Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Pickled Onion


The quarantine/COVID19 crisis is wearing on everyone. And we are lucky enough to BLM land to hike on, go fishing, mountain bike and run on county land. But I am SO ready to go to a restaurant and have some one bring me cocktails and dinner.

But I am trying new recipes/combos all the time. I made Onion Chicken with Cornmeal Jalapeno Cheddar waffles. I loved it. My kids love it. Scott asked me not to make it ever again together. Like never. Separately, fine. Together again, never.

Though left over waffles are great from the toaster- with ham.

OK, back to the tacos. Took inspiration from Bon Appetit May 2020 for the shrimp. The rest is mine. And may I say, a bit more exciting. I often think that Bon Appetit down plays spice. Not me. Bring it on!

Beauty Shot:

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Pickled Onion:


Quick Pickled Onion:

1 Medium Red Onion, sliced thin

1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

1 T Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Sprinkling of Black Peppercorns, whole


1 LB Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 T Adobo Sauce (from can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo)

2 T Honey ( I love Queen Farina Raw Honey- That’s a pound and half, not 15 LB’S!

Olive oil

Cilantro Lime Slaw:

1 14 oz. Package of Shredded Cabbage with Carrots

1 C Plain Greek Yogurt ( I like Greek Gods Plain, full fat)

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 C Cilantro, tightly packed. Leaves and tender stems only

3 Large or 4 Medium Green Onions sliced, green parts only

Juice of 1 Lime. Note; if your limes are dry, may need 1/2 of another. Should be about 3 T

1 tsp Sea Salt ( I like Redmond Real Salt)

1 T minced Garlic


Queso Fresco

Crema Mexicana


Chopped Cilantro

Sliced Avocado

Taco shells/Tostadas/Corn Tortillas

Putting It Together:

Pickled Onion: heat the apple cider vinegar on the stove till steam comes off. Add in sugar and peppercorns. Stir till sugar dissolves. Remove from stove. Add in sliced onion and let cool. Set aside.

Slaw/Slaw Sauce: Add yogurt, cumin, cilantro, garlic, green onions and salt to food processor. (Note: I used an immersion blender in it’s bowl. Easier to deal with and clean). Pour cabbage into bowl and toss with sauce. Put in the refrigerator to chill. I did not use all the sauce. And if you like, you can drizzle some of it on top of the tacos instead of Crema.

I served the tacos with Roasted Potato Wedges: Start these first. Set oven to 400F. Slice russets in half lengthwise and again in half. Slice each quarter into halves again lengthwise. Drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 15 minutes. At 15, shake on sea salt, paprika, and garlic salt. Continue to bake for 20-30 minutes or till golden brown and crispy.

Shrimp: Clean, rinse and pat dry. In a small bowl, mix the honey and adobo. Mix well till combined. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Place in the refrigerator to chill and rest for about 20 minutes.

I made roasted potato wedges to go with this: Set oven to 400F. Slice russets length wise into quarters, slice each quarter in half lengthwise.

Heat a saute pan to medium high. Add in olive oil. When hot, add in shrimp and sauce. Cook till pink and done. 2-3 minutes.

Place a taco shell, tostado or tortilla on a plate. Put slaw on top of tortilla. Top with shrimp and a bit of sauce. Top with avocado, queso fresco, cilantro,a bit of pickled onion and Crema or sauce. Serve with potato wedges.



Savory Galette with Goat Cheese, Onion and Prosciutto. And Arugula salad.

Thinking of wanting something sophisticated but wanting is quickly? Me too. So I went to the grocery store, (still open during the pandemic thank goodness. And still amazed I can’t find toilet paper or paper towels.) So I went to grab yeast for the pie crust.

Seriously, a run on yeast? Carter, our manager at Smith’s said can’t keep it in stock. So, plan B. Using a premade pie crust. Not as good as from scratch, but hey, saved me a ton of time. And pretty good actually. And during these stressful times, compromise is just fine.

Beauty shot:

Savory Galette with Goat Cheese, Onion and Prosciutto. And Arugula Salad.



1 Pie Crust

4 oz Goat Cheese, (Chevre), plain

3 oz Blue Cheese. Crumbled- chop crumble it yourself.

4 oz Prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced (adjust to your preference)

Leaves from 4 Sprigs of Thyme

2 T minced garlic (Note: I like to used smashed roasted garlic as an upgrade. Use an entire head)

1 T butter

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Yellow Corn meal for baking pan

Egg Wash:

1 egg

Splash of milk or half & half.

