3 Minute Homemade Hummus

We’ve got a wedding in less than two weeks! Julia is getting married on May 30th and since I am the Matron of Honor so I am determined to be as healthy as possible in the coming days.

For lunch this week I decided to whip up a quick batch of homemade hummus and put together a plate of veggies with turkey and hummus. Easy as can be wether you are eating at home, on the go or at the office.

   3 Minute Hummus

1 Can of Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas, drained and rinsed

1/4 c. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Tahini (optional — tahini is sesame paste and available in the international aisle of the grocery store, by Greek items)

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1 Clove Garlic, minced

1 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Salt

2 Tbs. Water

Sprinkle of Paprika and/or Red Pepper Flakes for serving

Combine all ingredients to mini-food processor and purée until desired texture. Add a touch more of olive oil and water if for a more smooth texture.





Watermelon, Feta, Arugula Salad with Pickled Red Onions

This is one of those dishes that I look forward to all year long. I have made many variations of the watermelon-feta combination and have now decided that this is my very favorite.

I never pickle things. I adore pickled items but I always think that they will take too much time or I will have to deal with boiling, canning, etc. For these pickled red onions that is not at all the case or I would not have made them.


Pickled Red Onions

1 Tbs Kosher Salt

1 Tbs Sugar

1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar (can substitute for white wine vinegar)

1 Cup Water

1 – Large Red Onion, thinly sliced (or improvise, with a small red onion and part of a sweet onion, as I did today)

In a small bowl, whisk top 4 ingredients until sugar and salt are disolved.

Make sure your onions are very thinly sliced. I cut my onions in half and sliced little half moons (I am sure there is a term for this)

Put onions in a jar, add the pickling mixture.

Let sit, room temperature, for at least one hour.

That. Is. It. So simple! They taste great, the pickling takes the bite out of the onion but leaves the best texture and flavor. I have a feeling that I will be using these on everything for the next couple of weeks. They keep in the fridge for up to a month.



Watermelon Feta Salad

Greens – I love the 50/50 spinach arugula mix

Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper


Pickled Onion


Balsamic Glaze*

First toss your greens in the smallest amount of olive oil, itty bitty pinch of salt and pepper (if using arugula may want to omit black pepper or if you want to bring the heat add a few red pepper flakes)

Next layer ingredients in order of above list.

Eat. The end. We will be having ours tonight with grilled chicken. This is the perfect healthy, summer side. Great for at home or to take for summer cookouts this weekend!

*Side note, you can make balsamic glaze fairly easily but since I knew I was making pickled onions I bought it. This brand is inexpensive and not loaded with sugar, win, win.

Cheers to May and summer months filled with watermelon!


Tuesday’s Table – Italian Chicken

This is a recipe that my best friend recommended to me years ago. It is simple, healthy and comforting. Great week night meal with lots of veggies.

Italian Chicken

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 
Tomatoes – cherry, Roma, on the vine (great acidity when good summer tomatoes aren’t available)
Fresh Mushrooms (white, button, baby bellas) – 1 container, chopped
Artichoke Hearts – quartered, drained and rinsed 
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 1/2 Tbs. Corn Starch, could substitute for flour
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt (split between veggies and chicken breast)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 cup – Shredded Mozzarella
Fresh herbs – Any that you have, basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano. If you are buying them just stick with fresh basil.
Noodles of your choice – Spaghetti Squash is our go to noodle, but we have had with  your standard angel hair pasta and that’s delicious too.


Who knew adding mushrooms would add B Vitamins and Antioxidants?! Yes, please.

 Quick Tip: Always cut your tomatoes with a serrated knife.

In a 9×13 baker combine chopped vegetables, garlic, corn starch, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add chicken breast on top of the veggie mixture and season with salt and pepper, bury them slightly in vegetable mixture.
Bake at 350. I used convection and my chicken breast were thinly sliced so I baked for 20 minutes, but adjust according to your oven and chicken.
Take out of oven, top each chicken breast with mozzarella and fresh herbs. 
Place back in oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is starting to brown and bubble.
Serve on top of your “noodles” with a simple green salad.


I’ve been on a simple salad kick – Spring Greens with only a squeeze of lemon and teeny bit of olive oil (like 1/2 tsp) with salt and pepper.
Fresh, health, easy! 

