We are already a third of the way through the last month of 2020 but I don’t advise throwing in the towel. Let’s make this the best month yet! I recently heard advice from a dear friend who had previously experienced a loss during the holidays. She shared the advice that really helped her was to be extravagant. I think that can take on many forms such as getting a gift for yourself you normally wouldn’t buy – a silky robe maybe? Or a luxurious bubble bath bomb? Maybe scented pine candles for your fake tree? Am I the only one who does that? Hah!
This year has felt like a loss to many of us. While I’ve been so grateful for the time it has allowed me to have with my son, I miss my friends and the sense of normalcy. We had a baby during a lockdown and didn’t quite get to show him off the way I thought we would. I’m not going to wallow in those thoughts, but they’re there and I can certainly acknowledge them.
So personally, to deal with the loss of this year’s expectations verses realities…I’m going more extravagant in the kitchen. I’m diving into cooking more, developing recipes, and practicing food photography. I bought myself a bracelet, again something I wouldn’t normally buy, that has silver beads and a darling cupcake charm on it.
Isn’t it cute? It reminds me of the Great British Baking Show because the packaging stated, “wear this little cupcake every day because you’re a star baker in every way.” It is my little extravagant piece to remind me I can get through hard things. I can cook more, photograph more and finish 2020 with a bang!
On that note…I made you all a banging hummus! This is NOT your average hummus. Yes, it takes a little more time than most do-it-yourself hummus recipes but it’s worth it. I’ll share some time hacks as well.
- 3 cups butternut squash fresh --> roasted, frozen --> steamed
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 14-oz no salt or reduce sodium can of chick peas can sub in white beans
- 1-2 roasted red bell pepper from a jar alternatively you can roast your own very easily
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp tahini can sub in peanut butter
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (whether you're roasting squash or not)
Cooking the butternut squash – multiple ways
- Skin and dice into cubes, drizzle with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, spread on a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way through
- Place entire squash (leave skin on) into a crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low 4-6. Once cool enough to touch, cut in half and scoop out seeds.
Cooking the garlic bulb
- Cut off the top and drizzle 1/2 tbsp of olive oil into the bulb. Loosely wrap in foil and leave the top exposed. Cook at 400 degrees (place on a pan) for 40 minutes
Roasting your own bell pepper
- Place your whole bell peppers (2) on a baking sheet with foil for less mess. Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes turning half way through. When it's out and cooled, you'll easily be able to peel away the charred skin.
- Allow the garlic, squash and bell pepper to cool.
- Squeeze the garlic bulb for the cloves to come out easily
- Put the squash, garlic, bell pepper, beans, lime juice, tahini, and smoked paprika into a food processor or use an immersion blender to mix. If it's too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin it out.
- Serve with pita, pretzels, veggies, or fruit!
This makes a hearty amount of hummus so I encourage you to use it as a dip but also a spread on things like pizza, sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, or if you’ve got a 7 going on 8 month old like I do, give it to them with a spoon or mix with purees.