Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Still another month of summer to go, so lots of time to try out this one. I have to admit it is better than the President’s Choice brand….

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus a la Larry


Those of you who know how Larry cooks will realize he never makes the same recipe twice. This time I sat him down and made him write it out!!! Even still, when you read the directions you will see he is still experimenting….


16 oz. of drained garbanzo beans (Reserve the liquid for use later on)

2 large red peppers roasted* (see note below on how best to do this)

4 T lemon juice

2 tsp. ground cumin

4 or 5 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely

¼ cup sesame seeds (many recipes call for tahini paste which he does not like!)

Salt, pepper

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Chopped parsley for color (He has yet to convince me that this has any real flavour!)

*The best way to roast the peppers is over the open flame of your gas stove until the skins turn black. Turn with tongs to char evenly. Put them into a plastic bag and let them sit for a while to make removing the charred skins easier. Remove the seeds! If you want to do a few extra peppers, they will keep in a little extra virgin olive oil for a week…

If you have an electric stove, grill them whole on your BBQ when you are cooking something else. Bag them as above.

In a food processor, blend the beans, seeded roasted red peppers, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, some parsley and sesame seeds to a coarse consistency.

If needed, taste and add more lemon juice and/or a small amount of olive oil and/or some reserved liquid from the beans or a bit of all three! Pulse again briefly and add salt and pepper and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes. Pulse again.

Remember that the flavors will enhance over time!!! Refrigerate until ready to use.

Larry likes to serve this with Stacy’s Pita Chips from Costco…


Baked Beans/Frijoles canadienses

Had a great BBQ at the beach home of our friends Cindy and Dan and about 20 people. These beans were a hit with the Yucatecans as well. I have made them many times before at home in Canada too with the same raves…here is the recipe…

Frijoles Canadienses…

1 medium white onion finely chopped

3 cans (16 oz.) Heinz or Bush brand beans with sauce.* (see note below)

½ lb. smoked bacon unsliced**(see note below)

1/3 cup ketchup

2 T molasses (available at Chedraui Norte & Pacsadeli in Merida)

2 T brown sugar

1 T cider vinegar

½ tsp. dry mustard (Coleman’s)

¼ tsp. thyme

¼ tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves


Slice the bacon into small chunks the size of Chiclets or a little bigger. Fry until not too crispy. Mix all of the ingredients in the cooking container and stir well.

If cooking in the microwave, use a Corning ware casserole dish with a cover. Cook covered 10 to 15 minutes on high.

My preference is to use the slow cooker! Mix all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, stirring every half hour or so. The beans will then thicken up!

  • In Mexico I use cans of frijoles churros and NOT bajos! You can find BUSH beans at Chedraui or Pacsadeli…
  • Also in Mexico, I use the Peñaranda brand – Tocino Ahumado  en trozo available at Superama in Merida. Cut it up the size of Chiclets as well or a little larger depending on your preference.



Oven Stew

I know this is not a summer time dish, but with all of the rain in the north I thought you might need some comfort food. I learned this recipe in a cooking course I took many years back. It’ s definitely a KISS recipe and it tastes great with some nice French bread for dipping…I like the idea of the varied cooking times and temps depending on how much time I have…

  • 1 lb. cubed round steak ( get rid of any excess fat)
  • 4 peeled potatoes cubed (if in a rush buy a can of peeled baby potatoes)
  • 4 carrots roughly sliced (don’t even bother to peel them)
  • 8 lg. fresh mushrooms quartered
  • 3 med. onions quartered
  • 1 – 10 oz. can tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine or water
make it
Place meat and veggies in casserole.
Mix sauce and pour over all.
Variable Cooking Times  (depending on when your spouse is expected home for dinner…LOL)
2 hr @ 350F
3 hr @ 325F
4 hr @ 300F
5 hr @ 275F
OR Microwave @ 50 power for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Salted Caramel Brittle

Just realized that I forgot to post a new recipe yesterday! Sorry that you had to rely on Chef Boy-ar-dee…LOL. Anyways, here is another KISS recipe which we discovered has other interesting uses…don’t skip the salt!!!

