Smooth and Creamy Hummus

The season of parties and get-togethers is upon us! I love having a batch of hummus ready at the go, as it makes such a lovely appetizer. Although I already have already shared a yogurt based hummus recipe, this recipe is for a traditional hummus. Please spare yourself and your guests from the premade gloop sold in grocery stores, and spend 5 minutes to whizz together this delicious and healthy Middle Eastern dip. You won’t regret it, promise 😉

(Recipe adapted from Amanda’s Plate)

 

 

Hummus

(Overnight)

Yield: 5 – 6 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ – 1 cup water, as needed, cold
  • Olive oil, as needed, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, soak chickpeas in cold water overnight.

Drain chickpeas and transfer to a large vessel. Cover with cold water and add baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the chickpeas are cooked through and tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and cool slightly for a few minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooked chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Begin running the food processor, and slowly add water until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

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Pumpkin Spice Blondies

I’m all about pumpkin this time of year! I had 3 pumpkins worth of puree, and these blondies were some of the goodies that we enjoyed from said puree. The recipe is a one-bowl wonder, found and adapted from Crazy for Crust, and comes together super fast. The resulting blondies are perfectly spiced, and their texture is just perfect!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Blondies

Yield: One 9”x13” Pan

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9”x13” pan with aluminum foil and grease generously. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, pumpkin puree, and granulated sugar. Whisk until combined. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly combined. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, salt, ginger, and allspice. Add all-purpose flour and gently mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Use lightly dampened hands to press the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the center looks slightly under baked, 18 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan itself. Remove from pan, slice, and serve.

Pakistani Carrot Rice Pudding / Gajrela (Gajar Ki Kheer)

It’s that time of the month again- Muslim Food Bloggers Challenge Reveal Day! This month was special because it marked the end of one year since these challenges began. The theme of this month was to go back and revisit a past challenge of our choice. It could be one that we missed, or one that we wanted to do again. I chose to combine two-

  1. Share a Pakistani recipe.
  2. Share a recipe from a Muslimah blogger.

I’m sharing a recipe for Pakistani Carrot and Rice Pudding, also called Gajrela (or gajar ki kheer). The recipe is actually from a vlogger who shares videos on her youtube channel- Cook With Faiza. I love her recipes because they are authentic and her demeanor is very approachable.

I made this recipe over the summer while I was visiting my family in California. While I was there, my mom and I hosted a surprise anniversary party for my brother and sister in-law (she is more sister than in-law. Love you SaraMaa!). I was originally going to share this recipe back in September for the monthly challenge. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Rafeeda from The Big Sweet Tooth had posted the same dish! Ha! At the last moment I decided to go with something else that was a regional specialty (Karachi Bun Kababs). Truly, great minds do think alike 😉

Anyway, this recipe is very special to Pakistani cuisine, and with the coming cooler months, it is even more special. Enjoy!

Check out all the yummies everyone is sharing this month by clicking on the graphic below!

 

 

Gajrela

Yield: 10-12 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups whole milk
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup basmati rice, ground coarsely
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Handful sliced almonds or pistachios

Directions:

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat milk over medium heat until it comes to a low boil, stirring often to prevent the milk from burning. Add grated carrots and stir. Once the milk returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the carrots have softened considerably, about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to stir often.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and ground cardamom. Add sugar mixture to carrots and mix well. Add ground rice and condensed milk and mix until thoroughly combined. Cook, while stirring often to prevent burning, until significantly reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. Add sliced nuts and remove from heat.

Gajrela can be served warm or cold. Garnish with additional sliced nuts, if desired.

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Are you all ready for the onslaught that is pumpkin season? I AM!

I’ve been swimming in pumpkin these past several weeks, and totally loving it! Also, I finally tried my hand at making my own pumpkin puree. You guys, it is SO easy! I had three pie pumpkins hanging around, much thanks to a field trip my son’s class took to an orchard (and also a local fall festival), so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. All you have to do it trim off the stem and cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh, and roast them in the oven (350°F) for about an hour.  Once they’re done cooking, let them cool a bit, scoop out the flesh, and puree away (if you find it too thin, simply pour it into a strainer and let it sit until your desired consistency is reached)! So so easy!

So about this recipe- I made it several times last year, and it was always a hit. I tried again this year, and again it was a stunner. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require the crust to be pre-baked, and the filling is a one-bowl recipe.

(Recipe adapted from A Treats Affair.)

 

 

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yield: One 9”x13” Pan

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:

  • 4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Prepare Crust:

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside a aluminum foil or parchment paper lined 9”x13” pan.

In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers crumbs and melted butter. Transfer to prepared pan and press the crumbs on to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Prepare Filling:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium low speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat until thoroughly combined. Pour half of the mixture over the crust, and spread evenly.

To remaining cheesecake filling, whisk in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Carefully spoon mixture evenly over the pan.

Bake until the edges are set and the center is still a little wobbly, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.

Chicken Chili

There’s definitely a nip in the air, and when it gets cold there is nothing better than a bowl of steaming hot chili. There is already a beef-based chili recipe here on the blog, but I wanted to switch things up this time and give chicken chili a chance. I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and adapted it to be cooked traditionally on the stovetop. The recipe comes together fast, and yields a flavorful and healthy meal. With autumn finally settling in and winter fast approaching, it looks like there is a lot of chili in my near future 😉

 

 

Chicken Chili

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ – 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bell pepper, any color, diced
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw. Reduce heat to medium low and transfer chicken to a plate and shred.

Add remaining ingredients and shredded chicken to the pot and stir. Cover and cook until thick and bubbly, about 30 minutes.