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Posts Tagged ‘pita bread’

White Bean Dip

 White Bean Dip

Now who doesn’t love a good hummus dip? I think hummus and pita is a wonderful snack or appetizer. So when I came across this Italian version, I knew I just had to try it. This version is made with white or cannellini beans instead of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). This dip is equaly as creamy and flavorful as hummus and the addition of the lemon juice and the parsley add a refreshing flavor to the dip. I served this with my home made pita bread and also crunchy pita chips for a little variety. I myself prefered the soft fluffy pita to go along with this delicious dip. Since we are all trying to stick to resolutions this time of year, a healthy way to enjoy this dip is to serve it with your favorite vegtables.

White Bean Dip
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1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons freshly gorund black pepper

In the bowl of tha food processor, combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in the olive oil untl the mixture is creamy. Season the mixture with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with fresh baked pita bread or crunchy pita chips.

Adapted From: Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian

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 Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel a little less busy and overwhelmed from the holiday season. I have not been able to find the time to post anything for 2 weeks and I am excited to have the time to share this recipe with you today! Last year I made it my goal to try making home made bread and learn to work with yeast, and I have to say that I proudly met and exceeded that goal. I have come to love working with yeast and the home made breads are just so yummy that it is hard to think about buying many breads from the store anymore. That especially goes for pita after I made this recipe! This pita bread was amazingly delicious. It was so soft and fluffy and went perfectly with humus. My version didn’t make pita pockets, and I am not sure what the trick is to make them. After making this pita bread, I can honestly say that I will never buy store bought pita again. Store bought pita is like card board compared to this wonderfully fluffy version. Both of my girls absolutely love it as well and it makes a perfect snack. It is also whole wheat which can help with any of you starting your New Year’s resolutions! 🙂

Whole Wheat Pita Bread
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Ingredients:
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer*, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water.  Stir gently to blend.  Whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt.  Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500˚ F.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Form each piece into a ball.  Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle.  Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking surface.  (Note: These can be baked on a baking stone or directly on the oven racks.  I use a pizza stone, but either method is fine.) Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining pitas.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*As always, anything mixed in a stand mixer can be mixed by hand.

Adapted From: Annie’s Eats

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 4th Birthday Invite

Wow! I can’t believe my little girl just turned 4! She is such a sweet little girl and it has been so much fun watching her grow and learn. Ever since her 1st birthday I have put a lot of thought and time into the theme of her parties, the invitations, the food and of course the desserts. I have so much fun planning and preparing for her special day (and my younger daughter’s birthdays as well). This year Katelyn helped with the theme and one of the cupcake flavors. Her and I sat down together and looked through a cupcake book, Hello, Cupcake! , and she picked the snowglobe cupcakes and she wanted them to be blueberry flavored.

Snowglobe Cupcakes

Since her birthday is in December I thought it was a fun choice. Once I knew I was going to have a December baby, I never planned to do a Christmas theme for her birthday (unless she absolutely would like one) so with this theme I decided to just stick to a winter wonderland theme and focused more on snowflakes and snow. Now living in Southern California we really have to imagine and create a winter wonderland, but I think we did a pretty good job.

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We had so much fabulous food and I can’t wait to share all the recipes with you all over the next few weeks. Here was the menu for her fun and special day followed by some of the photos:

Appetizers:
White Bean Dip with Pita Chips and Home Made Pita Bread
Spicy Cheddar and Cream Cheese Dip with Tortilla Chips
Veggie Platter with Ranch Dip

Main Course:
Beef Sliders
Chicken Sliders
Winter Salad with Candied Pecans, Cranberries, Pears and Feta Cheese
Fruit Salad
Potato Chips

Desserts:
Blueberry Flavored Snowglobe Cupcakes
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
Oatmeal Cranberry and Pecan Spice Cookies

Party Favors:
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

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All the yummy appetizers!

Lots of Yummy Desserts

All the yummy desserts!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with snowflake sprinkles!

Gingerbread Snowflake Party Favors

A little “Thank You” to all our fabulous guests! We had such a wonderful time and we are so glad that everyone could share Katelyn’s special day with us!

Katelyn is 4!

Happy 4th Birthday sweet baby girl! We love you so much!

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