Grape Juice – home-made

The sweltering heat is here now after the spell of rain and tornadoes. There are a few local shops in Mysore, where I hail from, which sell ice-cold grape juice that’s refreshing to the last drop. I had quite forgotten about it until a batch of sour grapes had me wondering what to do to make them more ‘edible’. Grape juice came to my mind and a quick call to mom to confirm the method had me whipping up grape juice in no time. The method is extremely simple and something you can make with a non-sour batch of grapes too.

Hot summer months back home meant fruit and vegetable juices day in and day out to quench our thirst. We had the luxury of savoring juices, made fresh, unlike now where everything is either canned or bottled.This juice is as fresh as it can get! 

You will need:

1 lb seedless red grapes, washed and drained
½-1 cup Sugar

Place the washed grapes in a deep pan. Add water until the grapes are barely immersed. Bring to a boil on medium heat and simmer until the grapes begin to burst. Don’t overcook. Drain and reserve the liquid. 

Blend the boiled grapes. Strain using a sieve to extract the juice and discard the pulp. Add the reserved liquid and extracted juice to a pan; add sugar to taste. If the grapes are sour they require more sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, until thickened. This is the grape juice concentrate.Store in an air-tight container, refrigerate.

To serve: Dilute one part concentrate with two parts chilled water. You can add more concentrate to your taste. 

It is important to use seedless grapes to make this juice. Sipping on this juice took me right back to my college days when a lot of us spent hours together chatting over grape juice.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus & Awards:

The other day I picked up a jar of roasted red bell peppers at the store and was wondering what to use it in when I thought about hummus. The hubby and I love the traditional hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and a hint of garlic; another reason why we frequent Mediterranean restaurants, the first being for falafels. Roasted Red pepper hummus has the same ingredients with a few additions and the flavor of roasted bell pepper comes through nicely. I had jalapenos on hand hence threw them in, and the onions as well.

You will need:

1 (8oz) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 large green Jalapeno, finely chopped (see note below)
2 large cloves of Garlic, minced
1 cup chopped, roasted red bell peppers (from a jar, patted dry)
½ red onion chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds, finely ground
Salt to taste

Note: If you don’t want any heat from the jalapeno, remove the veins and seeds. We like our hummus with a kick so I used the whole jalapeno, veins et al. 

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until almost smooth. Check for salt and add more if required. Transfer to a bowl, top with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of the ground sesame seeds.

Serve with Pita bread or Tortilla chips. We had ours with Black bean and Roasted Garlic Tortilla chips…absolutely finger licking good! :)

I had submitted two of my cakes to Priya’s Crazy for Cakes Event and the Cricket theme cake was awarded the Best Decorated Cake Award in the decorated cakes category along with two other winners :) 

 And Roopashri of Putti Prapancha thought I deserved the Versatile Blogger Award…thanks Roopashri, much appreciated :) 
 The rules of this award: 
1. Thank the person who gave you this award, follow their blog and link back to their blog in your post. 
2. Tell 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award to as many bloggers as you like. 
7 Random Facts about me:
  • I am a very organized person, all about lists and plans and everything in place well ahead of time.
  • Cake decorating is very therapeutic and relaxing for me. I can decorate all day and still be ready to take on more. There is nothing that I am more passionate about.
  • Roaches scare the hell out of me…. I’ll yell and scream and bring the roof down.
  • I enjoy watching movies, romantic, comedy, family movies - except horror.
  • I am a shopaholic…well who isn’t! :D I love to accessorize so I have a lot of matching jewelry, watches, handbags, shoes…
  • I enjoy writing poetry - emotions, situations and nature are my top inspirations.
  • I am a night owl - can stay up long hours and not so much of an early riser unless absolutely necessary ;) 
I would like to pass this award on to these talented fellow food bloggers:
Nags of Edible Garden - has a flair for writing, her scrumptious food pics will have you drooling. Love her eye for detail in everything.
Madhavi of Vegetarian Medley - who has excellent food presentation skills with unique recipes which will make you grab a fork alright! A great mom too.
Shankari of Sacramento Spice - whose passion for cooking is in her way of imparting it to others. A wonderful person.

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