Whisk together well.

Arugula Salad:

2-3 oz Fresh Baby Arugula


Juice from half a fresh Lemon

Salt & Pepper

Putting it Together:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the parchment paper with yellow cornmeal. Set aside.

Make the pie crust. (Will do this on another day).OR, take the pie crust out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

While the pie crust is warming, julienne the onion and saute in medium heat pan with 1 T butter and a glug of EVOO. Cook till softened and starting to carmelize; about 8-10 minutes. Stir them every couple of minutes. When done, remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the onions are cooking, tear the prosciutto into good size hunks. Take the cheeses and scatter onto pie crust on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top of the cheeses. Randomly place smashed roasted garlic pieces around the gallette. Place onions over the cheeses. Top with prosciutto. Or the other way around. Your choice.

Taking scissors, cut the pie crust at an angle every couple of inches. Then fold the over each other, moving in a single direction.

When this is complete, brush the edges with an egg wash.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, till golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

While galette is cooling, make the salad. Make the dressing, whisking all ingredients together till well blended. In separate bowl, add the arugula then drizzle the dressing over the lettuce. Don’t drown the lettuce- add a little at a time then toss and add more if needed. The lemon in the dressing is a great foil to the richness of the cheeses.

Place the salad over the top of the galette and slice into sections.



Endive & Romaine Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

Right now, as everyone is hunkered down at home or practicing social distancing, (funny how quickly that phrase became part of daily lexicon), most of us are spending more time cooking at home.

Have been cooking all sorts of things- sous vide blade roast, pastas, salads, soups, frittatas. Even oatmeal cookies with coconut, butterscotch morsels and toasted walnuts. But this post is about a salad I had for dinner last night. Filling on its own with crusty bread, but perfect as a side for steak. I have made it twice this week. No joke.

Beauty Shot:

Endive & Romaine Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

Serves 4


1 Head Hearts of Romaine, quartered and chopped

3 Small Endive, quartered and chopped

1 Gala Apple, cut into matchsticks

1/2 C of Toasted Hazelnuts

1/2 Cup Shaved Parm

1/2 C Blue Cheese crumbled

3 T White Balsamic Vinegar

Ranch Dressing ( make your own or use a good quality refrigerated one from the market) Here is a great recipe for homemade:

Optional: Homemade Croutons (But does add an additional crunch and flavor profile. I cut day old bread into cubes, toss in EVOO and kosher salt and add 2 T minced garlic. Place on baking sheet in oven set to 350F for about 20-25 minutes till brown and crisp outside, chewy inside.)

Putting It Together:

Place the two lettuces and apple into a bowl. Toss with the white balsamic. Add in hazelnuts, blue and Parmesan cheeses. Toss again. Add in Ranch dressing, croutons and toss again. Done! May become your families fav like it is ours!

This is the salad with Steak and Crispy Baked Potato
This version is with Seared Tuna Steak with Mignonette, Soy Rice with Green Onion and Sugar Peas. In this version I used toasted walnuts instead of Hazelnuts.



Chicken Piccata.


It’s been unusually grey here in the mountain west. When its gloomy, I hunker down and typically make a good soup. Not this time. I wanted something I adore that brought the brightness of its own. A bit of sunshine of flavors in my kitchen. And in my mouth.

I give you Chicken Piccata with Artichokes.

Beauty Shot:

Chicken Piccata


2 Chicken breasts

4 tsp brined capers, drained

1 Shallot sliced thinly lengthwise (I did not have a shallot this time-so used a red onion. Sliced from top to bottom. Not across. Only used a “side”)

1/2 a lemon sliced thinly across

Juice from half a lemon (use the other half)

Jar of artichokes, not marinated, patted dry and halved or quartered

Olive oil for frying

5 T butter

1/4 C dry white wine

1/2 C chicken stock or broth

Flour for dusting chicken

salt and pepper to taste

Fresh dill for garnish

Putting it Together:

Trim off exterior fat from chicken breast. Slice the chicken breasts horizontally so that each breast becomes two portions.

Pour flour onto plate and dredge both sides of each piece of chicken. Shake off any excess.

In large fry pan, add olive oil and 3 T of butter to pan. When shimmering, add in chicken. DO NOT CROWD THE PAN! You will have to work in batches. Brown each side. May take 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to warm plate. You may need to add in additional olive oil to saute the chicken.

