They’re Baaaaaaaaaaaaack…

Truth be told, I forget about them when they’re gone.  It is very out of sight, out of mind. But when they do eventually return (note: they always do) and I catch that first glimpse of them from across the room, I almost lose my breath.  It’s like running into a really handsome college crush that you could never quite keep around for more than a few weeks at a time.  You think I’m being dramatic?


That do it for you?


The thing about peonies is that they only flower once a year, which varies depending on where you live, but typically in Southern California they start making their annual appearance at the supermarkets in late April and will only be available for two to three weeks tops.


Closed in their cellophane packaging, they don’t even look particularly special or enticing.  In fact, they start off as small, bright, tight little golfball sized buds.  But do not make the mistake of passing up this seasonal purchase. Trust me, these flowers will repay you many times over.


You’ll get them home from the market, put them in fresh water, and within an hour they’ll start opening up.


By the time your dinner guests have arrived, they’ll be making a pretty serious statement.


But the real magic won’t happen for another day or two, when the blossoms have fully opened and the colors become more subtle and understated.


By day 5 you’ll wonder how this is possibly even the same flower you almost didn’t purchase. And by the way, why did you limit yourself to just one bouquet???


So go now, get your peony on.   These days I’m a firm believer of making things happen for yourself.  No one else is going to bring you flowers so what are you even waiting for?   Trader Joe’s has them for $6.99 and Wholefoods for $9.99.  Stick them in a vase and wait for happiness.



4-Ingredient Hummus

Okay, fine.  It’s 6 ingredients, but anyone who is reading this blog likely has salt and water on hand and 4 sounds so much simpler, so let’s just roll with that.

I’d like to give a little shout out to my mama this Mother’s Day by sharing one of her oldest, easiest recipes.  I cannot recall a day in my childhood where my mom didn’t express her love to her three children by whipping up a meal or snack for us. They were not always complicated recipes, but they were consistently delicious and we never, ever doubted what her priorities were. If I am half as good a mother, my kids will indeed be very lucky.

In the spirit of being true to my mother, I’m going to give you some unsolicited advice here:  make this hummus.  Like, now.

It’s all too easy these days to buy pre-made hummus at the grocery store, scoop it in a bowl, and serve it with pre-cut carrots and pita chips.  I’m not judging anyone who does this.  Really, I’m not (right, mom? we don’t judge).  I’m just saying, try this recipe and you’ll see what you’ve been missing.  It’s arguably even easier to make this than getting that plastic wrap off of the store-bought hummus.


You’ll simply need a lemon, a can of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), tahini, garlic, and salt.  Tahini is sold at most grocery stores and will keep for ages in your refrigerator.


Drain and rinse 1 can of garbanzo beans.


Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (1/2  cup + 2 tablespoons of cold water).


Blend beans, lemon juice (+ 2 tablespoons cold water), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and 4 tablespoons tahini until smooth.


In the meantime, pull apart, wash, and dry endive leaves.


Serve with sliced radishes, cucumbers, and endive leaves. Alternatively, pre-cut carrots and pita chips (again, no judgment).



Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, step moms, and moms-to-be out there.  It’s sometimes a thankless job but just think, if you’re lucky enough you’ll have a daughter write a blog post about your hummus one day.  NBD.

Margareta’s Hummus:

1 can of garbanzo beans drained

4 tablespoons of tahini

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

2 TB cold water

1 garlic clove, minced

Puree in blender. Serve with sliced cucumbers, radishes, and endive leaves.