Snack Time – Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites

I am always intrigued by the no-bake, energy bites/balls recipes that I come across, but have never made them for one reason or another. Finally last week when @TracyShutterBean came across my Insta feed I knew that I wanted to make her Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls. Once I pulled up her recipe I realized that I actually would because I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Wahoo!

They were easy as could be and are the perfect breakfast or snack. Today I had two with some raspberries as my late lunch/snack but they would be a great breakfast, dessert or pick me up at any time of day. Two was a splurge.. if I had eaten lunch at a reasonable time and just needed a bit to keep me going until dinner one would definitely do the trick.

To cut a few of the calories one could omit the chocolate chips and these would still be great.

If your PB is kept in the fridge then these will be easier to put together. If not they may start to feel like they are falling apart but just get as close as you can to a round ball and get in them in fridge.


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites

makes about 15

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

pinch of kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until well incorporated. Form into balls and refrigerate! These will keep for at least a week in the fridge in an air tight container.

Taste Test – Summer Seasonals

Spring and Summer! Hooray! Everyone rejoice. The season of gorgeous weather, fresh flowers and vegetables, time spent on the water and  happy hours a-plenty.

With the above said Happy Hours come choices. I always get a little bit of (fake) anxiety at a bar with an impressive beer menu. I am not ashamed to say it, I am a light beer kind of girl. I appreciate the idea of “cool” beers but I rarely want to order them, and when I do I don’t ever want a whole one… Mich Ultra, please!  I know cool beer people probably hate me now, it’s fine, I am trying here, people. My pride always takes a little stab when trying to navigate and decide upon what beer to order. So with the help of three others — It was really hard talking them into this— I set out to conduct a very scientific taste test and find my new go-to beer(s) of the summer.  


Brooklyn Summer Ale – “From beaches and barbecues to stoops and rooftops, summer in Brooklyn is all about following your impulses. Brooklyn Summer Ale is a refreshing, flavorful pale ale made for warm weather adventures. British 2-row barley adds breadiness while German and American hops bring a clean bitterness and bright floral aroma. It’s a sunny pale ale, Brooklyn style.”

SweetWater Blue – “SweetWater Blue is a unique light bodied wheat ale laced with natural blueberry flavor. This euphoric experience begins with a subtle blueberry aroma and finished surreptitiously clean – That’s right! Ain’t Just for Breakfast Anymore”

SweetWater SpinnerBait – “The flash of this spinnerbait stimulates the senses with its sweet malty currents and deep red hues. Our BA reels with fruity esters and spicy notes from the Ardennes yeast which swirl through the Belgian rock candy, casting the perfect presentation for the hops to set the hook on this big boy, Rip Some Lips”

Strawberry Abita (This is actually more of a Spring seasonal… I am learning so much already, hah!) – “Abita Strawberry Harvest is a lager brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and Vanguard hops. Real Louisiana strawberry juice is added after filtration resulting in a crisp lager with a sweet strawberry flavor, aroma and haze.”

New Belgium Skinny Dip – “Take the plunge with SKINNY DIP, our brewed tribute to the lightly-attired summer months. Cascade hops frolic with bready malts for a crisp sip as refreshing as a freshwater dip.”

*There are so many other options out there but because of time and money this is what we got our hands on and tasted. Basically this is just a start to ease my summer, happy-hour, beer anxiety.*

**Things I wanted to add to this taste test but could not find – Abita Seersucker Summer Pils; Abita Grapefruit IPA; Shiner Ruby Redbird**

Between the four of us we decided on our two favorites easily then the other three varied between all of us.

!!!Tied for 1st Place – New Belgium Skinny Dip and Brooklyn Summer Ale!!! Both so very good and I will be ordering and drinking these throughout the summer.

 2nd Place – Strawberry Abita – So good but tasted extremely sweet following these other beers. I feel like this is every girls favorite Springtime beer. I am eager to try their Grapefruit IPA.

3rd Place – SweetWater Blue

4th Place – SweetWater SpinnerBait. This will be the only one I will not order, but I was happy to try it. It was one of our testers 2nd place pick (a guy who is a cool beer drinker). Just not my favorite.

I hope this evening and weekend brings you many sunny patios and happy hours!

What are your favorite summer beers?

**Julia would like to add that while celiac makes her beer drinking pretty limited, during the hot summer months, she especially likes Omission Lager since it’s crisp and light.  Or skip the beer all together and go straight for a cocktail.  One of her favs is a Salty Dog:  vodka, grapefruit juice, lots of ice, and a little salt on the rim.  

Happy Hour for all!