Monday, October 25, 2010

Catch up, Must herd and Ketchup

Catch up ...
Hey there! Well I have some admin to do over here. Sometimes days go by faster than I can chronicle them here on the blog. Last week I filled in for Kim Fernandez on Martha Stewart Radio's morning show, Morning Living with Betsy Karetnick. This was my second time filling in, but I've visited the show in the past to talk about Cooking for Real and food, of course :-). Each time they ask me to fill in I put my radio hat on and it fits nicely with my home cook apron :-). I never over step my welcome by suggesting instead of hosting, I actually do some cooking. Cool thing is, they always ask so I never have to push it and this time the producer suggested Wednesday that I prepare something for Friday's show. Cool thing is, just the day before, a radio friend in Philadelphia asked if I'd provide a backstage/green room treat for the performers at her radio station event! She already gave me tickets and a great experience for the same concert last year, so this was an easy "yes" for me. I quickly got into catering mode from my old days and decided on something that would work for both occasions. My Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies! Here I am Thursday night working on my masterpieces ...
I had to make enough for 10 performers' gift bags at the concert, 5 people in the studio and extra for people along the way, because I'm a giver :-). I only had one mini-muffin tin at home because I keep losing my kitchen in my various moves around Brooklyn. Somewhere out there is a box with my rice maker and waffle iron in it :-). Anyway, so after I left radio Thursday at 10AM, I headed out to a kitchen store and then to the grocery store in search of pretty pecan halves, then I made a trip to the florist to buy some cellophane to wrap the boxes and a final trip to another store for colored tissue paper and ribbons. I didn't get started until that evening, but the recipe is pretty easy, as are all of mine, so I was done in no time! This is proof you can make 100-plus mini pies on a week night! If I can do it, you can do it! Here they are all lined-up after I placed them in some cute little Halloween cups I found at the kitchen store ...
I made four batches and ended up with a half can of pumpkin puree, so I improvised and came up with a new recipe for Pumpkin Hummus. Just that day I was looking around the internet at Halloween decorations and saw someone put hummus in the hollowed out core of a pumpkin, but it was just hummus. Here I was hours later with the perfect chance to go the extra step, so I did. It was tasty and the recipe is on Martha Stewart's Radio blog somewhere, but I can't find it. Actually before I could even pass out the chips to dip, the producer finished his bowl off with just a spoon! So, here it is ...



Pumpkin Hummus

Recipe provided courtesy of Sunny Anderson, 2010


1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg (5 swift scrapes on a grater)

1 pinch ground allspice

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

salt, to taste


Place garlic and olive oil in a ramekin and place in oven for 20 minutes, making sure garlic does not begin to brown, but just turns a light golden color. Remove from oven and add garlic cloves plus 2 tablespoons of the oil from the ramekin to a food processor along with the garbanzo beans, pumpkin puree, tahini, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, allspice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a nice pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula if needed. Then add a bit more olive oil to smooth out the texture. Taste and add a bit more salt and lemon juice, to taste. Spoon into a bowl and pour any remaining olive oil over the top, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, Add pumpkin seeds and a pinch of salt to a saute pan on medium high heat. Toss while toasting until seeds are fragrant and develop a bit of a sheen, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds over top of hummus and serve cold or at room temperature.


Yield: 2 cups hummus

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 24 minutes

Inactive time: 2 hours



Oh wait, I forgot to tell you! I wasn't just tired from the radio show hours that Thursday I stayed up late to bake, but I also made a quick trip to a co-worker's new set that day after the radio show to say hi! I actually had to pass at being a guest on his show because I was already booked to fill-in on the radio show, but that didn't mean I couldn't stop by to spread some smiles. Lucky for me I got there right when it was time to eat! Check out my spread and the chef that made it ...Can't see him waaaay in the back? It's Big Daddy aka Aaron McCargo Jr. on his new set! Am I breaking news here?!?! *giggle* Yes, a new set!!! Well, the set is really nice and after looking around for a second I realized I'd been there before. Remember the cookie swap video we shot last year? Yup! Same set! Just different design elements to make it his own. I can't tell you what was on my plate from his show because it hasn't aired yet, but it was tasty and hit the spot! There it was 11-something in the morning and I was drinking a fancy cocktail, I had to be a good guest right? Way better than the "5-o'clock somewhere" excuse. :-) Here we are right before he went back to work on his second show of the day ...
I headed out from there to get my act together for a bake fest!

