Monday, June 29, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I have always loved hummus, but never made my own because I never wanted to spend the money on tahini sauce. Thanks to my wonderful Mom, I now have some!

Adapted from Good Things Catered


1 12-oz can chick peas, drained and juice reserved
1-2 large cloves garlic (I omitted)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons+ tahini (I used 3 teaspoons)
juice of 1 lemon (mine was really juicy and I did not use it all)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roasted red peppers


In a food processor, mix together the chick peas with the remaining rest of the ingredients, being careful to add second half of lemon juice and tahini slowly, stopping to taste.

Slowly add some of the reserved liquid from beans for correct consistency,(about 1-2 minutes) until a smooth, slightly fluid paste is formed.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This changes the taste of the hummus by allowing the flavors to form.

Fruit Salad

This may not look like anything exciting...but it is always a hit and had lots of pretty colors! I asked my Dad what he wanted for dessert for Fathers Day and this is what he requested. I was expecting him to say something like cheesecake, so I guess I got out easy! This is not a really a recipe and it is something you can really play around with. I like to mix canned fruit with fresh fruit to make things easier and more affordable for me. Here is what I did....


1 can peaches, drained and cut up
1 can pineapple chunks, drained and reserve juice
1 can pears, drained and cut up
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
3 kiwis, peeled and cut up
1 container strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut up
1 container blueberries, rinsed
1 bunch of green grapes, rinsed and separated
part of a packet of french vanilla instant pudding (you can play around with other flavors)


Combine all fruit in a bowl. Add in some your reserved pineapple juice. The amount really depends on how wet you want your mixture. I added about 1/3 cup of juice. Then mix in some of the instant pudding. Again this all come down to your preference. I would say I mixed in about 1/4 of the powder packet.

Chill for a few hours, if possible, before serving.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lemon Spaghetti

I saw this recipe YEARS ago and haven't forgotten about it since. And since I still have some lemons left from that bag I bought a while back I thought now would be the perfect time. Once again the store was out of I just used parsley. It was light and refreshing. This is a keeper!


1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons) -I used a little less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken and Rice Fiesta Layer Bake

Once again, not pretty. But it was creamy, tasty and comforting. I wanted something Mexican inspired so I threw this together with what I had on hand. I meant to add some black beans...but I forgot. Maybe next time...because there will be next time!


1 cup rice, uncooked
2 cup chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
1 can tomato sauce

3 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 block cream cheese, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
¼ cup sour cream
1 small can green chilies
salt and pepper

½ cup shredded cheese
hot sauce/taco sauce


Preheat oven to 350.

Begin by toasting your rice on the stove top in olive oil. Add broth and all your spices (not the tomato sauce). Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn down to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. When rice is done, stir in tomato sauce. (You can also cook your rice using whatever method you prefer or buy a pre-made Spanish type rice).

While rice is cooking, in a separate pan toss your chicken with olive oil, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Add cream cheese. Cook on medium to medium low, stir as needed. When your chicken is about done add in the canned green chilies. Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in sour cream. (I didn’t cook my chicken on a higher heat because I like cooking it at medium to medium low to keep it tender and let flavors get into the meat)

Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Layer down rice and top rice with the chicken mixture. Top chicken mixture with shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with hot sauce or taco sauce.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thai Peanut Chicken Burgers

I recently become obsessed with Thai cuisine so when I saw this I had to give it a try. I squeezed some of the juice from the shredded carrots because I didn’t want to risk my burgers falling apart. Also, the original recipe called for ground ginger. I really wanted to add that to the mixture, but when I got home I realized I didn’t have any. Next time I make them I plan to add the ginger.

Adapted from Cara's Cravings, who adapted it from A Good Appetite


16 oz ground chicken
¼ cup carrot, shredded
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
¼ cup natural peanut butter
salt & pepper

Chili Garlic Mayo-
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
hamburger buns of your choice


Combine burger ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Form the chicken mixture into four patties. Cook for about 7-10 minutes per side, until cooked through. Serve on buns with chili garlic mayo.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baked Lemon Pasta

Once again I have a post with lemons. I assume by my blog name you can tell I like lemons. But I also still have a bag of lemons in my refrigerator. This was so simple and so good. It would be great with some grilled chicken and a simple salad. Very refreshing!


1 pound thin spaghetti (I used angel hair)
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste if desired
grated Parmesan cheese
flat leaf parsley, chopped (I didn't have any)
extra lemon juice


Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Cook pasta to packaged directions until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over low heat. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained pasta an stir together, then pour pasta into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don't bake too long or the pasta will dry out.) When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lemon Risotto with Lime Basil Shrimp

My moms friend gave me some lime basil from her garden. I had never heard of it before, but I could not wait to use it. Shrimp kept coming to mind...and this is what I came up with.


1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, hot
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
zest of one lemon

¾ lb - 1 lb shrimp, tails removed, peeled and cleaned
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of one lemon
2 ½ tablespoons freshly chopped lime basil


In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter medium heat. Simmer arborio rice in butter. Stir in the wine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed into the rice.

Stir in the chicken broth broth, one-half cup at a time, allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more broth. Adjust the heat so that the broth simmers but doesn't boil away. (It is best to keep your stock heated in a pan on your stove top).When adding the last half-cup of broth, stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper until the broth has been absorbed.

Once absorbed stir in 1 tablespoon of butter.

In a pan over medium heat combine butter, EVOO, lemon juice and white wine. Let that heat up and add your shrimp, salt, pepper and garlic. During the last minute or so of cooking stir in your lime basil.

Serve shrimp over risotto. Enjoy!