Once it is made, try mixing it in with homemade ice cream OR just drizzle the fine chunks on some good ole Laura Secord or Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s vanilla, depending on where you live.  I also used it on frosting for cupcakes (otherwise known as icing), using the same crumbles. I had hoped it would be great on my recent recipe for Bacon and Maple Syrup cupcakes, but that recipe was sooooo disappointing. I will let you know when I have perfected it!!! Of course, the brittle is just great by itself…

I suggest keeping it in the fridge during these warm summer months.

So, here it is…

Salted Caramel Nut Brittle

A variation on the classic peanut version, a touch of salt makes this brittle dangerously addictive.

(Makes about 1 pound)


2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds (or a combination) coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture starts to brown, about 14 minutes. Gently swirl the pan until the mixture is an even, deep amber color, about 1 minute more.

Immediately remove from heat and quickly stir in nuts and salt. (I actually just sprinkled the salt over before it hardened). Pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and let cool. Once cool, break into small pieces.

One Jar Only…Tomato Chili Sauce & Garlicky Dill Pickles

Sometimes you just cannot get exactly the flavor of chili sauce and dill pickles you want, without making a whole batch and spending lots of time in a hot kitchen!!! I scoured the Internet as usual and found these TWO recipes which allow me to make only one jar at a time. Since this is the season for fresh produce, what a better time to make ’em? Scroll all the way down to get both recipes!!!!!

Tomato Chili Sauce


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions


Freshly ground black pepper

5 cups diced vine-ripened tomatoes; peeled and seeded (I cheated and used one can of Italian chopped tomatoes)

1/2 small jalapeno, stemmed and chopped or (Cheated again and used one finely chopped orange pepper)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground cloves

2 cups white vinegar


In a medium nonreactive saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the jalapeno, remaining spices and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Pour the mixture into a sterilized 1 quart canning jar. Process the jar according to basic canning procedures. Can be used the next day or will keep for up to 1 month under refrigeration.

One Jar Dill Pickles

Things You’ll Need

  • Wide Mouth Quart Jar (you can buy the jar complete with the lid and ring at most hardware stores, some grocery stores, and most Wal-Mart or Target stores. I use an empty large artichoke jar from Costco)
  • Pickle sized cucumbers (Buy the small packages of baby cucumbers at Costco, too)
  • Dill (either 1 fresh head or 1 tablespoon dill seed)
  • 1 clove garlic – peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canning salt
  • optional if you want HOT dills: 1 habanero pepper (buy a jar of them from the pickle/condiment aisle of grocery store)

Wash and sterilize jar, lid and ring. To sterilize, place jar upside down in a kettle containing about an inch of water. Drop the lid and ring alongside the jar and bring the water to a boil. Allow the jar to boil in the water to boil for five minutes. Turn the burner off. Carefully remove the jar and place right side up on a cloth on the counter. Keep the lid and ring in the hot water.

Thoroughly wash the cucumbers under cold, running water. Also, do not cut or break the stems off the top of any cucumbers that still have the stems attached as removing the stems at this stage will make the pickles mushy.

Heat the brine to boiling. Brine: 1 1/2 cup water; 3/4 cup white vinegar; 1 tablespoon canning salt. (Canning salt contains no iodine. If you use regular table salt, the iodine will cloud the water and make your pickles look ugly.)

Garlic and Dill

Stuff one head of dill into the jar or if using dill seed, put one tablespoon in quart jar (or 2 pint jars). Drop one peeled garlic clove into jar. If you want HOT dills, drop in one marinated habanero pepper plus 1/2 teaspoon of the habanero liquid from the habanero jar. Now, tightly pack the cucumbers upright into the jar pressing down firmly against the dill. Pack in as many cucumbers as you possibly can, and then… squeeze in one more. Force them as tightly into the jar as possible. Next, cover the cucumbers with the boiling brine. Next, run a clean rag around the rim of the jar. Retrieve the lid and ring from the hot water. Place on jar and tighten ring.

Place jar into a kettle large enough that you can completely cover the jar with hot water. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the burner off. Let the jar sit in the kettle until the water cools enough to enable you to take the jar out of the water bare handed. If the lid has not already sealed, you will soon hear it “pop” as it seals. Let it cool on the counter for an hour or so…

Place in the refrigerator for 5 weeks before using!!!