One Helluva Hummus


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One Helluva Hummus

I’ve tried making hummus at home a few times, but this version is by far my biggest success. It is incredibly smooth and very mildly accented with garlic. I will tell you the tricks to achieving both of these benefits! And even though you’ll cook dried chickpeas to make this recipe, it is still surprisingly easy and makes a batch large enough for a party or for pushing off on your sister. I would much rather eat this hummus than any sold in stores and most served in restaurants. I seriously cannot wait to get started on my next batch. I have some good ideas for hummus dippers too!

One Helluva Hummus

The night before you want to make your hummus, add 2 cups of dried chickpeas to a large bowl, and fill the bowl with water, covering the chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Let the chickpeas sit out for 8-12 hours until they have swelled to about twice their size.

One Helluva Hummus

Pour the bowl of chickpeas and water into a large pot. Add more water so the chickpeas are covered by 2 inches once again, and stir in 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Bring the chickpeas to a boil, then reduce the chickpeas to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and let them cook for 1 hour until they are tender. The chickpeas might create a lot of foam towards the beginning, so use a mesh strainer to skim that off, and discard it. When the chickpeas are done, drain them, but reserve the cooking liquid.

One Helluva Hummus

While the chickpeas cook, squeeze 1/3 cup of lemon juice into a small bowl. Grate 4 garlic cloves over a microplane, and add the paste to the lemon juice, along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir, and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. During this time, the garlic will mellow out considerably. If you taste it at the beginning of the 10 minutes, your hair will stand up straight. Taste at the end of the 10 minutes, and you’ll want more.

One Helluva Hummus

Set a mesh strainer over a food processor, and pour the garlic mixture through. Push on the solids to release as much of the flavorful liquid as possible, and then discard the solids.

One Helluva Hummus

Add 2/3 cup of tahini to the food processor, and turn it on. While it’s running, add in 1/4 cup of very cold water, a little bit at a time, until the mixture is smooth.

One Helluva Hummus

Add all but a small handful of the cooked chickpeas to the food processor, along with 1/4 teaspoon of cumin. Process the mixture for about 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until it is smooth. To thin the hummus, add a few tablespoons of the chickpea cooking water at a time, and process again. Once you have the consistency you want, work on flavor. Season with salt, and add more cumin and lemon juice as needed.

One Helluva Hummus

To serve, spoon some hummus into a bowl, making a well in the center. Drizzle it with olive oil, and top it with some of the cooked chickpeas and a sprinkling of za’atar spice mixture or other spices of your choice. Serve with toasted pita, and scoop away to your heart’s content. For another hearty dipper, cut some vegetables into large chunks (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper at 425° F until they are charred and just tender. YUM

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

Shopping list:

  • Dried chickpeas- 2 cups
  • Baking soda- 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Lemons- ~3-4
  • Tahini- 2/3 cup
  • Cumin
  • Salt
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Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins


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Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Sweet noodle kugel is a traditional comfort food that I always look forward to, because the crispy, crunchy noodles on top are so delicious and fun to pick off. But noodle kugel deserves to be eaten in its entirety, and that’s where I decided to break with tradition (and my grandma’s recipe). Sweet kugel is typically made with canned or dried fruit- not the most popular ingredients. This version uses fresh, sautéed apples and (surprise!) raisins that are plumped and pickled in an apple cider vinegar solution. The raisins are flavor bombs that provide a slightly tangy balance that will keep you coming back for more. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the No Yolks® Noodles.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

To make this kugel, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook 12 ounces of No Yolks ® Broad Noodles for 8 minutes. While the water is heating, peel 3 apples, halve them, remove their cores, and cut them crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

At the same time, add 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt to a small pot. Put a lid on the pot, and bring the liquid to a boil. Then, turn off the heat, and allow the raisins to sit until you are ready to use them. During this time, they will plump and pickle.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

When the 8 minutes are up for cooking the noodles, pour them through a strainer and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking further. Give a noodle a taste- it should be smooth, firm, and delicious! Try to stop yourself from eating them all.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, and add in your sliced apples, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of salt. Cook the apples, tossing them occasionally, until they soften into a noodle-like state and are lightly caramelized. I know the butter takes this kugel into dairy territory for anyone who keeps kosher (unlike a traditional sweet kugel), but it’s just too delicious to omit.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

While the apples cook, preheat your oven to 350° F. In a very large bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a dash of salt.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Add the drained noodles and sauteed apples to the bowl. Drain the pickled raisins (don’t rinse them), and add them to the bowl too. Stir everything together so that it is evenly coated and combined.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and pour the kugel mixture in evenly. Sprinkle the top of the kugel with 1 tablespoon of sugar for an added crunchy topping.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Bake the kugel for 1 hour until it is golden brown on top and the noodles are crispy. Allow the kugel to cool for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top of your slices for the prettiest presentation. Now tell me, what is your favorite traditional recipe that would be even better with a modern update? I would love to hear your ideas, and even better, each comment will automatically be entered to win a $100 Visa Gift card. And for more noodle ideas, try one of these family-favorite, comforting No Yolks® Noodle recipes.

Shopping list:

  • Apples- 3
  • Egg noodles- 12 ounces
  • Rasins- 1/2 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar- 1/2 cup
  • Butter- 4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Eggs- 4
  • Vegetable oil- 1/4 cup
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon

Tell us what your favorite comfort food is for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Herb & Lou’s Infused Cubes


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Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Cocktail hour has changed forever! But in my house, it’s more basic than that– now we have a daily cocktail hour! I am obsessed with these infused cocktail ice cubes, to the point that I pack them when I travel so I can share them with my friends. What makes them even better is that my sister’s boyfriend invented them, so I’ve had a behind-the-scenes look at their creation and development over the years. They are finally here, and the best part is, they’re f-ing delicious.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

These cubes are a genius idea. They contain everything you need for a perfectly-balanced cocktail, except for the liquor. Add your own, shake or stir, and you end up with a really fancy drink that doesn’t require any other ingredients or effort to make. And the flavors are really sophisticated. The Cooper (named after my doggy nephew) has blood orange and ginger. Mixed with bourbon, you get a unique take on an Old Fashioned. The Cecile is probably my favorite, and it goes with tequila. I’ll tell you more about it below. The Clyde makes a very herbal, crystal clear vodka drink that has hints of peach and sage. I keep the boxes in my freezer so individual cubes are always ready for their higher calling.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Oh Cecile, I love you. She tastes like watermelon, with hints of cucumber, honey, and thyme. I think the mixture goes best with reposado tequila, the aged golden kind. All together, this cocktail has the perfect amount of mild sweetness that makes for a very smooth, crave-worthy drink. I usually make a small, 1-shot cocktail, but let’s go big here.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Get your cocktail shaker, and pour in 2 shots of tequila. Take 2 infused cubes out of the freezer, and drop them in. Shake until the cubes melt and the shaker gets frosty (the cubes melt REALLY fast- all part of the genius), and pour your cocktail into a glass. That’s it. You’re done. Drink and repeat!

Keep an eye out for Herb & Lou’s near you (or online)!

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