We stopped at a trendy little craft beer and pizza joint in Clayton, GA a couple of weeks ago but... I didn't sample the pizza OR the beer. 🍕🍺😅 What can I say? I'm not a beer drinker and strangely - I wasn't in the mood for pizza.🤷🏻♀️ There was something on the lunch menu that caught my eye immediately though - sweet potato hummus.🍠
I love hummus and I love roasted sweet potatoes but it's never even occurred to me that the two could be combined.😱 Now I'm questioning where has this been all my life? Fresh vegetables, a few wedges of warm, homemade pita on the plate and some sweet potato hummus - who needs pizza and beer?
My first taste of sweet potato hummus was creamy and smooth with just the right combination of seasonings and olive oil. It was so good - I scooped up every last morsel with my carrot sticks and cucumber rounds in record time. Just before I shoveled the last bite into my mouth, it occurred to me that I needed to figure out exactly what was in this delicious concoction so that I could recreate it at home. 😬
I examined and analyzed that last spoonful of hummus so thoroughly and I think that I identified every single ingredient.😂 In lieu of fresh herbs and traditional spices, the delicate flavor of cinnamon and the most deliciously sweet, sweet potato took center stage.🍠 So here is my version of the sweet potato hummus that I first tasted at a pizza place in Clayton. I think you'll agree --- it's good enough to pass up a pizza for. 🤣
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 15 oz can chickpeas, reserving liquid
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup tahini
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 small sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
water to adjust consistency
Puree until smooth, adding water as necessary.
Drizzle with olive oil if you like.
Serve with vegetables, pita or crackers. Carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers and tomatoes are my favorites.
It's official: every single member of my family has sampled the delicious delicacies from Crumbl Cookies - except me - the cookie baker of the family.🤣 #imnotbitter It's okay though - really, it is. 😂 For those of you who aren't familiar with Crumbl, (yes, this the correct spelling) this cookie baking franchise serves up freshly baked, oversized, thick, soft and chewy cookies in unique flavors. The stores are popping up all over my part of the country.
I texted my daughter in law, earlier this month and asked her what she wanted me to make for her "birthday treat." I'm not sure I even had a chance to set my phone down before I my phone dinged with her reply: "Cornbread cookies with honey buttercream"... with a link to to a recipe.😂 I have to admire this girl's enthusiasm for dessert.
I bake professionally and more importantly, I'm a huge fan of cookies.🍪 So, why have I never heard of a cornbread cookie?🤷🏻♀️ Because, I've never been to a Crumbl cookie.😜 Naturally, I did some investigating into the unique treat that is a feature treat at Crumbl. I had to find out what made this cookie so special and delicious that my DIL choose it as a birthday treat. And then I had to bake a batch for myself.
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 Tablespoons oil
¼ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon honey
1 & ½ cup flour
⅓ cup corn starch
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Top each cooled cookie with a dollop of buttercream. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with sprinkles.
Those of you who have tasted the Crumbl version of the cornbread cookie with honey buttercream - you can compare my homemade version to the original. Those of us who haven't tasted a Crumbl cookie - can just enjoy the cookie for what it is. 🤪
I love to golf.⛳️ Don't be disillusioned though - I'm actually a terrible golfer.😬 Apparently - loving a sport doesn't necessarily translate to being adept at it.😜 I've decided that my lack of golfing skills shouldn't negatively effect my enthusiasm for the game though.🤣 Honestly, clubs and balls have very little to do with my love of golf. I feel like I enjoy spending a morning outside on a beautiful golf course, as much as I enjoy playing the game of golf.
As you might have guessed - I don't take my golf game very seriously. I spend a lot of my time walking through the woods looking for my ball - and that's only when I manage to swing and not miss the ball completely.😜 (I'll never understand how I'm supposed to keep my head down AND see where the ball goes!🤣) On the plus side - I get more exercise during a round of golf, than most people.🚶🏻♀️
It goes without saying that I don't golf with very many people. My husband was my very first golf partner and once we established that he shouldn't take on the role of my coach - we became a much better golfing pair. Over the last few years, I've also met friends who share my enjoyment - and lackluster attitude - for golf. 😂
Spring and Fall are my favorite times of year to hit the links. I'm very much a fair weather golfer.🌤️ I prefer to play on cloudless days, when the temperatures are between 65 and 75 degrees, with low humidity. I also like dry fairways and courses that aren't over crowded. This should explain why I only play a handful of rounds of golf every year. Perfect golfing conditions are a must.
