Sunday, December 7, 2014


I finally made this after many years of having it on my to do list! Add more/less cumin and lemon to suit your taste. You can also either omit the tahini (ground sesame seeds) if you don't have it or don't like it, or can try using peanut butter in its place. I also plan on trying it with roasted garlic, roasted red peppers or kalamata olives.


One 15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed OR 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2-3 TBS water (or liquid from cooked chickpeas)
dash of paprika for serving


In food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minutes. Scrape sides. Process another 30 seconds. Add garlic, olive oil, salt and cumin. Process 30 seconds. Scrape sides. Process another 30 seconds. Add half chickpeas and process 1 minute. Add rest of chickpeas and process 1-2 minutes. Add water until consistency suits your fancy! Put into bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.



This is a great fall dinner food. Most everything is in season. You can add more eggplant if you want, or leave out the yellow squash and add more zucchini if that is all you have. I like it with less bell peppers, so I just added 1 cup instead of two. Delicious served with bread.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on (1 medium eggplant)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/8 tsp dried)
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash (1 zucchini)
1 cup diced yellow squash (1 yellow squash)
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
1 Tbs thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (1 tsp dried)
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves (1 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
Once hot, add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the eggplant and thyme to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add green and red peppers, zucchini and squash to pan. Cook additional 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook additional 5 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temp.

From Food network

Green Bean Casserole - Pioneer Woman (from scratch)


  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off (or frozen is okay--still blanch)
  • 4-6 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 1-3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (I didn't add this)
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (I do a thin layer of panko and a think layer of fried onions)
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Preparation Instructions

Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. If sauce is too thick, splash in some chicken broth as needed. Turn off heat.
Add add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Simple Black Beans

1 lb black beans pre-soaked in 2 TBSP salt and 8 cups water (I soak 24 hrs) and drained
1/4-1/2 onion (whole)
1-2 garlic cloves
3-4 bay leafs
1 TBSP oil
1 tsp salt

Add the above ingredients to a pressure cooker with 7 cups of water and cook for however long your pressure cooker suggests. Mine cooks for 30 minutes after it gets to a boil. After it finishes cooking and the pressure is released, I removed the bay leaf and cook for an extra 30 minutes with the lid off. I then mash up some of the beans.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kairle's Brownies

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa

4 eggs, one at a time
2 tsp vanilla

Then add:
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup nuts (optional)

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes in a greased 9X13 pan.

*The key to getting these to cut and serve nicely is to make them well in advance and allow time for them to cool completely (they taste even better old, imo).


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-5 TBSP milk

Cream butter, cocoa and approximately half of the powdered sugar, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add 3 TBSP milk and vanilla and beat well. Add remaining powdered sugar and enough milk to make a nice spreading consistency. Beat for 3-5 minutes.

Dill Weed Dip

1/2 pint sour cream
2 TBSP mayo
2 tsp grated onion
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp dill weed

Mix above ingredients together and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
 2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

In large sauce pan, melt first 3 ingredients until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Make sure to mix in deep sauce pan as the soda will cause mixture to triple in volume.

from ben behumin

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie with a crust recipe (Martha Stewart)


For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, diced small (2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (15 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • celery seed/dill/or other spices you like


  1. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water); do not overmix.
  2. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or overnight (or freeze, up to 1 month).
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion and carrots and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables.
  4. Slowly add broth, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in peas. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in chicken and parsley and other spices. Pour filling into a 2-quart baking dish.
  5. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Place dough over dish and fold overhang inward while pinching to crimp edge. Cut vents in dough. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling around edge, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


    Roll your dough a couple inches larger than your dish: Folding it up and over, pinching as you go, forms a beautiful decorative edge.
    To make potpies ahead of time, let the filling cool, then assemble and freeze for up to 4 months. Bake at 425 degrees, 1 1/4 hours (1 hour for small pies).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shortbread Cookies from The Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don't trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homemade Hamburgers

2 lbs ground beef
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 Tbs evaporated milk
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients, using your hands. Form into 8 hamburger patties. Cook on greased grill, about 5 minutes on each side.

I now love hamburgers! Don't forget the cheese!

