Wine Club

Friday night’s monthly Wine Club was fun and delicious per usual.

The night ended with me horizontal on my friend’s couch.

And it wasn’t because I drank too much of the White Bordeaux, which was this month’s wine pick.

The food my friends’ prepare each get-together is always a tasty treat, but this month’s assortment was particularly amazing and different, and I found it difficult to control myself!

The wine

To whet our pallets, we started with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus which was creamy and had a great robust pepper flavor and was much better than any store-bought variety that I’ve ever had.

Next, we enjoyed Baked Cream Cheese. This was a different take on the familiar baked brie appetizer. We all agreed that most things wrapped in phyllo dough are great, but this was especially good because it was served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Baked Cream Cheese

Now for the main event! The Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread, which was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe that my friend tweaked slightly, was unique and incredible, and a great meatless meal option. The Mexican flavors are an unexpected surprise in this typically Mediterranean dish.

Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread

Finally, dessert! The Ice Cream Wafflewiches were awesome – toasted frozen waffles with ice cream and chocolate syrup in between. Wow!

Ice Cream Wafflewiches

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

What You Need

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (can add more for additional flavor)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. In a food processor, combine minced garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini
and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Slice red pepper and cook until slightly blackened in a pan over a stove-top.

  3. Add roasted peppers and basil to food processor and process until
the peppers are finely chopped.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
Serve with carrots, celery and pita bread.

Baked Cream Cheese

What You Need

  • 1 (8 oz) package refrigerated crescent rolls

  • 1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese (do not use low-fat or fat-free)

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 egg

  • 1 to 2 cups of marinara sauce

  • Assorted apple slices and crackers

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Unroll dough on a lightly floured surface; press together seams to
form a 12x4 inch rectangle. Sprinkle one side of the cream cheese with
enough dill weed and garlic powder to almost completely cover the
cream cheese. Turn cheese over so that block of cream cheese is
seasoned side down in center of dough. Sprinkle dill and garlic powder
on top of other side of cream cheese until covered.

  3. Enclose cream cheese by bringing sides of dough together and
pressing edges to seal. Place dough on lightly greased cookie sheet so
that seam side is facing down.

  4. Beat egg in a small bowl and add a few drops of water to egg. Brush
the top and sides of crescent roll block with beaten egg.

  5. Bake at 350° for 17 to 20 minutes.

  6. Serve warm with sliced apples, crackers and hot marinara sauce for dipping.

Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread

What You Need

  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1/4 to ½ cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 large egg white

  • Canola oil to cover bottom of large skilled
  • For the spread
  • 1 avocado peeled and mashed

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

  • 3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream

  • Juice from ½ of a lime

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 (6 inch) pitas, each cut in half

What To Do

  1. To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl and partially
mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg
white); stir until well combined.
Form into 4 (1/2-inch thick) oval patties.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add patties. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned
and heated throughout. If needed, add more canola oil to ensure
patties are coated and cooked until crispy.

  3. To prepare spread, combine the avocado, plum tomato, red onion, sour
cream, lime juice and salt.
  4. Spread avocado spread inside of each pita and
then place 1 patty in each pita half.

  5. Serve hot with a side of tomato soup.

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