Cumin and Smoked Paprika Hummus

May 16th, 2019

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably think that I am a little bit in love with my smoked paprika.  What you might not realize, though, is that I am more in love with it than you can possibly imagine.  In fact, I use it almost every night — whether as a topping for popcorn, sprinkled on steamed vegetables, or just spooned out of the jar and into my adoring mouth.

I’m joking — on that last part at least.  But I do love smoked paprika.

So it cannot be too surprising that my first post on hummus takes this form.  If you’ve never made hummus before, you are in for a major treat, because it’s shockingly easy.  Take a few easy-to-find ingredients, which you probably have sitting around your kitchen somewhere, put them in your food processor, and you’re done!

I like to make hummus as an appetizer for dinner parties when I don’t know exactly how many people are coming, or when I’m not sure how long the main dish is going to take to cook.  It’s an easy, filling dish to set on the table so that your friends aren’t ready to clobber you when it’s 9 pm and you still haven’t served them dinner yet.

Finally, my favorite thing about this hummus is that it matches my wine glasses, making everything look prettier.  Could you resist a table that looks like this?  I didn’t think so.

Cumin and Smoked Paprika Hummus


1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, with about half the water drained off
1/4 cup tahini
1 medium-sized garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (or more, to desired consistency)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1. In a food processor, puree all ingredients together until smooth.  Add more lemon juice to get your preferred hummus texture.  Serve with chopped vegetables or baguette slices.

Makes about 2 cups of hummus.

→ 26 CommentsTags: appetizers · food

recipe: key lime pie

May 15th, 2019


Most of the time, I go to the grocery store without a set list in my head — which is sometimes great and sometimes a total disaster.

Great: When I spot fresh key limes and decide to make key lime pie!

Disaster: When I get home and realize I have no idea what the other ingredients are in key lime pie, and have to make a second trip to the grocery store for the rest of them.


But, once I finally got my hands on some sweetened condensed milk (really, I should have had than in our pantry to begin with) and after juicing about 100 ping-pong-ball-sized key limes, this pie was absolutely delicious.  Perfect for a summer dinner party in the backyard, or just a really yummy afternoon snack.  You could totally make this without fresh key limes (they’re not easy to find) and save yourself most of the work!


Key Lime Pie

4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted


Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended.  Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate (I used an 8-inch springform pan for mine).  Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Mix together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice and pour into the cooled shell.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Refrigerate to cool, and top with powdered sugar and fresh key lime slices. 


→ 9 CommentsTags: desserts · food

slow cooker vegetable stew

May 13th, 2019


Forgive me if I sound a bit intense here.


It really shouldn’t be.  This dish is basically nothing more than a few fresh veggies, a little butter, and some cheese.  No rare and expensive spices.  No fancy cooking techniques.  Just dump it all into the slow cooker, and come back in eight hours.

That’s literally it.

And yet… so good.  So easy, so simple, so delicious — and so mind-blowingly good. 

The slow cooker has become my best friend in the kitchen lately.  No matter how many times the baby cries or the dogs need to go outside or the phone rings — nothing burns.  It has single-handedly saved our family from starvation (or, at least, from take-out) many, many times in the last eight months. 

As a former vegetarian, this stew is light enough for lunch and hearty enough for dinner over brown rice.  But when I cooked it for a guest, I added panko-crusted chicken breast to serve over the top — based on this gem of a recipe.  Totally easy and completely delicious. 

PS — If you look back at the panko-chicken recipe, I’ve posted some advice about picky-eater kids…


Slow Cooker Veggie Stew

1 pound baby carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup white wine
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine.  Cook on high heat for 8 hours.  Serve with additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


→ 1 CommentTags: food · main dishes