Recipe: Josh’s White Bean Hummus

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Josh's White Bean HummusEstimated Cost:  $7.50

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Refrigeration Time:  1 hour

Serves:  12

This is my first contributed recipe.  I am very excited about this.  This is my best friend Josh’s recipe, and he brought some of this most-excellent hummus to game night this past week. It was enjoyed by all.  The flavors were incredible but it was the smoothness that struck me immediately.  After talking to Josh I learned his secret – white beans NO garbanzos!

3 cans (14.5 oz.) Northern Great White Beans, 2 drained – 1 undrained
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
5 garlic cloves
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
4 Tablespoons Tahini

1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt and cumin. Process until it has formed a thin paste without any chunks of garlic visible (1 to 2 minutes).

2. With the food processor on, slowly add the beans to the Tahini mixture. Add the beans through the feed tube slowly to ensure a creamier texture. Process until it appears creamy. Mixture should look a little thinner than you’d expect the final texture to be. If it seems as think or thicker then hummus simply add a little more lemon juice (1/2 tsp.) and reprocess until combined.

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The hummus will thicken and the flavors will intermingle as it chills. Homemade hummus may remain refridgerated safely for up to a week; frozen for up to 3 months.

4. Traditionally when the hummus is served it is garnished with a light dusting of Paprika. Serve with pita chips and raw veggies. Also makes a wonderful condiment on sandwiches and burgers.

Josh’s comments:

I use a white bean instead of the traditional garbanzo/chickpea because I like my hummus to be smooth and chickpeas tend to be gritty. I also like my hummus quite garlicky, if you do not, scale back the cloves of garlic. This recipe is simple and straight forward, but for best results follow the order in which you put the ingredients into the food processor.

This recipe makes a large batch of hummus, great for potlucks or parties but if you are making it just for yourself you can scale it back easily. The seasoning combinations for hummus are endless, and while this is my favorite way, its very open to your personal interpretation and modification.


Recipe: Old Glory Cheesecake

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Old Glory CheesecakeEstimated Cost:  $14.00

Cake Prep Time:  45 minutes

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Refrigeration Time:  4 hours

Serves:  20

2013 will be the third 4th of July I prepared this wonderful dessert.  I originally found this recipe on the Kraft website.  I found no need to tweak the ingredients, but the instructions were terrible.  I did my best to make them a little easier to follow.  Don’t let the combined preparation times scare you away from this recipe.   Expect to spend about 30 minutes in the kitchen, the rest is baking and refrigeration times.

1 pkg. pound cake mix, baked, cooled, and cut into 10 slices
4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
1-1/2 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (3 oz. ea.) strawberry flavored gelatin (Jello)
Ice cubes
1 cup cold water
1-1/3 cups blueberries, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Prepare the pound cake mix as directed on package. Be sure to follow the directions for baking the pound cake in a loaf pan. Once baked and cooled, slice pound cake into 10 even slices; set aside. **Note: the ingredients for preparing the pound cake mix were not included in the recipe above as they will differ from mix to mix.

2. Slice 1 cup of the strawberries, trying for 3 or 4 slices per berry. Slice the remaining strawberries in half. Keeping the two types of sliced strawberries seperated; set aside.

3. In a large-bowl combine both gelatin mixes and the boiling water; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

4. Add enough ice to the cold water to measure 2 cups. Add the ice and cold water to the hot gelatin mixture; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

5. Line the bottom of a 13×9-inch dish with the sliced pound cake.

6. Add sliced strawberries (NOT the halved ones) and 1 cup of the blueberries to the thickened gelatin; stir gently. Spoon over cake. Refrigerate 4 hours or until gelatin is firm.

7. In a large-bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with a whisk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping; spread mixture over gelatin. **Note: I prefer using an electric mixer, in place of the whisk, for this step.

8. Arrange strawberry halves on cream cheese mixture to resemble stripes of flag. Add remaining blueberries for stars. If you are like me, just take a peek back at the photo at the top of the recipe for a visual guide.

Mike’s comments:

Happy Independence Day – thanks to all the men and women today, and yesterday, who’ve fought to ensure we can still celebrate it.

Recipe: Tex-Mex Burgers with Cajun Mayo

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Tex-Mex Burgers with Cajun MayoEstimated Cost:  $8.00

Prep Time:  25 minutes

Grill Time:  15 minutes

Serves:  4

I love full-flavored burgers and these are some of the tastiest I’ve ever eaten; combined with the Cajun Mayo, this recipe is off the hook!  I believe I’ve been asked for the recipe every time I’ve served them.

Cajun Mayo:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Cajun spice blend

Tex-Mex Burgers:

1 1/3 lbs. ground beef, sirloin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (how to)
1 Tbs. 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 slices pepper-jack cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
4 leaves lettuce
4 slices tomato

1. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise and 2 tsp. of Cajun spice blend; mix to combine; refrigerate until needed.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground sirloin, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend, and Worcestershire sauce using your hands. Divide into 4 balls, and flatten into patties. Refrigerate patties until ready to grill. **Tip: I like to prepare my patties before lighting the grill. The extra chill time helps them stay together while on the grill.

