What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Appetizer - Out of This World Roast Garlic Hummus



Hummus is generally thought of as a Greek or middle eastern dish. It's popularity has risen with the advent of healthier eating as Chick Peas are a great source of fiber. These days we can buy ready made hummus at the grocery store but the flavor doesn't compare to what you can make yourself.
After many trials I attempted making hummus to serve at dinner party. I overheard one of my guests, who I knew was a big hummus fan, shouting out to his wife, "honey, ask Barbara where she got this hummus, it's amazing". I knew I had a winner! My secret? Cumin and lots of Roasted Garlic (recipe follows).

If you make Hummus the way most recipes direct you there will be a twang on your tongue when you taste it. This 'twang' is the raw garlic which is quite bitter. And even though it's pureed into the rest of the ingredients, that 'twang' shows through on your tongue. My hummus has a rich and garlicky tone without any 'twang'!

If I plan on making hummus in the next day or two and I'm already baking something in the oven, that day, I will often throw my garlic in and have one thing out of the way. Why heat the oven for just a head of garlic? If you're planning a party, prepare the recipe up to 3 days ahead of time. Hummus actually freezes quite well too. Either way, It'll be one less thing to do and will save time on the day of your event.

Hummus is made of only a few ingredients. When you really examine it, Hummus is made of 60-70% water. Other than water the most important ingredient is tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds). The tahini is mostly fat but this fat is a good one. It contains those omega-3 fatty acids that have proven to be beneficial in the control of cholesterol.
Hummus is quite satisfying and does not raise the blood glucose level very much making it a good dietary choice.

Serve Hummus with flat bread or pita wedges, crackers, or toast. As a low cal/carb suggestion....serve hummus with crudite (cut raw veggies) as a dip. You can double this recipe as needed. You can use Hummus as a condiment and spread on sandwiches in place of the traditional margarine or mayonnaise. My Hummus is really easy to prepare and the flavor is sensational. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients...

  • 1/2 head roasted garlic (recipe follows)
  • 1 can (1lb 3 oz) chick peas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • 1/3 cup Tahini (crushed sesame seeds)
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Here's how you do it...

  1. Drain most of the liquid from the garbanzo beans.
  2. Put the beans into your food processor.
  3. Add the roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt.
  4. Puree until smooth (or the texture you prefer). I let mine process for a couple of minutes because I like it silky smooth.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Transfer to your serving container, cover, and refrigerate.

Here's an idea... To garnishp put a 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a spoon, make an indentation in the center of the hummus leaving the oil there. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts (as seen in my photo).

Another garnish idea is to finely chop a little parsley, mix it with the 1/2 tsp oil and put it in the center of the dish.

How easy was that?


  • Roasted Garlic

Ingredients...

  • 1 head of garlic cloves, peeled.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Here's how you do it...

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Place the peeled garlic cloves into an oven proof custard dish.
  3. Pour the olive oil on the garlic cloves.
  4. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  5. Place the custard dish in the center of a large square of foil.
  6. Bring up the 4 corners and crunch them together so you have a handle for safe movement in and out of the oven.
  7. Roast 40-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Stores in the fridge for a couple of days.

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