Friday, June 30, 2006

Homemade Toaster Tarts

I know they're a little wonky, but as all of my kids have their own aprons they decided to come and "watch". Of course that doesn't really mean watch, it means touch ... a lot.

Anyhow, we ran out of toaster tarts (Pop Tarts) and as I've had a recipe or two sitting around forever I decided to give it a whirl. Yes, it's too hot for baking, but I cut the dough in half and put one half back in the fridge so I only made 8. I couldn't keep the oven on for that long.

Once they were done and the kids decided they were way better than store bought, I did
some costing and found that for me to make my own they cost about 6¢ each as opposed to
12¢ each for the cheap kind and 20¢ each for the name brand!

They are a bit of work but not terribly so and you can put whatever you want in the middle of
them, even combos the "big guys" haven't even thought of yet. I plan on working around with it to come up with a chocolate dough too and if I pin it down I'll share it.

I promise tomorrow we'll get back to Summertime cooking.

This is a combination of a couple recipes - feel free to cut the recipe in half, it will work just as well.

Toaster Tarts

1c sugar
1c margarine or butter-softened
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 c flour
4 t baking powder


Jam, jelly, preserves or whatever will firm up a bit when they are cooled.

Beat butter or margarine together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time while beating and then add vanilla. Stir in flour and baking powder until a soft dough forms. Cut in half and flatten each half a bit and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

You can either cut the dough into 16 rectangles and fit two together with filling in the center (about a tablespoon per tart) and trim the edges OR roll a large rectangle and fold in half and cut into 8 pieces so the top and bottom of each are more uniform before putting the filling on them. This is what I did - I didn't want to roll all day long.

Crimp the edges closed with a fork and poke the tops well with a fork. Set on cookie sheets (I didn't grease mine) and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. You can poke them with a fork again halfway through baking time to keep them flat or, if that doesn't matter to you, let them bake, they don't get that puffy anyway.

You can brush them with a bit of milk or beaten egg white before baking also and when they are done they can be frosted with a simple powdered sugar icing.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Favorite Summertime Meal

Someone elsewhere on the web today asked what my favorite Summertime meal was and this was my answer.

Anne's Lime Ranch Chicken
Pasta Salad or Grill Roasted Herbed Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
Sliced ripe tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
No-Bake Cheesecake (I forgot to add this there! Can't forget dessert.)
Anne's Favorite Lemonade

Anne's Lime Ranch Chicken

Per pound of chicken mix 1 packet of ranch salad
dressing powder and 1/4 c lime juice. Smear on chicken
pieces and let stand several hours. Broil, grill, bake,
or saute as desired.

Tastes very close to Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla
That was the catalyst for my coming up with this.

Grill Roasted Herbed Potatoes

I don't have a clear-cut recipe for this but this is close.

Wash several pounds of red bliss potatoes (about 20 for my family) and cut each into

Combine 1/4 c olive oil, 1 minced clove of garlic and a tablespoon or so of fresh chopped rosemary. Pour over the potatoes and toss well to coat evenly. You can also set a fresh sprig of rosemary on top of the potatoes instead of using the chopped.

Lay out a large square of heavy duty tin foil and mound the potatoes in the center. Fold up on all sides and pinch closed well.

Lay on the grill and roast for 35-45 minutes until done-turning once during grilling time.

No-Bake Cheesecake

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk or electric mixer on high speed until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Garnish as desired.

I saw a photo in a magazine about 12 years ago with what looked like this mixture in it. It was such a pretty picture and the drink looked so refreshing I had to come up with my own.

Anne's Favorite Lemonade

1 gallon lemonade (any brand)
2 kiwi peeled and sliced thickly
6 ripe strawberries hulled and cut in half
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
3 or 4 fresh mint leaves

Combine all and let stand refrigerated for 24 hours
before serving. Serve in tall clear glasses with lots of
ice and let the fruit fall in also. Very pretty and
VERY yummy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The 1950's: Did we really go there?

