Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hummus Recipe

I had some requests for the hummus recipe I use. I don't technically use a recipe and kind of change up each batch just a little bit for variety, but this is the general idea of what I do to make 11 cups of hummus:

  1. 32 oz. dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  2. 1-2 cups lemon or lime juice (divided)
  3. 1 cup olive oil (divided)
  4. 4-5 peeled and sliced garlic cloves
  5. Seasoning Options: sea salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, or anything else you like

Night Before...
  1. Sort (pick out anything from the bag of beans that isn't a bean--I don't usually find anything) and rinse 32 oz. dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
  2. Dump the beans in a large stockpot and add water until the beans are covered by 1-2 inches of water.
  3. Bring the mix to a boil.
  4. As soon as the water has boiled, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let it soak overnight.


  1. Drain the beans and cover with fresh water two inches above top of beans.
  2. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans are starting to soften up a bit (though not squishy), adding water as necessary to keep beans covered. You'll notice the skins peeling off the beans. I pick some of these out as they float to the top, but don't waste time trying to get them all out.

Blending and Seasoning (repeat these steps until you've used up all your beans)...

  1. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beans into your blender until the blender is half full (to about the 24 oz marker).
  2. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil
  4. Add 1 peeled and sliced/grated garlic clove
  5. Ladle out cooking water from the stock pot and add to the blender until it comes almost to the height of the beans in the blender.
  6. Blend on highest setting until smooth, adding cooking water in small amounts to keep the blender from burning up and to thin the beans. If you get it too thin, just add more beans from the pot. You'll get the hang of it after a couple tries.
  7. Transfer the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl and add seasonings to taste. The great thing is that you can make up five or six different varieties with one pot of beans. The following are some sample combinations I like (these are all estimates, because I just kind of throw things in):
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt; 2 tsp. McCormick's Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning; 1/4 tsp. black pepper; 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt; 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile pepper; 1 tsp. ground cumin; 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt; 1/4 tsp. black pepper; 1 tsp. ground cumin; 1/2 tsp. garlic powder; 1 or 2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

You can freeze hummus in glass or plastic containers or Ziploc freezer bags. To use after freezing, just defrost in the fridge and dig in when it's not frozen anymore. Easy enough.

Let me know if you have any improvements or if you find any great seasoning combos!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One Fine Day

Today was the first warm day this year, and it was fantastic! It rained early in the day, but the clouds parted, and the sun came out! Ladan said, "It's sunny! God thought it would make us happy if He made it sunny outside! He had that idea!" You can tell we haven't seen the sun in a while!

We worked on math early, and the boys were outside enjoying the nice weather by 10am. They played while Claire took her morning nap and I cleaned. When Claire woke up, we went for a walk through the golf course across the street from our neighborhood.

We spotted all kinds of birds and a bunch of poop. Yes, that's right. Poop. If we hadn't seen a very brightly colored mallard, I'm pretty sure that the poop would have been the highlight of the walk. And really, the mallard only tied with the poop, I'm sure. The boys looked for poop on the sidewalks. They looked for it in the grass. And they even leaned over the bridge and looked for it in the water. They found it in all of these places, and every time they exclaimed, "Eew! Poop!" Let's just say we saw enough poop today to prove that there are plenty of animals in our area with healthy bowels.

The golf course... and a poop sighting:

After we got home, we ate lunch and all three kids were tired. Gabe and Claire went down for naps. Ladan did some of his reading, but he was out of it, so we saved the rest for later in the interest of a nap for him too! For about 45 minutes, all three kids were laying down quietly AT THE SAME TIME! I cleaned the kitchen in peace. Nice!

Claire is now 7 months old, and to date, she has only eaten solids a couple times with VERY LITTLE success. She also refuses to take a bottle, but that's another story for another post. Two nights ago I tried giving her solids, and she was literally sobbing with huge crocodile tears streaming down her face acting like I was ripping her arm off her side or something. Last night Chet tried, and she didn't scream at him. Instead, she just stared him down with her cute little face and held her mouth shut.

If you know me, you know that when a challenge presents itself, I do not give up easily... and may try even harder. Well, I tried again tonight, and I finally got her to eat about 3 whole tablespoons of rice cereal mixed with pears! I was pumped!

It was one fine day! Thank you, Lord!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Adoption Conference: April 29-30, 2010

With Haiti’s earthquake drawing global focus to the plight of orphans, Christians from across America and beyond will gather in Minneapolis, MN, for the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit VI on April 29-30, 2010. The objective: to inspire and equip Christians to “care for orphans in their distress” through adoption, foster care and global orphan care ministry rooted in the local church.

What you can look forward to:

  • Featured speakers will include national champions of orphan care and adoption, including John Piper, Mary Beth Chapman, Tom Davis, Doug Sauder, Stephanie Fast, Jedd Medefind, and Al Mohler. Compelling voices from the global church will join as well, from Africa to Central America.
  • Music will be led by Steven Curtis Chapman, Peder Eide, Desperation Band and other artists.
  • More than 50 workshops delivering nuts-and-bolts for adoption, foster care and global orphan programs – designed for both laypersons and leadership.
  • Orphan care resources for church ministries, as well as personal orphan care and adoption journeys
  • Breakouts will also include 5 “Hague Hour” Credits for Adoptive Families.
  • Q&A sessions and networking opportunities with respected adoption, global orphan and foster care organizations and veteran ministry leaders.
  • For Christians stirred by the plight of orphans, Summit offers the biggest and best opportunity of the year to learn how to act upon conviction. To learn more and register now, visit the Summit website here.

A taste of breakout topics:

  • Haiti and the Local Church: What’s Next?
  • Bridging the Great Divide: Building Positive Relationships Between Church Ministries and Government
  • Understanding Childhood Development of Overseas Orphans
  • A Lifelong Love: Keeping the Gospel at the Center of Orphan Ministry
  • Church-Based Orphan Ministry 101
  • Fundraising for Orphan Ministry
  • Starting in the Right Direction: Helping Pre-Adoptive Couples Make Sound Decisions
  • Now What? Helping Children Age Out of Foster Care
  • The Financial Challenge of Adoption and How the Local Church Can Respond
  • Engaging Church Leadership
  • A Child’s Journey Through the Foster Care System
  • How Does It Work? Models of Global Orphan Ministry Based in US Churches
  • Practical Ideas of Orphan-Focused Events
  • Understanding HIV/AIDS and the Orphan
  • And many more

And there’s more! Five sessions will provide pre-adoptive families with needed Hague credits.

  • Adoption and Orphans: Becoming a Multicultural/Multiracial Family
  • Adoption and Orphans: Attachment and Trauma (Part I and II)
  • Adoption and Orphans: Grief and Loss
  • Adoption and Orphans: Acclimating to a New Family Member

“American Christians are stirring to the needs of orphans both at home and abroad as never before. What’s thrilling is that even small ministries in local churches can make such significant impact. There are millions of parentless children worldwide, but a single statistic matters more than any other: it only takes one caring adult to make a lifelong difference in the life of an orphan.” - Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans