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easy summer appetizers


The second of our summer contributors is a new friend, Gabrielle Ramsey, an event planner and passionate chef. I had the pleasure of enjoying a few of her gourmet creations this spring, everything she makes is incredibly taste worthy!

For her first post she put together homemade Cilantro Hummus and Herbed Goat Cheese for an easy summer gathering. The appetizers are big on flavor and minimal on the effort scale, plus they can be made several hours in advance and served at your own leisurely pace.

Homemade summer hummas:

  • Strain can of garbanzo beans and save liquid.
  • Add 1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro (stopping for a moment to enjoy the aroma) and 3 lightly chopped cloves of garlic (no need to stop for that aroma…it’ll stay on your hands for you to enjoy later…).
  • Add fresh-squeezed lemon juice, ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of sesame tahini and ¼ tsp of cumin.
  • Mix in a food processor until creamy (you can add a bit of the garbanzo bean juice if you need it to be smoother, but you don’t want to change the flavor). Add salt and pepper and more lemon to your liking.
  • It tastes great with fresh veggies and pita bread alike.

Homemade herb goat cheese on cucumber rounds:

  • Crumble a block of goat cheese into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon each of chopped parsley, thyme, and oregano. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of whole milk, salt and pepper.
  • Stir together until all herbs are mixed throughout.

  • Peel a cucumber, leaving stripes of the peel.
  • Take a fork and run it down the sides of the cucumber before you slice it (just because it looks pretty).
  • Slice the cucumber about 1/2 inch thick, and spoon out a small section of the seeds on each slice to make a divot.
  • Spoon the herbed goat cheese into the divot, and add a dice of red pepper to garnish.
  • Fresh, flavorful, and delish!

Gabrielle and Krista of A Joy Forever Events love to plan summertime parties and anytime parties. They both love good meals on warm summer nights. Photos by Esther Ramsey.




  • Rebecca
    June 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Yum…I love the fresh ingredients, and the presentation.

  • And So I Whisper
    June 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Chickpeas are one of my favorite foods. So healthy and delicious.
    This recipe looks great.

  • very married
    June 23, 2011 at 8:07 am

    oh yum. i love summer – i just wish that spring hadn’t been so temperamental!

  • KT @ KT's Refinishing School
    June 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

    That looks delicious! I especially love the glass jar you all used to present it :) Gorgeous as always!

  • nata
    June 23, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Totally going to try this!

  • Ashley
    June 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    These are the perfect summer appetizers- light and refreshing!

  • Lena
    June 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious-yum!

  • Rach
    June 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Looks tasty!

  • Stephie
    June 24, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Mmmm – how I love hummus! The way it’s presented is gorgeous! Have a lovely summery weekend, Stephie x

  • [email protected]
    June 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    My husband would LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!


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