Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dilled Humus Spread

During the heat of the summer I like to make lunches that require little to no cooking.
I’m particularly fond of vegetables fresh from the garden—cucumbers, ripe juicy tomatoes, radishes, peppers, carrot strips, and sugar snap peas. I used to buy hummus quite often for dipping these delectable edibles, but have decided to make my own hummus since I found the missing recipe in a card file recently. I’ve made it twice in the last two weeks and it doesn’t last long. It is high in protein, low in calories, easy to make, delicious, and fits into the no-cooking category. Even my grandchildren love it. Find the blog entry for “A Beautiful Pea Green Boat” for another way to feed it to your children.

This recipe for Dilled Hummus came from a friend that I met in Texas. She was originally from Iran and invited me to her home for dinner quite often. This hospitable lady shared many recipes with me and this was one of my favorites.

1-15 ounce can of garbanzo beans rinsed and drained, (or save money and buy them dried and cook them yourself.)
¼ cup tahini (or substitute 3 tbsp. peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil)
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (not dill seed)
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place in small serving bowl and sprinkle with more dill.
  3. Serve with toasted pita bread cut into wedges, or tortilla chips and crudités of your choosing.
  1. Or why not try this? Place hummus along with your favorite veggies in a pita pocket and top with sour cream or a Greek style cucumber yogurt dip.
  2. Take this in your lunch and you’ll be the envy of the peanut butter and jelly crowd.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cracker Caramel Cookies

A couple of weeks ago we went to my family reunion. As always, I kept an eye out for new tasty recipes to post on my blog. Since most of my family lives hours away, we spent a lot of time on the road. We stayed two enjoyable nights at my sister Lucy’s place. The first night we sat around the kitchen table, talking about old times and snacking on a bag of “Cracker Caramel Cookies”. Dylan, one of my grandsons, brought them along with chocolate chip cookies for the reunion. My daughter, Becky, (Dylan’s mom) made them. The “Cracker Caramel Cookies” didn’t stand a chance. They never made it through the night. When we arrived at the reunion, we arranged the other bag of cookies on a plate and placed them along with the other desserts and no one even knew about the cookies we devoured the night before. Thanks Becky!

Now I must say there were many tasty dishes: Johnnie’s barbecue beef and pulled pork, Lucy’s deviled eggs (I sprinkled them with dill weed), Wilma’s cowboy beans, Elaine’s giant chocolate chip cookies, and Lois’ famous Chinese salad. All the guests just out-did themselves.

There were great stand bys: potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and desserts aplenty. Who made that fabulous dessert? I think it was called “Better than Robert Redford” back in the day. It had whipping cream, butterscotch pudding and a crust on the bottom. But this one had fruit and nuts—I think. What was it and who made it? Let me know and I will post it. Meanwhile I will give you “Becky’s Cracker Caramel Cookies” recipe.

                                             Cracker Caramel Cookies

Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Set the oven to 425 degrees.


1 1/3-1 ½ packets of saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1-12 ounce bag dark chocolate chunks or chips (or your favorite chips)

  1. Place crackers evenly on foil covered cookie sheet.
  2. Measure and combine sugar and butter in small pot and place on medium heat and cook until bubbly. Drizzle over crackers.
  3. Place in hot oven (425 degrees) for about 2 minutes until sugar mixture is bubbly. Remove from oven.
  4. Pour chocolate chips over hot caramel and place back in oven for a few seconds.
  5. Remove from oven and spread chips evenly.
  6. Place in freezer until cool. Remove from freezer, break into chunks, and store in zip lock bags.

I know you’re going to love these, but control yourself or they will never make it to your reunion, or picnic, or party….

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Picnic and Reunion Fare—Brown Rice, Tomato and Basil Salad

The 4th of July reminds me of picnics and family reunions with cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews galore—the perfect time to catch up on the latest family news and savor the recipes you remember from your childhood. I will be attending these celebrations this summer and will be looking out for some new recipes to add to my repertoire. May you also have the joy of family and friends to share your picnics and reunions.

This year I’ll bring some healthy salads to have with that pulled pork barbecue. Try this Brown Rice, Tomato, and Basil Salad with your vegetables straight from the garden.

2 ¼ cups water
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes chopped into ½ inch cubes
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat water, salt, and rice in medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce temperature to a simmer and cover. Cook for 40 minutes until water has evaporated. Turn heat off, cool and transfer to a large serving bowl and fluff with a fork.
  2. In a small bowl whisk: vinegar, sugar, and olive oil. Poor over cooled rice.
  3. Add chopped basil and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make at least six hours ahead. Cover and chill or place in refrigerator over night. Bring to room temperature to serve with your favorite picnic fare.