Someone wrote to me to request a recipe from one of my cookbooks, so I dutifully pulled the book from its shelf and looked for the recipe. I got so amused while looking through the book that I had to share some of it.

This is the recipe I sent. I only just emailed it so I don't know if it's what she is looking for or not. This is from the "How To Get The Most Out Of Your Sunbeam Automatic Mixmaster" cookbooklet from 1950. The cover of my copy is a bit battered, but the inside is still great.
By the way, don't make this recipe now unless it's cooler where you live or you have A/C! Otherwise, I would be going against my own good advice.

Thrifty Cup Cakes
("Short-Cut" Method)

Preparation: Have shortening at room temperature. Assemble all ingredients and utensils needed. Grease 3-inch cup cake pans. Sift flour once before measuring. Preheat oven to baking temperature.
Sift into large bowl of MIXMASTER:
1¼ cups sifted cake flour
2/3 cup sugar
1¾ teaspoons double-acting or (2¼ teaspoons fast-acting) baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening (soft)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat it on No. 3 speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl while beating. Stop mixer. Scrape beaters.
1 egg, unbeaten
Beat 1 minute longer, scraping sides of bowl while beating. Fill cup cake pans 2/3 full.
Bake: (375° F)-moderately hot oven-about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out of pans. Cool. Ice with Fudge Icing on Page 18. Put a half nut meat on top of each or sprinkle with cocoanut.
Makes: 1 dozen large cup cakes.

Easy Fudge Icing

Combine in top of double boiler:
3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup butter or margarine
Melt over hot water.

Put into small bowl of MIXMASTER:
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup hot milk or cream
Beat on No. 2 speed until blended. Then beat in chocolate mixture on No. 10 speed. Beat until thick enough to spread. More confectioner's sugar or cream may be added to give desired consistency.
Makes: Enough icing for two 8-inch layers.

These are what I was getting so amused by. I look at these images and mostly think that they're neat. I sometimes wish we could go back to simpler times but these ads are just so funny. Note that almost all of them say something about being "automatic". These are the same appliances that nowadays would cycle endlessly and drain power from elsewhere. I've owned some older appliances in my time and they are also really hefty. I have to say though, on the whole they were made far better than much of the "junk" we buy today.

Have fun looking, and click on the pictures to open them up fully so you can read them!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Cooking 101 Part III, Soup

Beautiful Soup: Gazpacho

Soup is not something that normally comes to mind in the summer. It's hot enough without hovering your face over a bowl of steaming food. Never fear, there are cool soups that are perfect for summer and simpler to make than you might think.

Give one of these a try the next time you need something cool to dine on.

Strawberry soup is more a dessert than anything else. Try a small cup for an appetizer as well.

Strawberry Soup
Printable Recipe

1 to 1 1/2 qts fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled
1 clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 c triple sec OR orange juice
1 c sugar
2 c heavy cream 1/2 liquid and 1/2 whipped

Combine strawberries, clove, cinnamon, sugar and liquor or juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Thicken if needed with cornstarch. Cool.

Once the strawberry mixture is cooled, remove the clove and cinnamon stick. Mash well or puree, if desired, some like this soup chunky and others prefer it smooth. Add the liquid cream and then fold in the whipped cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

Cold Melon Soup
Printable Recipe

2 ripe cantaloupes peeled, seeded and diced about 4 cups
1 small can (6-8 oz) apricot nectar
1/4 c honey
1 sachet (cheesecloth tied with string) containing 1/2 cinnamon stick and 3 slivers ginger) OR 1 tsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice
2 c heavy cream -1/2 liquid and 1/2 whipped

In a large saucepan combine melon, apricot nectar, honey and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until melon is very soft. Cool completely and puree (remove sachet first).

