Snow. Snacks. Sweets.

I just got that glorious phone call...school is canceled tomorrow due to snow (which hasn't actually fallen yet). When I was growing up, I remember sitting in front of the TV and watching for my school's number to come up on the news to signal a cancellation. My heart would pound in utter anticipation. Now that I'm a teacher, I get that same feeling when the weather report calls for snow...that excited and hopeful feeling that maybe, just maybe, I will get an unexpected day off.

Within minutes of the call, I made a mental list of all the lovely things I will do with the hours of freedom that lay before me. I will stay up extra late, I will read a really good book, I will finish up an assignment for my grad class, and I will make yummy things to eat in celebration.

Here are three recipes that are mostly made with ingredients you could easily keep on hand in your fridge or pantry.

~This incredibly healthy snack comes out perfectly every time~

4 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
2 (1 pound 3 ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup well stirred Tahini (you will find jars of this in the aisle by the peanut butter or in the ethnic food aisle)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste (you can use the bottled kind, but it's not quite the same)
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
(sometimes I toss in a tsp of cumin and/or Jamaican allspice to add some zip)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (optional)
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted lightly (optional)
  1. On a cutting board, mince the garlic. Use the flat side of your knife to mash the garlic into the cutting board (creating a paste-like consistency).
  2. In the food processor, puree the chick peas with the garlic paste, tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 cup water (add cumin and Jamaican allspice, if you want).
  3. Continue to process, adding water as needed, until you reach the desired consistency (I like mine nice and smooth).
  4. Transfer hummus to a bowl and clean out the food processor bowl.
  5. Puree the parsley and 1/4 cup oil until the oil is bright green and the parsley is minced. Fold the parsley oil into the hummus. In a dry pan, lightly toast the pine nuts over medium heat until golden and fragrant.
  6. Serve hummus with toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top and pita chips* or veggies for dipping. It can be covered and stored in the fridge for several days.
* You can buy pita chips...but making them yourself could not be more simple. Just buy a package of pita rounds (I prefer wheat) and cut them into wedges with a knife or a pizza wheel. Toss the wedges in a bowl with olive oil and seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash Italian Medley). Lay wedges in an single layer on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven on 400 degrees for 5 minutes (it may take longer...keep checking them until they are golden and crispy). Store in an airtight container for several days.

I adapted this recipe from one I learned at the Kitchen Workshop

Donut Spice Cakes
~These smell delicious and are ready in no time~

1 package (9 oz.) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10 (1/2 cup) mini bundt pans (you can totally use a muffin tin for this...I just happen to have a mini bundt cake pan that I picked up at TJ Maxx years ago. They obviously will look more like muffins and less like donuts, but they will taste the same and you will probably yield more than 10).
  2. Combine cake mix, water, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for a few minutes or until well blended.
  3. Spoon mixture into muffin tin or mini bundt pan. Bake 13 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched.
  4. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Serve cakes warm or at room temperature, sprinkling powdered sugar on them just before serving (store extras in an airtight container or bag).
Recipe taken from Favorite Brand Name: Easy Entertaining

I got the recipe below from my friend, who got it from the recipes that came with her Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. The recipe references using your Kitchen Aid mixer, but you certainly don't need one to make the recipe. An electric mixer would work just fine, too.

Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies
~An irresistible and classic treat~

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Place sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla in bowl of mixer, fitted with the flat beater.
  2. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the bowl.
  3. Turn to speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the bowl.
  4. Turn to stir speed and gradually add baking soda, salt, and flour to sugar mixture (mix about 2 minutes). Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 second. Stop and scrape the bowl (I think it's funny that the recipe keeps telling you to do this).
  5. Add chocolate chips and turn to stir speed for 15 seconds.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto greased or parchment paper lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart (you could also use a SILPAT, if you have one).
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (sometimes it takes a little longer). Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.


  1. I'm so glad you posted a hummus recipe! I love hummus - but the ONE time I tried to make it (granted, I used a mix), it tasted AWFUL. I'm going to try this one sometime. AND, the donut spice cakes sound AWESOME. Hope Collegium is treating you well - I know Bill misses everyone!

  2. Ditto on the hummus recipe...I've been wanting to make this forever! Especially for my son as a snack. I can't wait to read more on your blog...