Monday, February 9, 2015

Hatch Chili Ristras

Look at this plump Hatch chili ristras.  We just bought it on Saturday and the peppers are still soft, not totally dried.  Looking forward to using these peppers as we expand our cooking knowledge and step into a little more Mexican cooking.

There is an area of New Mexico which only grows this special type of Hatch chili.  Where to hang it was the next predicament.

This plant hook on the end of kitchen cabinet worked out just great.  Now if anyone has some recipes they love using these chili's, I could use some advice.  At least I am going to enjoy my new SW decoration for my kitchen

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Art of Gourds

Yesterday was spent at a Gourd Festival south of Phoenix in Casa Grande.  We were not familiar with the popularity of this craft until moving to the southwest.  It is very popular here, gourds are grown in this area just for artists and crafters and it is a big deal.

Go to Wuertz Gourd Festival to read more about it.  The Trout is scheduled for classes in learning this craft and  he is as excited as I am.  We did take a few pictures of the winning artists this year and their work is outstanding.

Woodburning  and painting are involved on the outside, but the cleaning of the gourds on the inside is another job in itself. 

Many artists add ropes, pine needles, antler horns to the gourds to give them a very beautiful touch.

Instead of pots, some makes masks for the wall and even purses.  We tend to like the southwest designs on the gourds the best.

We were on the Wuertz farm in Casa Grande which is located between Phoenix and Tucson.  They sell the harvested and dried gourds at a very reasonable price.  We picked up a couple for the future.
In fact, the Trout even picked out one to buy from an artist.  His classes start soon.  I'll be anxious how he does in developing this new craft. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Yummy Red Roasted Pepper Hummus

How easy is this and how yummy!  It certainly beats the pricey brand in all the grocery stores.  I found a recipe on the Internet which roasted the red peppers on the grill, cooled them, slipped the skin off, chopped them and then added to the chick peas.  I did it my way with a jar of red roasted peppers.  I just dried the amount of peppers I needed and chopped them.  Same results and so much faster.  The fresh red peppers will be used to dip into the hummus.  Sounds good to me!

Red Pepper Hummus

3/4 of a cup roasted red peppers from a jar
1 can 15 oz. chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. tahini
2 small cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving if desired

To a food processor (I always use my small 2 cup processor) add chick peas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and cumin.  Pulse and then scrape down the sides.  Add olive oil and about 3/4 of the amount of the red peppers.  Pulse and then add 1 tbsp water to thin if necessary.  If still too thick, you can add a small amount of more water. 

Top with a small amount of the chopped peppers and serve with veggies or pita chips.  Store in the refrigerator. 

I like the color and it fits perfectly in my very first ever bowl that I turned on a potter's wheel several years ago.