Add liquid cream and then fold in whipped cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

Iced Cucumber Soup
Printable Recipe

5 cucumbers-peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
5 fresh mint leaves
2 c buttermilk
2 c chicken stock
1 T lime juice
1/2 t salt

Place cucumbers and mint leaves in blender or food
processor and whirl to a fine puree. Pour into a 2 qt
pitcher. Add buttermilk, chicken stock, lime juice, and
salt; mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour or until cold.

Another version of cucumber soup:

Chilled Dill Cucumber Soup
Printable Recipe

1 cup cold chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 lb. fresh cucumbers, not peeled, cut into chunks
3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put some of the broth into a blender, just enough to cover the blades.
Add cucumber and dill and blend until liquid. Add remaining broth, salt and pepper
and blend.
Serve sprinkled with additional chopped dill.


Chilled Vegetable Soup
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Printable Recipe

1 small cucumber
1 small zucchini
2 ribs celery
1/2 small Spanish onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
2 green onions - white and green parts
2 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill
1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Extra vegetables and herbs for garnish

Peel, seed and cut all vegetables into very fine dice (first 8 ingredients). Toss together in a large bowl.
Stir together tomato paste and water or stock and add to veggies. Toss in all seasonings (last 6 ingredients) and stir until well combined. Chill overnight or for at least 4 hours so flavors will blend. Serve with reserved chopped veggies and herbs
on top.

Cool and Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Soup 
Ready in 15 minutes
Serves 4 as a starter
Printable Recipe

6 large or 8 medium ripe plum tomatoes - peeled and seeded
3 medium cucumbers - peeled and seeded
1 small bunch green onions - tops and whites
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup sour cream (I like Mexican crema for this)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill plus more for garnish (or whichever herb you like)

Pop everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Chill for several hours if desired or serve as-is topped with extra herbs and sliced green onion.

This next soup is what Alice B. Toklas referred to as "Beautiful Soup". Also posted at A Thousand Soups.

Printable Recipe

2 large very ripe tomatoes concassè (peeled, seeded and diced)
1/2 onion diced
1/2 large green pepper diced
1/2 large red pepper diced
1/2 large yellow pepper diced
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic minced
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 T lime juice
2 c tomato juice
2 c consomme or beef stock (cold)

Puree all together until smooth. Add garnish (below) and chill for several hours. Serve topped with fried croutons if desired.


1 c tomato concassè (peeled, seeded, diced)
2 c peppers (green, red, yellow) diced
1 c peeled and seeded cucumber diced
1 c scallions sliced thin
1 T fresh dill minced
1 T fresh cilantro minced

Saturday, June 17, 2006

For Fathers Everywhere

This is a recipe that I believe NO man should be without, not just fathers.

Ice Cubes
Makes 10-12

1/2 cup water
1 ice cube tray

Make sure tray is free of any foreign material~crumbs etc.
Carefully pour water evenly over all cube openings.
Do NOT fill any space to the top~water expands as it freezes.
Carefully transfer the tray to the freezer and close the door.
Wait for several hours (peeking doesn't help them along) and they
should be fully frozen and ready for use.
You already know how to get them out so I'll skip that part.

*Note: When I told my husband I would be posting this he told he me he would post about the wonderful "ice miracle" that his life seems to have been filled with. He says that no matter what time of day or how many cubes he uses, the ice seems to miraculously reappear in the freezer the next time he looks. Like magic!

Imagine that.

I actually put this on a recipe card and hung it on the freezer door to no avail.

Please guys, don't miss your opportunity to print this out and keep it handy!

In case you were wondering, I did the "real deal" Father's Day thing over at my other blog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer Cooking 101 Part II, Big Ideas for Little Tummies

Flag Pizza
See the bottom of this post for a link on a how-to for this cute veggie-packed and kid-friendly pizza!

Feeding kids isn't easy. Anyone who is a parent or caregiver of children knows this one. Their tastes can change from day-to-day and much of the grown-up fare that the rest of us adore just doesn't do it for them.

