Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

Lemon Hummus

I never intended to like hummus. I have a long-standing distain for Garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas – never trust a bean with an alias.) And I’ll admit, I cringe when I see a salad with these guys perched on top. Blech.

But hummus, when made the way I like it, really lemony with a little garlic and salt, well, that’s another story altogether. I have my Lebanese sister-in-law to thank for showing me that garbanzos can be quite yummy when done up right. So without further ado, here’s my take on a simple, yummy hummus.


  • 1 (16 oz.) can Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 (heaping) tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Drain 1 can of garbanzo beans and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can. Set liquid aside and place beans in a food processor. Add tahini, garlic (I use a garlic press,) salt and lemon juice and process until smooth. Scrape down sides, replace lid and process again, adding the reserved juice from the can through the “emulsifier drizzle hole-thingy” in the food processor lid (is there a technical term for that? LOL) until the hummus is smooth but not runny (you may not need all the liquid.)

Serve immediately with a little olive oil on top, or keep in the fridge for up to a week.


I don’t use olive oil in the actual mixture itself, but you certainly can if you prefer. Just drizzle a tablespoon or two in with your reserved juice from the can.

While I normally try to use fresh squeezed lemon juice in recipes, I actually prefer the taste of bottled for this recipe – I think it has something to do with the acidity of the bottled lemon juice. Try it both ways and see what your taste buds prefer. There are bottled juices available with no preservatives added, if you decide to go that route.

I always wipe down my tahini jar rim and lid before putting it back in the fridge. Otherwise it gets all crusty and gross. Just a friendly tip from Miss Fussy Pants. 🙂

Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

Real Easy Salsa

This is a fresh, easy salsa that requires no cooking, tomato peeling, etc.
Gotta use up the cilantro before it bolts on me!


  • 4-5 medium, ripe tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (less if you’re not a big fan)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped, seedy core removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, veins and seeds removed
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • salt to taste


In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. If you wish, you can pulse this a few times in the food processor, but do not over-process or it will get too watery. You may wish to taste test this first with 1/2 the jalapeno, then add more heat if needed. I did not add garlic to mine, but you can certainly add a minced clove if you wish.

Recipes, Salads and Dressings

Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing, the favored condiment of elementary kids everywhere, needn’t be store bought. This super-easy homemade ranch dressing tastes a gazillion times better. The best part? I know every single ingredient that goes in it. No Polysorbate 60 needed, thank you very much.

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

This tastes even better the next day. Works great as a dressing or a dip. Feel free to add more or less seasoning depending on your taste buds.

*edited to add on June 12, 2012: Today, I wanted to make a quick, small batch of this recipe for a salad but I didn’t have any sour cream. I used 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and I just eyeballed the spices and it turned out really yummy. All that to say, if you don’t have sour cream or don’t want to use it, try this with just the mayo and buttermilk – it’s richer and just a little thicker.