Summer Fun

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To kickoff summer and intense heat, I hosted a pool party at my place.  I would have rather done it later in the summer but most of the summer is piled up with things to do and places to be. 

This is what the menu was:

Homemade Hummus

Pecos Pasta


Swiss Roll

Caramel Apples

I can’t begin to describe how great hummus is and if you haven’t tried some, you’re severely missing out!  You can buy store bought hummus, but making it at home is fairly easy.  The following recipe is a little bit more work and was a little bit too garlic-ky.  I lovvvee garlic so if you like a milder garlic taste, I’d reduce the amount of garlic. 


Hummus (from here)

2 heads garlic, intact
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup water
6 tbsp. tahini
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used fresh chickpeas)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

If you’re using fresh chickpeas, soak them overnight in water.  The next day boil them in the water till they are soft.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Chop off the quarter half of the garlic heads and wrap in foil with a pad of butter on each head.  Bake for about an hour.  Meanwhile in a small skillet, heat up the olive oil in a small skillet and cook the sliced garlic till they brown.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic pieces and place on a paper towel to drain.  Now mix the oil with the tahini sauce in a small bowl. 

In another small bowl, combine lemon juice and water.  Remove the garlic heads from the oven once they’re done and squeeze out the garlic.  The garlic should be soft enough to push through the skins.  Discard the garlic skins.  In a food processor, process the chickpeas,  roasted garlic, clove of garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowel to make sure everything is incorporated.  With the machine running, add the lemon-water through the feed tube following with the tahini-oil mixture. Process everything till smooth.  Empty out into a flat serving bowl and garnish with parsley, the browned garlic pieces, and olive oil. 


I was given the idea of making sliders from A Lil Nibble and it was a great idea indeed.  I was worried about not being able to find mini buns but after some searching online, I found most people used dinner rolls.  It’s not perfect but it got the job done.  I used fresh baked dinner rolls from the local bakery and they went with the sliders. 


4 1/2 lbs ground beef (don’t get lean meat)

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

3 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 onion

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp Burger Spice by Chefrite

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

In a large strainer, lightly wash the ground beef.  Make sure you squeeze out all the water properly.  In a small food processor, combine the parsley and onion.  Pulse till the parsley and onion are finely chopped.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, making sure everything distributed properly. 

Taking about 1 1/2 tbs of meat, make small patties.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place your patties on the tray.  Once the tray is filled, you can add another layer of parchment paper on top and add more patties.  I had about 37 patties made from 4 1/2 lbs of meat. 

On the grill or a countertop griddle, cook your patties on medium heat till its cooked through and each side is dark brown, about 4 min on each side.  Heat your buns in the oven for a few minutes so they’re slightly toasted. 

Assemble burgers with desired condiments.  I used baby spinach as my “lettuce”, sliced my own cheese, and has basic condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. 


Little Debbie snacks were much coveted when I was younger.  I remember eating Zebra Cakes, Fudge Brownies, Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, Devil Squares, Cream Pies, Star Crunch, Fudge Rounds, and Swiss Rolls, the whole lot of them.  I haven’t had them in a realllly long time so I can’t compare the swiss roll that I made with Little Debbie but the ones that I made, were so light and not too sweet at all.  It was almost like I was eating pound cake with a yummy filling.  It’s like having an awesome piece of cake without having to feel too guilty about it. 

The original recipe covered it in chocolate which I opted to skip out but maybe next time I will indulge. 

Swiss Rolls (from here)

5 eggs, seperated into yolks and whites

1/2 cup of sugar divided + 2 tbs

1/2 cup of cake flour

1 tsp vanilla extract, divided

1/2 tsp salt + a pinch

4 tbs butter, melted

1/2 cup whipping cream

Your favorite Jam

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, whip together your egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla for about 3 min, till the eggs looks pale yellow.  Fold in the cake flour.  In another bowl, whip together the egg whites with 1/2 tsp of salt until soft peaks form.  Add in 1/4 cup sugar and beat still you have stiff glossy peaks. 

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture till there are no streaks.   Quickly fold in the melted butter.  Butter a large baking tray and line it with parchment paper, then butter the paper.  Spread the cake batter evenly onto the tray and bake in oven for about 15-20 min until golden and puffy. 

While the bake is baking, in a bowl whip together 1/2 cup of whipping cream, 2 tbs sugar, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract till it form stiff peaks. 

Invert the cake on a large cutting board after it has cooled.  Spread your favorite jam evenly all over the cake.  Spread the whipped cream evenly over the jam, trying not to mix the two. 

Roll the cake carefully from the longside of the cake until you have reached the end of the cake.  Scrape off any excess cream/jam that might have oozed out.  Cover the cake with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 6 hrs or overnight.  Once it has chilled, unwrap the cake and slice up the cake to serve. 


I’ve been wanting to make caramels for quite a while but most of the recipes call for HFCS which I’m pretty much against.  I did find a document of really old recipes which I might try out.  However, for the party I made a caramel sauce to pour over apples which was a sinch! 

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/3 cup of water

1 1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a sauce pan, add in the sugar.  Pour the water onto the sugar with out mixing.  You don’t want to move the sugar around or it’ll crystallize and you’ll have grainy caramel.  Turn onto medium heat and let it cook without stirring.  While the sugar and water are cooking, make sure you have your cream ready to use and whisk on hand. 

Once the sugar has turned amber, pour in the cream which might splatter a little bit. Start mixing the mixture with a whisk until the sugar uniformly combines with the cream.  Turn off heat.  Serve warm or room temperature.


One thought on “Summer Fun

    Fatima Tai said:
    May 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    your swiss rolls were better than little debbie 🙂

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