IRISES – JUNE BLOOMS

I have so many pictures of flowers … so I thought perhaps I should add them to Cee’s “Flower of the Day” link. Because otherwise, I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of them!

The garden is always changing. This was a few weeks ago. Gone till next year!

THE BIG PICTURE – CEE’S BLACK AND WHITE CHALLENGE

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE: LARGE SUBJECTS

This week’s topic is Large Subjects.  Your large subjects can be anything you want to show off as being large.  It could be a matter of perspective.  For example a flower with a small bug, makes the flower look huge.  Or a photo of something far away and something smaller in the foreground can also look huge.

And so … here we go!

arizona painted desert BW

72-BW-Bad-Moon-Monochrome_1

72-BW-Beacon-Hill_061

LOVE/HATE CHALLENGE

It has been over a month since WIL threw this challenge my way so it is time to stop procrastinating and give you my top ten lists.

“Ok, so here are the instructions:

List 10 things I love and 10 things I hate – then nominate 10 fellow bloggers to do the same.”

Love:
1. My friends (some more than others)
2. France (Alsace particularly)
3. Chicago Sports teams
4. Deep dish pizza
5. French wine (white mostly)
6. Micro brew (312, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, others)
7. Travel (I wish I could do more)
8. Music
9. Adventure movies
10. Chicago, the band

Hate:
1. New York sports teams (a requirement to live in Chicago)
2. Green Bay Packers (another Chicago requirement)
3. Cilantro (a little goes a long way)
4. Cumin
5. Guns and Roses
6. Haters
7. Internet memes (a great source of misinformation)
8. Starbucks (pushing local coffee and tea shops out-of-the-way)
9. Religious fanatics (hating in the name of God is particularly sinful)
10. Squid

OK, let’s see who answers back.  It would just be wrong if I did not start the list of nominations with Marilyn.  I nominate:

1. SERENDIPITY
2. SERENDIPITY (This one’s for Garry)
3. MikesFilmTalk
4. Taps and Ratamacues
5. Creeped.
6. wandering story teller
7. That’s Gay.
8. swo8
9. Wheelchair Traveller
10. JamesRadcliffe.com

The hardest part of this challenge was chasing down the urls for the nominees.  I have a few others in mind, but their blogs do not seem to lend themselves to a challenge since they are all photography, all poetry or all politics.  This seems to fits us eclectic types.  So what do you love/hate?

EASY HOME-MADE HUMUS (NO MEAT, EGGS, OR DAIRY)

Memory on the menu? Not really. But today — there’s humus on the menu and it’s good!

I love humus and don’t understand why it costs so much at the supermarket. Especially since the supermarket stuff isn’t particularly good. So, I make it myself.

Making hummus

HUMUS

2 15-1/2 oz cans chick peas (with or w/o water drained)
1 cup organic tahina
1/8 cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil (NO substitution)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic (more if you prefer it garlicky)

Add salt to taste (about a teaspoon and a pinch), plus water as needed.

Optional: Chopped onion and/or hot sauce

Throw everything in the food processor. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick (that is, the food processor seems to be laboring), add a bit of water, a little at a time. You won’t need much.

Taste. Adjust seasonings. I add 2 teaspoons of hot sauce (chipotle or whatever I have on hand).

Makes two good-sized containers of humus. I use one for dinner and there’s usually some left over, depending on how many are eating. I freeze the second container.

Serve with pita wedges (fresh if you can get it, lightly toasted if not). Nice with a side of fresh avocado, fresh lemon, and sliced tomatoes. In Israel, humus is typically served with a drizzle of olive oil, a shake of paprika, a bit of fresh, chopped onion and hot sauce. Often very hot sauce.


hummus with pita

I got the basic recipe from my Armenian bank manager, added a few Israeli twists. It’s good. Really good and not expensive. This is not a particularly sensitive recipe. If you have two mismatched cans of chick peas, not to worry. A little more or less water? No problem. The hardest part is cleaning up … and there is always a lot of cleanup. No matter how hard I try, humus and tahina winds up everywhere.

I highly recommend buying organic tahina. Not only does it taste better, but it doesn’t turn rock solid when left in the cupboard. Do not refrigerate it. That’s like refrigerating peanut butter. It will become solid and may be impossible to stir back to life. Tahina — organic or otherwise — does not require refrigeration, either before or after opening.

I usually make a double recipe, thus using up the entire jar of tahina. After you have collected all the ingredients and set up the food processor, you might as well make full use of it. One jar of tahina will make two big (double) batches of humus.