I recognize that to most people, waiting on idealistic golf conditions seems arbitrary. I've applied very similar perimeters on my grilling days. My days of flipping burgers while standing under an umbrella or standing on a deck that feels like the surface of the sun to cook a pizza, are over. Now I wait for nearly, perfect weather, before I fire up the grill. For me, it's worth postponing a grilled meal for a few days in order to save myself the frustration of grilling chicken during an ice storm.
These Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Burgers got postponed a couple of days but they were totally worth it. They were juicy and flavorful and super satisfying. 🍔
Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Burger
1 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 cup chopped artichoke
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Grill on each side until cooked through.
Serve burgers in warm pitas along with avocado and remaining spinach.
I know, I know - we're just 2 full days into Spring and I'm already over here posting a summer salad recipe. In my defense - the thermostat hit 80 degrees in Georgia yesterday, so it feels a whole lot more like summer than spring in my town.😎 And yes, I blame the weather for forcing me to put away the winter soups and break out my new summer salad recipes so early in the season.😅
Green salads are great but sometimes I like to switch out my greens for grains. Grains bowls are my go-to lunch lately. I blame Panera. (Apparently, I'm taking zero accountability for my food choices.🤣) Ever since I was introduced to their mediterranean grain bowl - I've been hooked. I started by recreating their scrumptious bowl at home and it didn't take long for me to branch out to all sorts of other grain bowl creations from there.
This summer grain bowl combines some of my very favorite ingredients into one delicious salad. Crispy, roasted chick peas, nutty, chewy farro, toasted slivered almonds, sweet corn, fresh basil and dried apricots - does that sound as good to you as it does to me? This protein packed flavor bomb is super satisfying and a great meat-less lunch option.
Summer Grain Salad
1 15-ounce can garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup frozen corn ears, thawed
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
red pepper flakes
4 cups cooked farro, from 1½ cups uncooked
⅓ cup dried apricots, diced
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Add the farro, corn, apricots, and parsley and toss.
Divide salad among bowls. Top with garbanzo beans, almonds and basil. I recommend adding the dressing just before serving.
It's pollen season in Atlanta and every day there's an internal struggle that goes on in my brain.🧠 I start each beautiful Spring day with the intention of keeping all doors and windows closed and tightly sealed, to keep that signature fine, yellow pollen dust layer from forming on my floors, appliances and countertops.🤧 But inevitably, sometime around noon, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, I convince myself that it's perfectly acceptable to crack just one window open to let in some fresh air and perhaps just minimal pollen.😬 As the afternoon progresses though, I talk myself into the fact that I should open up more doors and windows and just deal with the pollen clean up. By the end of the day, every window and door in my house is open and every surface covered in a thin layer of yellow pollen.
I think the problem is that I just love Spring so much that I want to enjoy it fully --- inside my house. 😂 If I have to be inside, I want to feel like I'm outside - so I open up the house to let all that fresh Spring air in. Unfortunately, that also means that for a few weeks a year, I also let in the pollen. I don't think I ever really understood Spring cleaning until I moved to the land of yellow pollen.🤪
Cookie baking days are an exception to my open door policy. I keep all windows and doors closed during the baking and cooling process so the cookies are exposed to as little pollen as possible. I feel like I breathe in so much of the yellow pine pollen on my morning walks that I don't need to ingest it as a topping on my desserts as well. 🥴
Baking pollen free cookies is one thing but getting pictures of them --- let's just say that Spring photography takes pollen removal to a whole new level.🤣 Decks get hosed off, boards get scrubbed and porch furniture is pressure washed weekly because if you live in the South you know that pollen gets everywhere. It's totally worth the effort though because Pollen Free Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies are the bomb! 💣
Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cups chocolate chunks
Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
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