Sabra Cooking; Meshing my Israeli-Mediterranean Heritage with my Texas Roots. Fresh, Honest, Delicious Food my Kids Love

The ultimate Israeli Hummus
My mother would take my sister and I to this hummus restaurant in Jerusalem where all the cabbies would come on break for a quick snack.  The owner would scurry around, hurrying us to finish up our plate so the next table could be seated.  We devoured the creamy dip, which always comes with warm, spongy pita bread.
I finally perfected this recipe.  I made it this afternoon and it is the most satisfying dish.  i made it a full meal with pita chips, what makes it so hearty is reserving some of the cooked whole chick peas and ladling them in the middle of the bowl.  Drizzled with good olive oil and toasted pine nuts, it’s incredible.


Israeli Hummus
1.5 cups dried chick peas
1 tablespoon baking soda
2/3 cup toasted tahini
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 juicy lemon)
3 cloves garlic
salt and water to taste
Special equipment required; pressure cooker
Optional: Toasted pine nuts for garnish


Soak the chick peas, in plenty of water, overnight, or up to 24 hours.  Drain water and place chick peas in pressure cooker with baking soda and two whole cloves of garlic.  Fill with water  to cover  an inch above chick peas.  Cook in pressure cooker on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, or until very, very soft.  Drain and place in a food processor, reserving a small handful of chick peas.  Add the tahini, remaining garlic clove (minced) and lemon juice and puree until very smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin with water and salt.
Serve by ladling the hummus in a bowl, making a well in the middle. Scoop reserved whole chick peas and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle toasted pine nuts around the edge, if using.  Enjoy with warm pita or pita chips!

The ultimate Israeli Hummus

My mother would take my sister and I to this hummus restaurant in Jerusalem where all the cabbies would come on break for a quick snack.  The owner would scurry around, hurrying us to finish up our plate so the next table could be seated.  We devoured the creamy dip, which always comes with warm, spongy pita bread.

I finally perfected this recipe.  I made it this afternoon and it is the most satisfying dish.  i made it a full meal with pita chips, what makes it so hearty is reserving some of the cooked whole chick peas and ladling them in the middle of the bowl.  Drizzled with good olive oil and toasted pine nuts, it’s incredible.

Israeli Hummus

1.5 cups dried chick peas

1 tablespoon baking soda

2/3 cup toasted tahini

1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 juicy lemon)

3 cloves garlic

salt and water to taste

Special equipment required; pressure cooker

Optional: Toasted pine nuts for garnish

Soak the chick peas, in plenty of water, overnight, or up to 24 hours.  Drain water and place chick peas in pressure cooker with baking soda and two whole cloves of garlic.  Fill with water  to cover  an inch above chick peas.  Cook in pressure cooker on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, or until very, very soft.  Drain and place in a food processor, reserving a small handful of chick peas.  Add the tahini, remaining garlic clove (minced) and lemon juice and puree until very smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin with water and salt.

Serve by ladling the hummus in a bowl, making a well in the middle. Scoop reserved whole chick peas and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle toasted pine nuts around the edge, if using.  Enjoy with warm pita or pita chips!

Reuse that Bridesmaid Dress!

If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid (I’ve been one more times than I can count) you know that you end up spending a fortune on a tacky, cheaply made dress.  You get it altered so you don’t look like you’re wearing a shiny potato bag in your friend’s pictures, but it just doesn’t do a whole lot of good.  And even if the bride promises she chose a dress you could wear again, there’s no way you’re going to!  I asked a clothing designer, Ashlee Brooks, to chop up a couple dresses I’ve worn to weddings, she did an amazing job! Now if only I had legs as long and lean as the model’s! Ha!

Dinner Reinvented, Middle Eastern Chicken

I love this simple roasted chicken dish with couscous. It’s affordable, quick and feeds a big, hungry family.  I don’t know what it is about roasted chicken that is so simple, but so comforting.  I rub the chicken with za’atar, but you can easily substitute dried oregano and sesame seeds.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pro Kitchen Tips

Did you know Americans waste half a pound of food a day, and 50% of our groceries end up in the trash, spoiled and unused? In a professional kitchen, they can’t afford to waste a morsel of food, it’s their business! And frankly, at home we can’t afford it either, it’s pouring money into the trash!

