Thursday, July 24, 2008

Super Easy Hummus

If you never tried hummus before, you need to try this one!  It is super easy, cheap, makes a lot and it is very healthy!  It is a great alternative to those high fat dips filled with high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated junk.  Norah loved it so I am sure your kids will enjoy this tasty treat!  We give it a 5 star.

Cook time: none
Prep Time: 10 minutes
In-active prep: 30 minutes
Serves: enough

Super Easy Hummus
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 can (about 6.5 to 7 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and reserve juice
1 T. smooth peanut butter
1 lemon, zest and juiced
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch kosher salt (makes a HUGE difference over Morton table salt)
1/3 c. (or a little less) extra virgin olive oil
1 t. cumin
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1/8 t. sesame oil

In food processor chop garlic.  Add beans with some of the juice (don't use all) you reserved.  Blend until somewhat smooth.  Add everything else except the olive oil, blend until well incorporated.  Slowly add olive oil until you reach a smooth consistency, should be like mayonnaise.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so all the flavors can combine.  Serve with your favorite chips or pita bread!
Recipe by: Tracy Lytle

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hoppin' John

This has to be one of my absolute favorite recipes, but you have to like black-eyed peas. If you do, you'll love this! I give it a 5 star rating, but my kids vary in their opinion of it. I used to make this traditionally on New Year's Day, but when my family asked for another tradition, I succumbed. So, tonight I had New Year's in July! Heather actually liked it tonight and had me set some aside for her to take for lunch tomorrow. I think that rates as a 5 star for her too! Tom had seconds himself. I hope you enjoy it.

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: Total of 2.5 hours
Serves: 10 - 12 (or 6 - 8 really hungry people)

2 c. dried black-eyed peas
1/2 lb. ham
2 qts. water
1 c. uncooked white rice
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
2 t. butter or margarine
1/2 - 1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. sugar
2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Sort and wash peas; place in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water, and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let soak for 1 hour, drain.

Combine ham and 2 qts. water in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add peas; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until black-eyed peas are done. Remove ham; cut into small pieces. Stir ham into mixture.

Serve with hot, buttered corn bread and green salad. (NOTE: you can cut the ham up into bite-sized pieces at the beginning to omit doing this at the end.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

improv pesto

I love pesto in the middle of summer when I can use the herbs growing right on my porch. This is a variation on a more traditional pesto, built on the idea of using my Thai basil and flat-leaf parsley as principle ingredients and the Italian basil as background. It makes about 3/4 cup - 1 cup, but can easily be doubled. And it freezes nicely in ice cube trays if you have extra. I've also added a few serving variations below...

4-5 cloves garlic (to taste, I do love garlic)

1/4 cup of Italian basil leaves

1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup of Thai basil

1/3 cup of walnuts

Olive oil

Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

I barely touched the garlic and herbs and just dropped it all in the food processor to find the right chunkiness. Then I added some olive oil and blended it more. How much olive oil is a matter of taste, and desired smoothness. I added just a bit of cheese because I wanted to shave the pecorino on top at the end. Again, this is a personal preference. Adding more cheese makes it creamier.

Whatever pasta is fine; I like angel hair because it seems to soak up everything nicely. I topped it with pecorino and salt + pepper....

Now, on the second day, with the leftover pesto... I hit on my favorite. After boiling the pasta and thowing it back in the pan with the pesto, I added a handful of fresh spinach leaves. They wilted nicely while I chopped a handful of grape tomatoes and more fresh parsley. To serve, I pulled out a portion of the pesto and lovely spinach and then topped it with chopped raw tomatoes, parsley, and a little salt. Because I didn't add too much oil to begin with, I touched off the top with a drop of olive oil. This version adds more veggies and eliminates the cheese, but the other flavors work really well together. Enjoy playing...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Honey Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

This can be used to marinate meat, chicken or pork would be best.  I used it with chicken and then drizzled the leftovers onto rice.  It was great!  We gave it 4 stars, yup that's right, not a 5 star rating.  The reason being, it just simply wasn't lick-your-plate amazing, but it was good.  =) It is so easy I would make it again.  

Difficulty: Easy
Prep: less than 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep: 30 minutes
Serving: 6 or more, depends on how generous you are.

Honey Ginger Teriyaki Sauce:
1 c. chicken broth
1-inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
1 T. sesame oil

Bring chicken broth and ginger to a boil.  Stir in honey.  When honey has dissolved into broth, add teriyaki sauce and sesame oil.  Reduce heat and simmer until ready to use.  Marinate favorite meat for at least 30 minutes.

Recipe by: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

Friday, July 4, 2008

Apple Crisp


  • 10 med. peeled, thinly sliced granny smith apples

  • 1 1/2 c. flour

  • 1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

  • 1 c. quick oats

  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 sticks margarine or butter, softened (I use butter)

Directions:Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 pan with pam. Place apples in pan. Mix remaining ingredients with fork and sprinkle over apples. Bake uncovered until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. (about 40-50 minutes) Watch because it burns quickly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chicken And Sour Cream Burritos

If you come to my house for dinner one night, expect to have these burritos served with spanish rice and refried beans..YUM. Anyone who has ever tried them just loves 'em. The recipe looks long but is very simple. Also, you will definitely want to do step 5...the topping is what really makes the dish.

My family has given it 5 stars.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 20
Yield: 10 servings (1 burrito each)

Chicken Filling:
3 cups cooked, shredded, boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup cooked chopped onion
1-1/4-ounce package taco seasoning

10-3/4-oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 cup nonfat sour cream
4-ounce can chopped green chilies

10 large flour tortillas
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion

1. In a large skillet, combine chicken, onion, and taco seasoning mix. Add water according to package directions, and simmer according to directions on taco seasoning packet.

2. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for sauce. Place 1/3 of sauce mixture in bottom of 13" x 9" pan; set aside.

3. Assemble burritos by dividing chicken mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese evenly among tortillas; roll tortillas, and place on sauce in pan.

4. Pour remaining sauce mixture over burritos. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. If made ahead and refrigerated, bake an additional 10 minutes.

5. Combine lettuce, tomato and onion. Place on top of burritos.

Recipe from: Around the World Meals in Minutes