Oh wow, --- wait ... can I back this up again? This is starting to feel like that Seinfeld episode that was told from end to beginning. Thursday during the show Amanda Freitag came by to hang out and I thought it was our first meeting, but she promptly reminded me I shoved some red velvet twinkie-like cakes at her in the hallways of Food Network in a blaze of glory! Long story short, I went down south and found these cute little bites at a convenience store and had enough will to not buy one at the time, but when I got home and blogged about it, something in me woke up and said "hey wait-a-minute, you won't at least TRY one?". So, I went on a mission and with some help, tracked down a way to order them by the case. I bought enough to share with the crew when we taped Season 8 of Cooking for Real, but I had a case leftover. Needless to say the teeny cakes were and still are burning a whole in my red velvet pocket! If I keep them all, I'll eventually eat them all, which isn't good. I decided one day to take them to work and just hand them out randomly. That's when I first met Amanda Freitag and I didn't stick around, I just said hello and "would you like to try some of these red velvet teeny cakes?" lol. I didn't even stick around for an answer, I was seriously unloading them and getting away before I could second guess myself, that's how moist and equally spongy they were. Evil, in a sweet little package. Here we are after our second, less calorie-filled meeting ...Turns out she wasn't the only one needing to hand-off the tasty bites, she passed a couple on to a chef friend of hers and they too, fell in love. I gotta unload these babies, I still have a few boxes left.

Must Herd ...(get it? mustard?) :-)
Well, Friday after finishing up a week of co-hosting with Betsy on Martha Stewart's Morning Living radio show, I herded into a train for Philadelphia to deliver my back stage treats to the artists performing at that night's Powerhouse 2010. I catered plenty in the radio business when I was a DJ, so this was familiar territory for me the only difference is I didn't know any of the performers. Years ago, I knew plenty of the current artists, so I also knew what they ate and what they liked. I settled on the Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies because they were sweet small bites and seasonal. Then, because I partnered with Lipton this summer, I threw in some of my favorite Lipton products, the To-Go packets you add to water. I also measured out and bottled a mass amount of my house seasoning for them to use at home. The idea was to Eat for real, Drink for real then Cook for real :-). I did all the assembly in the hotel and took this picture right before I closed up the boxes and covered them with tissue and clear cellophane ...The final boxes were cute. I put purple tissue on the inside, then placed the pies in a ceramic dish I bought at the store and the seasoning/rub was sealed in a tiny glass with a plastic lid. As soon as I looked up from finishing the ribbons on the last box, the time was 5PM and I had to be there in an hour! I made a quick change and headed out to deliver the goods. The show was at the Wachovia Center and the performers included Drake, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bobby V, Lloyd and more. Here I am with one of my box recipients and Powerhouse performer, Rick Ross ...Just after we took that picture he went on stage to perform and I got a chance to chat with someone I worked with at HOT 97 here in NYC ...
It's Miss Jones, most people simply call her Jonesy. She went from being the co-host in the morning to hosting the show when we worked together in NYC, she also had a short stint during that time in Philadelphia. So now she's back in Philadelphia loving it and sounding great. I ran into soooo many people that night that I haven't seen in years. Pretty nice. The show was great too, I was soooo tired and only on maybe 4 hours of sleep, but I managed to keep my eyes open for Nicki Minaj and Ne-Yo ...
Nicki Minaj reminds me of so many great traits in so many artists, I really like her. I can see big sales and things for her, one of those feelings I'd get about new artists that were going to "stick" happened when I watched her stage show. And then Ne-Yo had a great show ...
He had dancers and live instruments to go with what was a pretty polished show. He sings a song I really like called Miss Independent and when it came on I thought, this was worth staying up for! Take a listen and look ...
Great song and performer.

Ok, if you read here often, you'll know I have an obsession with cheesesteaks at this one place in Philadelphia called Max's on Broad Street and Germantown Avenue close to Erie Street. Well, after the show I went, I saw, I conquered. It was 1AM and there was police tape everywhere, but I walked right by the lights and sirens right into cheesesteak heaven. I was just too tired and distracted for a picture to share. Sowwy, I'll leave you with something sweeter ...

