Food Friday: Hummus





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Food Friday Number 52!


1 19 ounce can chick peas (garbanzo beans)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste) – use fresh if you can find it

2-3 Tablespoons water














Rinse the cooked chick peas in water. Add to food processor and process.

Add the oil, tahini, garlic, lemon, and salt.

Process until smooth.

Add water to soften to desired consistency.

Serve with Pita Chips.



Food Friday: Plain Old Cheesecake


















Plain Old Cheesecake


18 graham crackers (I have used digestive biscuits)

1/4 cup melted butter

1 Tablespoon honey


16 ounces cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons lemon juice














Crumble graham crackers in a food processor. Melt the butter with the honey and pour into the crackers as the food processor is going.














Turn it out into a spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper if you like. Press the crust into the bottom so it is more or less even and comes up the sides a little.














Put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and blend until smooth. Pour it on top of the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degreed F.














Cool at room temperature until you can handle the pan. Then put it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours so it is firm.














Top with berries, or jam, or eat it plain.




Food Friday: Lobster Chowder













Lobster Chowder

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup white wine

2 Tablespoons flour

3/4 pound cooked lobster, cut in pieces

1 cup cooked corn

1 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chives, chopped

2 cups milk

1 cup cream









Cook potatoes, onion, salt and pepper in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add  the wine and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Sprinkle with flour.

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Add lobster, corn and butter.  When butter is melted, add paprika, chives, and milk. Heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.









Add cream and heat through.



Food Friday: One Dish Dinner


















I make this a lot.  It is easy to throw together after a hard day at the office.














One Dish Dinner

1 lb chicken (or tofu, or beef) cut into cubes or strips

½ red onion

2 cloves garlic

6-7 sun dried tomatoes

1-2 tsp Basil

1 tsp salt

Black pepper

2 tsp Paprika

Put some oil in a large pan with a lid and cook the chicken with the onion and garlic until done.  Add spices and a bouillon cube.














¾ cup rice

1 ½ cup water

Add the rice and water and cover.  Lower the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.














Cut into smallish pieces:

½ small eggplant, peeled

1 medium zucchini, peeled

½ green pepper

Put some oil in another pan and fry up the vegetables so they are just softening.














Check the rice at 15 minutes and throw in the vegetables.














Continue to cook about another 5 minutes until the rice is done.



Food Friday: Turkey Chile



















This is one I make up as I go along.  Use whatever you have one hand.  This one has kidney beans but you would use black beans.  You could use turkey or beef or buffalo.  Throw some corn in if you have it on hand.  Anything goes.



1 lb turkey

½ onion chopped

½ green pepper chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 large can chopped tomatoes

1 can beans

½ cup tomato paste

1 tbsp Adobo

2 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt – to taste

generous grind of black pepper

1 cup prepared salsa

shredded cheese for garnish















Cook the turkey and onion (add a chopped clove of garlic if you want)















Add the pepper and mushrooms and any other vegetables you want.















Add the tomatoes and spices and beans.  Let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked.















Serve. This freezes well too.

Food Friday: Gringo Enchiladas






These are American Mexican Enchiladas adapted for Gringos. Not really very Mexican. I think of them as the ultimate comfort food.

I ran this before using leftover turkey.  I think it is worth a re-run with pictures.


Gringo Enchiladas

Place the following in a saucepan over medium heat:

1 lb chicken boiled and shredded

1 green onion chopped

Add and combine until melted:

¼ cup cream cheese

2/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or a combination)



8 oz can tomato puree

1 cup prepared salsa (however you like it, medium or hot… or mild)

1 tsp adobo or coriander or some fresh cilantro


Add about ½ cup of tomato mixture to the chicken.


Oil a baking dish and heat oven to 350 degrees

Heat about 8 flour tortillas

Place 2 tbsp (or more) of mixture into each tortilla

Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish


Once you have used up all the stuffing, cover the tortillas with


Shredded cheese


Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes

Remove foil and cook another 5-7 minutes if you want, but you don’t have to.


