Category: Cooking

Smiths’ Standard Shrimp Dip

This dip is one of the easiest to make and has been enjoyed by anyone who tastes it… excepting those who don’t like shrimp.

Next holiday or event I’ll attempt to remember to take better pictures.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8oz. of Cream Cheese [warmed to room temp if brick, as-is if tub]
  • 8oz. of Small Cooked shrimp
  • 1/3 C. of Mayonaise (about 5T.)
  • 3T. of Chili Sauce (Cocktail Sauce works too)
  • 2T. of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2t. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2t. Onion Juice

What you’ll do:

  1. Using arm muscles or a hand mixer beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth
  2. Add the mayo, chili sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, onion juice and continue to beat until mixed.
  3. Add the shrimp and manually mix together until the shrimp is evenly dispersed.


Put into a container and serve. As-is I prefer using Frito brand scoops as the chip to dip into it.

Some variations:

If you’re looking to change it up there are some simple ways to dynamically change the whole thing.

  • Use sour cream instead of mayo and add 1T. of dill.
  • Use smoked salmon instead of shrimp and add 2T. of capers.

My Basic Hummus

People say I make a pretty good hummus so I’m going to throw my basic recipe out there.

You’re going to need a food processor or blender. I prefer the KitchenAid 3.5 cup model for the price and the drip feed funnel on the lid.

Ingredient-wise you’ll need:
– 1, 15oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) [drain and save liquid]
– 4-5 Garlic cloves
– 2-3T. Tahini
– 2-3T. Olive Oil
– 2T. of the saved liquid from the beans (known as Aquafaba)
– 1/2 Lemon worth of juice
– 1/4 Lemon worth of zest
– 1t. Salt
– 1/2t. Paprika
– 1/4t. Pepper, fresh ground

The instructions are pretty straight forward. Combine ingredients in your food processor and puree. Check the consistency and if it’s not up to your standards add (using the drip funnel if it’s on your food processor) about 1/2t. of the bean liquid (aquafaba) and puree. Repeat this process until the consistency is at your preferred density.

Tahini is the ingredient that makes hummus what it is. Don’t be like some friends of mine who wouldn’t use it or else you’ll end up, like they do, with a bland bean paste.

Changing the flavor and style is easy enough. Here are some quick edits:
– Use 6-7 roasted garlic instead of raw.
– Use a roasted red pepper, omit aquafaba unless adjusting consistency, and use only 1T. of olive oil.
– Add about 2T. of sun-dried tomatoes, omitting aquafaba if they’re oil-packed.
– Sub 2 cloves of garlic with 1 green onion

Experiment with whatever you like to make something new!

Four indispensable kitchen tools.

This is a pretty simple and straightforward entry. But here are my picks for tools that any cook should own and that which will make all your meals easier and better prepared. I’d consider them the first step to leveling up your cooking beyond boxed meals.

  • A probe thermometer.

This you can use to precisely manage temperatures of things in the oven. When cooking a steak in the oven you can make sure it comes out exactly when it’s ready.

  • A digital scale

Digital/Analog. Whatever. Just having a scale allows you to more precisely manage your ingredients and your food. The minimal amount of math required to manage flavor is made easier with the metric system.

  • An immersion blender

Finally. You can whip together the ideal scrambled eggs. That homemade dressing will never stop being a colloid.

  • An infrared thermometer

There’s nothing more annoying than putting an egg in a pan and realizing the pan isn’t hot enough. Now you have to wait and your perfect yolk is not to be. This stops that. This allows you to take easy spot temperatures. This doubles as a toy for the cat.

Sourdough Part 2: Loaves

Sourdough is criminally easy and when you break down the cost it’s too cheap not to make yourself. For me, using the best materials, each loaf with time and money factored in costs around $1.27.

You’ll need a sourdough starter to make this recipe and if you don’t have one you can use my method to easily make your own!

Here’s what you’ll need-

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Sourdough Part 1: A Starter

Sourdough Starter

I haven’t purchased a loaf of bread in years and I have been making my own with a sourdough starter that I decided to create and maintain. Overall it’s criminally easy and the products that you can make from a sourdough starter are infinitely better in taste and health.

But first you must cultivate a starter (which is much easier than it sounds). Just mix water and flour. Seriously. To take from Sandor Ellix Katz and his book “The Art of Fermentation”

“…mix a small amount of flour and water in a bowl, a little more flour than water, and stir until smooth. Add a little more water or flour as necessary to obtain a batter that is liquid and pourable, yet thick enough to cling to the spoon.”

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Spanish Rice + Stuffed Peppers

Today you’ll get two recipes that make an amazing meal and will leave some good leftovers for those of you in the meal-prep crowd.

We’re going to make my recipe for Spanish rice first then add some ingredients and make stuffed peppers.

So here’s what you’ll need in two parts:

  1. Spanish Rice
  • 1 1/2 C. Rice (Uncooked, White)
  • 2 C. Chicken Broth
  • 3 T. of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C. Onion (Chopped)
  • 1/2 C. Yellow Pepper (Chopped)
  • 1/2 C. Cactus (Chopped) [It looks like this in the store]
  • 1/2 C. Tomatos (Chopped, in sauce, you can use salsa as a proxy)

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Faked Ziti

If baked ziti is a bastardization of lasagna then this is what happens when I try to summon lasagna through dark magics and the blood of the innocent.

With that being said this dish is a delicious and hearty meal for all.

You’ll need a pan and a large greased baking dish to get this one done.

Otherwise here’s the ingredients:

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe is pretty easy but it makes a delightfully balanced dish that pairs well with greens and ham. Serves about six and takes about an hour.

Preferably you will make this dish in a 2 qt. dutch oven but you can do it in a 7″x11″ baking dish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 C. uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 1/4 C. Milk
  • 1/2 C. Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Yellow onion (medium, chopped, about 1/2 C.)
  • 4 oz. Fontina (shredded)
  • 4 oz. Medium Cheddar (shredded)
  • 2 T. Green Onion (chopped)
  • 2 T. Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 T. Salt
  • 1 T. Flour
  • 1 t. Paprika
  • 1 t. Chives (chopped)
  • 1/2 t. Fresh ground pepper

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