MAKING RACING GREAT AGAIN + SUMMER IN FEBRUARY + SPICY HUMMUS + TOMATO ARTICHOKE SOUP

It’s a glorious time to live in Indy. The last two weekends have been in the 60’s and it’s like a summertime surprise in Winter. My boyfriend and I dog sat last weekend, which was a special treat. As much as I love being a city dweller, nothing beats a big backyard, two Labradors + a Norfolk terrier, and a basketball hoop. We played a little pick-up basketball until we realized we’re getting old.

This weekend was even warmer, so we spent Saturday outside doing man stuff. Racing season is around the corner (March) and I do my best to be a supportive girlfriend. I am already gearing up for race days with plenty of snacks. On our third date, my (now) boyfriend took me to the racetrack where he has a garage. Not sure if it was a test, but I’d like to think I passed because he kept me around.

It reminded me of spending time with my dad washing cars in the driveway, attending car shows, and reciting random facts about German cars. I remember sitting in the garage on that date, counting the various sized cans of WD-40 and thinking, I like this guy.

He rewarded my patience with pizza, beer, and a movie at Flix, where I was comfortable enough to let myself fall asleep on his shoulder during the movie. Only a month later, I’d have my head on his shoulder again, in the back of a cab and covered in blood. Amazing how quickly life moves, but comforting to have memories – good and bad.

Onto the hummus! I have been eating hummus on the daily since college. I became a bit of a hummus snob somewhere along the way and would only buy Trader Joe’s: original, roasted red pepper, spicy, you name it. I’ll buy Sabra in a pinch since Marsh is a block away from our condo, but now that I’ve discovered the recipe below, I don’t plan on ever buying the store-bought stuff again.

I had made hummus once before a few years ago and the texture was off. Behold, A Couple Cooks’ spicy version. It is so good that I ate every last spoonful of the remnants inside my Vitamix. The secret is the tahini, which makes it creamy and delicious and the mason jar to-go tip is genius.

This post is dedicated to A Couple Cooks because I also recently made their copycat version of Patachou’s tomato artichoke soup. Don’t tell Patachou, but I almost think this version is better.

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Gelato for lunch because it’s porch weather, my new favorite t-shirt, my boyfriend’s mom knows us well: oatmeal for me and (breakfast) beer for him, one of the labradors.

SPICY HUMMUS

Recipe via A Couple Cooks

  • One clove of garlic
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas + ½ cup can liquid
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Tabasco and Sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Peel the garlic (I also always have the minced stuff in the jar in my fridge). Drain the chickpeas, but save a little liquid from the can. In a blender, blend garlic, chickpeas, ½ cup chickpea can liquid, tahini, lemon juice, Frank’s hot sauce, paprika, and kosher salt. Blend on high until completely creamy.

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TOMATO ARTICHOKE SOUP

Recipe via A Couple Cooks

  • 1 large onion (1 ½ cups chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can artichokes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. Chop 1 large onion and mince 3 cloves garlic. Drain and roughly chop the artichokes.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons butter. Sauté the onions, garlic, and 3 bay leaves until the onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. To the pot, add the artichokes, 2 cans tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 teaspoons basil, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender (or blender if necessary), blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Taste and add additional kosher salt if necessary. Garnish with croutons, more cheese, and serve.

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XO, Libby

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