To pan, add in lemon slices, artichokes and shallot. Stirring a few times, cook till shallot is translucent and some carmelization begins to show on the lemons and artichokes. Add in stock, lemon juice and wine. Stir up the brown bits into sauce. Simmer till sauce reduces to coat a spoon. Add in capers. Add in remaining 2 T of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place the chicken on plates platter. Top with the sauce. Serve with a simple green salad and crusty bread. The crusty bread is perfection for sopping up every bit of sauce on your plate.



Beef Stir fry with Mushrooms and Snap peas.

So tasty!


Isn’t that what each year brings us? The opportunity to put the past behind us. To begin anew. A fresh perspective. A fresh start. A chance to commit to a better lifestyle, more mindfulness, thoughtful and impactful decisions.

My goal is to hydrate more and to eat a bit cleaner. Not a bad way to look forward to the possibility of a great year.

Beauty Shot:

Beef Stir fry with Mushrooms and Snap Peas.


Note: this is a two step process, marinate the meat for at least 4 hours, then create a sauce to pour over the stir fry.

1 lb Beef Flank Steak cut into strips (Note: I used venison fingers. Both are tasty!)

1/2 lb sliced Mushrooms

2 cups whole Snap Peas ( I like a lot of snap peas so I cook 3 cups)

1 tsp of Ginger Paste, divided into 1/2 tsp’s

6 T Olive Oil

1 T Sesame Oil

6 Heaping T Minced Garlic, divided into 2 T and 4 T

1 T Worcestershire Sauce

3/4 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup

7 T Brown Sugar, divided into 5 T and 2 T

2 tsp Rice Vinegar

4 Cups cooked Brown Rice

After the marinade process, this comes together very quickly. Could marinade the meat in the morning, then make a 15 minute dinner when you get home.


Mix 2 T of the olive oil, 1 T of sesame oil, 2 T of minced garlic, 1/4 c of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of ginger paste, 1 T Worcestershire, 2 T of brown sugar into a bowl or Ziploc gallon bag. Mix well. Add beef and cover in bowl or, add to bag and squish around a bit. Push air out and close bag. Place into refrigerator for at least 4 hours.


Mix 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 5 T of brown sugar, 6 T minced garlic, 1/2 tsp ginger paste, 2 tsp rice vinegar. Stir to combine well. Set aside.

Putting it Together:

Heat cast iron or heavy duty pan to medium high heat. Put 4 T olive oil into pan. When shimmering, add in sliced mushrooms. Cook till browned the way you like them and water has evaporated. Remove from heat into bowl.

Add in whole snap peas. I like mine seared with a few brown spots. They will cook quickly- like 3 minutes with stirring. They should be crunchy so don’t over cook. Remove from pan and place in bowl.

Remove the steak from marinade. Brown the sliced steak. You may have to work in batches- I did. And you don’t want to crowd the pan or meat will steam, not brown.

Once meat is browned, add the vegetables back in the pan with the meat. Pour the sauce over and heat through.

Serve the meat/vegetable mix over the rice. Spoon additional sauce over as necessary.

Couldn’t wait! Was hungry after snowshoeing.

Optional garnish: if you choose, can add sliced green onions over the top.


Apple Bundt Cake.

Sometimes, when the weather turns colder, I need something sweet. Not super sweet, just something to take the craving away. Or, as my husband says, “make it and i will eat the whole thing”. Autumn apples, warm cinnamon, toasted walnuts, what isn’t to love? And the best way is serve with warm caramel sauce drizzled over. May need to make it again today. And PS- great for breakfast!

Beauty Shot:

Apple Bundt Cake.


Apple Mixture:

6 Apples cored, peeled & chopped ( I used granny smiths. However any firm baking apple will work well)

1/4 C Sugar

1 T Good Cinnamon


1 C Granulated Sugar

1 C Brown Sugar

4 Eggs ( I use brown large)

1 Tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 C Orange Juice

Pinch of Nutmeg

1 C Canola Oil (going to try olive oil next time- but not EVOO)

1 Tsp kosher salt

1 T Baking Powder

2 3/4 C Flour

1 C Toasted Walnuts, rough chop

For Serving:

Best Caramel Sauce you can afford, warmed. Make your own if you have the time!

Putting it together:

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in large bowl. Add the apples and toss well. Apples should be covered in the mix. Set aside while mixing the dough.

(No, not drinking this early! Getting ready for a road trip!)

Prep your bundt pan with butter or cooking spray. (I use Bakers Joy)

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In mixing bowl, mix together 1 C of brown and granulated sugars, 1 C oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Mix well.

