Over the weekend I finally got the chance to make something with the hummus I wrote about in last week’s blog! Originally I had planned to make a dessert, but a vegetable dip recipe caught my eye instead. I decided it would be the perfect thing to take to a small dinner party I went to on Friday, and it was a big hit! My friends were already used to eating hummus with veggies or pita chips, so they immediately loved the idea of the hummus dip I brought–hummus with vegetables on top.

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The hummus dip was so simple to make, and I am sure you can use any of your favorite vegetables. I used a recipe calling for Greek olives, cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese. I loved this combination of vegetables and hummus so much that I have already decided to take it this coming weekend for a game night I am going to with some old friends!

My friend who is hosting the game night was talking about how difficult is was going to be for her to decide on a menu for everyone because we are all still on our New Year’s resolution diets. I promised to bring something healthy and this fills that requirement perfectly and tastes great at the same time!

So last week was hummus for the letter H, and this week we advanced to the letter I. Now it isn’t as easy as you’d think to come up with a healthy food that starts with the letter I, so I guess that’s why Idaho potato made the list this week instead of ice cream. 😉

There is nothing quite as good as a perfectly baked potato with a little butter, salt, and pexels-photo-236798.jpegpepper. But we’ve all had this healthy version of the baked potato, and I needed something to serve a crowd for the birthday party I was throwing for myself on Sunday. This called for my all-time favorite cheesy potato casserole.

To be honest, the only way anyone would consider this dish “healthy” is by limiting your portion size and number of servings. And that is a good habit to develop; one the kids are also learning as they eat through the alphabet. They are learning the concept of “go foods” vs “slow foods”.  Go foods includes foods that are healthy for their body, that they can eat anytime, and slow foods are things they should limit to eating just sometimes, such as cheesy potato casserole.

By itself, cheesy potato casserole is an easy dish to throw together, but cooking for nineteen people isn’t necessarily so easy. I think I finally realize why some people drink wine while they are cooking; it may be the only way to keep from panicking when things seemingly start to get out of control!

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It pairs well with a deep breath and a reminder to yourself that you’ve got this. And it helps to remember that Julia Child was famous for reminding us all that cooking is one failure after another, you grin and bear it, you fix your mistakes, but then never ever apologize or make excuses for your food. Luckily the cheesy potato casserole came out of the oven a nice, crispy golden brown and was almost devoured before the last guest even arrived on Sunday.  I had made three crockpots of various dishes to accompany the potatoes, and there were a few mishaps in the kitchen that day. But I sipped my wine, took a few deep breaths, fixed my mistakes, and by the time the first guests arrived my failures had turned into successes. No apologies and no excuses!

-Kim

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