Friday, February 17, 2012

Love, Love, Baby Love -- And Food Love, Too!

Baby love: Mary & Isaac

Dear friends,

My second grandbaby, Isaac, was born last Sunday.
I took a few pictures in the hospital here: 

I took the pictures in this post when he was three days old, 
when I took seven of his Mommy's siblings for a visit at their home.

Aunt Naomi

Mary, Ryan, Jacob, Isaac

I had signed up to take them a meal at 
as arranged by her friend Katie, 
who also gave her the Blessingway shower 
and was the doula at Isaac's birth.

Mary and Ryan eat kosher and a lot of vegetarian food,
so I decided to bring a chef salad, as I did when Jacob was born.
As soon as she saw it, Mary exclaimed, 
"You remembered the lettuce this time!"
Yep, last time, I packaged toppings in zip lock bags 
and packed them in my basket --
but then forget the big bag with the lettuce!
But this time I got it all in my favorite Longaberger basket, 
a long ago gift from my own sweet mother!

Flowers, salad, Greek dressing, hummus, crackers, heart cookies

Grandma's Heart Salad:
  • salad mix in a bag
  • fresh spinach
  • sliced carrots
  • green pepper
  • onion
  • broccoli florets
  • black olives
  • hard boiled eggs (more in a separate bowl)
  • feta cheese
  • pine nuts
  • grape tomatoes
  • Greek garlic dressing on the side

Homemade hummus

I tried making hummus for the very first time,
making up my own recipe after looking at several on
It was very yummy, if I may say so myself!
The picture is of a bowl I made for my husband's snack before we left.
He's a good taste tester!
Most hummus recipes call for tahina, a sesame seed paste.
I didn't have any, so I used sesame seeds,
which I buy in bulk at a local produce market to make 
Orange Sesame Chicken 

Grandma's Hummus
Puree in a food processor or blender:

  • 2 cans chick peas, drained
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs sesame seeds 
  • 3 Tbs minced garlic (I buy it in a jar, and use a little of the liquid)
  • 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/3 cup black olives with a little of the liquid
  • basil 
  • rosemary
  • paprika
  • red pepper flakes
  • black pepper
  • salt 
Jacob loves his hummus and crackers!

Food is definitely a way we show love to people, either by fixing it for them or eating it with them, or both!

This morning, it meant interrupting this blog post to make a quick ham and pepper jack cheese on potato roll sandwich and tuck it in a lunch sack with a crunchy Granny Smith apple for my 17 year old daughter.  (She was running late, so I drove her to the bus stop, too.)  It meant making stuffed shells from scratch for my 21 year old daughter's birthday last week, to enjoy after a long day on clinical rotations.  (She's in nursing school.)  It meant making dozens of cookies and brownies for my 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter to take to school on their birthdays. (Yes, we did just have 3 birthdays in one week, plus a new grandbaby born!) It meant bringing a barbecue chicken sandwich to my 12 year old son, who was sick, instead of making him come to the table. It meant preparing a steaming mug of mocha coffee for my 14 year old son, to wake him up for a day of home schooling.  It meant preparing a special "just the two of us" snack of cookies, nuts and root beer for an in-house date night with my husband. It means making dinner for "just the ten of us" almost every night, week after week.

And it's not just for our own families.  What about hospitality?  We used to have people over for dinner a lot more than we do now and we need to start that up again! My favorite time was when we had several students from China and India over for Thanksgiving dinner: Our Thanksgiving Indians Shauna Niequist shares a lot of stories about sharing meals in her book Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way.  Tim Chester also wrote an excellent article called Show Hospitality & Share the Gospel.  I have a lot of recipes suitable for hospitality on my main blog here: RecipesThere are so many more things I could say about this, but I'll just leave you with those links -- a little "food for thought."

Virginia Knowles

This blog post is linked to memes on other blogs:

Click here to see Ann Kroeker's Food on Fridays


Click here to see Project 52!

project 52 p52
(This weeks's theme: True Love!
Next week: Cabin Fever)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Caramel Toffee Dip on the Blessingway Table

Dear friends,
Last Sunday I attended a Blessingway celebration for my daughter Mary, who is due to birth her second son in less than two weeks.  You can read more about this at Weekend Gratitude: Blessingway for Mary.
I promised in that post on my other blog that I would talk about the food! Here 'tis!

Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip

Want to make it?  Yes, you do!
Katie said:
Blend 8 oz cream cheese (room temp), 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Mix in and top with crushed Heath bars.

Caramel Toffee Dip
with Muffin and Fresh Strawberry

See Shimmer and Shadow for poem and much more...

Cake Pops
Cucumber Sandwiches

So Much More!

So elegant!  Thank you, Katie Wadley, for hosting this lovely party for my Mary!  Seriously, go check out the sweetness at Weekend Gratitude: Blessingway for Mary,

Virginia Knowles

Click here to see Ann Kroeker's Food on Fridays