In large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Begin adding to mixing bowl in 1/3’s. (I use my KitchenAid mixer and keep it running).

Remove from mixer when thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the apples in 1/3’s till all mixed in. Make sure to scrape the apple bowl of the cinnamon/apple/juice mix into the cake batter.

Add in toasted walnuts and stir well.

Pour cake mixture into bundt pan.

Cover with aluminum foil. Place into oven with cookie sheet below the pan. ( in case of overflow). Bake for 45 minutes. Then uncover, and bake for about 45 minutes more. I begin testing at about 35 minutes. Use a cake tester to ensure cake is thoroughly baked. Remove from oven.

Let it cool for a 2-3 minutes and invert on large platter. Let cool about 10 minutes before slicing. I love it at room temp, (30 minutes) and drizzled with warm caramel sauce. Or go all out and add homemade whip cream or vanilla ice cream to the warm cake with caramel sauce. And top with additional toasted walnuts!

My mouth is drooling!



Pasta with Pumpkin,Italian Sausage, Sage and Spinach.

Perfect Autumn or Winter fare!

Yep. It must be autumn because Pumpkin is everywhere. And at times I want to shoot myself for being sucked into the vortex. Really. It does become overwhelming- candles, coffee, face masks, candy, lotion, vinegar, etc. It definitely gets overwhelming. However, there are times when it just works. Like this pasta. Subtle, creamy, sophisticated, velvety. And absolutely smells divine. My husband who is not a pumpkin fan, walked in from outside and asked what smelled so delish? It isn’t hard and actually comes together within 30 minutes. Do your prep first-It will make this easy when entertaining.

This is a worthy dinner party option- served with an apple/arugula/goat cheese/toasted walnut/apple cider vinaigrette salad. People will ask you for the pasta recipe. Make it.

Beauty Shot:

Valley of the Gods

Pasta with Pumpkin, Italian Sausage and Spinach


1 lb Conchiglie (shell) cooked pasta. Use a medium size (Hint: cook your pasta in chicken stock for an extra level of flavor). And save a half cup of pasta water/stock for the sauce!

1 Can 15 oz of Pure Pumpkin Puree (do not get pie filling!)

1 lb. Mild bulk Italian Sausage (Can go spicy if you prefer)

1/2 C Toasted Walnuts, chopped

12 leaves of Fresh Sage, rinsed and patted dry

2 T Minced Fresh Garlic

1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped

1/2 C Dry White Wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)

2 1/2 C Chicken Stock

2 T Tomato Paste

3/4 C Heavy Cream

1/4 C Plain Greek Yogurt

Pinch of Nutmeg

Shaved Parmesan for serving

Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting It Together:

Put 1 T of EVOO into large fry pan/skillet. Heat to medium. Put in the sage leaves and fry. Will go very quick. Like, a minute or less. Fry on one side for about 30 seconds. Flip. When they are crisp, remove and place on paper towel lined plate.

Put the Italian Sausage into the same pan. Cook and crumble till browned. Add another T of EVOO to pan. Add in onion and garlic. Cook till onions are softened and garlic is fragrant. Add in wine. Stir scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce just a bit. Add in the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt and chicken stock to the pan constantly stirring to blend a smooth sauce. Add in the tomato paste and stir again till well incorporated. Add pinch of nutmeg.

Slowly add in the heavy cream. Stir. Take 5-6 fried sage leaves and crumble into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Place the fresh spinach into the colander. Drain the pasta over the spinach. Pour the spinach/pasta mix onto a large platter or bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pasta/spinach mix. Stir till coated. I like a platter or large pasta bowl so every bit of pasta gets covered in the velvety sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Finish with toasted walnuts, shaved parm and sage leaves.

Note: You can also use blanched, chopped kale.

Please let me know if you have any questions!



Lemon. Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic.

And add in crisped Prosciutto to take it to the next level!

Lemon. Can be sweet, can be savory, can be tangy, can be surprising. (Sounds like most women I know!) It’s flexible, resourceful, delightful. It’s malleable, takes on characteristics of what its paired with, and still holds its own. (Again, sounds like most women I know!)

This pasta is a quick dinner or side dish- and hits the umami spot just fine. Pair it with a roast chicken or grilled salmon and a salad for a complete dinner. And it’s great cold too!