I went to El Centro College’s Culinary Department (where I took culinary classes) and asked my favorite chef for some tips on how to save our groceries and use them before they go bad.  Chef Allison Cossio took me around their kitchen, the pantry and the walk-in refrigerator and gave me some practical and easy tips.  The tip that spoke the most to me was before you go shopping, shop your own kitchen.  Organize pantry items and refrigerated items by categories, like produce, poultry and canned items like tomatoes and sauces.  That way you can see what you have! Watch the video for more of Chef Allison’s tips, I love her energy and practical ideas.  I went home immediately and rearranged my fridge! 

New Uses for Household Items

Have you ever checked out at Target or another big box retailer and had do do a double take at the total? I’ve easily gotten suckered into buying the latest gadget or beauty product with big promises.  But you don’t have to look further than your kitchen pantry or bathroom vanity for easy solutions to household items.

Coffee grinds = cellulite exfoliator.  The number one ingredient to most cellulite creams is caffeine.  There’s plenty of caffeine left in your used coffee grinds, so don’t throw them out after you make a cup of Joe in the morning.  Place them in a bowl, along with some olive oil and mix it together.  Rub on the mixture in the shower where you have cellulite, then rinse off.  The grinds will exfoliate your skin and the olive oil will moisturize, leaving your skin baby soft and cellulite free! (make sure to drink plenty of water, caffeine is dehydrating!)

Nail polish = Button Secure.  Keep butons in place by brushing clear polish on the thread.  It will keep buttons in place and save money at the dry cleaner.

Vodka = greatness.  I met up with the founder of Tito’s Vodka, Tito Beveridge. We made cocktails, then talked how versatile the yummy spirit can be.  Use a little to keep razors from rusting.  Or mix it with water and place in a ziplock.  Freeze and you have a slushy the same consistency of a pack.  Place on your forehead after a long night of drinking for a little relief :)

Budget Travel tips with Don Wildman

He’s  the host of two Travel Channel shows, Mysteries at the Museum and Off Limits, so Don Wildman knows how to travel.  He came to Dallas while filming for his upcoming season, which will premiere in late April.  I wanted to know some practical tips on how to save money when you’re vacationing and he had some great ideas.  Watch the clip to learn how to save while traveling Don Wildman style!

Shopping at Target for Great Beauty Finds

Shopping at Target for Great Beauty Finds

Drug Store Beauty Products that Work Well

We’ve all gotten suckered into buying that expensive mascara or lipstick at the cosmetics counter.  I hate pushy sales women who are spritzing perfume and guilting you into ‘investing’ in your beauty products.  I have found some great drug store products that work just as well, and I don’t leave the check out feeling guilty. 

I went to Target and invited my favorite makeup artist, Rosalyn Bellamy, to help navigate all the new products out there, here’s what we loved, and how much the products cost at Target:

Sisley Foundation, $190

Boots, No.7 Anti Aging Foundation, $14.99

Bobbi Brown Loose Powder, $35-55

Sonia Kashuk Loose Powder and Blush Duo, $14.99

Lancome Definicil Mascara, $26

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, $6.04 

(btw, did you know L’Oreal owns brands like Estee Lauder, MAC, and Lancome, so you can often find the same color payoff with those brands)

Lancome Eyeshadow Palatte in Purple, $48

Maybelline Eyeshadow Palatte in Purple, $8.99

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick, $26

L’Oreal Lipstick, $9.99

Ballet Workout, No Gym Required

Ballet Workout, No Gym Required

Get a Ballerina Body at Home

Don’t waste your money on an expensive gym membership, for this workout all you need is a chair, a towel and some motivation.  Ballerinas don’t spend hours lifting weights, they dance ther ways to long, graceful bodies. 

Stephanie started a new workout in her studio, D Barre.  It combines ballet and pilates in a fast-paced class that gets your heart pumping.  You can achieve a long dancer’s body with the strength and muscle definition of a pilates body, without stepping foot in a gym!

Do each of these moves, two sets of 15.  I was sore after one hour with Stephanie, let me know how you do!