Let's kick off this blog with the last meal that we cooked together. It was a falafel feast with fresh hummus, pita, veggies, and a delicious cucumber sauce. Nothing warms the soul quite like a batch of little falafel balls sizzling on the stove!
We actually filmed this whole cooking adventure and hope to add the edited video soon, but this was the menu:
We used this Falafel and cucumber sauce recipe from Allrecipes.com, they came out perfect! We added a little fresh mint to the balls for an interesting flavor. Instead of cooking the falafels in little balls (like you would usually find at restaurants) we flattened the balls slightly so they would cook better in a pan. Be sure to only add a few falafel patties to the pan at one time because they have the tendency to steam instead of fry if there are too many in there. Finally, three words: beware of splatter!
The homemade pita bread was a recipe was from Tammysrecipes.com and it was surprisingly simple to make (once the yeast decided to cooperate) and we even substituted whole wheat flour to make delicious and healthy pita pockets. The dough was really fun to put together and kneading dough is a great morning workout! We ended up making two batches of dough because the first one didn't want to rise. Turns out using expired yeast is never the best plan. If you put your yeast in a cup of warm water with a little sugar for a few minutes you will know whether or not the yeast is still active. You should see the water double in size due to little bubbles - and if not, throw that one away and use another yeast packet! When you are done creating your dough you let it rise not once - but twice! This is the key to creating the air pocket inside your pitas. First you let the dough rise as one ball, then you split it into individual balls for the pitas. Let these rise as balls then punch them down and roll them out to let them rise a second time as flat pitas. We had the tendency to let them overcook in the oven due to their super short cook time. Watch these like a hawk! It only takes about 4 minutes for each pita to cook.
We chose to make a beet hummus instead of regular hummus because we had been talking about making something with beets for a long time. This recipe is from simplyrecipes.com. We think it came out a little too lemony but it was definitely delicious and tangy. This was also relatively easy to make, with the exception of peeling the beets. You peel them after cooking them because the skin comes off easier, but I can't help but think it would have been easier to use a peeler before baking. We may try that next time, unless there is a reason to cook them skin on.
Overall this feast was a Tasty success but if we do it again we will try a different hummus. The beets where a little overpowering. Thanks for checking us out and tune in next week (or later this one) for new reviews, recipes and ideas!!
Jess and Kristine <3