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Baba Ganoush Recipe

Baba Ganoush recipe

Baba Ganoush

By: Gigi Howe

A few weeks ago, we posted a recipe for Homemade Hummus, which reminded me of this week’s recipe.  Baba Ganoush or Baba Ghanoush, Baba Ganouj, Babaganoush – many different spellings for one mighty tasty dip.  Its made with one of my favorite all time foods.. eggplant.  In my opinion, don’t think there is a bad way to make eggplant!

With this recipe, if you can, grill the eggplant or put it over a direct flame on your stove, like I did.  It will give the eggplant a bit of a charred flavor which is nice.  You can let the skin blister and crack, I just let it brown.  Its not necessary at all to do this step, but its an option.

charring eggplant

This is a recipe is by no means complicated, but it is one that I like to do over a period of time. Bake the eggplant; take it out and wait until it cools.  Scoop out the pulp then let it sit and drain.  If you don’t let it drain, your Baba Ganoush will be watery.  Then put everything in the food processor and its done.  Some people like to drizzle olive oil on top, my preference is to add it to the whole mix.

eggplant

 

This recipe calls for Tahini and if you can’t find it near you, some of our readers commented and offered alternatives when we posted our Homemade Hummus recipe which also lists Tahini as an ingredient.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

– 2 medium or 1 large eggplant – about 2 lbs. total
– 1 – 2 garlic cloves
– 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice
– 3 tablespoons tahini
– pinch of cumin
– pinch of chili powder
– 1 tablespoon parsley – fresh is preferred
– 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Optional step – Char eggplant on grill or over the flame of a gas burner.  Rotate the eggplant as the skin chars.

2. Prick eggplant with a fork and place in 350 oven on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 -45 mins (depends on the size of the eggplant – could be longer) until the eggplant is very tender.  Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Scoop out eggplant pulp.  Discard skin and let pulp sit.

4. Drain any liquid from the eggplant then place eggplant in food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  If you do not have a food processor, mince the garlic and then use a potato masher to mix all ingredients.  This is a nice alternative as it leaves the eggplant a little chunky.

4. Let cool and serve with pita, french bread, crackers or fresh vegetables for dipping.

Enjoy!!

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Baba Ganoush recipe




Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

By: Gigi Howe

I had a bunch of asparagus that I bought and I just didn’t get around to cooking them, so I decided to try something different and make some soup!  Its good!  And if you like asparagus, I am sure you will love this soup.  Its easy to make and most of the soup gets pureed in a food processor or blender, except for the asparagus tips.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus (little more or a little less is ok)
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 3 medium onions – about 2 cups chopped
– 3 tablespoons flour
– 2 1/2 cups water
– 2 cups milk
– 1/2 – 1 teaspoon tarragon
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut off and discard the tough asparagus bottoms.  Cut off the tops and set aside.  Slice the remaining stalks into 1 inch pieces.

2. Melt butter in saucepan.  Add onions and asparagus stalks.  Saute for 10 mins. over medium heat.  Once the onions are clear and soft, stir in 2 tablespoons flour.  Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring frequently for 5 more mins.

3. Add water, loosen any bits of onion that have stuck to the pan, stir well.  Heat to a boil, then simmer for 5 mins.  Sprinkle in remaining 1 tablespoon flour, mix well.  Cook another 8 – 10 mins.  This mixture will get thick so you will want to stir frequently.

4. Add milk to pan and remove from heat.  Puree in food processor or blender.

5. Saute asparagus tips in olive oil until tender.  Combine pureed soup, asparagus tips and tarragon.  Mix well, heat and serve.

 

Enjoy!!

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Homemade Hummus Recipe

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

By: Gigi Howe

I have been thinking about posting this recipe for a while and when I saw the Sabra Classic Hummus Recall a few days ago, I decided this would be this week’s recipe.

Hummus is soooooo easy to make, especially if you have a food processor.  I’ve been making this recipe for years.  Its simple and its one of those recipes where you can add or subtract ingredients depending on your taste.  You can make your hummus chunky, or smooth.  I like it smooth so I blend it for a while.  If you don’t have a food processor or blender you can mince the garlic and onion then use a potato masher for the chick peas.  It will most likely be a coarser hummus but that works too.

This recipe calls for tahini sauce which is made from sesame seeds.  If you can not find tahini, since not all stores carry it, you can substitute olive oil (which is something that I’ve had to do).

There are so many different ways to eat hummus.  I like mine as a dip with tortilla chips or vegetables.  :)

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients:

– 1 garlic clove
– 1/4 of a small onion (approximately 2 -3 tablespoons chopped)
– (2) 15 or 15.5 oz cans of Chick Peas
– 3 – 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
– 5 – 6 tablespoons tahini (or olive oil if you can’t get tahini)
– 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 3 sprigs parsley (optional)

Directions:

1. Put all the ingredients in food processor and blend until desired smoothness.  Transfer to a lidded container and let chill before serving.

