Every time there’s a get together in my neighborhood the first thing that comes to mind, “I hope Linda brings her baked beans!” That’s how good these baked beans are! My friend and neighbor, Linda, graciously offered up her recipe so that I may share it with all of you. Linda titles the recipe “Sue’s Baked Beans” because she got the recipe from her sister Sue who got the recipe from their mom! No matter what the title it’s one great family recipe.
Just the thought of bacon, sauteéd onions and creamy beans and you’ve got my attention. These are a few of the ingredients that go into this Best Baked Beans recipe. Other key ingredients are brown sugar, honey mustard, garlic granules, and to balance out the whole dish apple cider vinegar, of course.
It’s really fairly simple especially since the recipe calls for canned beans. Shhhh …no one has to know that, lol! These beans, in my opinion, taste like they are made from scratch. Our time is very valuable and if you can make baked beans that taste like this you’re one step ahead of the game. These best beaked beans are creamy, flavorful, and a wonderful balance between sweet and tangy making a great addition to grilled fish, chicken, pulled pork or sausages. These will become your go to baked bean recipe once you taste them!
When you learn to make my basic salsa 101 there will be no stopping you! It’s packed with flavor from the juicy summer tomatoes, sweet Georgia Vidalia onions, add in some fresh squeezed limes, chopped cilantro and jalapeño and you have yourself a fiesta!
When you know how to make a basic salsa the world your oyster! No food pun intended here, but seriously! From this salsa 101 recipe you can totally make it yours by adding in 1/2 cup of avocado, mango, pineapple or even cucumbers. Don’t be afraid to try adding your favorite’s to the basic recipe because that is how you learn to create, to taste different flavors. You can even try adding 1 cup of black beans to the salsa! YUM! Have fun and enjoy:)
Adding in the extra virgin olive oil and “seasoned” rice wine vinegar with the fresh squeezed limes keeps my salsa delicately balanced where one flavor isn’t over powering another. I love using the Georgia Vidalia onions because they are so sweet! If you are not a big onion fan these will surprise you for sure. You could also cut back on the amount of chopped onions even though I believe it’s a perfect amount in my salsa 101 when “finely” chopped. The beautiful thing about the salsa 101 recipe is you can use what ever tomatoes you want from heirlooms, to grape, to cherry, tiger tomatoes …what ever your little heart fancies!
These roasted chick peas are a tasty and healthy treat that will definitely put a smile on your face. My daughter, Bella, thought it only logical that the name should be “happy” roasted chic peas if they make you smile like that and “because they are just happy”… lol
It’s amazing how this creamy bean can turn into this delicious crunchy snack. You are going to love them as much as I do. After being pleasantly surprised by the full flavored crunch you get with this roasted bean you’ll be back for seconds! A golfing friend of mine, Lisa, turned me on to these roasted chick peas a few years back. I’ve been happily making them ever since.
These roasted chic peas are wicked easy to make and a great on the go healthy snack. What’s so fun about making these happy roasted chic peas is you can totally change up the spices making them as spicy and flavorful as you want. Add in a 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika, chipotle pepper, or go for some Indian spices like a coriander/cumin combo, or one of my all time favorite spice’s garam masala. Garam masala differs depending on what region it’s from but basically it’s a combination of black pepper, mace, cinnamon, cloves, cardamons and nutmeg so you’ll get a big burst of flavor from that one alone!
My Best Hummus Ever recipe is going to become a go to dish for you when you see how gosh darn easy it is to make it yourself! Chic peas, tahini paste, garlic, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a food processor, purée until smooth and violà you have an amazing dip. Wait, there is one caveat to this best hummus ever recipe. My secret to a silky, smooth homemade hummus is removing the skins from the chic peas. This is actually a very easy task that will take you about five to ten minutes and it makes all the difference in the texture and taste for your hummus. It’s still quicker than taking that trip to the market for the already prepared hummus.
