Cilantro-Lime Hummus

I hear from a lot of people that October is the best month of the year. I can agree with that because most of my favorite things happen this month. My hometown has it’s Avocado Festival, pumpkin patches move in, all the best movies play on TV, the world series happens (still upset over the major Dodger loss!) and of course, Halloween.

For as long as I can remember, Halloween has always been a big deal to me. I love the creepy, colorful, and creative things that go along with it. The seasonal stores pop up in old electronic stores and I just can’t help but walk through them several times throughout the month.  I always have the hardest time deciding on a costume because my anxiety of “it only happens once a year!!” takes over and I can’t make up my mind. I still have a few different ideas I’m considering even though the 31st is right around the corner.  I’ll get there.


Halloween chat aside…This is really amazing hummus. I make fresh hummus about 1 to 2 times per month, which always ends in a conversation with myself about how I should make it more often. Especially since Deb Perlman  wrote about the secret to the smoothest hummus you’ll ever have. She recommends removing the skin from the chickpeas . Yes, I did just admit to peeling chickpeas. Sounds crazy, but it only took me 7 minutes to peel them all and it is so worth it. I’ve been converted to chickpea peeler and I’m never looking back.


1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (15 ounce can)

1/2 cup tahini paste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (or more to taste)

1 small clove garlic

3/4 teaspoon table salt (or more to taste)

1/4 cup-1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

Roughly 1/4 cup water



Peel your chickpeas. It’s easiest when you hold the chickpea between your thumb and finger and begin to lightly press down. Discard the skins.

In a food processor, blend the chickpeas for a full minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the tahini, lime juice, garlic, salt, and cilantro. Blend until the mixture is well pureed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the machine running, slowly add in the water until smooth. At this point, you can determine the thickness of your hummus by how much water you add. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Note: The garlic tends to intensify the longer the hummus sits. If you find with an initial tasting that you want more garlic, use caution. It’s very easy to get too much.


Source: Techniques and recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen


Albondigas Soup


Let me tell you about one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever been given:

When I left for college, my mom gave me this collection of family recipes that she typed up and organized into a notebook. On some pages, she writes about where each one comes from, which family member started cooking the dish that way, whose favorite it is, and of course, pictures and/or artwork to go along with each recipe. She was blogging before it was easy. What a hipster.

I love having access to the recipes I grew up with. When I was away at school, this notebook made it easier for me to have those comforting dishes that brought me familiar smells and tastes, easing the tinges of homesickness. My mom was also great to leave some blank sleeves in there, which I quickly added to.

So I mentioned last post that I had been having a tough week and when our toilet overflowed, I was ready to call it quits on being an adult. Instead throwing a fit (which has yet to get me anything. Ever. I must not be doing it right.), I went to this notebook and decided a bit of my mom’s kitchen was what I needed.

IMG_4071Growing up, this soup was pretty much the only soup I asked for. My brothers and I loved it. The clever part about this meal is you can change it up based on what you have in your kitchen; all the veggies can be substituted, you could use ground turkey, sirloin, or tofu even… the possibilities are only limited by what you choose. Our family usually ate it with turkey meatballs so that is just what I’m used to, but because I happened to have ground beef, thats what I used. See? Change can be good.

(Enough for 4-6 Servings)

Half a pound fresh ground beef/turkeyIMG_4065
¼ of a white onion, diced
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs

8 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 small can tomato sauce

1 small carrot, chopped
1 red potato, chopped
½ a zucchini, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets


In a large-ish pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Mix the first seven ingredients in a bowl and roll into 1 inch meatballs. Add the chicken bouillon and tomato paste/sauce to the boiling water and stir it well. Carefully drop the meatballs into the boiling water. Let them cook for about 10  minutes.


Prepare whatever veggies you are going to add. Carrots and potatoes take longer to cook than zucchini, so add those first. Once all your veggies are in, cook perhaps an additional 8 minutes. When your veggies are tender, your soup is ready. I like this soup served with fresh salsa and avocado on top and a hot corn tortilla on the side.

Source: Momma Jan