Hummus for Dipping or Spreading

Hummus photo null_zps8e8458ab.jpg
Hummus is a delicious white bean dip or sandwich spread easily made in a blender or food processor.  Use it for a pita bread spread, or dip for tortilla chips or veggies.

It's popular at parties and appetizer tables, and freshly homemade saves money -- a commercially bought dip easily costs between $3 to $5 for an 8 or 10 oz. container.  

For half the cost, you can make twice as much.  Extra dip can also be frozen.  And if making from cooking your own dried beans, the savings is even more.

Hummus Dip 
1, 15 oz. can of either Garbanzo beans, or cooked Chick Peas or White Navy Beans
1 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 Tabs. olive oil
1 garlic minced clove, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3 green onions, thinly sliced
parsley and/or paprika for garnish

Garbanzo Beans photo null_zps4742e6df.jpg
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. 

Place in serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. 
Garnish with parsley or sprinkling of paprika.

Serve with pita bread, cut veggies or tortilla chips. Refrigerate unused hummus. Makes approximately 2 cups.

Estimate cost: $1.50 or less.

Strawberry Pie or Tartlets

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI've noticed strawberries featured at grocery stores and farmer's markets in our area, so they're plentiful at this time of year.  I planted some 3 years for the first time, so am harvesting again!   

My gram grew them, so there's fond memories of picking them and watching her make her chilled strawberry pie in the summer, or making strawberry shortcake.  I sometimes make a chocolate strawberry shortcake, if you're looking for another nice strawberry dessert.

She also grew rhubarb and sometimes combined the two for this pie, but I haven't yet tried that.  This recipe fills a 9-inch baked or pre-made pie shell, or a dozen pre-made or baked tartlets.  I keep a pie crust mix on hand, where all you add is water, then mix and roll it out.  It's handy to have on hand for desserts or pot pies.   

Since I decided to make tartlets, I halved the recipe for the two of us, using a pint.  I'm sure commercial premade shells or tartlets such as graham cracker, cookie, or oreo types would work well, as this is a chilled dessert.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Strawberry Pie or Tartlets
1 quart of small strawberries, or sliced if large
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tabs. cornstarch
1 9-inch baked pie shell, or prepared crust
or a dozen, depending on size,  baked or pre-made tartlets
whipped cream for topping
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Clean and rinse strawberries. Lay on paper towel to dry.  Combine 1 cup of crushed berries and 3/4 cups of water and simmer for 3 minutes.  Stir in cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Cook until mixture becomes a clear custard or glaze, a few minutes more.

Remove from heat. Stir remaining small berries, (or slices) into custard, then pour strawberry filling into 9-inch baked pie shells.  Chill to set.  Top with whipped cream before serving.  Pie serves 6 to 8; or makes 10-12 tartlets.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppEstimated cost of pie: $5.00 or less depending on if you buy a crust or make it; .83 cents a serving or less.  Tartlets: .50 a serving or less.

Skillet Pork Chops and Lima Beans

Pork Chops and Lima Beans
Large white Lima beans can be used for soups or side dishes or even tossed into salads.  I buy them dried and cook as many as needed for a recipe, though they also can be bought canned or frozen in different sizes and colors.

You'll often seen them labeled "Baby Lima Beans."  Dried beans of all kinds are healthy and like potatoes, are useful because they're inexpensive, filling, healthy, and a good comfort food.

I've used them in soups with ham, but prefer small navy beans for soup. This recipe is the way my mom made them -- in a gravy sauce with green peppers and onions, served on top and/or along side pork steaks or chops.

Pork Chops and Lima Beans
Skillet Pork Chops and Lima Beans
2 cups Lima beans canned or frozen
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper
  • Tabs. butter
  • 4  pork chops or pork medallions
Cook dried beans in salted water until tender and set aside with broth. If using canned or frozen beans, add beans while cooking onions and green peppers, and add water.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown salt and peppered chops in butter, turning once. Remove chops from pan and set aside.  Add onions and pepper strips to the pan cooking until soft and translucent. Add Lima beans and enough bean broth or water to cover beans and onions. 
Return chops and arrange on top of bean mixture.  Cover and simmer on low until chops are done, about 20-25 minutes.  Serve with mashed potatoes. Serves 4.
Estimated cost: $5 or less; $1.25 a serving or less.