3. Prepare the grill for medium-high heat.

4. Once the coals are ready, lightly oil the grilling surface, and place the patties on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until they reach the doneness your desire. During the last 2 minutes, lay a slice of cheese on top of each patty.

5. Spread the seasoned mayonnaise onto the insides of the buns. Put burgers in the buns, and top with lettuce and tomato to serve.

Mike’s comments:

You don’t have to make your own Cajun spice blend. There are many different blends available at the grocery store, including Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning, which I’ve used with excellent results.

Recipe: Tuscan Grilled Corn Salad

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Grilled Corn SaladEstimated Cost:  $6.50

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Grill Time:  5 – 10 minutes

Serves:  6

This grilled, summer panzanella variation may forego the traditional anchovies but does not forego any of the wonderful Tuscan flavor.


6 to 8 (3/4-inch thick) slices crusty French or Italian bread
3 ears corn, shucked
3 lg. ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 sm. red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped


1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced (how to)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare grill for medium heat.

2. Grill corn and bread slices over medium heat until bread is lightly toasted and corn is lightly charred; remove and let cool.

3. Cut bread into 3/4-inch cubes (you should have approx.6 cups) and cut corn away from cob. Place in a large bowl with tomatoes, onion and basil.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, and garlic; drizzle over salad and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Best served at room temperature within 1 hour.

Mike’s comments:

To save a little time on grill day prepare the dressing in advance. Simply refrigerate it in a clean jar. Dressing will keep for at least 2 or 3 days.

What could make a salad yummier then dressing soaked chunks of rustic Italian bread? YUM!

Recipe: Asian Grilled Sausage and Fruit Kabobs

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Asian Grilled Sausage and Fruit KabobsEstimated Cost:  $7.00

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Grill Time:  6 minutes

Serves:  4

Sausage and fruit make a really nice alternative to the more standard grilled kabob combos.  The orange marmalade and Chinese five-spice powder gives these kabobs a really nice Asian flair. 

1 pkg. (16 oz.) smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 apricots, pitted and cut into quarters
1 ripe plum, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 ripe peach, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Tbs. sweet orange marmalade
1 Tbs. Chinese five-spice powder

1. Prepare outdoor grill for covered grilling, over medium heat. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, alternately thread kielbasa, apricots, peaches, and plums onto 4 to 6 long skewers.

3. In a small-bowl combine the marmalade and five spice powder; mix to combine.

4. Place skewers on hot grill rack. Cover grill and cook 5 minutes or until kielbasa browns and fruit chars slightly, turning skewers occasionally.

5. Uncover grill. Brush marmalade mixture all over kielbasa and fruit. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, turning occasionally.

Mike’s comments:

It’s important you grill these kabobs over medium heat, to ensure the more delicate fruit does not overcook. For tips on gauging grill temperatures when using charcoal, visit my link:

Charcoal Grilling 101 Pt. 1

Recipe: Easy Chicken Stock

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Chicken Stock ContainersEstimated Cost:  $2.00

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cook Time:  4 hours

Serves:  4 – 6 cups stock

Having refrigerated (or frozen) chicken stock on hand can jump start so many recipes.  Not only does it speed up preparation time, homemade chicken stock just adds extra love into whatever you are cooking.  
I use a lot of precooked rotisserie chickens in my recipes, many of which are already available here at Kitchen Survival.  I NEVER throw away the carcass of the bird before making up a batch of chicken stock.

Leftover bones and skin from a cooked or raw chicken carcass
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped (include some leaves)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tsp. parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Put chicken carcass (including skin) into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add onion, celery, carrot, parsley, salt, and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a simmer. Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.

3. Remove the bones and strain the stock.

4. Stock may be refrigerated (for up to 10 days) or frozen for future use.

Mike’s comments:

I always freeze my chicken stock in 1 cup portions using Ziploc containers. You can thaw it in minutes, either on the stove or microwave. In this way you don’t risk letting your hard work spoil in the fridge.

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Sliders

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Buffalo Chicken SlidersEstimated Cost:  $8.00

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cook Time:  2 minutes

Serves:  4 (12 sliders)

Serving, and eating, sliders is so much fun.   From start to finish this delish recipe takes under 20 minutes!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 precooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
12 slider buns
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced (optional)
Bleu cheese dressing (optional)

1. In a sauté pan, combine butter, honey and hot sauce; cook over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted and honey is dissolved.

2. Remove skin from chicken and shred the meat.

3. Add shredded chicken to sauce; toss to coat chicken evenly and heat.

4. Spoon chicken mixture onto buns. Top with celery and Bleu cheese dressing if desired.

Mike’s comment’s:

To make this recipe even faster, simply substitute 1 cup of your favorite buffalo wing sauce in place of the butter, honey and hot sauce. Heat it up in the sauté pan and continue to step 2 as listed.

The thinly sliced celery and Bleu cheese make excellent condiments for these super-groovy Buffalo Chicken Sliders. For something wonderfully different try topping the sliders with Pineapple Coleslaw (recipe).

Don’t just throw away the leftover chicken carcass. Use it to make some homemade chicken stock (recipe) to keep in the fridge or better yet, a batch of Carol’s Easy Chicken Vegetable Soup.

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