Beauty Shot:

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic


1 lb angel hair pasta

1 32 oz. box of Chicken Stock ( I like Kitchen Basics or Simple Truth)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Takes 3-5 lemons)

Zest of one lemon (Use one of the ones you are squeezing)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil

Optional: 2 T butter added to sauce when making. I suggest you do this!

1 large head of roasted garlic (process below + do this a day ahead if possible. Though does make the house smell heavenly!)

1/2 C shaved Parmesan + more for serving

Fresh chopped cilantro- good handful then chop.

Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Optional: crisped Prosciutto ( so good!)

Yup. Chipped the plate. Stuff happens!

Putting it Together:

Roast the Garlic: heat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, prep the garlic. Remove the outer layers of large garlic head. (might as well do four. For the extras, place the cooked cloves removed from skins into jar and cover with olive oil. Will keep for 2 weeks. In the refrigerator) Cut off top 1/4 inch and place bottom down onto aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Crunch up the aluminum foil to close and place into oven. Will take appx 45 minutes to roast to softness. Depends on size of garlic heads and oven. This can be done a day ahead to speed through lunch or dinner prep.

NOTE: sometimes you just want to eat this quick! On that real possibility, use minced garlic from a jar. It is not as creamy and does miss that carmelly sweetness, but it is still very delicious! Just be sure to drain the water from the garlic. And use 2 heaping tablespoons.

Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and heat to boiling. Add in a healthy pinch of salt. Put the dried pasta into the stock. To reach al dente will take about 12 minutes. Of course, cook to your desired doneness. Remember: save a cup of pasta stock water when you drain the pasta. You will use this for your sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When it starts to shimmer, add in the red pepper flakes. Stir. Slowly add in the lemon juice, stirring while you add it in. Let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Salt and Pepper to taste. Carefully add in the roasted garlic cloves and remove from heat.

This smells as delicious as it tastes! Note: I added the butter to the sauce-
another layer of flavor

Remember: grab that cups of pasta stock-water before you drain your pasta. Now, return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in. Mix in half of the pasta stock water. Add in half of the sauce. Toss gently. Add in more of the stock water and sauce till pasta is coated and glossy. Toss in 1/4 cup of shaved parm. Toss again. Pour onto platter.

Top with Parm, Lemon zest, and chopped Cilantro. Grind fresh black pepper. This is the way I like to eat the pasta, you can adjust the amount of lemon, red peppers, Parm. Make it your own!

Serve alongside hunks of good bread and butter, a simple salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette, (say romaine, sliced radishes and chopped orange bell peppers), and you are done.




Pleasure doesn’t have to be complicated. It can come from a walk on the beach. Seeing your kids interacting as adults and enjoying each other. It comes from a perfect simple meal. Fresh laundry and clean sheets on the bed. A new puppy sleeping soundly.

And new combinations. I took inspiration from Rachel Ray on this recipe. And there are so many ways to play with it. At the core is a simple recipe of clean creamed corn. Then play to your hearts content. Start with the recipe here, then expand to what you like to add.

Beauty Shot:

Creamed Corn with Grilled Scallops and Quick Pickled Onions


1/2 Red Onion sliced thinly

1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 C Water

1 T Granulated Stevia (of course you can use sugar in the same amount)

Kosher salt

1/2 Red Onion diced (the other half of the the thinly sliced one!)

6 Ears of Cleaned Corn (I used Peaches and Cream-was delish!)

1 T EVOO + a little for brushing the scallops

1 12 oz. can Evaporated Milk

1-1 1/2 half-pound Large Scallops, cleaned and patted dry

2 tsp Minced Garlic (cheat and use the jarred stuff here)

1/2 C halved Grape Tomatoes (if you can use yellows and reds-nice flavor add and color)

1/2 C Chiffonade cut Basil

1/4 C Chopped Cilantro

Putting it Together:

Halve the tomatoes.

For the quick pickled onions: Take the red wine, water, pinch of kosher salt and Stevia and place into medium pot on medium heat on stove. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add the onions.

On to the Creamed Corn: For 4 of the ears of corn, slice off the kernels and set aside. On the remaining 2 ears, grate them with a box grater. (No flour here! The grated corn will thicken the mixture.) Keep the grated and kernels separate.

Turn on the grill and set to high heat.

On the stove, in a deep fry pan, heat 1 tsp of EVOO to medium and glistening. Add in the chopped red onion and garlic. Cook till softened, 4-5 minutes. Make sure to stir so the garlic doesn’t burn! Will turn bitter.

