September 14, 2014

Fall sports have begun and you know what that means: tailgating season! Watching fall sports is not only a fun pastime, but hosting viewing parties is a great reason to celebrate with some food and wine! Especially when the spread includes some basil and sundried tomato hummus.

Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

One of my all-time favorite snack foods to nosh on during at home tailgates is hummus. The versatility of this spread alone makes it a perfect choice for parties. You can dip it with pretzels or pita, or opt for a healthier option with carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, and celery. It doesn’t have to serve as only a dip either! Are you planning on preparing a sandwich tray for your at home tailgate? Consider using some hummus as a spread inside in place of mayonnaise. You won’t be sorry.

Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

Making a batch of homemade hummus is seriously a cinch, and having basil from the garden definitely gives it a fresh flavor you just can’t achieve with store bought varieties. Another plus? Creating this appetizer ahead of time is recommended (a day in advance is best), so you won’t have to worry about prep work on the day of your celebration. All you have to do is scoop it into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and set out a bowl of pretzels and vegetables for dipping!

Gallo Family Vineyards mini bottles

Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

Oh, and we can’t forget the wine, can we? For this basil and sundried tomato hummus, I would suggest pairing Pinot Grigio for white wine fans, and Pinot Noir for red wine fans. The Pinot Grigio is light and crisp, and will pair well with the chickpeas and veggies you use to dip. The Pinot Noir’s smooth and light finish won’t be too heavy against the dip and should satisfy the red wine drinker. Fortunately, Gallo Family Vineyards has the most adorable mini bottles of wine that are PERFECT for tailgating on your home turf. The small servings allow your guests to pick from a variety of flavors in the lineup – everyone can have something they like without opening up too many large bottles.

What will you be serving up during your at home tailgates this season?

Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. First rinse, drain, and peel the chickpeas. To peel the chickpeas, place them between your thumb and forefinger and pinch. The skin should separate easily from the chickpea. Discard the skins.
  2. Place the peeled chickpeas in a food processor and pulse about 60 times. Clumps should form in the mixture.
  3. Next, add tahini, lime juice, garlic, salt, and basil. Blend until pureed.
  4. Drizzle in the water about 1 tablespoon at a time and continue pulsing until the mixture is light and smooth in texture. At the end, add in the sundried tomatoes and pulse a few additional times to incorporate (this will allow the tomatoes to be chopped, but not completely pureed into the mixture).
  5. Allow hummus to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Overnight is best. Top with a few chopped sundried tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil before serving. Enjoy!
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Make sure you check out Gallo Family Vineyards’ Wine BBQ Pairings today! If you are searching for Gallo Family Vineyards’ wine near you, check out their store locator. You can even download a $1 off digital coupon for your next purchase!

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Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards. Make sure you check out Gallo Family Vineyards’ website, like them on Facebook, start a conversation with them on Twitter, see their photos on Instagram, and watch them on YouTube!

And don’t miss out on all of the other amazing recipes by the Sunday Supper crew today!

 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

September 11, 2014

I almost can’t believe I am able to say this: I have kicked my caffeine habit. Hopefully once and for all.

It’s been two weeks and 5 days since I’ve had a “regular” caffeinated beverage. For years I was proud of the fact I’d never grown to enjoy coffee or tea. I drink the occasional latte or Frappuccino, but it’s usually once a month or less. I don’t have a morning coffee/tea – neither does Justin. I always laugh because I am convinced I found the one man in the world who doesn’t want to drink coffee in the morning. We don’t even have a coffee maker in our home. So sorry, anyone who comes to visit us…

Diet Coke kicking the caffeine habit

My one vice: a soda at lunch time. I admit, I became addicted to it over the years. Although I never needed caffeine to wake myself up in the morning, I would hit the midday slump and required a Diet Coke or another beverage to give me that boost for the second half of the day. I knew it was a bad habit, but I justified it daily because it was the ONLY caffeine I was having regularly. Everyone else has morning coffee: why can’t I have my daily Diet Coke? It has been the one beverage other than water I’ve enjoyed over the years. I’ve never been a fan of sports drinks, energy drinks, smoothies, fruit punch, or other beverages.

Ay yi yi. Since I’ve been working from home I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to break myself of this addiction. I knew it wouldn’t come easy; I’d attempted in the past with poor results. But I was determined this time, and I think it just might stick this go-round.

I’m not going to lie: the first week with no caffeine was brutal. Like any addiction, I was going through withdrawal. I started my first day on a Saturday so I wouldn’t notice quite so much. We were busy and running around – I didn’t even notice. Sunday was much the same. Then, on Monday when I went back to my work routine it hit me like a freight train. I would make it through the lunch hour, but at around 3pm Monday through Wednesday I would hit a wall. A wall so hard it rendered me unable to do work and I had to lay down for a 20 minute power nap.  Afterward, I’d feel much better. The rest of the week was a bit better, and the weekend went as usual. The second week that wall never did come around to smacking me in the face. Relief! I’m now almost all the way through week three and I don’t have any hints of an afternoon slump occurring. I’m back to regular functionality.