Hummus is such a versatile kind of dip where you can change it up in so many ways to get a new flavor. You can add a teaspoon of cumin to give it a bright, floral and lemony flavor. You could add in smoked paprika, hot sauce, or even throw in some roasted red peppers when you go to purée the chic peas for a beautiful reddish roasted pepper hummus. The options really are endless so don’t be afraid to have some fun here.
Biting the bullet and buying the jar of Tahini paste is totally worth it because it will last a long, long time and you will get many, many hummus dishes from this! For all you local followers I buy my jar of Tahini paste at FoodWorks Natural Market in Guilford, CT.
1 can chic peas – garbanzo beans drained, rinsed and with skins removed (I used Goya)
3 tbsp – In the show I said 1/4 cup but I actually think 3 tbsp is better (a little milder)… Tahini has a strong flavor.
Food Works in Guilford has Tahini Paste (note: this is a good investment because it will last a long, long time and you will get many, many hummus dishes from it 🙂
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 ex-large garlic clove put thru press for a fine mash
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt – will add 1/4 tsp at a time
1-3 tbsp water
a few dashes of Siracha or your favorite hot sauce (you can find Siracha near the Tabasco in the store)
Drain, wash and remove the skins from the chic peas by gently squeezing the peas between your fingers to loosen and remove the outer skin
Put the chic peas, tahini paste, a garlic clove put thru garlic press, olive oil and fresh lemon juice in the food processor and run for 1 minute
Stop and scrap down the sides of the processor
Add 1/4 tsp of sea salt, 1 tbsp of water and purée 1 minute
Stop and taste, you will probably need to add 1 tsp sea salt more and 1 tbsp water getting it to thin it out a bit (adding the water aerates the dip lightening it up)
Run the processor for 1 more minute
Check to make sure hummus is the thickness you want – you may want 1 tbsp more of water
Turn out hummus into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil
And, OR Sprinkle with paprika, OR top with 2 tbsp chopped kalamata olives or cucumber salad in the center of the hummus
Serve with blue chips, pita or naan
CUCUMBER SALAD: 1/4 cup finely chopped European cucumber, 2 tbsp finely chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp finely chopped kalamata olive and red onion, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of s & p – combine all ingredients in a sm bowl
This homemade pasta fagioli dish is a traditional Italian soup where the recipe differs from family to family and region to region. Every single version is different which makes it nice because it’s very personal that way. It’s what ever you were used to having in your own home or at your relatives growing up. Originally, pasta fagioli was made without meat, then there were versions that started the dish off by sauteing pancetta and now there are so many different recipes floating around. It’s what ever floats your boat really! It’s supposed to be easy gourmet…what ever you have in the pantry and refrigerator will work.
Pasta fagioli is a savory comfort food that I just love. It consist of several universal ingredients like ditalini pasta, cannellini beans, some kind of tomato base and a liquid of either chicken, or vegetable and I have even seen water used. It’s been considered a soup which is perfect for dunking that crusty bread but there are versions that make it more like a thick saucy “pasta” dish. The liquids do evaporate quickly after the pasta is added to the pot and cooked through so you have to be careful at this point to keep an eye on that if you want it to have a looser soup-like consistency.