Ketchup ...
The next morning I headed back to the train station for a trip back up to NYC. I stopped at the food court in Philadelphia's 30th Street station and got some seasoned hash browns to go with my coffee. I sat down at the little iron tables in the food court and opened my bag to find the cutest little packets of ketchup ...
Can you see them? Totally worth a click to enlarge. Really cute! Ok, that's it. Catch up, Must Herd and Ketchup ...Stick around for more sharing :-) and thanks to every one that tuned in last week on Morning Living. Plus a special hi to the girls I met in the audience at Powerhouse, thanks for watching!!!

18 comments:

Jen said...

Those mini pecan pumpkin pies are so cute. And they look sooooooooo good!! Thanks for the Pumpkin Hummus recipe - I'm going to have to try that. It sounds wonderful.

I'm thinking about going to the Philly Food & Wine Festival this weekend - can't decide though. I saw that Aaron McCargo Jr is going to be there. I thought I remember hearing that he taped his show here in PA somewhere? Maybe that changed though?!

Those backstage treats for the concert are so cute! What a neat idea!! I've only been to one Powerhouse - and I just went for R Kelly...but that was years ago! Glad you got your cheesesteak! Can't wait to try Max's out!!

Cooking Mama said...

Pumpkin hummus? Hmm . . I'm a pretty adventurous eater but I don't know about that. Gonna have to sit on that a bit before I decide.

Those ketchup packets are so cute! I bet those kids are on cloud 9! :)

Lisa said...

Pumpkin hummus is intriguing, will try it soon!

Love the Must Herd pun because I work at Marshall University home of the Thundering Herd so we have those "Herd" puns all over... will have to borrow this one ;)

Mandi said...

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed listening to you on Morning Living last week. You are awesome on TV and the radio! I love how upbeat you are.

PS... Cute ketchup packets. Thanks for sharing. I thinks it's cool that they appear to be done by school students.

thomas said...

Those pumkin hummus cup cakes look pretty tasty. Never had hummus, perhaps I'll give it a whirl,lol. I see you posted my comment. I had about 10 cups of coffee that night, was waaay out there, lol... I was wondering...how do you keep up with everything? blogging, cooking, traveling, socializing, and so on and so forth?

Charles said...

Sunny I can't!! You were in Philly and didn't come down to Chadds Ford to see me?! Giiiirlll I am mad at you. LOL OMG I LOoooooove Miss Jonesy in the morning!!! You "cook for real" and she "keeps it real"! She has me craaackin' up on my way to work in the morning. She has the prank call skit on her show "Carmen" and it is his-stare-ickel! And she does the "hood news"; her show is so good. OMG I can't believe u wuz at Powerhouse! Shut the front door! I wanted to go soooo bad but no one wanted to go with me and I don't do concerts alone. I really wanted to see Jazmine Sullivan but Miss Jonesy said she didn't show anyways and Miss Jonesy does not care for Nicki Minaj and she was talking about how Nicki was late to the show and how Drake thinks he reached this status and was telling the audience he couldn't do a whole set cuz he had a private jet waiting for him or something....I tell ya....I am in Philly all the time sorry we crossed paths. :( I love your blog!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, thanks! the pies are perfect for holiday gifts and the hummus, tasted great the day i made it and now a few days later, just as good! hope you like it! if you go to the festival, walk up to aaron and tell him i said hi! betcha he gives ya a big hug! he is so nice!!

cooking mama, i know how you feel, sometimes different tastes take a bit to try, but if you can imagine a hummus with a holiday spin, that's what this is. the texture of the pumpkin puree is similar to the texture of blitzed garbanzos, so it really blends in well. i can see it on a healthy wrap, but i use it for a simple app with pita chips.

lisa, hope you like the hummus! glad you like my silly pun! it came to me at the last second! how about "The Thundering Herd Around the World"??

mandi, yaaaaaay!!! thanks so much for listening and commenting over here! i had so much fun, can you tell?! i think they were ready for me to be tired by friday, i could've gone a bit longer! they have such an informative show huh? loved it! and those ketchup artist students must be really proud, how cool is it to have artwork on such an iconic brand nationwide?!?!?

thomas, thanks! hummus is great and healthy if you don't mess it up too much lol. give it a try, it's pretty easy and if you don't have a food processor, you can do it in a blender or just mash it by hand for a chunkier result. and of course i posted your comment :-), it's not as bad as one of my late night blog posts that are a mile long :-). and to answer your question, i keep up with all that stuff by knowing what is important and keeping it all in order. talking to you and anyone else that reads the blog and then actually posts, is very high on that list. i can't do it without you watching along with everyone else. you share ideas and thoughts and they inspire me, so thank you :-).

