So Long, Farewell

As you may have noticed, I have been missing from the blog scene for a couple weeks.  Sadly, my absence from Pas de Deux Blog will continue for the next 8 months.  I spent the last 2 weeks packing my things into a storage unit, and just moved across the country to start rehearsing with Royal Caribbean.

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Show in Florida, May 2012

Currently, I’m living in a 3 bedroom apartment with 5 other girls.  While we do have a kitchen, our supplies and utensils are rather limited.  I doubt I will be able to make anything spectacular in my time here.  In early July, I will be heading to Busan, South Korea to board the Voyager of the Seas, my home and performance venue for 6 1/2 months.  On board, I will have no kitchen access.  I’ll miss my cooking time, and especially my baking therapy sessions, but I’m excited to see, taste, and experience new things.

From Japan, March 2012

From Japan, March 2012

My route includes stops in Korea, China, Japan, Fiji, New Zealand, and more.  If you’d like to follow my adventures, please check me out at Waltzing on Water.  I’d appreciate your continued support!

Thank you for reading, and I wish you all the best in the coming months!  May your hearts be merry and your plates be beautiful.

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An edible rainbow

Happy Eating!

-C

Thank You, Blog World #10, or Hummus: Beyond Chickpeas

Another month has come and gone, and to be honest, I am not really sad to see February go… I am over winter. It’s been a fairly mild one here in VA, but I am tired of wearing sweaters and coats, and anxiously awaiting the return of spring produce.

above cracker dipped

Although I have been dreaming of asparagus and strawberries, I have been enjoying the root vegetables that continue to be available from our local farms. I recently purchased a “Virginia Bounty Box” from Relay Foods that featured apples, squash, potatoes, and turnips. LOTS of apples, squash, potatoes, and turnips.

Most of the box made its way into the oven–roasting root vegetables is, after all, my favorite way to prepare them. I enjoyed many a salad topped with roasted turnips, but I also decided to try something a little different…

Turnip Hummus.

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Hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, but add some tahini, garlic, and lemon juice to almost any starchy-vegetable-based spread, and you have a delicious alternative! I threw a pinch of a Tandoori spice blend I had on hand into my turnip hummus for a bold flavor.

Turnip Hummus

Yields about 2 cups hummus

Ingredients

  • 3 cups roasted turnips
  • Juice from 1/2 large lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 generous Tablespoons tahini
  • pinch Tandoori spice blend
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers, pita, or vegetables.

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So I started to wonder – what other alternative hummus recipes might I like to try? Of course, the blog world was able to deliver.

All of the alternative hummus recipes I found include tahini, and most include lemon juice and garlic, but the “base” ranges from starchy vegetables to beans and even and nuts. Those that stick to the traditional chickpea add awesome flavors or toppings that take hummus to a whole new level.

As we do at the start of each month, I would like to say “Thank You” to my fellow bloggers for the inspiration they provide me on a daily basis. Here’s a round-up of a some of my current favorites blogs and their alternative hummus recipes:

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Have you ever made an “alternative hummus”?

You can check out our past 9 months of Thank You posts at these links:

-L

Thank You, Blog World #9

Once upon a time, I hosted pizza parties regularly. I loved cooking for my friends, and always enjoyed getting my friends together for something other than work or drinks.

Dessert Bar, Pizza Party #1, 2006

Dessert Bar, Pizza Party #1, 2006

In recent years, I have stopped hosting dinners. I’ve had the occasional brunch, but it’s not the same.

Easter Brunch, 2011

Easter Brunch, 2011

Having friends over for Dinner and Downton two weeks ago, I realized how much I miss having dinner parties. I intend to start having pizza parties again!

Pizza Party, 2008

Pizza Party, 2008

This month, I would like to thank the blog world for sharing some INCREDIBLE pizza recipes! I feel so inspired!

Here are a few of the exciting pizzas I’ve come across:

Dinner Party, 2010

Dinner Party, 2010

Here’s to a cheesy tomorrow! Thanks for sharing your tasty ideas.

You can check out our past 8 months of Thank You posts at these links:

Happy eating!

-C

Happy New Year! (Thank You, Blog World #8)

Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays have been full of good food, quality time with friends and family, and plenty of rest. After spending 5 lovely days in western Virginia with my in-laws for Christmas (where my phone does not get reception, and I more or less stayed off of the internet), my husband and I ventured to Texas for 4 days with my side of the family. Two Christmases, two parties, and countless football games later, I feel incredibly blessed at the amount of love that has been shared in the past two weeks.

And we have not gone hungry! Casey will be sharing some of our delicious meals tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Nicoise Salad

As we do on the first day of each month, it is my turn to say Thank You. First, I have to say thank you to all of you, our readers. We have been blogging for about 8 months now, and it has been such fun to share our stories and our food, and to have the support of all of you who read our little blog. Thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting.

Here are a few of the bloggers who have inspired me in the past month. Since it is January, the time of new year’s resolutions, my “thank you”s come with goals for myself.

Thank You, Blog World…

…for reconnecting me with the written word.

In the past two weeks, I have read 3 books, two of which have been written by bloggers!

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Shanna’s book was incredible. I couldn’t wait to read it once I purchased it (as in, I had to force myself to do work because all I wanted to do was read). I love her writing style, the recipes she shared, and of course, her story.

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My brother-in-law gave me Jenna’s book for Christmas, and I read the whole thing on the plane from Virginia to Texas! I have always toyed with the idea of going to culinary school one day, so I loved hearing about Jenna’s experience. When I got home, my mom had already been planning to bake banana bread, and I just had to try Jenna’s recipe, which included blackstrap molasses, an ingredient with which I am currently infatuated (more on this later).

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Husband approved, I will be making this bread again!

When I was in elementary school, I used to dream of being an author when I grew up. I have always loved to read and write, but I have not done nearly enough of either in recent years. My new years resolution is to read and write more often. Maybe one day I will write a memoir of my own… but for now, journaling will suffice. I often “write” in my head, but this year, I am going to make an effort to get my thoughts down on paper when the “writing mood” hits me.

…for teaching me about the nutritional value of ingredients.

I used to think that “nutrition facts” meant the amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates, or protein in a certain food. Sarah and Gena have shown me that nutrition is really so much more.

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Casey and I scouted out some not-so-typical ingredients so we could enjoy Sarah’s Superfood Haute Chocolate together yesterday. I really love the way she explains the health benefits of the ingredients. This was my first time tasting Maca Powder, and I can’t wait to find more creative uses for it.

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From Gena, I recently learned about the iron-packed goodness of blackstrap molasses (which I used in my gingerbread cookies!). I can’t wait to try her Raisin Almond Balls.

My new years resolution is to take time to learn more about the ingredients I use when I cook. Sarah’s library will be a great starting point, and I already have an Ayeurvedic cookbook and a “Food Dictionary” to consult. I hope you will enjoy learning about ingredients, too, as I share what I am learning with you in my posts.

You can check out our past 7 months of Thank You posts at these links:

Hope your 2013 is starting off well! What New Years Resolutions have you made for this year?

-L