My kids are not exempt just because I can cook. One of them has changed her tastes over the past year at a truly maddening rate. One week she loves the tuna cakes I've made for years, and the next she's telling me she hates them. I've already warned her that this is not a fast-food joint and she can't just order ala carte here. I think at this point she would rather go hungry than eat something she just doesn't like. I also know from experience with several of the other kids that she will outgrow it.

Some of what I make for the kids is flat out for fun, some of what I make is for hidden nutritional value, some of it is just because they like it.

Here are a few ideas and recipes to get your own imagination going. Almost all of these are great for Summertime too. This is just the very tip of the recipe and idea iceberg, I just don't have room for all of it!

  • When it comes to making hoagies, the amount of bread in a normal hoagie roll is just too much for little ones and I often found rolls emptied of their contents and lying on a plate. So, to avoid having this happen I started using hot dog rolls for the smaller kids. Not only do they think kid-sized rolls are "cool" but they can also finish the whole thing. Whole wheat hot dog rolls are not yet the easiest to find but they are out there and are far better than the white flour type.
  • We love pita bread here for all manner of things (mini's are great for kid sandwiches) including pizza. It's about the simplest pizza "dough" going. Just lay out pitas and let the kids top them with their favorites and about 15 minutes in a 400° oven or a few seconds in the microwave is all you need.
  • What kid doesn't like ranch dressing? Well, actually I do have one that doesn't like it. My oldest son defies logic. Any kid eats a veggie disguised in cheese sauce or ranch dressing, right? Not Declan. But the good news is that most kids love the stuff and will eat any manner of cut-up veggie if there's enough dip to go with it.
  • Another way to get the kids to eat fruits and veggies is to make kabobs. Shish Kabob sticks (bamboo skewers) are very cheap and the kids love almost anything on them! Try varied fruits with a healthy dip like:

Honey Lime Yogurt Dressing

2c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. sour cream
1T. lime juice
1/2c. honey
1/4c. heavy cream
1t. parsely finely chopped

Mix together and allow flavors
to blend several hours or overnight.
(I used to serve this at my cafe and it was a big hit there!)

Chicken nuggets, hot dogs, turkey or ham cubes and cheese cubes are all great ideas for kabobs too.

  • Smoothies are a huge favorite here and they are so easy to make. I have quite a few recipes and if you would like them just email me (link above and in my profile) and I'll be more than happy to send them along. Basically any yogurt or ice cream (or even tofu!) with a fruit, fresh or frozen, and a touch of fruit juice will do it. Blend away and watch the kids consume them with lightning speed.

  • Yesterday I pulled a big no-no, nutritionally speaking; I bought freeze-pops. We all know they aren't more than colored sugar water but the kids love them and on a hot day I really don't mind them having one. There are healthier alternatives though and one of them is yogurt tubes. I never buy yogurt tubes that don't go directly to the freezer. The kids love yogurt (I buy plenty in cups) but they don't like the tubes in the "squishy" form as they call it. There are also recipes for fruit pops that you can make yourself with nothing more than popsicle forms (found several for $1 at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar both) and 100% fruit juice.

Another idea is these:

Easy Fudgesicles

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk (NOT condensed)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
3 level scoops (3/4 cup) hot chocolate mix powder
2 level scoops (1/2 cup) Nestle Quik
Popsicle molds - 8 to 12, depending on mold size

Pour evaporated milk, whole milk, and chocolate syrup
into a bowl and stir until blended. Heat until hot but
not boiling (microwave for about 4 minutes). Stir in
hot chocolate mix powder and Nestle Quik powder (a
wire whisk works best). Pour into popsicle molds and

Snacks are a big thing here and if I let my kids do it, they would eat every 5 minutes throughout  the day. So, since I know they'll be asking alot I try to have healthier versions of things on hand. Many times that just means making it myself since the store bought type generally has more salt, sugar and preservatives than what I make. Apples with pb and honey dip go over big here and is a simple thing to prepare.