Whipped Pudding Frosting

1 small pkg (3.9 oz) instant pudding, any flavor
1 cup milk
1 tub (8 oz) cool whip, thawed, or whipping cream

Beat pudding and milk in bowl for 2 minutes. Stir in cool whip or whipping cream. Spread on cake or cupcakes. Yum!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Black Beans (from Brazil)

1 lb black beans
3-4 Bay Leaves
3 Whole garlic cloves (unchopped)
2 TBSP chopped garlic (optional)
Large or 14 OZ beef smoked sausage or kabasa, cut into slices (I use half of one)

1-1.5 onions, chopped and sautéed.

SOAK beans for around 12 hours. If you don't soak, it may taste bitter and will take longer to cook.

Add all ingredients except onions to pressure cooker. Cover with water plus 2-3 inches extra. Cook 30 minutes on high once pressure cooker starts steaming (or on 'normal bean' mode). Cook 45 minutes if beans not soaked prior.

Right before serving, add sautéed onions. Take 1-2 ladles of mostly beans and smash and put in pan with onions and rest of mixture. Cook on med/med high stirring occasionally until water evaporates mostly. Enjoy!

Freezes well (best if onions added once thawed and ready to eat).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken

2.5 lbs chicken or 1 chicken
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup vinegar (may also use 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup apple juice)
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar

Skin chicken if needed. Cover with sauce and baste occasionally. Bake 1.5 hours at 350 F. Serve over rice.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

3 lbs wings

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBS butter
1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients besides wings and boil so butter melts. Pour over wings and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Bake on cookie sheet for 1.5 hours. Turn at least once during baking.

Baked Chicken

Chicken (thigh, drum and/or breast)
olive oil
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp thyme

Bake chicken at 375 F with oil, salt and pepper for approximately 1 hour. After baking, melt 2 TBSP butter in pan with 1 tsp thyme leaves and spoon over pieces.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Whole Wheat waffles

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups milk (I have used everything from skim milk to thick buttermilk…so whatever you have on hand should work)
  • ¼ cup oil (I used melted butter)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s organic white whole-wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Warmed 100% pure maple syrup for serving
  • Fresh fruit for serving
  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, honey, cinnamon, and baking soda until well combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together just until the large lumps disappear.
  4. When the waffle iron is hot, dab it with a little butter and then ladle some batter onto the center of the iron. Follow the instructions that came with your waffle maker to know how long it should be cooked (mine takes about 3 - 4 minutes each).
  5. Keep waffles warm until you finish cooking all of them. Top with pure maple syrup and fruit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Low Carb Lasagna

2 1/2 cups zucchini sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick (about 2 medium)
1/2 - 1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion chopped
2 small tomatoes chopped
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg
3/4 cup ricotta
1/2 c mozzarella cheese shredded
1 tsp flour

Saute zucchini until tender. Drain and set aside. Saute meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender. Drain fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, water, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

In small bowl slightly beat the egg. Add ricotta and and the flour.

In baking dish put 1/2 the meat mixture. Cover with 1/2 of the zucchini. Cover with the ricotta mixture. Add some mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers one more time.

Bake covered 30 mintues. Uncover and finish 10 more minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Asian Ground Beef, Mushroom, and Broccoli Slaw Lettuce Cups

Assemble these ingredients:
  • 1 lb of ground meat 
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced mushrooms (I use portabello or cremini)
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of lard/butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups of broccoli slaw (I just sliced to to matchstick size)
  • ½ cup of shredded carrots (I grated my carrots)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • a handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce (or water)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • butter lettuce or head lettuce
Finely chop/puree the onions. Then, I put the onions into my skillet with some melted lard and sautéed on medium heat until translucent.  Then, I added the sliced mushrooms and some salt and pepper.  When the onions and mushrooms had cooked off the excess moisture, I added the minced garlic cloves and stirred everything around for 30 seconds. Next, I added the ground beef and stirred that around until there weren’t big clumps and it was no longer pink.   I added the fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, and coconut aminos and then tasted for seasoning.  I put about equal amounts of all three and then I cracked on some freshly ground black pepper.
Once the meat was cooked and seasoned, I added the broccoli slaw and shredded carrots and stirred everything around to soften the veggies a little.   I added the herby goodness (scallions and cilantro) last and mixed to distribute everything.
I spooned the beef and veggie mixture onto red butter lettuce leaves