INGREDIENTS For Pasta Fagioli (makes enough for many…15-20 side dishes):
2 cans cannellini beans
1/2 -3/4 cup ditalini pasta ( 1/2 if you want it looser soup-like consistencey …remember it just keeps getting thicker even after you take it off the stove as the liquid evaporates)
1 qt. (4 cups) chicken stock
1 cup white wine-pinot grigio or what ever you are drinking -(1/2 to deglaze pancetta and veggies and 1/2 when you add stock
1/3 cup each diced carrots, celery and onion
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 cups whole peeled tomatoes with some juice, broken up with your hands – NOTE: USE 3 cups if you are not using a cup of “leftover pork & sauce”
1 cup pork in tomato sauce OR 1 lb. sausage taken out of the casing ready to sauté OR omit all together
2 1/4″ sliced of pancetta diced up
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 2 of fresh thyme tied in up with string
Fresh basil -julienne to add at the end
grated Reggiano Parmigiano and some to shave for decoration
good olive oil to drizzle at the end
1/2 tsp salt -add 1/4 tsp at the addition of sauteing veggies and 1/4 tsp when you add beans and broth
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes if you like a pinch of HEAT
Add diced pancetta to a large pan and begin to sauté for 8 minutes on med heat
Add in broken up sausage to brown with the pancetta If you do not have “pork in sauce”
On med/low heat add diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt (along with 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little heat) to the same pot with 1 tbsp olive oil extra – sauté til veggies are tender 10 minutes
De-glaze with 1/2 cup white wine and simmer 5 minutes
Add in beans, pork-sauce, whole peeled tomatoes, herb bouquet, chicken stock, 1/4 salt, 1/4 pepper and simmer for 30 minutes
Remove herb bouquet from soup
Take 4-5 ladles of beans out of the soup to puree for a little creamier then adding back in
Simmer 5 minutes and add in 1/2 cup ditalini pasta
Cook til pasta is cooked – approx 7 minutes
Plate up and drizzle olive oil, sprinkle parmigiano cheese and fresh basil and mangia mangia!
Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ is real fine homemade gourmet BBQ with a mustard base sauce that makes you pucker, all awhile biting into a succulent piece of pork rib that just melts in your mouth. The savory hickory smoked flavor of their ribs is something you will definitely be back for with out a whole lot of time lapsing in between visits. The mustard-vinegar based sauce just grows on you and you can’t really put your finger on it so you just keep dipping into this sauce for another lick. I recently had the opportunity to eat here when my son Reilly and I met up with his tennis team in South Carolina for his National Team competition.
Well, I tell you, when I travel I want to visit places to eat where their heart and soul is served up to you on a plate. To taste different foods from other regions is one of the most wonderful opportunities we get when we travel. If you are not into this kind of thing you ought to open your self up and try to appreciate new tastes and ways to prepare foods that have become traditions for people in that region. That’s what makes the world such a diverse place with so many different flavors to soak up.
I decided that during our stay in South Carolina I wanted to accomplish a few of things before heading back. First off, was having Southern BBQ, of course! The second was to get my son, Reilly, to Carowinds Amusement Park in North Carolina which would be an easy task since we were flying in and out of Charlotte and the third was to get in a couple rounds of golf! My friend Luanne, one of the other tennis mom’s, had the same point of view as me on the whole Southern BBQ thing and tasting new foods from where ever you happen to be traveling especially if you are miles away from where you live. On one of the afternoons at tennis practice much of our group was ready to hit up Chic-fil-A AGAIN! I am happy to say that didn’t even enter my mind nor did I go there during our stay in South Carolina. I looked at my friend Luanne , we began to laugh and said lets go, lets do REAL BBQ. She had already looked it up on her phone and it wasn’t far from The Cayce Tennis Facility so off we went in my rental car.
It was the tastiest meal I had on this trip to South Carolina and it totally lived up to my BBQ standards. I ordered the pork ribs, collard greens, and coleslaw and needless to say I wore much of it that mustard based BBQ sauce all over the front of my white with navy blue pinstripe cotton dress I had on. Too funny but it was definitely worth it…should have gotten a picture of that 🙂 The ribs were moist and falling of the bone tender slathered in their mustard-vinegar sauce and I can’t help but love that hickory smoked flavor. The collard greens were delicious, earthy but not too bitter and the chopped style coleslaw was a refreshing balance with the mustard sauce from the ribs. Each item complemented one another very well! I did buy a bottle of Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ sauce to take home with me. They have quite the assortment of sauces to choose from (shown below) but I bought the one I had that day. To my surprise I was able to get the yellow mustard stain completely out of my dress before it dried.
On the last day Reilly and I headed to Carowinds Amusement Park and he had the time of his life bravely riding on several loop coasters over and over again! We actually found another gourmet BBQ eatery in downtown Charlotte which was a bonus. I was also able to get in two rounds of golf during our stay so it was a wonderful trip all around. Don’t you forget to treat yourself toMaurice’s Piggy Park BBQ when you are in Cayce, South Carolina …you won’t regret it!