Also try:

Cheerio Bars
Servings: 6

1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c honey
3 c Cheerios
peanuts or chocolate chips

Bring sugar and honey to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in
peanut butter until well blended. Pour in cheerios and mix until well coated.
Spread in buttered 9 x 13 pan and let cool. cut in squares.

Cinnamon-Apple Fruit Rolls
Servings: 8

24 oz jar apple sauce
2 t cinnamon

Heat oven to 250. Line jelly roll pan with plastic wrap, securing ends.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake at 250 for 1 1/4 hours. Turn off the oven and let stand in oven
2 to 3 hours until dry.
Cut into 8 squares and remove plastic wrap.
Roll up jelly roll fashion.

  • Two easy ways to make ice cream are in bags and cans. The kids think both ways are really neat and they can be involved in making the ice cream with no mess! Ice cream sandwiches are super easy with store bought cookies. They are also a little smaller that way and easier to handle for little ones.

Zip Lock Bag Ice Cream

2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
6 Tblsp. rock salt
1 pint sized plastic zip bag
1 gallon-sized plastic zip bag

Fill the gallon zip bag half full of ice. Add rock salt and seal well (I've used duct tape before to be sure it's sealed!). Pour sugar, milk/half and half, and vanilla into the pint sized plastic bag and seal. Place the pint
sized bag into the gallon bag and seal. Shake the bag for 5-7 minutes.

I've never gotten it to work that fast but it may work differently for you. I use the 5 minutes as a checking time. If it isn't done then, we just keep going.

Tin Can Ice Cream

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nuts or fruit as desired

Put all ingredients in a 1-pound coffee can with a tight fitting plastic
lid. Place lid on can. Place can with ingredients inside a #10 can (larger
coffee can) with a tight fitting lid. Pack larger can with crushed ice
around smaller can. Pour at least 3/4 cup of rock salt evenly over ice.
Place lid on #10 can. Roll back and forth on a table or cement slab for 10
minutes. Open outer can. Remove inner can with ingredients. Remove lid.
Use a rubber spatula to stir up mixture. Scrape sides of can. Replace lid.
Drain ice water from larger can. Insert smaller can: pack with more ice and
rock salt. Roll back and forth for 5 more minutes. Makes about 3 cups. You
can also put a few clean marbles in the can to help stir the ingredients.
Just be sure to remove them before eating to avoid a choking hazard.
Tape this all up with duct tape and the kids can even (gently) kick it around!

Adding in this new and very valuable resource: Claire Crespo's A Very Veggie World cookbook. This link is a FREE download and the book is chock full of terrific kid-friendly veggie ideas, many perfect for the summer. See my post about it here and follow the first link for your own copy!  ~Anne, June 6, 2012

Monday, June 05, 2006

Leaning Tower of Recipes

Remember way-back-when...couple months? Mom brought me over a "few" boxes of recipes. These are it. Those boxes are packed front-to-back with every imaginable type of recipe you can find. Hand-written vintage recipes, retro recipes, magazine clippings, you name it.

I haven't gotten very far into them since my time is limited but I plan on doing some sitting around the end of October and hopefully I can get through them all by then.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Summer Cooking 101 Part I


Nope, not Summer Cooking for Dummies, but close.

Now that things are heating up, many people are trying to figure out how to make meals without too much heat or fuss.

First thing's first - figure out what methods of cooking you have available and whether or not you are comfortable with them. One thing you definitely don't want to do is turn on the oven! Even if you have A/C the heat from the oven takes longer to dissipate in the summer since the humidity is generally higher. Also, anything that involves boiling water is something you want to do before sunrise or after sunset. If there is anything that I definitely need the oven or stovetop for (ie; certain cakes, pastas, rice) I try to get it done as early in the day as possible when it's generally cooler and more likely that the kitchen will cool off by mealtime.

I would try to stick with these appliances: refrigerator/freezer, crockpot, microwave, sandwich maker, waffle iron, blender, food processor, tabletop or stovetop grill, outdoor grill and electric frying pan. (I don't even own all of these myself, so you can make do with less.)

