Hummus with Garlic and Pine Nuts

This recipe is liberally modified from the recipe for “Real Hummus” on  I have made the Allrecipe’s version before, but it lacks enough tahini and the garlic kick I want.  So here is the best version I make:


  • 2 tbs garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (16 oz) garbanzo beans (reserve liquid from 1 can)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • cayenne pepper
  • pine nuts


  • Combine beans, garlic, tahini, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and reserved liquid from beans in food processor.
  • Squeeze lemon fully into food processor (watch for seeds)
  • Blend thoroughly until creamy
  • Transfer to a serving dish or tupperware container.
  • Drizzle olive oil over top, sprinkle cayenne pepper and then pine nuts over top

Cheesy Beef Casserole

Dad’s best friend after working late is a box of Hamburger Helper.  Kids will always tolerate a night of creamy cheesy goodness, especiially if they have been able to pick the flavors.  But what do you do if you promise them Hamburger Helper, only to find out you don’t have any!  Yikes.  Never fear.  You can quell the impending rebellion and maybe even earn yourself some kudos with this easy hamburger casserole.  It take a bit longer than Hamburger Helper, but hey, it’s homemade!  This casserole is not “juicy” on the inside, with the noodles on top a bit crispy.  If you don’t like it this way, ass another 4 ounces of tomato sauce or cut your noodles back to 2 cups or so.  The kids liked it just the way it is.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbs. Worcestershite sauce
  • 8 oz. egg noodles
  • 2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups colby jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Oregano


  1. Cook the egg noodles for about 6 minutes (they will finish cooking in process)
  2. While the noodles cook, brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.  Preheat oven to 350°
  3. Drain the noodles and place in skillet
  4. Add tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and seasonings to taste
  5. Bring to simmer for 3-4 minutes
  6. Turn into a casserole dish and spread cheese over top.
  7. Cook for 30 minutes and serve.

Tahini Baked Tofu with Peas

Lent is upon us and as always, I am looking for recipes that might make the Lenten season pass a little easier and a little tastier.  I came across a recipe for Tahini Baked Tofu, but frankly it looked a little plain and a little tasteless, as much as I love tahini.  So I went to work fixing it up a bit and here is the result.  Remember, before beginning make sure you drain and press the tofu thoroughly.  It should be pressed for at least 20 minutes.  30 minutes is better.


  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can sweet or pigeon peas
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Oil a flat baking pan or dish
  3. Cut tofu into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices
  4. Place in the pan so that the slices overlap
  5. Drain peas thoroughly and spread evenly in pan
  6. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl until it is a cream like consistency
  7. Add a little water to thin if needed
  8. Pour mixture over tofu
  9. Sprinkle lightly and evenlywith breadcrumbs
  10. Bake until lightly golden – about 20 minutes

Shrimp Creole

Lent is here again, my friends and so the vegan and shellfish diet is back.  My oldest son brought his girlfriend over for dinner along with her mother, brother and sister.  Rather than cook for them and abstain myself, I decided to go Cajun and whip up some Shrimp Creole.  This is a crockpot recipe essentially.  It fed 7, somehow.  I think 4 or 5 is a more reasonable estimate.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs hot sauce
  • 1 tbs worcestshire sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs.  jumbo shrimp


  1. Preheat crock pot on high
  2. Chop celery, onions and bell pepper.  I used a little food processor to handle this.  It helps with the texture of the sauce.
  3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil.
  4. Add bell pepper, onions and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  5. Add chili powder and saute until caramelized, about another 3 minutes
  6. Pour into crock pot.
  7. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook for three hours.
  9. Prepare the shrimp (or buy it cooked).  You can prepare either tail on or peeled and tail off (my preference)
  10. After 3 hours, add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir thoroughly to coat the shrimp well.

Serve this over rice.  I made skillet cornbread to go with this.  If you are a big fan of the Creole sauce, you may want to up all sauce quantities by 25% to give you a little extra sauce to work with.

This recipe is cribbed from and Paula Deen.