridge so I pickled them.  I even had a few tiny beets from our garden to stain the turnips their signature pickled pink color.
The pickled turnips made an interesting and colorful addition to my usual veggie tray.  They were very popular too, I was constantly refilling them.  I know a few ladies that will be very happy that I finally posted this recipe.
Raw veggies and hummus are a favorite for snacking, but I think a lot of us get stuck in the pepper, carrot, pea pod rut.  Add some pizazz to the mix with pickled turnips!
Like most pickles vegetables, these turnips are much easier to make than you think. 
Pickled Turnips
From David Lebovitz 

3 cups water, separated
1/3 cup (70 g) coarse white salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup white vinegar (distilled)
2 lbs turnips, peeled
1 small beet, or a few slices from a regular-size beet, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

In a saucepan, heat one cup of water. Add the salt and bay leaf, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the vinegar and the rest of the water.

Cut the turnips and beet into batons, about the size of French fries. Put the turnips, beets, and garlic slices into a large, clean jar or bowl, then pour the salted brine over them in the jar, including the bay leaf.

Cover and let sit at room temperature, in a relatively cool place, for one week. Once done, they can be refrigerated until ready to serve.  They'll keep well in the fridge for about six weeks.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blog Goals for 2013

Like most people, I seem to do much better completing goals if they are written down.  I'm more likely to remember and there's the added bonus of having a list to refer to as a reminder.  I've been blogging for over 3 years now, and this year I created some goals for myself and the blog for the next 12 months. 

Blog Goals for 2013
  1. Make at least 9 things from my List
  2. Blog makeover
  3. Set up a menu for my baking "business"
  4. Set up a recipe index
  5. Post at least 3 times per month
  6. Guest post on other blogs at least 3 times this year (at least one won't be a recipe)
  7. Weed down my Google Reader subscriptions
  8. Comment more on other blogs
  9. Host a giveaway
  10. Be more active on Twitter
  11. Be more active on the Facebook page
  12. Add all my posts to Pinterest
  13. Start pastry school (first class is in Feb!)
Do you set goals/resolutions once a year (New Years)? Or do you break it down into smaller chunks of time so you can reevaluate and create new goals? What are some of your goals?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Signed Up For Pastry School!

Yes folks, it's true!  I am officially enrolled in the professional pastry program at The Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson.  It's a part time program that'll take about a year and a half to complete if all goes well with scheduling and availability.  Most of the classes are week-long, all-day series offered a few times a year, but there are some offered at night as well.  I'll still be working full time and just take time off as needed throughout the year to be in pastry school.  This is the best of both worlds because I'm not committing to any major life changes, and I'm taking classes I've wanted to take anyway.  So even if nothing comes of it professionally, it's definitely not wasted time/money/energy.

The cooking school is located at First and Main in Hudson in the back of the Cookery (cooking store). Over the last few weeks, the kitchen has been getting all new equipment and appliances.  I've never taken a class at WRSOC, but I've been volunteering there for a few months to get a feel for the classes. Volunteering consists of doing dishes during class and cleaning up afterwards. You're right there during class listening to everything with the ability to turn around and watch anytime. Volunteers get a copy of all the recipes for that class and every time I've volunteered the chef has given me samples of all the food.  Oh yeah, and you earn credits to take classes at the cooking school and get a discount in the Cookery.  They are always looking for more people to add to their roster so if you're interested email Kathy Myers (kmeyers at kent dot edu), she coordinates the volunteers.

Before Christmas I signed up to take Begininning Pastry, but I got a call yesterday saying that it was cancelled due to low enrollment.  It was supposed to be next week, and they won't offer it again until the fall.  Luckily there are a few classes I can take that don't have pre-reqs.  In February, I'm taking Chocolates and Candies. It's the week of Valentine's Day so my family's packages might have some really special candy in them this year. 

I'm really looking forward to starting pastry classes!  I've been thinking about this for quite a few years now.  I even took tours at the various cooking school options in Cleveland.  I'm glad I made a decision and am finally making it happen!

PS Sorry no pictures, Blogger won't let me upload.