Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Spinach-Artichoke Hummus

Spinach-Artichoke Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

One of my favorite things to eat is a nice hot, cheesy, gooey Spinach and Artichoke Dip. That said, you may have noticed that I've been on a bit of a Hummus kick lately. When I looked in the pantry a week or two ago and saw a can of quartered artichoke hearts, I decided to add an Artichoke Hummus to my To-Do List. Then I started thinking about the dip and decided to make it a spinach/artichoke version. That turned out to be a great idea for a healthier dip option - a little too good actually! After eating a hefty portion with some veggies and pita chips for dinner, I actually had to put myself to bed early so I would stop scooping another chip every time I passed through the kitchen (funny how thirsty I was that night, forcing me to make several trips to the fridge for water).

15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
8/5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
3 T tahini
1-2 cloves garlic (depending on size)
1/2 t kosher salt (or about 1/4 t table salt)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c water
1 T white balsamic vingar (or 2T lemon juice)
1 c chopped spinach (I used frozen/thawed)
  1. To the bowl of your food processor, add the chickpeas, about 2/3 of the artichoke hearts (reserve the rest), the tahini, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, half of the water, and white balsamic (or lemon juice).
  2. Puree until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary to catch any stray chickpeas, and adding the remaining water if needed - depends on how "juicy" your artichokes were, how well you drained the chickpeas ...
  3. Add the reserved artichoke hearts and the spinach to the bowl, and pulse until just combined. The semi-chopped artichokes will add another texture and make your Hummus more appealing visually, and adding the spinach at the end will also change the texture and prevent your hummus from turning Kermit the Frog green.
  4. Let that sit for a while to give the flavors a chance to blend, then drizzle a bit of oilve oil over the top and serve with veggies or pita chips for dipping.

To whip up a batch of pita chips. Just cut loaves of pita bread into single layered chip-sized pieces, spritz with cooking spray (or brush with olive oil), sprinkle a bit of salt or your favorite herb or spice blend, and bake until crispy. Sometimes I'll pick up one of those multi-section shaker-top bottles of spices (meant to be added to olive oil for dipping bread) and make some of each flavor. Lately, I've been using a container of Falafel Spice.

Spinach-Artichoke Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

For any kind of dip like this, if you're going to be dipping cucumbers, because they can be slippery, you might want to use a crinkle cutter so the ridges give your dip something to cling to.

Spinach-Artichoke Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

Monday, October 31, 2016

Zombie Eyes ... And a Lesson Learned

Zombie Eyes: Hye THyme Cafe

I threw these together at the last minute for an office pot-luck today. Strangely, the last time I made a version of these pretzel/kiss treats (Salty Kisses), I also had a lesson learned. That time, it was not to use the caramel-filled kisses. This time, it was not to use the Pumpkin Spice kisses. I don't know what they're made of, but it's apparently not chocolate! No matter what heat setting I tried, I couldn't get those buggers to melt. Makes you wonder.

Small Pretzels (preferably round waffle or wagon-wheel)
White chocolate Kisses (I could only find the Cookies n' Creme)
M&Ms or other small candies (I had some "eyes," so I used both)
Red and black icing 

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil, then with a single layer of prezels
  2. Top each pretzel with a Kiss
  3. Bake at 250 for about 8" until melty
  4. Press an M&M into each for the iris - they're zombie eyes, so it's OK to use the yellow, orange, and red even though they're not regular eye colors
  5. To make them bloodshot, pipe on a bit of red icing - I had a small tube I hadn't opened from Christmas, so I used that, but to create the pupils, I mixed a bit of powdered sugar into a spoonful of milk until smooth, then blended in black food coloring and used a small paintbrush to paint them on. You could do the same with red food coloring to give them that bloodshot look.
At the time I bought the Kisses, I was bummed I couldn't find the white/dark Hugs, thinking the built-in stripes would work for the bloodshot look when they were smushed by the M&M, but I actually think the Cookies n' Creme makes them even creepier, so that worked out fine. You can see in the photos that I did manage to use a few of the Pumpkin Spice Kisses - those look pretty creepy too, partially because instead of melting, the outside coating got flaky.

Zombie Eyes: Hye THyme Cafe

Zombie Eyes: Hye THyme Cafe

Have a spoooooky Halloween!

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