It’s been over three weeks since we decided to reduce our grocery budget, let go of TV and simplify our lives to an even greater degree.  I have to say, that overall, it has been a pretty amazing experience so far.  Hard?  Yes!  Frustrating at times?  Yes!  But, on the flip-side of the challenges, the clarity I continue to experience is really exciting.  I’ll explain in an upcoming post how giving up TV has sparked some new creative momentum in my life.  But today, I want to continue sharing my journey of being more creative in the kitchen.
Along with enjoying the fruits of our garden labor, I am also trying to be mindful about using similar ingredients and using the items I’ve stocked up on.  So the following two recipes use the basil from our garden, heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market, and the olive oil, garlic and beans that I bought in bulk.
Please note: being creative in the kitchen means being willing to play.  I rarely measure my ingredients so feel free to change the measurements below.  They are meant to be a guideline, but just as I approach art and the creative process, I do the same in the kitchen…there is no “right” way to cook and we all have an inner chef – so let go of perfect and have some fun!
Tomato Basil Bruschetta
3-4 tomatoes
handful of fresh basil
2-3 garlic gloves (minced)
1-2 T olive oil
fresh Italian bread (or any kind you like)
dash salt & pepper
Chop tomatoes and basil, mix in a bowl with minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Add more of any ingredients to your taste.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Slice the bread, top with a little olive oil and broil just until crisp.  Top your bread with the tomato mixture and say hello to summer.
Fresh Hummus
2 cans garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
2-3 T tahini
juice from 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
2-3 T olive oil
dash salt & pepper
2 t cumin
1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients in a blender (I use a Vita-mix.)  Add more water or olive oil to get the consistency you like.  I prefer thicker hummus and my husband likes it really smooth.  Experiment to find what works best for you!
I like to top my hummus with a little olive oil and cumin.  Serve with blue chips, pita bread, carrots or cucumbers.  It’s high in protein and so delicious.  I also use hummus on my veggie sandwiches or wraps in place of mayo and mustard.
I’ll announce the winner of a spot in my winter Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course tomorrow.  I’ve extended the contest until this evening, so get on over to my last blog post and leave a comment for your chance to win!
Your Personal Reflection:  How does it feel to let yourself play and get creative in the kitchen?  Do you stick to recipes or try to experiment with the ingredients?  Can you continue to let go of perfect in the kitchen, and in other areas of your life?


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