Homemade Hummus - Chick Peas

Enjoy!!

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Coffee Crumb Cake Recipe

Coffee Crumb Cake copy

Coffee Crumb Cake

By: Gigi Howe

This recipe makes a large, delicious crumb cake.  Its great for a brunch or early get-together.  I like to make it on a holiday weekend in case we have any unexpected guests stop over.  If you like crumbs on your coffee cake, this recipe is for you!

Coffee Crumb Cake

Ingredients:

For the crumbs:
– 2 1/4 sticks butter or margarine, melted
– 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 cups flour
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the cake:
– 2 cups flour
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup milk
– 1/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.

2. Make the crumbs – combine the sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter, combining to form large crumbs. Set aside.

3. Make the cake – in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a smaller bowl whisk together milk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.

4. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan (it will be thin). Scatter the crumbs evenly over the batter. Gently press them into the batter.

5. Bake for about 45 – 55 mins. until crumbs are crisp and batter is springy. Remove from oven and dust with powder sugar if using. Serve warm.

Serves 12.

Enjoy!!

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Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red Lentil Soup LRWC

Red Lentil Soup

By: Gigi Howe

This soup is delicious, honest!  I’ve had this recipe for years and have made it numerous times.  You add lemon, which gives the soup a great flavor but doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.  The recipe calls for water; you could use chicken broth or vegetable broth if you prefer.  I’ve always used just the water and tastes great to me.

 

Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

– 1 large onion, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 5 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth)
– 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 lemon rinds
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– salt and pepper to taste
– lemon slices (optional)

Directions:

1. In a 3 – 4 quart pot, heat oil and add onions.  Saute for about 3-4 mins.  Add garlic and cumin and cook until the onion is golden (about 5-6 more mins).

2.  Pour in water, then add in the lentils, bay leaf and lemon rinds.  Cover and simmer for 30 – 45 mins. until lentils are soft.

3.  Discard bay leaf (you can discard the lemon rind if you would like, some people like to eat it, others don’t) and add lemon juice.  Stir well and serve with a slice of lemon if desired.

Enjoy!!

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Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta Recipe

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

By: Gigi Howe

If you are a fan of Swiss chard, like I am, here’s a recipe for you to try.  You really could substitute another leafy green vegetable, such as kale, escarole or spinach or even do a combination of different greens.  This recipe is easy to prepare and what doesn’t taste good with pasta and Parmesan cheese?! ;)  If you’d like, you can also add a can of cannellini beans to the mix.

 

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

Ingredients:

– 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. Swiss chard
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 small onion chopped
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup sour cream, plain yogurt or ricotta
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– 8 oz. pasta cooked
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Wash and cut Swiss chard into small pieces.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add chard, onions and garlic.  Cook for 5 – 10 mins. or until desired tenderness.

3.  Add milk, sour cream, yogurt or ricotta and parmesan cheese.  Stir until combined and cook for 1 min.  Pour over cooked pasta, mix well and serve.

Options:  Add a can of white cannellini beans to the recipe.   Use different leafy greens – kale, escarole, spinach instead, or inaddition to the chard.

Serves 4.

Enjoy!!

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Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

By: Gigi Howe

Today is National Pi Day, that’s “Pi”, not “Pie”.  Pi is the symbol that shows the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is approximately 3.1415926… and so on!  Pi Day is always on March 14. But what is neat about today’s date “3/14/15″ is that the digits are in order with the first 5 numbers of Pi.  Most years only the first 3 digits are associated with the date.   So we have the bonus of the 2015 for this year.  And an added bonus.. how about a recipe for Pie??  ;)

I’m sharing a recipe for Key Lime Pie today.  Its one of my favorites.  Has a little tang to it.  You can use key limes, if you can find them but regular limes work just fine.  You’ll be making a meringue topping for this pie.  Its delicious!  I’ve tried several recipes for the pie, but this one is my favorite.  Personally, I prefer a graham cracker crust with this pie, but you can use a regular pastry crust if you prefer.  You can add a few drops of green food coloring to the filling of the pie if you would like to make your pie to look greener.  I don’t do that, still tastes great with its natural color.

 

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients:

– 9 inch pie crust – graham cracker or pastry
– 3 eggs (allow to stand at room temperature for 30 mins)
– 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
– 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon finely grated key lime peel or 1 1/2 teaspoons of regular lime peel
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/3 cup lime juice
– several drops of green food coloring if desired
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
– 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
– 6 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2.  Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue.  In medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks and gradually stir in condensed milk and lime peel.  Add water, lime juice and food coloring, if using.  Mix well.

3.  Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Bake for 30 mins.

4. Meanwhile prepare the meringue.  In a large mixing bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar.  Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar.  Beat on high speed for approximately 4 mins. more until mixture forms stiff peaks.

5. Remove pie from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 400.  Spread meringue over the hot filling, making sure to spread meringue to the edges.

6. Bake for 15 mins.  Cool for 1 hour on wire rack.  Chill in refrigerator for 3-5 hours before serving.

Enjoy!!

