Middle Eastern Hummus, Photo by Jenny MacBeth using iPhone 4S

Easy Hummus Recipe

As I mentioned on Facebook, I’ve never made hummus, so I researched online recipes. I’m sure you can agree, when you Google Hummus, it can be overwhelming. I just used the common ingredients; chickpeas, tahini sauce, and lemon juice, and added in some of my own yummies.

Since making it, the hardest part was deciding on the toppings. The flavor of hummus is like the color black; it goes with everything. You can use whatever your little taste buds desire.

A Facebook follower, Missy, piqued my interest with roasted red peppers. When I was at the grocer, I noticed a  jar of fried, marinated peppers. Grabbed it! I also diced up some Kalamata olives and walnuts. I left the toppings off for my guests to decide how to dress it.

Since I had eight cans of chickpeas in my cabinet, ah, er, a lot, I shared with all my friends (aka guinea pigs). I’ve also adjusted the recipe to fit a more reasonable party size. Tee hee!

Middle Eastern Hummus, Photo by Jenny MacBeth using iPhone 4SYou’ll need

2 (15 oz.) cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
½ cup lemon juice, I used fresh squeezed
½ cup tahini sauce
As much garlic as you like. I used two cloves per can of chickpeas.
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Your favorite additions – roasted or fried red peppers, basil, pine nuts, paprika, crushed garlic, sliced almonds, diced onions, jalapeños, the list is endless.

Let’s get started…

Many recipes call for a food processor or blender. I have a immersion blender. It’s easy to clean, and one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large bowl, mix your lemon juice and tahini, until thick. Add in your garlic, cumin, salt, olive oil, and chickpeas. Now, you can mix in your additions at this point, or add just a little, or use for toppings. Decisions. Decisions. Just be creative. I used a jar of fried peppers and its juices, as a topper. You can’t go wrong with hummus. For years, I thought that it would be hard to make. People have told me that it’s difficult to balance the flavors. As long as you don’t go overboard with the lemon juice and salt, I don’t see any problems in ruining the taste. Okay! Perhaps you can screw it up, but if you take baby steps in your experiment, you can always fix it.

Whatever you decide, start to blend everything together. With using an immersion blender, you may need to add a little water, or olive oil to help get it smooth. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It will still taste yummy. Trust me.

Serve up with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers, and/or veges. Challenge: Try spreading hummus on a sandwich, or burger, or chicken, etc., and let me know what you think.



bruschetta finished, photo by jenny macbeth

Bruschetta Dip. Great for Parties.


WOW your friends with this cool and easy dip. It’s awesome for picnics.

This yummy idea was inspired by, Monica Sieber from Pittsburgh, PA. Thanks girl. We love it!

diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, cream cheese, photo by Jenny MacBeth

You’ll Need:

3 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes

2 (8 oz.) bricks of cream cheese

8-10 garlic gloves, crushed

1 cup of fresh basil, chopped

2 Tablespoons of balsamic glaze

3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

Let’s get started…

hunts diced tomatoes, photos by Jenny MacBethSlightly drain the diced tomatoes.

chopped basil, photo by Jenny MacBethChop up the basil. I just love chopping fresh herbs. It makes our house smell so divine. Even our bunnies come running out to the kitchen to see what I’m making.

crush garlic, photo by jenny macbethIn a large bowl, toss in the tomatoes, basil and crushed garlic.

balsamic glaze photo by jenny macbethAdd in the balsamic glaze and olive oil. Season with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper and mix.

spread out cream cheese and mixture, photo by jenny macbethSpread the cream cheese over the bottom of an eight inch round dish, or any type of shallow serving platter. Pour your mixture over the top of the cream cheese.

bruschetta finished, photo by jenny macbethSlice down a baguette loaf. No need to toast the bread or bake the dip. It’s ready.

Hint: This dip tastes better the longer it sits, so you can prepare it the night before.


Any cool ideas? Please share because this girl likes to eat.


Brie Brew

Off to the homestead for some family fun this Easter holiday. I already made my Stuffed Pepper Soup for my sister’s brunch, but after trying this delectable dip, I had to put it on my list of what to bring. Oh so yummy!

Last week, we had a work party and my friend Kimberly made a brie dip using 8 oz. of brie, 8 oz. cream cheese and a stick of butter. Real butter. None of that fake crap. We were in heaven thinking about all the yummies we could add to it.

ingredients, photo by Jenny MacBethI decided to add basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and of course, beer.

Everything tastes better with garlic, butter and beer. And, the smell of fresh chopped basil is so divine that I could chop it up all day long.

melting pot, photo by Jenny MacBethFirst, take your butter, cream cheese and brie (skin removed) and toss it in a pot. If you have a fondue pot, use it. However, since I’m traveling, I decided to do this stove top, and add to my fondue pot once I arrive at my sister’s.

Let the cheeses and butter melt together while helping it along with a whisk on a low-medium heat.

diced, photo by Jenny MacBethChop it up!

I used about 4 garlic cloves, a bunch of basil (about 5-10 leaves), and a small handful of sun-dried tomatoes. I fuse it all together and chop. Stir it in with the melted cheese.

beer, photo by Jenny MacBethNow for the fun part. Make sure you save some for the recipe.

Whisk in a little beer at a time. You do not want it too thin. I used about 1/2 cup of Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

bread, photo by Jenny MacBeth Cube it up!

