Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

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Hummus

The first time ever encountered hummus was in a Greek restaurant.  I don’t really remember which one or where it was.  I just remember thinking it might be time to think outside the box and try something besides a dolmades, stuffed chicken breast, or saganaki.  I was not disappointed and have loved it ever since.  Of course, I had to try to make it at home.

Hummus is easy enough to make at home if you own a blender or a food processor.  There is no need for packet mixes or buying it premade from the store.  Making it at home also allows you to control the fat content, flavors, and consistency of the finished product.

Garbanzo beans, aka chick peas, are fairly inexpensive and readily available at grocery stores.

Some people cook their own garbanzo beans, and I have tried without much success.  I can never seem to get my beans cooked well enough to avoid a lumpy and crunchy hummus so I stick to canned.  Bush’s does a great job of cooking garbanzo beans to perfection, so I’ll let them do the hard part.

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Stuffed Green Peppers

Stuffed Green Peppers are one of the most basic recipes from my kitchen. I probably should have made this one of the first posts of the blog since it is truly a beginner’s recipe. Perhaps that’s why I never thought about it, it’s one of those things I just whip up when I have spare peppers hanging out that need to be used.

Sometimes, when I am looking at recipes my inside voice (you know, the one that gets me in trouble when it bypasses my better judgment filter) asks “what is wrong with good old fashioned basic recipes? Does everything need some twist or added feature to be worthy of eating?”

I am not opposed to experimenting in the kitchen, some of my best tasting recipes were devised doing just that. It’s just that at what point have we fooled with recipes and cooking techniques so much that recipes become intimidating?

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