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Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts recipe

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

By: Gigi Howe

When I was looking through one of my recipe boxes for a recipe to post today, I picked this one.  This recipe has the subtitle:  Brussels Sprouts for People Who Think They Hate Brussels Sprouts.  I have to admit, I used to be a hater.  I hated them as a kid and figured that would never change.  I always thought they were “cute” but still hated them.  But a few months back, I decided it was time to give them another try and much to my shock and surprise, I like them.. a lot!!   At first I just sauteed them with some other vegetables.  I figured that would be “safe” and mask their flavor somewhat.  They I dared to prepare them by themselves.  So they have moved from the “I will never eat those nasty things again” list to “A” list.  :)

Anyway, if you are already a fan or if you want to give them a chance, here’s a nice recipe to try.

 

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

– Brussels Sprouts – about 1 lb.
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 – 5 cloves garlic (depending on how much you love garlic)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
– 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or to taste
– 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if possible)

Directions:

1.  Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored outer leaves.  If the sprouts are more than an inch in diameter, cut them in quarters lengthwise.  If the sprouts are smaller, cut them in half.

2.  Boil 2 quarts of water, add salt and sprouts.  Boil uncovered for about 5 mins.  You want to keep the sprouts on the crunchy side.  Drain sprouts, discard cooking water and dry the pot.

3.  Heat olive oil in the pot, add garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 1 min.  Add sprouts and nutmeg.  Saute for 1 more minute.  Add the Parmesan cheese and toss with the sprouts until the cheese slightly melts.

Enjoy!!

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Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

By: Gigi Howe

When Cindy told me that today is National Pound Cake Day, I immediately thought of this recipe.  I can’t tell you how old this recipe is, but for some reason when I was a kid, I used to make it.. a lot.  I think I was about 9 or 10 at the time and a few people actually paid me to make them a cake.  Maybe they were being kind, but I think its really the recipe.  This recipe is a little complicated but this will probably be the best pound cake you’ve ever tasted (and remember, I did made when I was a kid so it can’t be all that difficult).

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Ingredients:

– 8 eggs (at room temperature – let stand for 1 hour before using), separated
– 2 1/4 cups sifted flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 1/4 cups sugar
– 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions:

1.  Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325.

2.  Sift together flour, baking soda and 1 1/4 cups of sugar.

3.  In large bowl blend butter with flour mixture.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat in egg yolks one at at time, just until yolks are blended.

4.  In another large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add salt, then gradually add 1 cup of sugar and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until soft peaks form.

5. Gently fold egg whites into the flour mixture, then turn into prepared bundt pan.  Using a spatula, gently cut through the cake batter 1 or 2 times.

6. Bake cake 1 1/2 hours, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Do not open the oven door during the first hour of cooking.

7.  Once the tester comes out clean, turn off the oven and let the cake stay in the oven for 15 more mins.  Then remove to a wire cake rake and let cook for 15 mins.

8.  Remove cake from the pan and let cool on rack.

 

Enjoy!!

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Banana Cream Pie Recipes

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

By: Gigi Howe

In honor of today being Banana Cream Pie Day, guess what we have here!  Yes, a Banana Cream Pie recipe.  Actually, I have two recipes for you.  One is a recipe if you want to make your Banana Cream Pie from scratch, the other is recipe is made with pudding and goes together pretty quickly.  I can’t say which is tastier, I will let you be the judge!

Banana Cream Pie from Scratch

Ingredients:

– 1 prepared, baked pie shell – 9 inch
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup cornstarch or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 3 cups milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 3 bananas (about 2 1/2 cups sliced)
– 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

Directions:

1.  In medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch or flour.  Stir in milk and mix well.  Cook and stir over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.  Cook and stir for 2 mins more.  Remove from heat.

2.  Slightly beat egg yolks with a fork.  Gradually stir in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks.  Pour the egg yolk mixture into the rest of the hot filling in the saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir for 2 more mins.  Remove from heat.

3.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Set aside.

4.  Arrange the sliced bananas over the bottom of the pie shell.  Pour warm filling over bananas.  Chill in refrigerator for 4-6 hours before serving.

5. To serve – in a small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form and spread over filing.

 

If you want to make something that is a little quicker, here is…

Easy Banana Cream Pie

– 1 prepared, baked pie shell – 8 inch
– 1 3 or 3 1/4 oz. package of regular vanilla pudding
– 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
– 2 bananas – sliced 1/2 inch thick
– whipped cream or cool whip

Directions:

1. Prepare pudding mix as label directs.  Stir in butter or margarine and extract.  Cover pudding surface with waxed papper and refrigerate for 30 mins.

2.  Meanwhile, slice bananas and arrange in baked pie shell.

3.  With whisk beat pudding mixture until smooth.  Pour over bananas.  Refrigerate until cool.  Top with whipped cream and garnish with more banana slices dipped in lemon juice.

 

Enjoy!!

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