Saturday, September 1, 2012

Party food

Parties are a common summer thing around here, pretty much every long weekend finds us throwing open the doors to everyone we know, for copious food and Rock Band and geeky chatter and board games and whatever else happens to end up going on. This time we're co-hosting with a friend who wants to throw a birthday party for his girlfriend, so its all our friends, all their friends and even more food than usual. Mix in vegetarians, vegans, dairy allergies (me!) and gluten allergies and there's always all sorts of interesting food. It's a non-obligatory potluck arrangement, we provide plenty of food and anyone who wants (or is able) to brings something to share. Most do, and it ranges from a bag of chips to salads and dips and veggies and fruit and cookies and sometimes even a bottle of booze. 

I often make my own hummus or other bean dips, and this weekend's party is no different. 

Sun-dried tomato and basil hummus

1 can chickpeas (I found garlic chickpeas this time)
3 cloves garlic
3 generous tbsp sundried tomato in oil (with the oil)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 tbsp dried basil
Salt to taste

Toss everything in the food processor and puree the daylights out of it. Add water as needed to give the consistency you like. I'm a garlic fan, you may want to tone it down some if you're not. 

The recipe book I've had since I was a child and first learning to cook and bake has my favourite banana bread recipe in it. It's the Monarch flour Cookbook and I can't find any date or publishing information anywhere in it. I've had it since the early 80's, and I still use it often. 

Banana Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 c milk (in my house, this is almond milk)
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c mashed banana

Stir together dry, then stir in 1/2 c chopped pecans (if desired). 
Beat together wet. Add wet to dry and mix fairly well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 60 - 70 mins. Do not overcook this, you want it to stay moist. 

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