Garlic Hummus

This is super duper easy to make, and tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 15 oz. can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Combine the oil, garlic, and cumin in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium until garlic is soft but not browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until uniform.
  • Serve topped with more olive oil, and a dash of Paprika if you like. I enjoy it with warm pita bread.

hummus

Pork Loin and Roasted Veg

This is a super simple dinner, that doesn’t mess up a lot of pots. You can add whatever vegetables you like. I always cut the pork into regular portions, but you can leave the loin whole if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pork loin, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 red potatoes, cubed
  • 8 brussel sprouts
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grind all the herbs in a mortar.

In a large casserole dish, add all the veggies. Place the tablespoons of butter in with the veggies. Pour the chicken broth in, top with the meat, and sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce, and blended herbs. Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

My Mom’s Potato Salad

This is still my favorite potato salad recipe. Super simple and easy to make, and is so much better tasting than the pre-packaged stuff.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups red potatoes, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonaisse
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika for garnish

Directions

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, drain, and rinse with cold water.

Separate the yolk from the egg whites. Mash the yolks up, and add the mayo and mustard. Chop up the egg whites and add them to the mix. Add the potatoes, onion, and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Ok, you might think it’s silly to write about such an easy thing to do. You might be surprised to find that a lot of people are not sure how to do basic things such as prepare an egg, or make a grilled cheese sandwich, or cook a pot of rice. If it turns out that people want more simple recipes like this, I’ll add more in the future. Just let me know!

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Ingredients

  • Eggs!

Directions

Put all the eggs you want to boil into the pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 13 minutes. Cool by running cold water over the eggs in the sink.

That’s all folks!

Notes

  • I’ve heard all kinds of more complicated methods: adding vinegar, cooling in ice water, cooking for more time. I just like to keep it super simple. These will stay fresh in the fridge for at least a week.
  • Here’s an interesting way to tell the difference between boiled and raw eggs: spin it on the counter. The hard boiled egg will spin easily. The raw one will wobble.
  • You can tell how fresh your eggs are if they float on end. When they float, they are not exactly fresh. :)

Dry Brine Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just love making a turkey. When I first made a Thanksgiving turkey (back in 1994), I was super intimidated. It took me all day, and was a ton of work. Over the years I’ve pieced together several alterations of recipes (including my mom’s), to make a turkey that not only is super moist, but takes about half the time to cook. This year it only took 3 hours to cook a 15 lb. bird. We were so busy having it for dinner, that I neglected to get a good photo of the final product, sorry.

TurkeyDryBrine

Ingredients

  • 15 lb. fresh turkey (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage (chopped)
  • Microplaned orange zest from one large orange, or 4 Mandarins
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions

24 hours before your dinner, remove the turkey from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels. I discard the neck and the giblets, but you might save them for other uses. Place the turkey on a platter.

Combine the spices, and rub under the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Truss the turkey as you normally would. Here’s a link to a video if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Place the turkey, uncovered on the platter, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Place your oven rack in the bottom rung, and heat to 400°. Begin your turkey breast side down, uncovered, in a roasting pan V-Rack for 1 hour.

Using silicone oven mitts, turn the turkey over breast side up. Lower the heat to 325°, and continue cooking until a meat thermometer registers 165° in the thigh (without touching the bone), approximately 2 more hours.

I baste the turkey with melted butter (and eventually drippings) every 30 minutes until the turkey is done. Once the skin has become the shade you prefer, cover loosely with aluminium foil.

When the turkey is resting, you can make the gravy, and warm up or cook the other dishes.

Notes

  • Turkey is an inexpensive protein, so I like to buy 2 around Thanksgiving and freeze one.
  • I use a Food Saver vacuum sealer, and freeze the leftover meat in 1 lb. portions. It’s great for soups, pot pies, and casseroles for the next year.
  • When I first started cooking, the advice was to wash your turkey. The powers that be have since retracted that. It turns out that you are spraying your whole kitchen with nasty bugs when you do that.
  • Another thing I don’t do anymore, is to stuff the bird. I’ve found that I can make a flavorful and moist stuffing baked in its own casserole dish.

 

Beef Gyros

I love beef or chicken gyros, but I’m not a fan of the traditional gyro meat. Whatever your preferred protein, these are quick to prepare and very filling.

BeefGyroMain

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 lbs. steak, sliced into strips
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning
  • Greek pita

Sides

  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Feta
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Cucumber, peeled and chopped

Directions

Wrap the pita in foil, and warm in the oven. Prepare the Tzatziki sauce.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Once the pan is hot, add the meat and brown. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the seasoning, stir to combine.

Serve in warmed pita, and allow people to choose their toppings.

Notes

  • This makes a great salad, if you leave out the pita, and serve over lettuce