Buy your favorite crusty bread and cut into perfect, little dipping cubes. I used a wheat Ciabatta bread. I love all the nooks. Better to soak up all that yummy cheesy goodness. You could also dip pretzel rods in it, cooked chicken, even strawberries. Do whatever your heart desires.

That’s it!

If you try it, let me know what you think. Especially, if you add in different ingredients because this girl likes to eat.

Thanks for reading.




Happy Hour! Time to sit back, and relax with a cold Dos Equis and some yummy guacamole. When I first went to Mexico City Restaurant, we ordered the guac. If you’ve never been there, they come to your table-side and prepare it with all fresh ingredients. After seeing how easy, and enjoying its fresh, great taste, I’ve been making my own ever since.

avocado, photo by Jenny MacBethI only use one avocado at a time, but for photos, I added a friend.

ingredients, photo by Jenny MacBethIngredients can be whatever you want. Tomatoes are a big hit, but for this recipe I used a handful of cilantro leaves, one avocado, one green onion and one garlic clove. Add in a spoon full of jalapeno peppers, or green chilies. I use Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice. I absolutely love it. Also, great in alcohol beverages. Add a few squirts, as needed. You only need a little. – Lime juice goes a long way.

slicking avocado, photo by Jenny MacBethWhen slicing an avocado, take your knife and slice the center from one side to the other; making a complete circle around it. Pull it apart at the seams with a little twist. Scoop out the hard seed and toss in the garbage.

shelled avocado, photo by Jenny MacBethTake a spoon to scoop out the meat from the skin.

cuisinart smart stick, photo by Jenny MacBethMexico City uses a mortar and pestle. As soon as I saw it, I wanted one. I looked at Amazon, but I never did buy it, and I’m glad I didn’t. – I hear it’s very hard to clean. My Cuisinart Smart Stick, works perfectly. I love it. It’s fast and easy. I toss in all the ingredients adding a few squirts of lime juice with a dash of salt and pepper, and blend.

guacamole, photo by Jenny MacBethPlease pull up a chair and join me.

Secret ingredient: A Dos Equis, or a Corona with a slice of lime, always goes great with Guac.

Please share your ideas because this girl likes to eat.



serve the stuffed banana pepper as a meal or appetizer

Corona ‘Hot Stuff’ed Banana Peppers


It was a co-worker’s Birthday, and he just loves my stuffed banana peppers. I thought I would make him a batch. A prepared dish can make the best gifts. Sure a sparkling bobble is nice, but homemade is by far my favorite gift of all. It warms me to know that someone took the time to create me something from their heart.

This is my sister, Deena’s recipe only I add in lemon juice, beer, and use sweet and hot sausage. The lemon brightens the flavor, and instead of using all hot sausage, I mix half and half with Italian sweet sausage. I also use my own homemade tomato sauce (see Alternative to Canning Tomato Sauce recipe).

You’re going to need three Coronas to help put out the heat.

You’ll Need

1-1/2  pounds of ground hot Italian sausage (If you like it hot, only use hot sausage and increase to 3 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage
2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
3 eggs
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 cup of sweet onion, diced
10 banana peppers
3 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of Corona
2 (6.67 oz.) packages of Provolone cheese (about 16-20 slices)

Let’s get started…

all you need. ingredients.Mixing

With your hands mix together both the sausages, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, lemon juice, and onion.

removing seeds from the banana peppersCutting

Before we start cutting, grab your beer. I have a funny side story to tell you about the above picture.

Glen wasn’t home to help take photos. I needed both hands to cut the banana pepper, and I wanted to demonstrate it for you. How could I possibly do that? After a few head scratches, I took my iPhone and placed it on a shelf overlooking my counters with the camera side down. Since the screen only recognizes human fingers, I had to figure out a way to take a picture without using my hands. I then took a rubber spatula and put the handle side in my mouth. With the rubber side, I pushed on the camera button on the screen. It wouldn’t work at first but soon discovered if you rub the camera icon from one side to the other, it will snap one off. I wish I had a picture of me. I’m a little crazy. Ha!

Okay, back to the recipe.

Slice the stem off of each banana pepper and discard. Using a small paring knife, cut around the vein and pull out the seeds as shown in picture above. Rinse peppers in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. To help alleviate the fumes in your eyes, nose, and throat, cut it under cold water.

carefully stuff the banana peppers with sausage mixtureStuffing

Hold the banana pepper in your fist at the top to help it from splitting. Carefully poke mixture in each pepper using one finger to help push it down. Don’t force it. It’s okay if it doesn’t make it to the bottom.

create a meatball on the end of the banana pepperOnce stuffed, add a ball at the top with mixture around the edges. The reason I do this is because I can not get the mixture all the way to the bottom of the pepper. It helps make it meatier.

adding provolone to the last 15 minutes of baking banana peppersCooking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 4-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Place your stuffed peppers in the dish. Stop drinking and mix your Corona and tomato sauce together. Pour over your hot stuffed peppers. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees, layer the Provolone on top, and bake uncovered for additional 15 minutes.

serve the stuffed banana pepper as a meal or appetizerDone! Serve at a tailgate party or gift to a friend.


Tip: After handling banana peppers, wash your hands in lemon juice, soap and water. This will keep your hands from burning.