Friday, March 4, 2011


Hummus has become something we make on a fairly regular basis lately. Plus, one time I was making it and I allowed Robby to push a chair up to the counter and help me measure and dump things in. So, now any time I am in the kitchen, he grabs a measuring spoon or cup and goes and slowly drags a large chair from the table while saying "HUMMUS! HUMMUS!"  The word "hummus" to him now means "I am coming to help you cook Mom!"..... which can also be intrepreted as "I am coming to make a mess and make it 10 times harder for you to make whatever it is you are trying to make, Mom!" Hahaha. Man, I love that kid.

Anyway, on to the recipe:

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and heated in the microwave for 90 seconds (I do this just to soften them up a bit.... it probably works fine without doing it... but, I always do, and it always turns out great... so I never change what I do!)

2 LARGE cloves of garlic (don't skimp... unless you are a garlic wimp)

¼- ½ tsp cumin

Dash of cayenne to taste

Juice of half a lemon

Salt to taste

3 tsp Tahini
            *Tahini is sesame seed paste. I think you should be able to get it at most grocery stores these days. Sometimes it is by the peanut butter... sometime it is in the ethnic isle..... you'll have to look around or ask someone who works there. It can be a bit pricey. But, we make good use of it. You can probably make the hummus without... but, I am sure the results won't be exactly the same

Olive oil
Add all ingredients (except oil) to a food processor (a blender would probably work as well). Blend for 30 seconds just to get things going. Then, start to drizzle in olive oil a little at a time. You will see it start to smooth out and come together better. You will probably need to stop and scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets well blended. Add olive oil a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. It is up to you how thick or thin you like your hummus.  Allow it to blend for a while until it becomes very smooth.
Note: If you want to cut back on the fat content, you can just add a little olive oil and then use water for the rest until it reaches the right consistency. (Or I have read recipes that say to add the liquid from the can of chickpeas. I have never done that so I cannot say whether or not the results are good...).
HUMMUS is super tasty on pita bread. It is also good on crackers or used as a spread on sandwiches.
I have started making my own pita bread lately, which we enjoy. Recipe to come.

Cheesey Tortilla Soup

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk (I use whole milk.... because we have plenty of it in our house)

8 oz. Velveeta process cheese food - cubed

*the recipe called for a can of diced tomatoes with chilies. we wanted it to taste more fresh, so we didn't use that and instead we used:

                    a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies (I can't remember if I used the whole thing or just half of it.... probably fine either way)

                   chopped fresh tomatoes,
                   bell peppers,
                  and green onions.

(Or you could just have those things on the side for toppings if some people you are cooking for don't like a bunch of fresh veg in their soup.)

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 ½ tsp. chili powder

salt and pepper – to taste

Optional: 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
flour tortillas – as needed, about 4 - 6

For toppings:
shredded Colby Jack cheese OR Mexican blend cheese
optional: cilantro and extra green onion, peppers, and tomatoes

In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.

-Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth at a time, then whisk in milk.

-Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta cubes and spices; stir until melted.

-Stir in canned chilies, chicken, and veggies (and black beans, if using).

-Once soup is heated through and veggies are cooked to your liking, it is ready to serve.

However, if you wish to make tortilla strips, it can sit over low heat while they are made (and the flavors will probably meld together more). Stir the soup occasionally.

(I just cut the uncooked flour tortillas in strips and bake them in a 400 degree oven until crispy. You could fry them if you want.)

Put soup in bowl and top with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, and extra green onion and other veggies if desired.