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Tag Archives: appetizer

Pesto to the Rescue

Every summer, we grow our own vegetable garden, and along side the garden we grow herbs in pots.  And every year we have grand ideas of how we are going to use these herbs in all of the dishes that we make.

And every year we end up with several pots of herbs that we barely touch.

This summer we are on a mission to change that!

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What requires a whole bunch of herbs, but is still easy to make and doesn’t require cooking (It’s hot. Who wants to turn on an oven, or even a stove-top!)?

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Pesto, that’s what!

And since we’re really indecisive and couldn’t decide which herb we wanted to include, we threw a few different ones in and hoped for the best.

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Lemon Basil, African Blue Basil, Sage and Arugula.  You want flavour?  You got it!  Paired with some toasted walnuts, garlic and a little lemon juice to finish it off- you will want to spread this stuff on everything.  But be sure to make a double-batch, because we’ve got a delicious summer meal coming your way that features this magnificent spread, and you’re going to want to use every last drop! 😉

Don’t have lemon basil or African Blue basil?  No problem!  Regular basil works just fine.  Don’t have an herb garden?  We’re betting you have a neighbour or two who would be happy to share their bounty with you 🙂

So go ahead and use 10 minutes to make this- then go and enjoy that summer sun!

Basil-Sage-Arugula-Walnut Pesto

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Time: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1/2 c.

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts, toasted
1/3 c. basil leaves
1/4 c. sage leaves
1/3 c. arugula
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water

Directions:

Put the walnuts, basil, sage, arugula, salt, garlic and lemon juice into a blender or food processor.  Blend on high until the mixture becomes mealy and starts to form a paste.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.  If your pesto is still too thick after adding all of the olive oil, add the tablespoon of water.  Blend until the mixture is somewhat smooth. (it will still have some texture).  Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

~twosaucysisters

Do you have an herb garden?  How do you use up all of your herbs?

A Warm Weather Welcome

Hey all! So we would like to apologize for our lack of posting over the last couple of days, we’re in final exams currently and had two in two days. We’ll be back posting a little more frequently over the next week until we have another two in a row – and then we’re FREE! 🙂

Anyways, the weather is finally getting warmer here, and it’s even been sunny for a couple of days – we were in sports bras on the outdoor track on Monday! We were all pretty excited about it, of course until our coach hit us up with 5k of some serious track work… yikes!

None the less, we decided that we needed to celebrate the warm weather with something bright, flavourful and colourful…

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Black Bean Mango Salsa!

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This stuff is the definition of bright and flavourful! It’s kind of like taking a mini-vacation to somewhere warm and sunny with every bite.

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The sweet, juicy mango and the fresh yet slightly citrus-y flavour of the cilantro balance the tangy tomatoes quite well, and the black beans add a heartiness to the salsa that make for a perfect side-dish or snack!

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We made some home-made pita-chips to dip in ours (we feel a Simple Sunday post coming on…), but any tortilla chips or crackers would work just fine! 🙂

So we hope that wherever you live, spring is starting to come out of hiding, and if it’s not… eat this salsa and head to mexico for a few bites! 😉

Mango and Black bean Salsa

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Total time: 10min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

1 28oz can No Salr Added diced tomatoes, drained
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/3-1/2c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 c. black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1/2 c. diced white or red onion
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
pepper
optional – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

Directions:

Drain the liquid from your diced tomatoes and add to a medium to large sized bowl.
Chop and peel mango, chop the cilantro and finely dice the onion. Mix into the tomatoes.
If using canned black beans, drain and rinse well. Mix black beans into the mixture.
Combine in a small dish honey, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the salsa and stir thoroughly, until even mixed throughout the salsa.
Stir in jalapeno if desired.
Serve immediately with chips or crackers, or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

~twosaucysisters

What foods transport you to your favourite warm and sunny destination? For us, anything with tropical fruits and/or coconut! 

Simple Sunday: Cheater Bruschetta

How many times growing up have you heard the phrase “cheaters never prosper”? Probably more than you can count!  We think it’s safe to say that the general consensus among the population  is that cheating is bad.

But today we’re here to tell you that they’re wrong.

Ok ok, we retract that statement- how about instead we just say they’re not completely right.  Sound better?

Because you see, sometimes it’s ok to cheat!  Sometimes, it’s actually a good thing!  Like with this cheater bruschetta!

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It looks like homemade bruschetta bread, right?  Well that’s because it is- sort of.  The thing is, we love bruschetta bread, but we don’t always feel like going to the trouble of making it from scratch, nor do we always have  a jar of bruschetta mix on hand.  But you know what we always do have on hand?  Salsa!

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We love salsa! So one day, when a craving for bruschetta hit, we thought bruschetta is made of tomatoes, right?  And salsa is made of tomatoes too, is it not?  So why not make salsa bruschetta!

Brilliant!

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Anyone who’s a born-and-raised Italian would probably look at us with mild disgust for even proposing that salsa can be used to make bruschetta bread, but what can we say?  It’s fast and super easy, and it tastes pretty darn good!  If you happen to have fresh tomatoes that you want to dice up and throw on top, be our guest!  And here we’ve used cheddar cheese to top (because that’s all we have in the fridge right now and we’re trying to use it before it goes moldy…) but you can use whatever cheese you like!  In fact, we prefer to top with goat or feta cheese 🙂

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So just to clarify- it is not ok to cheat on a test, or in a sporting event, but it is perfectly acceptable to cheat in kitchen! 😉

Happy Simple Sunday everybody!

