Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

This is my sister Helen’s hummus and it always gets compliments. I like to spice it up but my ladies like it just plain. I usually make it plain, scoop some out for them the just add the cayenne to whats left in the processor and do a quick pulse.

21/2 cups of chickpeas washed and drained (1can)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (u can add more)
1/3cup water
1tsp salt
Pinch pepper

Use 1/2 the lemon juice and blend all the ingredients except the chickpeas and water for about 5s.
Add chickpeas and purée.
Add rest of lemon juice to taste (I use it all)
Add water slowly until you reach your desired consistency. Go slowly!! Don’t make it too runny.


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My friend Jess makes this all the time. All the ingredients are optional but add any leftover veggies to really make it good. Buy the really nice fancy organic nachos as a treat. This is surprisingly filling!

Bag of nice nacho chips
3 green onions finely chopped (or some red onion)
Chopped yellow or orange peppers
Lots of diced tomato (pick the fancy sweet ones)
Chopped avocado
Leftover chicken or beef
Kidney beans (my kids love beans)
Finely grated cheeseburger- you choose the type

Spread the chips on you largest cookie sheet covered in foil.
Layer ingredients on top ending with the cheese.
Bake in oven at 375 until cheese melts. You can also make these on BBQ.

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Sometimes a recipe isn’t about the kids, but just about making something that takes 10 minutes because you’ve got kids yelling at you to get them a drink or make them a snack or get that darn ball out of the tree.  This is a delicious appetizer that you can serve with some nice tortilla chips.  You have to make it in advance because it needs a couple of hours in the fridge, but hey, you can do it after the little ones wake you up at 6 a.m.  It comes from my buddy Jessie who is the queen of using fresh ingredients and creating the most delicious muchies.  She is the queen of the ultimate Appie!

1 1/2 c. fresh pineapple, chopped
1/4 c. red onion, chopped (a couple of shallots work too)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar (you can totally leave this out)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. (or to taste) jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

Mix all ingredients well in a glass bowl.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1949,146182-251193,00.html

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Kudos goes out to my buddy Dan at work, who is the only male to have contributed a recipe to the blog.  This was originally for use on the BBQ with the shrimp on skewers (hence shell-on), but Dan has done it several times by shelling the shrimp and frying them up on the stove.  My kids don’t like shrimp, but yours might.

2 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 sm. lemon (2 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. ground fresh ginger root
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chopped thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
45 lg. shrimp (2 lbs.), deveined but NOT shelled (*unless you plan to fry on the stove)

Combine ingredients and coat shrimp.
Can prepare ahead and leave shrimp in fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Fry in the pan and serve hot.

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This is a new way to use up that can of black beans that has been sitting in your cupboard for 5 years.  It’s an awesome remake of the classic hummus.  Thanks to the Globe and Mail.

1 can (19 ounces/540 millilitres) black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, optional

Place the garlic in food processor and pulse until chopped.  Add the remaining ingredients (except the beans) and pulse until everything is combined.  Add the beans and blend until smooth.  I, personally, would add some water to this and pulse again.  I found the texture to be a bit thick and I think a bit of water would smooth it out somewhat.  But it was good and a nice change to the regular array of spreads and dips.


In a mixing bowl, combine black beans, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, Using the back of a fork, mash ingredients until smooth.

Place in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve cold.


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