My Midwest Kitchen

Classic Hummus

Who loves hummus? Was that a silly question? I mean who doesn’t love hummus? If you open most refrigerators these days, you’re bound to find some version of a store bought hummus inside. But, my hummus has a secret ingredient and it is shockingly easy. Keep reading to find out the simple, yet magical ingredient that will transform your hummus creations. 

This dip/spread/eat by the spoonful goodness seemed to start popping up at parties and grocery stores in the mid 2000’s. Hummus, a Middle Eastern staple, is something I grew up eating at home. Being half Egyptian, my mom (who is Indian) learned Egyptian cooking from my paternal grandmother for two reasons. First, my mom loves to cook and learn about new cuisines (clearly this is inheritable). Second, my papa needed the food he grew up eating! So, before hummus became popular, it was a dish that I was already quite familiar with


Masala Chai Popsicles

Want a sweet treat that’s both low in calories and has a spicy kick? Then my masala chai popsicles are what you need! 

And I swear that the henna and matching nail polish are a sheer coincidence.  I don’t always have henna when I’m using my Indian spices. Although there’s an idea…

Some necessary information…


5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer Soiree

(The inspiration for this post was from a collaboration with Samantha of, Brigit of, and Maureen of

It is officially summer! Let us celebrate, smile and maybe do a little boogie.  I love all things about summer including the heat, long days and of course, all the summer activity options. Being a teacher, I do get more time to myself over the season and I get to devote some of it to doing my favorite things. I love taking fun trips, catching up with friends and, of course, sleeping in a little. But, my favorite thing to do is entertain!  I love having friends over for a meal and having a chance to wow them with my kitchen experiments. But, let’s be honest, even the most savvy of cooks do not always feel like taking care of the whole meal, especially when it is summer and most of us want to seize every sunny, toasty hour outside. So, inviting your guests to do a potluck style party can be time saving, fun, and really delicious! It’s a great way to exchange and learn about recipes, plus it gives you a chance to have some treats that you might otherwise not typically enjoy.

Recently, I got together with some of my friends and lovely blogging ladies, Samantha, Brigit, and Maureen to collaborate on hosting a summer party.


Potato Galette with Smoked Salmon

This potato galette with smoked salmon was inspired by my desire to combine two of my favorite breakfast foods: smoked salmon and potatoes. I needed a sophisticated way to present these two loves in a way that might mask my obsession with these two ingredients. Success! In between the layers of thinly sliced potatoes you will find shallots, leeks and gruyere. I topped this potato tart with my homemade pickled red onions, fresh dill, capers, and creme fraiche. 


I will be talking more about the meal where this galette was the main dish. I sat down with my girlfriends to do a fun brunch collaboration so stay tuned for Tuesday’s post. But, for now, here is the recipe for this salmony-potato goodness. Enjoy!

Potato Galette with Smoked Salmon
Serves 4
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  1. 2 large Yukon gold potatoes
  2. 2 leeks, washed thoroughly and chopped (white parts only)
  3. 1 shallot, chopped
  4. 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  5. 3 tbsp olive oil
  6. 6 oz smoked salmon, sliced thinly
  7. 1 tbsp crème fraiche
  8. 1 tbsp fresh, chopped dill
  9. 1 tbsp capers
  10. Slivers of pickled or fresh red onion
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees.
  2. Saute leeks and shallots in 2 tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat until soft (about 5-6 minutes) adding salt and pepper to taste. Once done, remove from pan and let cool
  3. Wash and slice the potatoes into thin rounds, about ¼ inch thick. You can use a mandolin for thinner slices and to make the galette more crisp
  4. Place slices in a bowl of cold water, making sure the potatoes are submerged. Soak for 30 minutes
  5. Remove potatoes after soaking and dry thoroughly with a towel
  6. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with ½ tbsp of the olive oil
  7. Layer half of the potatoes on the bottom and top with half of the shallot/leek mixture and half the cheese. Salt and pepper (to taste)
  8. Layer the remaining potatoes on top and brush with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  9. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes
  10. Remove galette and top with remaining cheese
  11. Bake 10 more minutes, making sure potatoes are cooked through (easily can pierce with a knife) and cheese is golden brown on top
  12. Remove galette and allow it to come to room temperature
  13. Carefully remove the galette by lifting the bottom of the tart pan
  14. Top with slices of smoked salmon, chopped dill, cream fraiche, capers, and red onion (fresh or pickled)
My Midwest Kitchen Blog

Habanero Salsa


My favorite salsa is ridiculously simple and pretty darn HOT. But, the best things in life are often the simplest (and hot).

Many years ago I asked my friend, Carina, to teach me the secret of a good salsa. She refers to herself as “Mexi-Rican” (half Mexican and half Puerto Rican) and I knew she’d be my go to for a bomb-tastic salsa as she had grown up learning about these cuisines. A handful of chili de arbols later, I found myself in love with her salsa recipe (which included garlic, fresh tomatoes, and the tiny, dried red chilies). After mastering the tricks of the trade,