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Fresh Chive Hummus and Picnic Fare

740Last night I saw the Wallflowers perform at the Red Bute Gardens [1] in Salt Lake City.  I thought I was getting a beautiful picture of our picnic setup, but it was super bright and I guess I couldn’t tell it was all shadowy at the time.  To the left is a fresh chive hummus I was inspired to create after seeing a chive hummus listed on the menu at the Royal Street Cafe in Deer Valley.  I didn’t actually order the chive hummus at Royal Street, so I have no idea what theirs looks or tastes like, but thought it sounded light and summery so created my own.

I also made some fresh baked whole wheat pita chips, but I pulled a stupid move and failed to get them in the picture at all.  They turned out quite well.

I was very pleased with our cheese selection as well.  Starting at the top the bottom cheese was a Sweet Grass [2] Georgia Gouda.  While googling that, I came across this [3] fabulous article about the Sweet Grass Dairy.  I have a total dream of having a dairy farm and making cheese, and this such a cool description I feel like they’re living in my dream world.  Back to the cheese, it was delicious, less soft than the traditional gouda’s  you find in the store, beautiful yellow color and enjoyed by all.  Next is the Campo del Montalban [4], which my husband bought me for Valentine’s a couple years ago after a Whole Foods recommendation.  If you like Manchego, I highly recommend you give this cheese a shot.  It’s a blend of cow, sheep, and goat milk and is just fabulous.  The third cheese was a Petit Basque [5] a French Sheep milk cheese that’s relatively new but enjoying monumental success.  I’ve read about Petit Basque in lots of catalogs and magazines and have always wanted to try it.  I was definitely not disappointed and will join the ranks of its huge fans.

I’ve been bragging about how friendly everyone is in Utah, and true to form not only did the nice neighbors next to us offer to take our picture, but shared their caprese salad and bought me a cd.  It was kind of surreal.  743That’s Susan (S-MIL), Joan, and me in the green.  Susan has been the hostess with the mostess as well as planning my concert schedule.  We had a lovely evening and really enjoyed ourselves. Me, maybe a bit too much.

Here’s the shared caprese747And here’s the beautiful setting.  If you live in Utah – or are coming for a visit, check out Red Butte Gardens!  It’s lovely!

745

Fresh Chive Hummus

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

3/8 c. olive oil

5 cloves garlic

juice from 1 and 1/2 lemons, about 4 tbsps

4 tbsps fresh chives, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp kosher salt

4 turns fresh ground pepper

Place garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice and chives in food processor, blend.  Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture.  Add spices, pulse a few more times, then chill.

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