Thursday, July 30, 2009


This is the best hummus recipe ever. Really. It's strait from my mom's kitchen and every time she serves it, she is told the same thing: "Tammi Jo - this stuff is fantastic!" or "This is the best hummus I've ever had. No joke!" So when I had it this past weekend and heard all these comments again, I thought to myself, I need this recipe! So here it is. I made it the other night as a good snack and I think half is gone already! This is the smoothest and creamiest hummus you will ever eat - ever.


Makes 1 1/2 cups (yields 12 servings, 2 TBLS each)
Total time: 10 minutes
Serving suggestions:  Enjoy on Pitas, with Pita chips, on assorted veggies, anything you wish! You can even make it into a sandwich and put cucumber on top.

What you'll need:

  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can garbanzo beans , drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 2 TBLS sesame paste (Tahini)
  • 2 TBLS smooth peanut butter
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 2 TBLS chickpea liquid (or water if you forget)
  • 3 TBLS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
What you'll do:

  • Mince garlic in a food processor.
  • Add everything else and pulse until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories 83 (Calories from fat 38); Total Fat 4g (Saturated .5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 208mg; Potassium 88mg; Total Carbohydrate 10g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Sugars 0g; Protein 3g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 11 IU; Vitamin C 3mg; Calcium 34mg; Iron 1mg; Folate 29mcg


Hummus can be made so many different ways, over the years I've come up with a couple variations we really like.

Balsamic Hummus:  Instead of all lemon juice, substitute some of it for Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)
Carmelized Onion Hummus:  Thinly slice and caramelize an onion and add it in to the original recipe!  Delish!
Banana Hummus:  Don't laugh, this is Scot's creation and favorite!  Add a half of a banana to the original recipe and then taste the extra creamy, slightly sweet goodness.  Unless you know what's added, you can't even taste that it's banana in there!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:  Same as the Caramelized onion version - just throw a roasted red pepper in with the original recipe and there you have it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hey guys - and by guys, I mean those of you who read this, which consequently I have no idea who you are - but anyways...just wanted to let you know that I will be posting something soon. With Scot gone, I'm much more inclined to my home-made pop corn and cheese 'n' crackers for dinner than making something. BUT - I'm going to try to make at least one thing, if not two, each week, and post them here if they are worthy. So please don't think that just because I'm husbandless for 3 months that I won't be a-cookin'! There are times I think I would like that - but even popcorn can get old for a popcorn lover like myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Olive Cream Cheese Spread

If you don't like green olives, stop reading. But...if on the other hand you love that tangy taste of the green goodness, read on, read on! This is a very simple appetizer that I sometimes bring to things like ladies meetings and such - and it's usually gobbled up. Unless there are a lot of olive-haters in the room. As a kid, my mom would make a big batch of this, keep it in the fridge, and we would have it on rice cakes, crackers, celery, bread, whatever, as a snack. We loved it.

Green Olive Cream Cheese Spread
  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese - softened (I go with the 1/3 less fat, or do one full fat and one fat free)
  • 2 6oz jars of the salad green olives (you can get whole olives, too, but it's just easier to chop when they're already a little sliced up)
  • Your favorite crackers (or celery, or rice cakes...)
--Drain the olives, keeping a little of the juice in case the finished product is a little too dry for your taste
--Chop the olives up
--Stir the olives in with the cream cheese

Voila! You have your very own green olive cream cheese spread! You want almost equal part olives and cream cheese, I like a little more cream cheese than olives, but you can do whatever suits your taste buds!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemon Linguine

Simple and summery - what more could you ask for? This tasty dish is from my friend, Beth, who could actually use a few meals right now as she just had a baby - but alas, she's in MO, so this is in her honor. :) And thankfully, Beth's mother lives right down the road, so I think she's taken care of!! This is such an easy dish to throw together last minute (as long as you have a lemon on hand) and it's just a nice twist to the typical spaghetti nights!

Lemon Linguine

1 lb Linguine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or dried is fine)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 T lemon zest - you have to have this! We've tried it without and it's just not the same
3 - 4 T lemon juice - I use 3, 4 is just too lemony for us
Lots of Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 - 3 chicken breasts - cooked and cut into strips (optional)

--Cook pasts til done and drain.
--Combine parsley, oil, scallions, lemon zest and juice in large bowl.
--Add drained pasta and toss til well coated.
--Serve topped with lots of Parmesan and grilled/cooked chicken if you want!!