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Hahaha, you're such a hoot! And so clever with the pumpkin hummus too. :) Love me some Aaron too! He's another one of my favs. Whew, you wore me out!! Gotta go to bed now LOL. Have a happy week!!

fabian said...

Great show. started watching today! Curious on what kind of fridge is that in your show (the see through door one) thanks

Jen said...

Charles - I used to listen to her do Carmen on my way to the train station before I moved. That was so funny!

Sunny Anderson said...

charles, i was in and out! no time for anything but work and a cheesesteak! lol. and yes, jonesy is crazy. she went through a bit of a change i think and now it's light and funny instead of heavy and funny, if you get my drift. so happy for her. so happy.

mary, that hummus is alright with me! had more that was left over as an app before dinner last night. can't wait to see aaron's new set on tv!!

fabian, thanks so much for watching! that's a sub zero that we rigged a bit. they glass was clear, but we added film to frost it. we also added extra lights inside so it stays lit when closed. thanks again for watching and checking out the blog!

Lisa said...

Hi Sunny! My mom (rita), sister (amy) and I love your shows! Thank you for posting on my mom's blog... she's been diagnosed with Leukemia and is living away from home in a hotel conected to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. When not at the hospital having procedures done or praying for good news, we are watching the Food Network. Mom just loves your energy, your recipes and shares the love you have for cooking. We hope to make some of your recipes when she's done with treatment in June! You have made my mom's year by posting on her blog! Thank you... I'm sure she'll be able to work a little bit harder today!

love. Lovely Rita, Amy and Lisa

Holly said...

OMG! I can't believe you still have those red velvet twinkies!! Did you ever find out whether Amanda Freitag liked them? I'm still trying to come up with an event that would justify buying a case...lol!

Billy said...

Hi Sunny,

I am based out of Singapore, and I watch your shows regularly. You're so cool and I luv your show...

Sunny Anderson said...

lisa, thanks for watching. it was a joy to see the smiles and happiness on your blog despite the circumstances. i just knew i had to post, you seem like my kind of people. please pass a big hug to rita. tell her watching my show while on the treadmill is all the rage and if she can do 30 minutes, she's a rock star! i usually start to struggle around the 25-minute mark :-). thanks so much for watching and blogging about it, it allows me to find you and invite you over to "my place" for some fun :-). take care a big huuuuge well wishes to rita!

holly, yes girl. i refuse to turn around a realize i ate a whole case in a month. the division alone would kill me lol. so i figure if i can stretch it out over the course of a few months that i won't feel so bad about eating the whole thing. like seriously, they are addictive. i already know i'm going to order another box when this case is done. seriously. and yep, amy loved em!

billy, thanks so much for watching!!! i can't wait to visit singapore one day and get some great street food! it's all i hear about and it's on my list of things to do!! welcome to the blog!

thomas said...

Thats cool Sunny, you really seem down to earth. I like that about you. Glad to hear that your fame & fortune have not altered your frame of thought...in this case, your humility. Take care of yourself, and if you're ever in Cali, I hope to meet you in person...maybe @ THE REDHILL BBQ..lol. Or at that place that has those computer thingys, which I think you meant to say was at Dave and Busters...?lol, anywho, I'll definintely be looking foward to season 9 of Cooking For Real, maybe you can include your grandmas recipe for an awsome Pecan pie?lol. TTYL.

Benjamin said...

Pumpkin hummus, eh? Pumpkin is one of my favorite things in the world, and hummus is definitely not anymore (ate too much of it when I was going through a strict vegetarian phrase). But I will have to try this one out.

Cheers.

Lys ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

Ok, you had me at the pumpkin hummus and I'm so making that for my mother's holiday shinding. Thanks for posting the recipe!

As for the giftbags, what a great idea Sunny - and, seriously, those boots Nicki was rockin' - oh my lord I about lost my mind when I saw the pic on Necole Bitchie. Glad you were back in Philly - even if it was for a quick trip.