June 21, 2012

hello, hummus--just added cilantro lime

recently i went on a trip and the airline served pita chips with some sort of cream cheese nasty. since then i've been craving pita chips the real way--with hummus!
i've made hummus several times in the past but haven't ever found the perfect recipe. i think i've finally found the right mix of flavors, specifically with regards to the garlic.
i'll give you the base recipe and then show you the two variations i made that i was really pleased with.

plain ol' hummus
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
2 T tahini (sesame seed paste)--not optional, folks!
1/8 C lemon juice
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 C olive oil

blend the first three ingredients until smooth in a food processor. then add the last three. yum!  
cilantro and lime hummus
prepare as directed, substituting the lemon juice with 3 T lime juice and then adding 1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro and 1/2 t (or more to taste) cumin.

sun-dried tomato hummus

after everything else is blended and smooth, add about a 1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes (the kind that are packed in oil) and some generous shakes of basil. double yum!
roasted garlic and artichoke hummus
substitute the 1 garlic clove for one full bulb of roasted garlic (see instructions below*) and follow directions above. after everything else is blended and smooth, add about a 1/3 C canned artichokes, drained and some generous shakes of oregano. the yummiest!
*preheat oven to 400. leave the skin on the garlic bulb and cut a little bit off the top so the garlic is exposed. super lightly drizzle with olive oil and a twinge of salt. wrap in foil with enough room for steam. roast for 30-40 or until it becomes brownish and mushy.
as a sidenote about the roasted garlic--i roasted a few bulbs and used one bulb for two large baking potatoes to make roasted garlic mashed potatoes. my kids devoured it. seriously. even the one that usually hates potatoes of any kind.

June 20, 2012

cardamom and lemon rice pudding

i adore rice pudding.  this variation was unique and delicious!  i adapted it to lower fat and calories from a recipe i found at epicurious.com.  super yummy to add toasted slivered almonds...

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
  • 5 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cups cooked medium-grain white rice
  • 1 cup golden raisins

 In slow cooker, whisk together milk, cream, eggs, granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, zest, cardamom pods, and nutmeg. Stir in rice, cover and cook on high 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, add raisins, and cook 1 hour more, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

June 19, 2012

thai chicken wraps

yum, yum and yum!  i cheated and bought some thai peanut salad dressing at the store and i love it because it's not too spicy for me (i'm a spice whimp) but still flavorful enough for my husband.  also, i wanted it to be more filling so i added some jasmine rice.

p.s.  the seasoning on the chicken is super flavorful and versatile.  i'll use it for stir-fry or for any number of salad combinations.  also, i didn't have grill seasoning, so i threw some together using this recipe.

from rachel ray


  • 3 (6-ounce) chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning


  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce department
  • 3 scallions, sliced on an angle
  • 12 leaves basil, chopped or torn
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves (4 sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • Salt

Spicy peanut sauce:


Heat a grill pan over high heat. Toss chicken with soy and oil and grill 6 minutes on each side.

Combine cucumber, sprouts, carrots, scallions, basil, mint and sesame with a generous sprinkle of sugar and vinegar. Season salad with salt, to taste.

Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne together. Stream in vegetable oil.

Slice cooked chicken on an angle. Toss with veggies and herbs.

In a very hot nonstick skillet or over a gas burner heat tortillas 15 seconds on each side.

Pile chicken and veggies in wraps and drizzle liberally with spicy peanut sauce before wrapping and rolling.

grill seasoning

it's a good one!  from food.com
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder or flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

soy-ginger chicken

our kitchen is under construction so i have been trying out slow cooker recipes.  the whole family really enjoyed this one.  and, for the record--if you can't seem to find the cornstarch you packed and you don't have access to a cook top, mixing flour and water together for the last step and then heating it in the microwave works fabulously!

p.s.  i wanted more carrots.  i'll use 4 or 5 next time.

from delish.com

  • 1/3 cup(s) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dark-brown sugar
  • 5 clove(s) garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup(s) fresh cilantro, chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 piece(s) (about 2 inches long) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 5  scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (1 cup packed)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground pepper
  • 4  chicken drumsticks and 4 thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total), skin removed
  • 2  carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • Cooked white rice, (for serving)

  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, cilantro, ginger, 1/2 cup scallions, vinegar, coriander, and pepper. Add chicken and carrots; toss to coat. Cover, and cook on low until chicken is tender, about 6 hours. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from surface of cooking liquid.
  2. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Ladle 1 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture. Serve chicken with white rice, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and remaining 1/2 cup scallions.