Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Sandwich Spread and Healthy Almond Butter Banana Fudge

White Bean Spread on Country Bread

It was the kind of Sunday that beckoned me to get up and do a little of everything and at the same time nothing at all.  The weather was one of those picture perfect days that you don't get often in the DC area...bright blue sky with fluffy clouds near 80 degrees with low humidity.  I had a list of should do's (laundry, weed the garden, housework) and want to do's (write this blog post, work on my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project, and perhaps do a little culinary exploration).

I decided to enjoy a little of the beautiful day by eating lunch sitting on the porch so I made a white bean sandwich spread.   I had managed to make a loaf of bread in the morning using dough that I had already prepared in the refrigerator from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  This is a great book, and the link to the article can get you started making great crusty, chewy country style breads in just a few minutes at a fraction of the cost of the bakery ones.    I added some chopped apple and walnuts to the dough and topped a fresh slice with the bean spread.

White Bean Sandwich Spread

1 15oz can of canellini beans or chickpeas drained and slightly mashed
1/4 cup your favorite mayonnaise (or 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp celery seeds
pepper to taste

Add any or all of the following:
2 Tbsp relish, chopped pickles or pickled peppers
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp celery, chopped
2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Serve as a sandwich spread or a scoop is nice on a mixed green salad.

As I enjoyed my lunch al fresco, I was a basking in the glow of the festivities at the wedding of a friend the day before.  The event was filled with the efforts of the creative hands of both the bride's and groom's family and friends.  There was the artistically arranged table for the wedding ceremony:

A beautiful tower of homemade wedding cupcakes in decadent flavors  - yum!

There were several fun dance performances, and I caught this surprisingly interesting shot of one of the fire dancers.

It's always exciting to see how people add their own creative touches to both the everyday and special celebrations in their lives.

For a sweet treat to end the day, I made a simple recipe for healthy almond butter banana "fudge" and added a few bittersweet chocolate chips to the bottom of the pan before I poured in the mixture.  It only took a few minutes to put together and is a relatively guilt free sweet treat that left me plenty of time to pull a few weeds and gather ripe vegetables from the garden at the end of the day.

Harvest of the day

A basketful of produce gathered from the garden always puts a smile on my face, and it is a perfect way to end the weekend.

Thanks for reading!

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