2015 is here so let’s not procrastinated and get right down to business with some refreshing and heathy dinners. You can’t beat this black bean salsa & swordfish with its nutritional values and taste to boot! It’s so nice to brighten up our menu after the starchy celebratory holiday meals. With this black bean salsa you still get that “comfort food” feeling because the black beans are so creamy and filling. Black beans are considered to be the best “meat-free” sources of protein serving up 15 grams each of protein and fiber per 1 cup…not to mention black beans have the highest antioxidant level of all beans!
I first learned how to make salsa almost 20 years ago from a Chef in San Franciso name Barclay. He was a chef at one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco called Bix (on Gold St.) Bix had foie gras that was to die for and the most outrageous bar burgers that had to be made from filet mignon because they melted in your mouth like butter! Needless to say Barclay made a killer salsa and I’m thankful to him for starting me out on the right path when it came to making salsa.
This black bean salsa is almost identical to my “best mango-avocado salsa ever” on my website except I minus one mango and add 2 cans of Goya black beans. This is a such a quick and easy recipe and if you don’t have time for the chopping you’ve got to check out the produce department at your local store because most of them do offer a section of pre-chopped vegetables or you could pre-chop everything yourself the night before you put this dinner together.
Fresh swordfish is now being caught off the Carolina’s so it’s an ideal fish to buy. Swordfish is a hardy kind of fish and eats like a steak so it is very filling. The oils in the swordfish are also as nutritious for you, if not more, as eating that black bean salsa. So what a team this black bean salsa & pan seared swordfish makes…you just can’t beat it! The best thing is it doesn’t have to be summer to whip this meal up either…enjoy. Make sure to watchmy YouTube cooking showthat goes with this recipe and don’t forget to subscribe on my YouTube channel so that you can receive my latest cooking show releases!
Wow! These roasted chick peas are a crunchy, tasty and healthy treat. You are going to love them as much as I do! You definitely won’t be able to have just one little handful…you will be back for more. My good friend Lisa turned me on to these roasted chick peas and I’m so glad she did because they are wicked easy to make and a great on the go snack or even in an appetizer assortment along with baked asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, zucchini torta or baked coconut shrimp.
2 cans chick peas
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper OR 1/4 tsp finely ground blk pepper for a mild flavor (I did the blk pepper in the show for really flavorful chic peas and not spicy)
1/4 tsp cumin
OPTIONAL: a few dashes of Siracha to really spice it up!
1/2 tsp fine sea salt -1/4 before baking and 1/4 after they are roasted
Pre-heat oven to 450º.
Drain and rinse 2 cans of chick peas.
Gently rub and pat dry with paper towels.
This action will loosen the skins off of the chick peas (you don’t have to get off every single chick peas skin..this just naturally happens as you are patting them dry).
Put the chick peas into a medium bowl and add olive oil and spices.
Mix and turn out onto a cookie sheet.
Put them into the oven and bake for approx. 35 minutes.
Shake the pan rolling around the chick peas every 10 minutes…at 25 minutes, 15 minutes and DEFINITELY at 5 minutes
They will burn quickly at the end so you need to keep an eye on them especially during the last 5 minutes.
Remove the chic peas from the oven and sprinkle with the other 1/4 tsp salt and let cool on tray
Thisroasted garlicand cannellini bean purée has a luscious creamy texture and makes a great side dish or even a dip served with some pita’s chips on the side not to mention the nutritional value. The garlic turning soft and creamy becomes sweet when roasted. It makes a great presentation as a base layer on a plate when topping with sliced chicken, pork beef, fish or vegetables. I really like drizzling truffle oil on and around it bringing out the smokey flavors if serving with a rack of lamb or a beef tenderloin. Try the stuffed roulades of chicken, or sautéed chicken breastsrecipes to go with this delicious purée. For such complex flavors it’s amazing how easy it is to make. I came up with this recipe because I like sauces and I wanted something with that creamy texture feel yet healthy for you and here it is.
1 can cannellini beans (butter beans are great too)