Serve with Guacamole

1 avocado mashed

1 tbsp lemon juice

Dash salt

Mash the avocado in the lemon juice, add salt if desired


Food Friday: Shepherd’s Pie








Shepherd’s Pie

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 leek, chopped

½ green pepper, chopped

1 cup frozen peas and carrots (optional)

1 lb ground lamb

1 tsp rosemary

1 pinch nutmeg

salt and pepper

8 oz wine

6 oz tomato paste

6 potatoes




Heat oven to 350 degrees















Sautee garlic, leek and green pepper in olive oil.

Add lamb, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper















Cook until lamb is done

Add wine and tomato paste

Simmer until liquid is reduced

Add peas and carrots to meat and heat through.















Peel and boil potatoes for about 20 minutes

Drain, add butter and milk and mash

Add salt















Put meat into a baking dish.















Cover with mashed potatoes. Use a fork to make a pretty design.










Set in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned




Food Friday: Scalloped Potatoes



















Scalloped Potatoes

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 pounds potatoes, cut into thin slices

salt and pepper















Usually I peel the potatoes but this time I thought I would try it without peeling.  It worked fine, if you like the peel.

I used a food processor to slice the potatoes.  It look less than a minute.

Grease a baking dish and spread the potatoes around the dish.  Salt and pepper them.















Mix Together:

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper















Pour this mixture over the potatoes.

Top with:

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan















Cover with aluminum foil.

Place in oven for 40-45 minutes.


Food Friday: Fudge and Potatoes

















Brion Gysin became friends with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in the 1930’s when he was living in Paris, painting and hanging around with Picasso, Man Ray, Max Ernst and others. He later moved to Morocco and opened a restaurant. That only lasted a few years.  He returned to Paris and stayed at the Beat Hotel in 1958 with his friend William S. Burroughs. He developed a “cut up technique” where he would take a poem and cut it apart and then tape it back together. The permutation poem is made up of single phrases with the words rearranged in different order. He worked with words, music, sound and photography.

One of his great claims to fame, however, came out in Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook originally published in 1954:

Haschich Fudge

(which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)

Brion Gysin

This is the food of Paradise – of Baudelaire’s Artificial paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of hot mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything St. Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by ‘un evanouissement reveille.’

Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverized in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa can be pulverized. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the canibus may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as canibus sativa grows as a common weed often unrecognized, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called canibus indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed, and while the plant is still green.


Alice B. Toklas was later linked with marijuana brownies and they were sometimes called Alice B. Toklas brownies. It is funny she became almost synonymous with marijuana brownies because most likely she never even made this recipe or tried any marijuana. It created quite a sensation when it first came out and the publisher was briefly worried that it might cause them some legal problems but there was nothing to worry about. The book has never been out of print.

The cookbook was written after Gertrude Stein’s death and was meant to be part autobiography. It is full of anecdotes about Alice’s life along with  classic French recipes. In one review the book was referred to as the precursor of Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking.  It is interesting reading but I find her recipes to be a little vague.

Potatoes Smothered in Butter

from The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

Peel 2 lbs. medium-sized potatoes, cut in eight pieces. In a saucepan over medium heat put 3/4 cup butter. When the butter has melted, put the potatoes into the saucepan and cover. Stir with wooden spoon from time to time. Reduce heat after 1/4 hour. If the butter is too reduced add more. (This will depend on the kind of potatoes used.) Increase heat to medium, then to high. The potatoes should be browned and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Salt (no pepper) and serve very hot.

Food Friday: No-Fat Chocolate Sauce



















This was always a staple at our house. Ice cream and chocolate sauce, ice cream sundae… nothing like it!

No-Fat Chocolate Sauce

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

4 teaspoons cornstarch

2/3 cup evaporated non-fat skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a small saucepan.















Add milk. Cook and sir over medium heat until thick and bubbly for two minutes or more.















Remove from heat and stir in vanilla















Refrigerate up to one week.