Friday, June 26, 2009

Menu Plan 6.26.09

1. Grilled burgers (we do this every Saturday night in the summer)
2. Tacos
3. Fajitas
5. Summer Veggie Dinner (smorgasbord of stuff from farmer's market)
7. Beef Stir-fry
8. Grilled pork chops
10. Grilled brats/hot dogs
11. Grilled burgers
12. Grilled chicken and pasta
14. Anniversary dinner!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


My friend, Tim, shared this recipe with me. It's originally from "The Naked Chef" cookbook by Jamie Oliver. I'm breaking this recipe into three parts. 
1. The original cookbook recipe.
2. Tim's tips.
3. My two cents.

The Original Cookbook Recipe - Part One
12 oz. chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 small dried red chili
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed or ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste - sold in most supermarkets)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
lemon juice to tast (approximately 2 tablespoons)

Rinse the soaked chickpeas and put them in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender, skimming as necessary. Drain, saving a little of the cooking water.

In a mortar and pestle pound the chili and cumin with a teaspoon of salt. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, then add the chickpeas, chili, cumin and tahini and pulse them until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, oil and lemon juice to taste. If you prefer the hummus a bit thinner, add a little of the cooking water until you are happy. And there you have it!

Tim's Tips -Part Two

I buy canned chickpeas - no cooking needed. I use one can. Drain them and save the liquid from the can.

I do use a mortar and pestle (great to have). Instead of a whole chili, I just use the crushed red pepper like you see at pizza places. I ground about 1 1/2 teaspoons with the cumin seed and the salt.

I put all of this in a blender instead of a food processor.

I use a garlic press instead of chopping garlic.

It's pretty thick, so i use some of the liquid from the can and lots of lemon juice.

We eat ours with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and pita that we heat in the microwave.

After you put it in a bowl, you can top it with paprika for color and some drizzled olive oil.

Mer's Two Cents - Part Three

I used canned chickpeas, drained them, and saved the juice just like Tim said. I used a little bit of juice at the end to moisten.
Skipped the mortar and pestle part...I have a Kitchen Aid food processor and it worked beautifully!
I used ground red pepper...and not very much either. Maybe 1/8 tsp. I don't like things too spicy.
Like Tim, I used my garlic press to "mince" the garlic.
I like hummus with tortilla chips. I also like to spread warm hummus on a tortilla and top with steamed veggies for a veggie wrap!
I bought some pita pockets today to try and make pita chips next time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Menu Plan 6.12.09

1. Dallas tacos
2. Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine/salad/french bread
3. Tacos
4. Brats/hot dogs on the grill
5. Hamburgers on the grill
9. Sunday night snack supper! 
11. Pork and black bean chili (I crave this stuff!)
13. Greek pasta salad & grilled pork chops
14. Picnic supper (homemade pimento cheese or white bean/tuna pitas)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fruit Trifle

From my friend, Julie. She made this for a mom's meeting last month and I can't stop thinking about it. I think strawberries and blueberries would be perfect for the 4th of July!

Fruit Trifle
1 container Cool Whip
1 package INSTANT Vanilla pudding
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup water
Mix above ingredients together. (If I am making this earlier in the day, I will decrease the water to 3/4 cup, so the trifle doesn't get too soggy before it is eaten.)

1 Sara Lee Frozen pound Cake, cut into 1 inch cubes
Fruit of Choice (I usually use strawberries and blueberries but I have also used:  kiwi, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple)

Layer in Glass bowl :
Cubes of pound cake
Cool whip mixture 
Cubes of pound cake
Cool Whip mixture

Super easy!!  It is a great summer treat but I make it all year round.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Try this next time you bake a batch of your favorite cookies!

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Your favorite cookie dough
Vanilla (or chocolate) ice cream
Saran wrap

Roll cookie dough into 2-inch balls. Flatten on cookie sheet and bake as directed. Let cool. Put a scoop of ice cream on top of one cookie. Top with another and press together. Wrap in Saran wrap. Store in freezer. Enjoy.

*Oatmeal raisin with vanilla ice cream is my favorite combination though my family is partial to chocolate chip cookies!