OK, now that you have your basic appliances chosen, what do you cook with them?
Here's where I come in! I have too many crockpot recipes and many for the microwave. I will post microwave recipes for sure, but they will be fewer since individual microwaves vary in heating times making it harder to pin down the method for many recipes. They are great to have and you can make a perfect cake with them as I discovered when we were without cooking gas for about a month once. (My microwave made a 9x9 cake in 10 minutes at 50% power, for instance. I did need to play around the first couple times but once I had it down we had cake fairly often.)

My favorite recipes are the ones that don't involve any cooking and those are most likely the ones I will share first.

My personal favorites for hotter days:

No-Cook or almost-no-cook:
  • Fruit and Cheese with crackers or bread
  • Tortilla Roll-Ups and wraps
  • Cut up veggies and dip (cucumber, carrot, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, zucchini, etc.)
  • Muffuletta
  • Subs
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Pasta Salads
  • Sandwich spreads
  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Dips
  • Popsicles

  • Quesadillas
  • Rice dishes
  • Chicken patty sandwiches
  • Quick pizzas
  • Veggie melts


  • Crockpot Chicken Stew
  • Chicken with Noodles
  • Sausage and Rice dinner
  • Chicken and Rice
  • Triple Chocolate Mess Dessert
  • Chili

Here is a sample to get you going. Keep "tuning in" during the Summer for lots more!

Ham and Cheese Ranch Roll-Ups
Printable Recipes

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese-softened
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese-room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope Ranch Dip Mix
3/4 pound shaved deli ham-chopped if necessary
3/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
12 (9 inch) flour tortillas

In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar, mayonnaise, and
dip mix until well combined. Stir in ham and onion, Spread each
tortilla thinly with ham mixture, leaving a scant 1/2 inch edge on
one side. Roll up toward side with 1/2 inch edge and wrap tightly in
plastic wrap; chill thoroughly, 3 to 4 hours or up to 2 days. Slice
rolls into 1/2 inch slices for appetizers or serve whole for full servings; discard ends if desired and arrange spirals on serving dish. Cover tightly and chill until ready to
serve, up to 24 hours.
Serves approximately 16 - 20 as an appetizer or 12 as a main dish.

5 Layer Mediterranean Dip
Printable Recipe

2 c hummus (recipe below)
1/2 c chopped tomato
1/4 c chopped cucumber
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Feta cheese-crumbled
2 T sliced pitted ripe olives

Spread hummus on bottom of 9-inch pie plate.
Layer with remaining ingredients. Serve with pita chips or wedges.

Makes 2 cups
Printable Recipe

2 cups cooked and drained garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 cup tahini - sesame paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon

Toss everything into a blender and pulse until smooth. For this one I added in a cup of diced red pepper. You can add in other veggies, etc. just make sure to balance out the liquid so the hummus isn't too thin.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Makes 36 bars
Printable Recipe

2 c powdered sugar
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 c smooth peanut butter
1/2 c +2 T butter or margarine-melted
12 oz Milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips-melted

Mix the powdered sugar, cracker crumbs, peanut butter and butter in a
medium size bowl until blended.
Scrape into an ungreased 13x9 baking pan and press into an even layer.
spread the melted chocolate over the top. Refrigerate at least 2
hours until the chocolate is firm. Let stand at room temperature, 15
to 20 minutes before cutting with a sharp knife into bars.

White Sangria Punch (Non-alcoholic)
12- 3/4 cup servings
Printable Recipe

4 c white grape juice
1 c pink grapefruit juice
1T lime juice
1 club soda bottle- 750 ml- chilled
Pink grapefruit slices

In large pitcher, combine grape, grapefruit and lime
juices; refrigerate. Just before serving, add soda water
and grapefruit slices.

Next up:

Summer Cooking 101 Part II, Big Ideas for Little Tummies