Hummus for a party

One 30 oz (850 grams) can garbanzo beans

one half cup liquid reserved,

one quarter cup lemon juice plus one tablespoon,

one tablespoon olive oil,

one teaspoon cumin,

one teaspoon salt,

four cloves garlic minced,

four tablespoons tahini

French-style bean salad

French-style White Bean Salad

French-style White Bean Salad
French-style White Bean Salad

  • 3 each – 15 ounce cans of beans (white, cannellini, garbanzo)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (more if you want more dressing)
  • 1/3 cup green onion
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar (more if you want more dressing)
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepper (bell are good but you can use Anaheim and Passilla, yellow/Hungarian peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives stuffed with pimentos
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground or stone ground dijon mustard
  • pepper to taste

Canned beans are usually salted so there’s really not a need to add salt. You may want to adjust the amount of vegetables to suit your tastes.

Awesome as a side dish, it goes great on top of green salad as well. Super-healthy as people in Blue Zones eat 1 cup of beans a day.

***NOTE: served with lengthwise wedges of hard boiled eggs!!!! This salad is best if it sits overnight and the flavors meld together!

Sweet & Sour Potato and Green Bean Salad

Sweet & Sour Green Beans and Potato salad
Sweet & Sour Green Beans and Potato salad

This recipe is still in the refinement phase which means that I may come back and adjust the amounts slightly in order to “perfect” it. Please check back as I like to try things out multiple times before calling them done.

  • 2 lb. red skinned potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise ¬†and the cut across to make wedges. Don’t over cook, keep them al dente!
  • 2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed, steamed
  • 3 good sized shallots, minced fine
  • 1 lb. bacon (I just tried this new California bacon with no nitrites and was very happy with the flavor and quality)
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I cook the bacon, potatoes and green beans ahead. I have them in a large shallow baking dish in the oven to keep them warm while I prepare the dressing. The shallots go in the pan with the olive oil. Once the shallots are cooked clear on a medium heat add the vinegar then sugar. Pull the pan out of the oven add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut the bacon into good sized chunks so it retains its flavor next to the dressing and only add it just before serving, same with the parsley.

Garlic Bread

Simple, fast, delicious. Goes great with soups, stews and Italian food.

  • Crusty sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. heaping) fresh chopped parsley

Either let the butter sit out to soften or cut it up with a knife and cream it with a fork. Add the other ingredients and mix. Spread on crusty sourdough and toast in the toaster oven. Looks and tastes amazing. For a treat add some fresh garlic as well.

Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed spinach along side shrimp scampi
Sauteed spinach along side shrimp scampi

Simple, tasty recipe and a great way to prepare spinach or kale.

  • One bag frozen spinach
  • One yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • if you have it – 1 tsp. bacon grease

Put half the olive oil in a sautee pan on medium low (and bacon grease if you have it) and cook the onions until clear, soft and sweet. Add the bag of frozen spinach and turn heat up to medium high to melt it. Once the spinach is no longer frozen add the remaining olive oil and turn heat down to just medium. Clear a place in the center of the pan, add the vinegar and then mix it all together along with the nutmeg and crushed red pepper. Salt and black pepper to taste.

Notes:

  1. Olive oil can be increased by using your judgement. What I go for is just a hint of a sheen and a rich, savory taste.
  2. Crushed red pepper: careful with this one, it can be over done, especially if you’re cooking for children.
  3. If you wanted to get really daring you could use more bacon grease, especially with kale.

Potatoes Au Gratin

I believe I got this recipe from my sister Janeen.
Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. potatoes peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 tblsp. butter
  • 2 tblsp. flour
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cup Gruyere divided into 2 portions
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup beef stock

Pre-heat oven to 350. In sauce pan on stove melt butter, add flour, garlic, shallots, rosemary, pepper, stock, salt, cream but do NOT boil. Add the first half of the cheese. Layer potatoes in a greased baking dish. Pour mixture over the potatoes, sprinkle second portion of Gruyere on top. Bake for an hour and 30 minutes or until golden brown in places and the potatoes are done when tested with a fork.