Add in corn kernels and cook till warmed through about 3 minutes. add in the grated corn and evaporated milk to the pan. Cook down till slightly thickened. Add in 1/4 C of the basil to the mix. This will be the base for the scallops so don’t want it to runny. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Brush the scallops with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Can skewer, or use a grill pan to grill. Grill one side for 2 minutes, then flip and grill other side for 1 minute, or until no longer opaque.

Of course, you are also welcome to pan fry. In case you are getting wind and rain like we were. Just pat dry, heat pan on medium high, add in olive oil (and a pat of butter if you are me), place scallops in the pan. Let stay with original side down for 2-3 minutes to achieve browning. After browned, flip and continue to brown for 2 minutes more.


Place a ladle or so of creamed corn mix to a plate. Place 1/4 of the scallops on top of creamed corn to one side. Add a 1/4 of the tomatoes next to the scallops. Next, place some of the pickled onions next to the tomatoes. Top with the some of the basil, and cilantro.

try on other trick: stir in some chiffonade basil into the corn mix just before serving. Then top per the directions. The heat releases the beautiful scent and flavor. No more than a teaspoon or two.

So fresh and summer like! And with corn season upon us, you will make this often!




“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu… I believe he captured the spirit of adventure and life perfectly. The act of putting one foot in front of the other at times can be mindless. I am going to run to the grocery store. Going to start the laundry. At other times it is a gift- running to hug someone that really needs the comfort. And yet at other times, it can be the most difficult thing in the world; relearning how to walk after an accident, saying good bye to someone forever then turning and walking away.

But I want to speak of happy tales- adventures, exploration, joy. When we experience joy, new things, we open up new synapses in our brains. Expanding our own internal footprint. When I hike a new trail, take a new road, see beauty or create a new dish, I know I am creating a new tale for my history. And all it takes is a single step to begin.

This hummus is the best hummus I have ever eaten. And that’s not bragging. It is the truth. SO much better than store bought. And yummy with crudites, naan, on top of chicken, lamb, etc.. Truly, when I make this, we eat the whole batch in 2 days. And that’s a lot of hummus. So take that first step to making your own hummus..Your brain will light up with happiness.

Hummus with Sea Salt, EVOO and Za’tar

Beauty Shot:

Spring Creek Slot Canyon

Hummus with Garlic


2 cans Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp baking soda

1/2cup fresh lemon juice (do the work, it makes a huge difference) + more to taste if you choose.

2-4 cloves of garlic chopped. ( I like a lot of garlic so I go heavy. If you don’t, go light)

1 tsp sea salt

1 Cup Tahini ( I like organic Tahini- like Simple Truth from Kroger or Trader Joe’s organic Tahini)


4 T cold water (I use cold water out of the refrigerator door)


Za’tar (look in middle eastern food stores, Cost Plus World Market carries it, and some grocery stores.)

Toasted Pinenuts

Coarse sea salt


Putting it Together:

Take the 2 drained cans of chickpeas and place them and the baking soda into a medium pan on the stove. Cover with 2″ of water and bring to low boil. Allow to boil for 20 minutes. Peas will begin to lose their skins- don’t worry this is a good thing! (you may need to add additional water to keep the chickpeas/garbanzos covered).

Happily boiling to softened goodness~

When 20 minutes is done, rinse the chickpeas/garbanzos under cool water in a strainer. (Note: went to an authentic Jordanian restaurant in SLC, Sharazad, and was speaking to the waitress about this trick. She asked me, astonished, how I knew this. She said this is the secret passed down to daughters from Grandmothers!)

Rinsed and Drained
After boiling- no need to throw the skins away! Just add to the processor.

In a food processor, add the garlic, 1 tsp sea salt. Pulse till frothy mixture. Garlic is almost non-existent. Then let stand a few minutes.

Add the cup of Tahini to the garlic mixture in the food processor. Add in the EVOO at this time. Blend until creamy and smooth, Scrape down sides as needed to incorporate all the tahini.

Add in the garbanzo beans to the food processor. and begin machine. While this is processing, drizzle in the 2-4 T of cold water. Scrape down sides and continue to process for about 2 minutes. You may want to add more to achieve the mixture you want. Mixture should be very pale and creamy.

Almost perfect!

Ready to dig in!

Remove from food processor. Put some in a bowl and drizzle with EVOO, coarse sea salt and Za’tar. Dig in with Naan, carrots, Persian cucumber wedges, a chunk of chicken, whatever you like. And I like a bowl of pitted Kalamata’s on the side.

Great snack, full of protein and fiber.