Mediterranean-Style Garbanzo Bean Salad

While my family enjoyed some spicy beef tacos, I chose a healthier option without sacrificing flavor. This Mediterranean-style salad with garbanzo beans provides a light, fresh protein source.

Make this salad at least 4 hours ahead of time so that the flavors have time to blend.

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Mediterranean-Style Garbanzo Bean Salad

  • 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and quartered
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a plastic, glass, or ceramic bowl. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

I served mine as a meal over a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce. It will serve as an excellent accompaniment to grilled chicken.

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Shrimp Boiled in Beer

Summer in Texas means fresh Gulf shrimp. Shrimp are one of the most versatile protein choices around. You can use them in pasta, curry, or stir-fries, or you can serve them fried, grilled, baked, sautéed—in pasta, over rice, or even in a salad.

But perhaps the single best way to enjoy shrimp is hot, fresh, and boiled. Here’s a fabulous recipe for you-peel-em shrimp.

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Shrimp Boiled in Beer

  • 2 pounds fresh Gulf shrimp (don’t use farm-raised), in shell, with tails
  • 2 12-oz cans lager beer
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, broken in pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Harissa or ½ tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • juice of half a lemon

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in Dutch oven or large pot; bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve with Tangy Cocktail Sauce, a green salad or Cole slaw, and garlic bread.

Potato-Cheese Pie

My family loves mashed potatoes, but because I don’t like cooking (or eating) the same thing over and over, I try to vary the flavors or presentation while still offering my family the comfort food they love.

These dressed-up mashed potatoes are perfect as a side dish for company or as a meal on their own on meatless nights.

My husband had thirds.

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Potato-Cheese Pie

  • 5-6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, washed, and quartered
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Boil potatoes and drain. Transfer to large bowl. Preheat oven to 350°; grease large glass pie pan (do not use a metal one).

Add milk, 1/3 cup butter, salt, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese to hot potatoes. Mash until smooth. Transfer half the mashed potatoes to the prepared pie pan; place cheddar cheese on top of potatoes, and then cover with remaining mashed potatoes.

Divide 1 Tbsp butter into small pieces and place atop mashed potatoes; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chipotle-Infused Olive Oil

For Father’s Day, we toured Central Texas Olive Ranch in Georgetown, Texas. In addition to golf-carting through the groves, we also sampled six flavors of infused olive oils. It was impossible to pick the best, so we bought a sampler, with one of all six kinds.

This recipe uses the chipotle-infused extra virgin olive oil, but any high-quality EVOO will do.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chipotle-Infused Olive Oil

  • 2 Tbsp chipotle-infused extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine oil and salt in large bowl; set aside. Grease 11×7 baking pan; set aside.

Cut Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Place in olive oil and mix well. Transfer sprouts to prepared pan, cut side down, and bake until lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Lemon-Blueberry Bread

Still trying to use up a crate of fresh ripe blueberries, I created this treat using blueberries, lemon juice, and cream.

It will make for a light summer dessert tonight and a delectable breakfast tomorrow morning.

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Lemon-Blueberry Bread

  • 1-½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, cream, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice, mixing well.

Preheat oven to 350°. Place parchment paper, cut to fit, on the bottom of a 9×5 loaf pan. Grease loaf pan with butter or spray with Pam.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Mix until blended. Fold in blueberries. Transfer to prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for an hour. Using a toothpick, check for doneness.

If you wish, glaze when cool with an icing made of powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

 

Roasted Tricolored Potatoes with Garlic & Herbs

My husband bought a 5-pound bag of tricolored potatoes with hopes that I would roast them as a complement to a steak dinner tonight.

Not only are they beautiful, but these potatoes taste great too. The key to a crunchy outside and tender inside is to parboil them before baking.

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Roasted Tricolored Potatoes with Garlic & Herbs

  • 5 pounds of tricolored potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes and place in pot of boiling water; boil for about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine oil, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large boil; stir to blend. Cut potatoes in half, and add them to the oil mixture. Stir, coating well.

Heat oven to 375°. Place potatoes, cut side down, in 9×13 pan. Cover with any remaining oil mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Blueberry Pancakes with Lemon & Ricotta

Last weekend I bought a crate of blueberries since they’re in season and especially good right now. I’ve made pies and muffins with them, and this morning I created these delicious blueberry pancakes with ricotta cheese and lemon.

This recipe makes a lot of pancakes. My guys are still snacking on them hours later.

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Blueberry Pancakes with Ricotta & Lemon

  • 2-½ cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1-½ cups milk
  • 1-½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 1-½ cups blueberries

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk milk, ricotta, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Stir until just blended. Gently fold in blueberries.

Grease griddle and cook pancakes, turning when golden brown. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.