April 9, 2009

Happy Hour at Home: Edamame Hummus and Gin & Tonics


One of my favorite outcomes of the tightening of our economic belts has been an enforced return to scaled-back fun. Not scaled-back as in “less of,” but instead, a retreat from restaurants and bars and a move onto living room couches, homemade cocktails in hand. Rather than go out for a French lunch recently, for instance, my friend Kim invited me over for wine and cheese, and I have since decided that happy hours at home (as well as Saturday date nights at home, which I’ll write about soon), are my new favorites.

With happy hour at home, you can control the quality of what you’ll be munching on when the inevitable tipsy hunger strikes, you can get up and dance when your favorite song comes on the ’80s playlist, and you can lay down when you’ve had too much. I invited my dear, delightful friend Nazy to come over and celebrate the beginning of spring with gin and tonics and edamame hummus. She brought over her first experiment with no-knead bread (which was great) and some boursin. She also kindly accepted when I asked if she would play her accordion as I walked along a path or grass to get married. All in all, much better than a night on a bar stool, forking over Andrew Jacksons.


Nazy goes crazy for edamame, so I made this especially for her. We added extra lemon juice, and I happened to have extra-firm tofu on hand, which I just blitzed to a creamy consistency in the food processor before adding the rest of the ingredients, and it worked just fine.

Edamame Hummus
from The Food You Crave
makes 3 cups

2 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions
1 cup silken tofu, briefly drained of excess liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice, plus more, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, plus more, for garnish

Set 1 tablespoon of edamame aside for a garnish. Place the rest of the edamame, tofu, salt, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, plus more lemon juice, if desired. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved edamame, and some cumin.

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  • Julia: yay for happy hour at home! love it… the edamame hummu s looks quite interesting too.6 years ago

  • Julia: ps the purple nachos look interesting too. I’m probably leading far too much of a sheltered life here in the UK, but what are they? are they a special kind?6 years ago

  • Kristina: I had some sea-salt-encrusted edamame lately which were just phenomenal. I bet sea salt would work really well in that hummus, too. Something to try.

    And hooray for pretty dishes, bright napkins, and DIY fun.6 years ago

  • Julia, Not sure if you have them in the UK but they’re just plain old blue corn chips from the Garden of Eatin.

    Kristina, Mmm, yes. That sounds delish.6 years ago

  • anne: Love the at home happy hour! Such a wonderful idea and delicious-looking food.6 years ago

  • ann: I LOVE Ellie Krieger & have forgotten about her since canceling my cable. This recipe looks wonderful – and I totally agree about homemade happy hours.6 years ago

  • Karen: That sounds delicious! I’m going to have to try that…soon :) I’m totally in favor of the at-home happy hour.6 years ago

  • Ann, This was the first thing I have actually made from Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, and I was very happy with the results. Do you know other recipes of her that are great?6 years ago

  • Sara Rose: Mmmmmmmmmmm I’m ready for some homemade salsa and guac and a great big mojito.6 years ago

  • Hello! THAT sounds amazing.6 years ago

  • Alicia Kachmar: Oooh I love the idea! “Happy Hour at Home” has such a nice ring to it. Brand it!6 years ago

  • Lisa (dinner party): Ooh, you know I love this.

    And just think about how much better this will be when it warms up a little more and you can sit outside on your stoop! Can you tell I can’t wait for summer?6 years ago

  • Sara Rose: I enjoy happy hours at home. Your same restaurant fave wines cost about 1/3 at the liquor store than they do at the restaurant. I guess it helps that I kind of enjoy cheaper wines anyhow. Viva la economy!6 years ago

  • Christine: Sometimes you just read my mind! My fiance and I have taken to having a one-two drink happy hour after work on Friday nights, since we can’t afford to have date nights out right now, but just two weeks ago we started doing at home happy hour instead (maybe it’s the bit of sunshine creeping onto our balcony finally!) It’s delightful and relaxed and scaled back (and, I can get far more salami, olives and gin if I buy it myself and bring it home!) Thanks for this post, I totally agree:-)6 years ago

  • mmm…olives, gin and salami… :)6 years ago

  • Sara Rose: Happy Hour at Home also allows one to mix drinks EXACTLY to their preference, something we cannot always control at a bar or restaurant. I bartended a million years ago, so I’m rather picky about certain things. Like not using gin or vodka that could also be used to fuel your vehicle.6 years ago

  • M.: Sounds (and looks) delicious! Word to the DIY happy hour. :)

    My bf and I have taken to only buying wine that’s $10 or less per bottle. We’ve had several surprisingly good Trader Joe’s offerings (La Ferme Julien rose is amazing – really fruity and summery smelling, and somehow simultaneously not sweet and not bone dry), and we’ve been hitting the South American stuff. I now love carmenere, which I’d never know existed if I weren’t looking for the bargains.6 years ago

  • Andrea: Have you seen “I Heart Huckabees”? They have “mancala hour” at the office, which is basically cocktail hour where everyone plays mancala. Seems very retro and fun.6 years ago

  • Wow, I don’t even know what mancala is! I will have to look that up. My ideal would be “Charades Hour” or “Spades Hour.” Here’s to the retro throwbacks!6 years ago

  • ann: I’ve also made her Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/fettuccine-with-creamy-red-pepper-feta-sauce-recipe/index.html — it was really easy and really good. My favorite thing about her is that most of her recipes are fairly simple, things you’d have hanging out in the pantry or fridge and can use for different dishes – and of course, her focus is on healthy eating. She makes it so easy to sneak in vegetables!6 years ago

  • Jessica Poundstone: I was introduced by some friends to the concept of “Happy Hour At Home” several years ago, but only seem to do it when they’re visiting from Japan. Thanks for the reminder that this is an any day kind of activity – and for the recipes!6 years ago

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
- Anais Nin