• 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Cans Cannellini (white kidney beans) drained and well rinsed
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 TB Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Chopped Parsley or Cilantro for Garnish

Step One

Place the garlic cloves in the processor and finely chop. Add the beans, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, lemon juice and cayenne to the food processor and process until smooth. 

Step Two

Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley and olive oil. Serve with a whole wheat toasted baguette, pita chips or pockets or fresh veggies.


  • ½ Cup Cooked Beets
  • Olive Oil
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese

Before removing hummus from food processor, add ½ cup Cooked Beets. Puree until smooth, spread on a plate and top with a drizzle of olive oil, goat cheese and chopped parsley.

Handmade Pita Chips

  • 6 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 1 TB Smoked Paprika or Garam Masala (choose your favorite spice blend)
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut pockets in ¼, open each then tear in ½ resulting in 8 chips per pocket. Spray with oil; season with spices, salt and pepper. Place in single layer on sheet pan and cook for about 12 minutes.

You can keep pita chips in an airtight bag or container for about three days. If they begin to get soft, just pop them back in a preheated 400F oven for about 2 – 3 minutes to crisp up.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

(A good way to eat your veggies!)

  • 1 Head Garlic
  • 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Light Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Cup Light Olive Oil Mayo
¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
  • 2 TB Chopped Chives
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Step One

Cut 1/2-inch off the top of the head of garlic. Place the garlic in aluminum foil and drizzle with the 1TB olive oil. Bake until soft, at 350F for about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

Step Two

When the garlic is cool, squeeze the garlic out of the head into the bowl of a food processor. Add the buttermilk, lemon juice, mayo, parsley and chives, and puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Greek Lentil and Feta Salad

  • 2 Cups Brown Lentils
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled and Quartered
  • 3 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Tsp Each Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, Halved or Quartered
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Kalamata Olives
  • ¼ Cup Crumbled Feta
  • ¼ Cup Capers

Step One

Place lentils, garlic, celery, onion in a stockpot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are just done. Discard the veggies and drain well.

Step Two

Place the vinegar, oil, zest and juice, mustard, salt and pepper together in jar. Toss the spinach and tomatoes with the dressing and sprinkle with the olives feta and capers.

Date Bites with Holiday Spices

  • ½ Cup Almonds, toasted
  • ½ Cup Walnuts, toasted
  • ½ Cup Pecans, toasted
  • 16 Dates, pitted
  • 3 TB Honey
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • ½ tsp Cardamom
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is completely chopped and forms a thick paste. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Remove from fridge and with a spoon make 1” balls by carefully pressing together and rolling. Wrap individually in parchment paper to take on the road or serve in mini cupcake liners. (These keep great in fridge for a week in an airtight container, or freeze up to three months.)



Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux – Kroger $17


Terrasses – Chateau Pesquie – Whole Foods $16


Perrin Cotes Du Rhone Reserve – World Market $14 (Widely Available)


Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco – World Market $14 (Wine Shops, too)

My Favorite Things:


Citrus Sqoozer

Oil Sprayer

Carrie’s NEATSMART Organizing Favorites for the Holidays!

1. Divided Lazy Susan: Container Store, At Home Store

I use these all over the home: under the bathroom sink, pantries, offices, craft rooms. I love that these hold a lot of different supplies and the fact that it spins means that you’re not losing items in the back of a cabinet or shelf.

2. Regular Lazy Susan: Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond

These are great all over your home but I especially love them in a pantry or kitchen cabinet. Perfect for spices, bottles of oils and vinegars, canned foods, coffee accouterments, condiments, etc. Just make sure you measure the shelf before you go shopping.

3. Multipurpose bins:Container Store

These are inexpensive and so versatile. Allow you to use frequently wasted vertical space. Great for holding papers vertically so you can access them easily; use in the freezer to keep frozen foods separated; group smaller toys together in a playroom; keep hair styling supplies under a sink from falling over, etc.

4. Madesmart Cookwaredivider: Container Store

This is invaluable for storing cookie sheets, skillets, serving pieces, etc. This keeps them easily accessible and the rubber coating helps to protect any fragile pieces.

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