People love it when you feed them. I mean, *I* love it (LOVE IT) when people invite me over for a home cooked meal (incidentally, this never happens...just saying). So this weekend, I threw my annual holiday party. I change from year to year, but this year's was an Open House Cocktail Party. I allowed my friends to bring their children. In retrospect, now that my friends are beginning to have multiple children, this might not have been wise. A 300 square foot living room, lots of glass and alcohol doesn't really scream "toddler". Still, we all survived, celebrated and had some delicious food to boot! Here are two of my favorite recipes from the evening, both well suited to winter and good health.
adapted from a Dec. 2011 Bon Appetit recipe
2 10-oz. packages shelled edamame, frozen (preferably organic)**
2 10-oz. packages peas, frozen **
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp (or 2-3 cloves) garlic (adjust to preference)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 cup (give or take) extra-virgin olive oil (you will add this slowly and taste as you go)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint
**You can also buy 1 16-oz bag of each (easier to find) and then adjust the other ingredients for taste/consistency. A lot of making hummus is going by feel anyways, so don't worry too much about exact amounts.
1. Cook frozen peas/edamame for 3-4 minutes in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. (Can be done up to 3 days in advance.)
2. Place garlic, herbs, some edamame/peas and drizzle of olive oil/lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and blended, adding spices as mixture becomes incorporated.
3. Pulse remaining edamame/peas in a food processor in batches. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice while pulsing to aid in the process. Mix with original mixture in a bowl and adjust for consistency/taste with olive oil as needed.
4. Season with salt/pepper. Blend pulsed ingredients thoroughly with a spoon.
5. Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
I like to serve with homemade pita chips. (Toast cut up pita bread drizzled with olive oil, salt and red pepper in the oven at 350 degrees until crispy. No need to flip.)
Adapted from a Dec. 2010 Cooking Light recipe
Makes around one dozen cookies
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
scant 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut (I used unsweetened, but the original recipe uses sweetened...you can decide on the amount of sugar, but I think they still taste great with less)
1. Place egg whites in a bowl and lightly whisk.
2. Add sugar, vanilla, salt, cardamom and whisk until frothy.
3. Add coconut and toss to combine.
4. Place in small tablespoon-sized mounds on a parchment lined baking pan (very important! Macaroon type cookies burn easily).
5. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 23 minutes.
6. Allow to cool and harden on the tray before removing.