Thursday, 13 May 2010

Home-made Hummus

At the South African Food Blogging Conference in March Jeanne Horak-Druiff from Cooksister spoke about finding your blogging voice. The point that really stood out for me was that there are two types of food bloggers; a writer that likes to cook or a cook that likes to write. The more I blog the more apparent it is that I am definitely the latter (pfft, not like I didn't know that already..!).

I started blogging in the first place because I wanted all my recipes in one place, blogging made more sense in terms of data security (my laptop can fail or get stolen; has backup servers to prevent content loss). Also, if the recipes are on the internet they are easily accessible from almost anywhere.

The second reason why I started blogging is completely unrelated to food or cooking; I am currently busy with a Masters degree which means that thesis writing looms on the immediate horizon. The main focus of Engineering really isn't on stimulating creative writing skills; I've found that a 4 year degree is really effective in undoing a lot of writing experience gained at school. In writing just like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Writing does not come easy to me so the blog is my way of practicing making the words flow easier.

Phew, enough of super long personal exposé! This is what happens when I wake up inexplicably at 1am...

My inspiration for making hummus came from the Beetroot Hummus post by Nina from My-Easy-Cooking. I never realised that it is so easy to make this super tasty spread/dip! Luckily my mom had a pot of tahini paste lying around (that stuff is expensive!); the tahini really plays a large role in the taste of your final product. For those who have never heard of tahini paste (I only found out about it recently), a quick Google search defines it as "a paste of ground sesame seeds and a flavour similar to peanut butter.".

Cooking to me is a very 'free-range' compared to baking; baking requires precision but with cooking I usually stick my fingers in stuff and taste and adjust the food until I am happy with the taste! For the hummus I suggest using my recipe as a guideline, at the end of the day you have to eat it so modify it until you like it.

In the photos I served the hummus on some fresh ciabata with roasted tomatoes marinated in oil that I bought at the Cheese Festival. Very tasty!

Makes about 500ml of hummus

  • 1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Cumin seeds

  1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and half of the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add yoghurt to thin out the mixture (other recipes call for oil here).
  3. Add spices and lemon juice to taste.
  4. No more, it's that easy!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Easy Broccoli Soup

Winter has arrived in Stellenbosch! The cold weather made me long for soup the whole day, the only question was whether I would make broccoli or butternut soup. Clearly broccoli won, but butternut soup can be made exactly the same way by just substituting the butternut for the broccoli.

Easy Broccoli Soup
Serves a lot, at least 4 ravenous people

  • 2 Broccoli heads, broken into small florets
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Chicken Stock cubes
  • Milk for thinning

  1. In a large pot fry the onions until soft.
  2. Put the broccoli and stock cubes in the pot, add enough water to cover about half of the broccoli and bring to a simmer.
  3. When the broccoli is soft, put everything in a blender until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Return the mixture to the pot, add milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Cook for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!