Going Beyond Potential

After a long day at work, going to the grocery store to try and brainstorm recipe ideas is the last thing I want to do. It’s moments like these where I rely wholly on what’s currently stocked in my pantry, hoping there will be just the right mixture of fresh and canned to create somethin. Such was the case when I decided to whip up a few snacks to take over to a friend’s the other night. I wanted dishes that would be quick to prepare (since it would be after said long day at work) and easy to transport. After surveying what I had on hand, I chose to make a Pumpkin Bean Dip as well as a batch of Parmesan & Thyme Crackers.
The thing I love most about dips is their simplicity, where dumping the ingredients into a food processor is often the only step required. This extremely simple appetizer is a different spin on your average bean dip, and perfect for the fall! The pumpkin adds a creamy finish that pairs beautifully with the earthiness of the beans. I doubled the recipe, a decision justified once everyone was reaching for seconds after the first bite – click HERE to make this beautifully simple appetizer!
I’ve spoken about my love for Ina Garten before – this woman is fabulous! She lives in the Hamptons in a gorgeous home, with (of course) a HUGE kitchen that has everything you would ever need/want. She basically spends the majority of her time cooking and socializing – a dream life. Her approach to cooking is relaxed and down-to-earth, creating recipes that are both simple and elegant. These savory crackers were addicting, yet required minimal effort – another Ina success!
For the “pantry” part of this recipe, I just happened to have a very good Romano cheese in my refrigerator. While the recipe calls for Parmesan, the Romano was a beautiful substitute. There are only 6 ingredients total, making these a perfect last-minute snack for gatherings. The thyme adds an earthy tone that really brings these up a notch. Constructing the dough into a log was the only tricky part of this, but the result was certainly worth the effort. These crackers, though seemingly basic, achieve far more than what might be expected – click HERE to see how to make these savory treats!
I’ve always been a sucker for Chopin, and it just so happens that the friend I made these lovely appetizers for was Brian McCarthy – a pianist who plays Chopin beautifully! Knowing that the piece I chose should also reflect the timeliness of these recipes, I chose a work that was short yet filled with color: Chopin’s Étude Op.10 No.1 in C Major. Much the way these dishes reinvented the potential of everyday pantry staples, Chopin took the étude form and created it into something far greater. His etudes exhibit an eloquence and emotional depth that place them on par with performance repertoire. This specific work captures the best of Chopin’s style with the genre. The recording below is with Valentina Lisitsa – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROVy9PC8_8A

Sources Cited:
“Frédéric Chopin,” Wikipedia.com

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