Monday, November 8, 2010

Beer Bread

This is a pretty common recipe, although I was inspired by Rachel, who always has fun recipes. I really wanted to try her duo together, but then today, I just couldn't wait longer for the bread.


· 3 cups flour

· 1 tbsp sugar

· 1 tsp salt

· 1 tbsp baking powder

· 1.5 cups beer (I’d go with a stout, for a bit more flavor)

· Oil for greasing pan

· 1 egg, 2 tsp water, beaten (for glaze, optional)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 and make the bread by combining all the ingredients.

2. GREASE YOUR PAN WELL. Add dough. You can try to shape the top nicely here, but the dough is quite sticky and hard to work with.

3. Put the bread in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes.

Comments: This is so quick and tasty, you can’t help but love it. If white flour has zero nutritional value, white flour+beer=? I’d use half whole wheat if I had it on hand, but make it again to impress guests even if I didn’t.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Smashed Chickpea Salad

I’ve been riffing on this recipe forever, but never had all the ingredients together to make it properly and test it as it’s meant to be. Finally, I got my fresh parsley, and went at it!


  • 2 c. chickpeas, drained
  • 2 T. chopped black olives
  • 1 T. finely chopped onion (red is recommended, but I can never find it)
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest and juice from half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil (to taste)


  1. Mix everything but the olive oil in a small to midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher (I prefer to pulse a couple times in my mini-food processor). Add the olive oil, mix it lightly and enjoy.

This would be great in pita bread (maybe with more onion, tomatoes, etc.), I like it scooped up on crackers. Deb has additional serving ideas.

Comments: After ad-libbing through this a half-dozen times and loving it, I actually felt like something was missing when I strictly followed the recipe. Maybe this was due to a cold I had coming on? Or maybe I was missing my Provencal mix I used to substitute for fresh parsley.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh-Yum Asparagus and Rice with Chickpeas

Asparagus is looking lovely these days and I made a huge pot of chickpeas, so this recipe (despite its cheesey name) by Heidi seemed like destiny.


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 cups additional vegetable (broccoli recommended), optional
  • 1 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • fine grain sea salt


  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini/peanut butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


    1. Cook rice.
    2. Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, tahini/PB, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt. Set aside.
    3. Add a couple glugs of olive oil (roughly 3 tablespoons) to a big skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around to coat the pan, then add the chickpeas and sprinkling of salt. Let the beans sauté there for a couple minutes Add the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute. Stir in the asparagus with another pinch or two of salt, cover with a lid for a minute or two to steam - just until the asparagus brightens and softens up just a bit. Uncover and stir in the rice and almond slivers, reserving a few almonds for garnish. Taste and add more salt if needed (likely). Serve family-style in a big bowl drizzled with a few tablespoons of the dressing, let each person add more dressing to their tastes.

Serves 6.

Comments: Yes! This was delicious, and fairly addictive. It made quite a bit though, next time I think I’ll shoot for 3/4 the recipe, so I can finish the leftovers before they go bad.