Cheater Bruschetta

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Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 4 min
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat french bread
1 – 1.5 c. chunky salsa
1/2 c.  cheese of choice

Directions:

If broiling in the oven, pre-heat the broiler.
Slice the french bread length-wise and place on a baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Put under the broiler or on broil setting in a toaster-oven for 2 minutes to lightly toast the bread.
Once toasted, Spread the salsa across the loaf, covering evenly. Sprinkle with cheese of choice and place back under the broiler for another 2 min or until the cheese is melted.
Cut into smaller pieces and serve!

~twosaucysisters

What sort of foods do you “cheat” with? Besides bruschetta, we almost always replace low-fat sour cream or cream cheese with plain yogurt and cottage cheese, because we pretty much never have sour cream and cream cheese on hand but always have yogurt and cottage cheese! 🙂

Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe.  33 days!  We think that’s a record for us!  Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

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This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus!  We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

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But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East!  Boy do they know how to cook!  We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

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And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it 🙂

Curried Hummus

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Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth.  Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick.  (Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?

Holiday Entertaining

Hi everybody!

We’re here to tell you today that we have not fallen off the face of the planet- we’ve just been extra busy over the past week and have had no time for blogging!  In fact, we have barely even been on our computers, which is pretty outrageous for us because ordinarily we spend quite a bit of time on them!

We have been enjoying our Christmas holidays so much over the past week spending as much time as we can with our family who have come to visit from out west and New York that we have hardly even been in the kitchen! (gasp!)

And since today’s their last full day here, we are only stopping in briefly so you don’t think we’ve abandoned you forever.

So we’d like to ask you, what do you make when you have family coming and going constantly, have no time to cook (or plan) elaborate meals, and you just need quick easy snacks/munchies that everyone c will enjoy?

Hummus!

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Obviously.

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You should all know by now that we are basically obsessed with hummus, and are constantly coming up with more ideas for new versions and flavours.  Today’s is the sun-dried tomato addition, but you can check out our recipe page for a million a few other recipes for some different variations on our favourite dip 🙂

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

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Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) blotted dry
1/4 c. oil (from the sun-dried tomato jar)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. water
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and serve with veggies, pitas, crackers, etc.

~twosaucysisters

What have you been doing over your holidays?  What are your go-to foods when you’re busy and entertaining guests?

Cross-Cultural Dipping

Today, we’re bringing you the last of the three hummus recipes that we told you about in last week’s What I Ate Wednesday post.  (We’d like to point out that we’re actually getting to all three of them before this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, so koodos to us! :))

So let’s do a quick recap.  First, we made Spinach hummus:

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And that recipe turned out so well, that we decided to try our hand at Roasted Garlic Hummus:

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But here’s the thing.  No matter how often we eat hummus, or even how much we eat in one sitting, we never get tired of it, and we never truly satisfy our craving for it.  So after we had made (and devoured) both of these delicious creations, we knew we just couldn’t stop there.

But there was one problem.  We had completely run out of tahini!  Tragic, we know.  But with our hummus craving reaching an all-time high, and only getting stronger, we had to get creative.

Enter peanut butter.  (is there anything peanut butter can’t fix?)

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Of course, we weren’t going to try to make a traditional hummus with peanut butter.  It’s distinct flavour deserved something a little more exciting than that!

So we open the fridge and realize: we have limes, we have ginger.  this could be good.

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And what did we end up with?  Thai peanut-ginger hummus.

Oh yeah.

We have to say, out of the three hummus recipes that we made last week, this one was our favourite.  It was so unique and full of flavour- We suppose you could call it a middle-eastern-Asian fusion.  (is that a thing?  We don’t know, but it should be!)

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If you’re tired of traditional hummus flavours, you should definitely  try this stuff!  (We also can’t be friends, but that’s something else altogether ;))

We have since bought a new jar of tahini, so we’ll probably be back in the near future with some new hummus recipes, but not without making a few more batches of this stuff, first! 🙂

Happy dipping!

Thai Peanut-Ginger Hummus

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Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas (~1 can drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural, but use what you have!)
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
pepper, to taste
water (up to a 1/4 c, if needed)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor (except for water) and blend until smooth.  Gradually add water if you would like your hummus to be smoother.

~twosaucysisters

What is the most interesting hummus flavour you have tried?

Round 2: Roasted Garlic

On Wednesday we talked about three hummus recipes that we made last week.   We gave you the full recipe for our spinach hummus the other day, but in an effort not to bore you with an endless string of hummus recipes, we’ve held off giving you the second edition.  (Even though can you ever really be bored with hummus recipes?  We don’t think so…)

But now that we’ve given you a one-day intermission, we think you’re ready for round two! 🙂

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This roasted garlic hummus is much more traditional, but traditional doesn’t mean boring!  An entire bulb of roasted garlic went into this batch, so it definitely wasn’t lacking in flavour!

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If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you really must.  When you roast garlic, the cloves turn so soft and buttery, you could practically spread it on toast!  The strong and pungent flavour that is so characteristic of raw garlic is also mellowed-out considerably when roasted, which is why you can put an entire bulb of it in one batch of hummus without reeking of garlic for a week 🙂

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This hummus truly embodies the idea that simplicity is delicious.  Its easy, quick, and healthy.  And if green colour of the spinach hummus scares you a bit, maybe this one would be more up your alley?

At any rate, you should give this hummus a try, and then get ready, because we’ve still got another rendition coming your way!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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Prep Time: 30 min
Time: 10 min
Makes: ~ 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic

2 c. cooked chickpeas (about 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350C.  Slice the top of your garlic bulb (just the tips) off and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft, lightly browned and aromatic.

Once the garlic has cooled off a bit, place all other ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever roasted garlic?  What is your favourite way to enjoy it?