This picture was taken before I tossed everything together....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sausage Sweet Potatoe Bake

I got this recipe from my mom and I was very timid to try it at first. Apples, sweet potatoes, and sausage? Are you sure? But Scot requests it all the time and I have to say, "How about something else, we had that just a couple weeks ago?!" Anyways, the only tricky part for me was finding something to go with it. I serve it with hearty bread and something green - a salad or a veggie. Otherwise, it's a pretty complete meal in and of itself. It's slightly sweet, so if you're of a European opinion that nothing but dessert should be sweet, you should cook something else! :) This is great as a main dish, but could also be a side of some sort. Or...if you wanted, I'm sure it would be wonderful as a hearty breakfast! No matter how you eat it, just enjoy it.

Sausage Sweet Potato Bake
  • 1 lb Maple flavored sausage - or, just add maple syrup in the sauce
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes - raw, peeled, sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 medium apples - I use granny's - peeled and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
--Arrange potatoes and apples in greased 9x11 dish. 'Sprinkle' browned meat over.
--Combine remaining ingredients and pour over all
--Cover and bake 1 hour at 375 or until potatoes are soft

This is a little more intense than my other recipes, but it's still easy. It takes about 15 minutes of peeling and chopping while the meat is browning, but then it's just an hour in the oven, giving you time to get together a side, set the table, or blog!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baked French Toast

I love breakfast. If there's one meal I like to eat out for, it's breakfast. And unless it's easy like this, I don't like making big breakfasts. Too many things on the stove, ya know? Well, this is a favorite at our house, it gets eaten quicker than almost anything else I make and it doesn't even need syrup! It's a little on the sweet side, which is why I cut back on the sugar just a tad, but served with eggs and some sausage, it makes a wonderful breakfast...or in this case, dinner! (We love breakfast for dinner since we're never together for breakfast time!)

Baked French Toast
  • 1 lb french bread, cut into 1 inch slices. I've used homemade bread and dinner rolls before, too.
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (they call for more, but I've found that a cup is just fine)
  • 3 T light corn syrup
--Arrange bread slices in greased 9x13 pan
--In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together.
--Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight! (Or make it in the morning/afternoon and eat it for dinner!It really only needs a couple hours)
--Before baking: combine butter, sugar, and syrup in saucepan. Heat until bubbly.
--Pour over bread mixture.
--Bake for 40 minutes at 350!!

**Picture courtesy of the Internet - but it does look like this!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Spinach Lasagna

I know. Everyone probably has a lasagna recipe that they like and cling to. But here is yet another one to try; to see if you like it better than the one you already have in your arsenal. This is one of the dishes I will give out to new moms. Everything in it is good for you, it feeds a lot, it makes good leftovers, and it freezes well. Oh yeah, and it's easy. Here you go.

Spinach Lasagna
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint Ricotta
  • 1 scoop of cottage cheese if you have it on hand
  • 2 cans spinach - drained. (You can use frozen if you want, but this eliminates the whole defrost thing. Also, I leave the spinach a little wet, it helps cook the noodles better)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 8 oz oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (or more) shredded mozzarella
  • Large can of your favorite tomato sauce. (We use the Onion and Garlic kind and add a pound of ground turkey to it to give the meal more protein.)

--Preheat oven to 350.
--Combine first 5 ingredients.
--Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish.
--Layer: Noodles, 1/2 cheese/spinach mixture, 1/2 cheese, 1/2 tomato sauce. Repeat. Top with extra cheese.
--Cover and cook for 1 hour.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

African Groundnut Stew

I don't know why or how it got it's name. I don't even know what African food is supposed to taste like - all I know is that this is yummy - it just happens to have a funny name.

African Groundnut Stew
  • 2 T veg oil
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 cups veg broth
  • 1 can chickpeas - drained
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed (1 inch)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (the 'groundnut' part of the recipe title)
  • 3 cups salsa (or just one of the big jars) I use think and chunky
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1/2 t cumin
-- In a LARGE pot: saute onion, garlic and sweet potatoes until all tender.
--Add the rice and broth. Boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
--Add all remaining ingredients and cook over low until the zucchini is soft.
-- Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!!

So I've made this the way it says, and one time our stove broke, but I didn't know it until all these things had been chopped and such, so this is what I did and it turned out great!

Cook the rice separately using 2 cups of the broth. Microwave the onion, garlic and sweet potatoes about 8 or 9 minutes. In crockpot, combine everything and cook until hot. Yes. It's that easy. I made this last week and I did it just like this, except our stove was working, so I put it in a pot instead of the corckpot, but I still cooked the rice separately and used the microwave. It cuts the time down to about half when you can have the rice cooking as your chopping and microwaving. I'm never going back! haha Enjoy.