Chicken Nuggets

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts for the win.  I’m not thrilled with the batter.  It was OK but I wanted it to be better.  It’s flour and cornstarch with an egg and some water plus seasonings.  The dip wasn’t any better.  I tossed it together from mayo, mustard, a squirt of lemon juice, and honey.  Needs more research.

That said, there were no leftovers.

Whoopie!

I was browsing around yesterday at the blog run by the King Arthur Flour folks, looking at the post where they “introduced” the hot dog bun recipe for the pan I used yesterday.  They mentioned another use for the pan, aside from making hot dog buns–they used it with a devil’s food cake mix and filled the cakes with cream and other tasty things.  Pretty good comment thread below the main post, there were the usual squees from the fanbois and gals, plenty of “me toos” and “I can’t wait to buy my pan” but one gal said,  “Yeah! I made these and filled them with Whoopie cookie cream filling!”

I just had to look that up right away!  It must be a regional thing.. Ok, off to Google “whoopie cookie”….ah, here it is.

So, I looked for a whoopie cream filling recipe and found a very simple one I decided to try.  I’ve forgotten the URL so I’ll just list it:

1 c shortening

1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)

2 t vanilla extract

1 cup milk

5 T flour

Mix the milk and flour and cook in a small pan on medium, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.  Yay!  We’ve just made library paste!  Moving on..  Beat the shortening and the sugar together in a mixing bowl, add the vanilla.  When the milk and flour mixture has cooled, add it to the mixing bowl and beat until the volume doubles.

There are tons of filling recipes out there, I’m sure this isn’t the best one.

[Double chocolate cupcakes courtesy of Mrs J]

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What the Hell is Hummus?

I know I’ve asked that question a few times.  Nothing answers the question better than making a batch to see and taste.  Here’s my first go at it.

First thing was to make some tahini.  It’s nothing more than a butter made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil.  I made a small batch before I started on the hummus, just wanted to make sure this important ingredient was going to be good enough to take the experiment farther.  It worked well enough that I was happy to continue.  I’m told that tahini can be bought ready made but I’ve never seen any around here.  The Asian grocer in the next town east may have it but I’ve never looked for it.  They did have the toasted sesame seeds I used today but I was thinking of another use for those.

I didn’t have any canned garbanzo beans like all the recipes called for, but I did have a bag of dried garbanzos so I fast soaked those and then simmered them for an hour or so.  That seemed to be plenty.  I made more beans than I really needed so I took 2 cups of them for the recipe and froze the remainder for later.

OK, here we go:  Dump 2 cups of garbanzo beans in a food processor, add up to a half cup of tahini, add the zest of a lemon, then its juice.  Toss in some crushed cloves of garlic.  Most recipes I looked at said one or two, I used six or seven.  Add some sea salt, a half teaspoon or so.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse the mixture to get it all chopped, then process on low for a few minutes until it comes together as a smooth paste.  Add some water sparingly if it seems dry, or add more lemon juice.  (The recipes I looked at all mentioned reserving some of the brine from the canned beans for adding-but some commenters said don’t add the brine.)  Taste and adjust as needed.  Maybe more lemon juice, more salt, or more of the tahini.

The classic use for hummus seems to be as a dip for toasted triangles of pita bread.  I can attest that it works very well for that!

Enjoy!

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Some Homer and a Snack

I feel like I’m starting to get caught up.  My leg still hurts for some unknown reason.  I was awake all last night with it, finally drifted off after 4:30am.  Bother.

Here’s a couple of Homer you haven’t seen.  And some nachos…mmm… nachos.  Make a little white sauce:  Butter, flour, milk…add some shredded cheddar, stir in some sour cream, add a half cup of tomato salsa.  Pour over some nacho chips and put them under the broiler until the cheese bubbles.  Top with more of the cheese sauce, sliced jalapenos, and more salsa.  You might try some sliced black olives, some diced onions, a dab or two of refried beans, guacamole, other cheeses, just go wild–it’s all good.

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