I will admit though: I am still craving a Diet Coke. A lot. We still have cans in our refrigerator (talk about a lesson in self control. Do I win an award for this?), and I look at them longingly at lunch time. But I know I have to go cold turkey for a few weeks to get myself into good habits before starting the “occasional” Diet Coke routine. I’m going to be honest: I’m not giving it up completely. I know I’ll still want to enjoy a soda every once in a while, and I’m totally fine with that happening. Once a week, perhaps? Everything in moderation, right? I am just happy to say I am not reliant on a daily dose of caffeine to to get me through, and that I’m not ingesting whatever chemicals are involved in the soda on a regular basis. I am calling that a huge success!

Have you tried to give up caffeinated drinks? How did you do?

September 9, 2014

Salads: do you love them? I certainly do. Some may find them “boring” or call them “rabbit food,” but I am always happy to figure out new combinations to include with my greens. And one of my recent favorites happens to be a roasted beet and arugula salad…

roasted beet and arugula salad

I have a confession: I haven’t always liked beets. My mom would put them on her salad when I was a kid and I always turned my nose up at them. But of course, as I have with many other items, I’ve had a change of heart. All it took was indulging in a delicious beet salad at a few restaurants and I was hooked.

roasted beet and arugula salad

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to create this dish at home. The textures and flavor combination are one of my favorites. You have the earthy beets, the peppery arugula, the citrus kick from the honey lime dressing, the nutty crunch of walnuts, and the creaminess of the goat cheese. It hits every note. Heck yes. And the colors are just oh so pretty. I know this salad is going to become one of the regulars in our rotation. I really want to find some golden beets to add in to the mix as well – I’ll have to keep my eyes open!

Have you enjoyed a beet salad before? What other ingredients were included in the mix?

roasted beet and arugula salad

Roasted beet and arugula salad

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 beets
  • 9 ounces arugula
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 ounce walnuts, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons honey lime dressing
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. First, roast your beets. CLICK HERE for the method I use. Once the beets are roasted, allow them to cool completely, then cut into chunks or slices.
  2. To assemble the salad, place half the arugula in a bowl or on a plate. Top with one of the beets, half the crumbled goat cheese, and half of the walnuts. Drizzle with half of the honey lime dressing CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE (more if desired), and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately - enjoy!
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September 7, 2014

Do you know what today is? Squash Fest! Well, it is for Sunday Supper at least! We decided to come together today to share some absolute favorite recipes featuring squash of all kinds. From the end of the summer squash to the beginning of fall squash, you’ll find a recipe to suit your needs. For me, it’s zucchini noodles with basil vinaigrette…

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Vinaigrette

I’m still on the zucchini noodle train, and there is no stopping it any time soon. In the past, I’ve cooked my “zoodles,” but I wanted to try an option using raw zucchini instead. As I was pondering the different options for a dish, a memory struck me. In late August of 2011, I posted about an amazing dinner I had at Tampa’s Refinery. One of the small plates we shared was a zucchini noodle pasta salad with basil vinaigrette. I instantly knew I should recreate it in my kitchen. Although it had been a few years, I figured I could make it happen since the memory of that dish was still so strong. What I came up with turned out pretty fantastic, in my opinion!

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Vinaigrette

This salad (in my opinion) is a nice fusion of summer and fall flavors. The zucchini and basil bring the summertime memories, but the roasted sweet potatoes give a nice hint of the fall flavors to come in the next few months!

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Vinaigrette

You’ve got sweet, savory, crunchy, and smooth all in one. I could definitely eat a large bowl of these zucchini noodles for lunch, but it also makes a great appetizer or side dish for dinner. I used sweet potatoes for my salad, but if you’re really wanting to up the squash factor, you could roast chunks of butternut squash instead to replace them. So so yummy!

Have you made a raw zucchini noodle salad before?

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Vinaigrette

Zucchini Noodles with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 3 medium to large zucchini
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes, then dice into bite size cubes (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking process. The potatoes should have browned edges but still be soft in the center.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. Add the garlic, basil, balsamic, salt, and pepper into a food processor. Pulse about 10 times to achieve a fine chop of the ingredients.
  4. Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until incorporated, pulsing the food processor as you do so. This recipe will yield more vinaigrette than needed for your salad; store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week to use on future salads!
  5. To assemble the salad, use a spiralizing tool or julienne peeler to cut your zucchini into noodles. Place them in a salad bowl and add 3-4 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss to coat, adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, and add additional vinaigrette if needed.
  6. Finally. toss in the roasted sweet potato chunks before serving. Enjoy!
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Make sure you check out all of the squash goodness in today’s Sunday Supper menu!

Starters – Appetizers & Cocktails:

Pickles & Relish:

Soups & Salads:

Main Dishes

Side Dishes:

Sweets to Start or End the Day:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.