Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Moving Week

We are in the process of moving. Assuming I have a kitchen by then, I will update next weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Where to Get a Cafe Miel in Ann Arbor

The cafe miel, or honey latte as it is sometimes billed, is my latest coffee obsession. I have mentioned it at least twice in the Crazy Wisdom Community Journal. I don't usually have coffee obsessions, so it's pretty unique. My former go-to coffee drink was the caramel latte, which lately has been bothering my stomach. Perhaps it is the more natural sweetness of the honey that makes it more palatable to me now. I couldn't say. But I can tell you all the places I've had one, in order of encounter, so that you may also try one.

1) Babo: a Market By Sava The place of Discovery.
2) Argus Farm Stop Made with Row's Roast coffee. Mmm!
3) Lab Cafe I mention their cafe con miel in the current issue of the CW Journal. They add something a little extra. I think it's cinnamon?
4) Crazy Wisdom Tea Room Yes, yes, I know it's a tea room - it's in the name. (Also I work downstairs.) But they also serve Mighty Good coffee (that is the name of the roaster, by the way, not a personal comment on the quality of the coffee). So if tea is not your bag, you can still enjoy the ambiance of the tea room with your preferred bitter - or sweet - beverage. 

And the quest continues...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Homemade Soup on the Fly

One of our baked chicken with herbs dinners one night ended up leaving behind a lot of juice, so I saved it in a jar and used it to make homemade soup a few days later. This is a nice trick if you're like me and don't like wasting things. The juice was rich in flavor from both the chicken and the herbs. (Sorry that I can't recall which herbs were used on the chicken. Doesn't matter too much, though, as this work with any baked chicken dish that left a lot of juice behind.)

Another handy trick for soups is mirepoix, or chopped celery, onions, and carrots. You can buy pre-chopped blends in stores, which saves time. I had all three on hand, so I chopped them myself, then added them to the boiling leftover broth.

Some chunks of chicken would have been a nice addition, but I didn't want to take the time to thaw and cook it. This was supposed to be a quick, light lunch, and I succeeded there. I've spent a good amount of this summer sick, so I've made a fair amount of soup. This was the simplest and still really quite tasty. And the best part, I didn't have to run to the store for special ingredients.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Homemade Hummus

When I lived in California, one of my (many) roommates would get hooked on a certain food for weeks at a time, eating - seemingly - nothing but that food until he found a new obsession, and the process would repeat. One of these was homemade hummus. He would pull out the blender every morning and mix up a unique, original recipe of hummus that he then consumed throughout the day with such gusto, it was gone by evening. So when Greg and I ended up with a mostly full jar of tahini after Greg made us some chicken shawarma for dinner one night, I immediately thought of my blender and a can of chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans). 

Hummus is really, truly, ridiculously easy to make on your own. So easy, in fact, you may never buy commercial hummus again. I looked at a lot of different recipes, chief among them Alton Brown's, but in the end, I decided to mostly wing it like my old roommate. Here are the basic ingredients you need:
  • chickpeas
  • tahini
  • oil
Of course, this makes for some pretty bland hummus, so lemon juice and salt are usually also added. Garlic, too! In my experience, you can never go wrong with garlic. Since I did not have fresh garlic on hand when I mixed up my first batch, I used a generous amount of garlic powder. I also used lemon juice from a bottle rather than freshly squeezed, and canola oil because we were out of the ideal olive oil.

I feel I must caution that a lot of recipes call for two cans of chickpeas. This will make a lot of hummus. I only used 1 can and ended up with almost 2 cups of hummus. I divided it into two plastic containers designed to contain liquid, then kept one in the fridge and put the other in the freezer, which has worked out very well.

I sprinkled a little ground cumin on top of my hummus for some extra flavor. It was a tasty addition. I have also seen turmeric sprinkled on top and paprika and nutmeg. Though I cannot verify the tastiness of any of these things, they seem pretty solid. Other toppings include freshly minced garlic, red pepper or olive tapenade. You can add pretty much whatever you want to hummus. One of my favorite "flavors" of hummus is roasted garlic and chives. I recently tried a hummus with artichokes and spinach that was also delightful! 

And don't limit yourself to just pita chips. I spread hummus on a romaine lettuce leaf, add a slice of turkey and eat it like a sandwich. I also enjoy tortilla chips and fresh vegetables dipped in hummus. Water it down a salad dressing!

With an almost endless combination of ingredients to mix in with the hummus and things to put the hummus on, I totally understand how my former roommate was able to stay so entertained by it for so long.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Break Week

Taking a break this week. I'm actually too busy to even think up a poem. Be back this weekend with a new recipe!