a simple candle-lit date and a hummus recipe

friday night was “parents night out” at the seminary. That means that some generous people spend their night watching your kids for free while you go on a date! So we dropped Caedmon off and had a simple and frugal date-at-home: a candle-lit Mediterranean feast.

while we were eating I couldn’t stop thinking about how we should recreate this meal again in the future - over and over and over. it was that good. It was so delicious and EASY. And with everything prepared ahead of time, all we had to do was put it on the table, light the candles, and enjoy each other’s company. Here was our menu:

simple date-at-home for two :
sourdough pocket bread from Wardeh’s e-course
homemade hummus (method follows)
feta cheese and olives from a local deli
sangria (this was a gift - and we were grateful!) with organic apples and oranges
salty-sweet chocolate with walnuts

(sorry there are no pictures of this feast! i'm not in "you've-started-a-blog-take-a-picture-of-anything-that-could-become-a-post"mode yet.)

the sourdough pocket bread was a HUGE success. It did take quite a bit of preparation (it gets THREE rises!), but the flavor and texture are incredible. And most of the prep time is inactive - you just have to be around all day to check on your dough. Steven couldn’t believe that it was 100% whole wheat. If you are interested in capturing wild yeasts in your OWN kitchen to leaven your own bread and help with digestibility of grains, I highly recommend this e-course!

the hummus is simple to prepare and is SO much cheaper than buying it in those little containers from the store. if you prepare it using dry beans instead of canned, this is a seriously frugal food (especially if you buy chickpeas in bulk like we do!)

I have to credit my mother-in-law for teaching me how to make hummus without a recipe (thanks!). what follows is a basic method - I just eyeball it and taste it until I’ve got it right. It’s a little different every time - and I like it that way. Here’s how you do it:

Easy [chick]peas-y Homemade Hummus

yield : about 4 cups

equipment needed : food processor

ingredients :
dried chickpeas (a couple cups or so)
apple cider vinegar
olive oil
tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
a lemon (or two)
minced/pressed garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper
optional seasonings - get creative! this time I used cumin, sumac, paprika, fresh parsley, and fresh dill

instructions :
1. Soak a couple cups of dried (rinsed) chickpeas in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar 8-24 hours. (This helps you digest them better!)
2. Drain the water off, add fresh filtered water, and bring to a boil. Once they are really boiling, skim off the foam (those are indigestible compounds), add some salt, lower the heat, and cook until tender. This will take a few hours - be patient!
3. When they are done, let them cool slightly, and use a slotted spoon to fish them out of the liquid and put them in your food processor. (It is important to save the cooking liquid. If you think it’s easier, you can strain them with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid, but that dirties a colander AND a bowl, instead of just a slotted spoon.)
4. To the food processor add a couple drizzles of olive oil, a few spoonfuls of tahini (don’t overdo it or your hummus will taste bitter), the juice of one lemon, a couple cloves of garlic put through a press or minced, and your seasonings of choice. Process until smooth. Add some cooking liquid if it is too thick. Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs, and process again to incorporate.
5. To serve, pour into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac.

Now light some candles, dip your pita in the hummus (don't forget the feta and olives!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor and the company of those you share your meal with.

update: I'm linking this to Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Joanna, you rock!! I am so glad you started this blog. I've been trying to remember so many of the things you mentioned when we visited and my brain just doesn't hold that much info these days! It's great to be able to come here and be reminded and encouraged on my journey of pursuing real food. :) One readability suggestion though- the font, at least on my screen, looks a little broken and is a bit hard on the eyes. Otherwise it all looks great!

  2. That hummus recipe sounds amazing! Welcome to the blogosphere. I have to agree with Miriam on the font thing, but I love the orangey/greeny sidebars! :)

  3. thanks for the tips on the font! i'll work on that. :) glad to have you reading!

  4. Just thought of another question- what food processor do you have and how do you like it? I'm looking at buying one as I've seen several things I'd like to do that a food processor would come in handy for. If you're not crazy about the one you have, is there another you've heard is good?

  5. Miriam :), my food processor is a Black & Decker Quick n Easy. I've heard good things about Cuisinart and I think it's able to grind nuts which is something mine struggles with.