Blowing off Steam: Cooking and Other Adventures

Join me on my adventures in the kitchen and in life in general! We will laugh, talk about our successes and failures & figure this all out together!

Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

I miss Trader Joe’s.  Potato latkes and hummus were our two favorite things from there but I always ended up walking out with much much more.  Sadly Trader Joe’s has not made it here and for some reason all of the other good brands of hummus are over $4 per container!  Considering the fact that my husband could eat the entire container in one sitting that price just doesn’t do it for me.  I decided to give it a shot and make my own!  Deb from Smitten Kitchen makes everything look easy, even the bean peeling part, which she managed to do in 9 minutes!  It took me 12, but with a little practice I might be able to catch up.  Deb’s version doesn’t have any added spice so I went nuts and added several spicy ingredients to give it more of a bite.

I couldn’t get mine quite as smooth as hers, but I also was dying to try it so I didn’t process it for very long.  I am sure I could tweak it more but I want to share this version with you anyway, because it was awesome and I am very proud of my first attempt at hummus!  Warning: this is very spicy and garlicky so make sure you don’t have plans to be sitting near anyone who isn’t also going to be spicy and garlicky!  My children banned me from kissing them and told me I was “stinky”.  Aren’t they sweet?


Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

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Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice (The Pioneer Woman)

Good news is that the Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice that all (well 3) of YOU voted for were AWESOME!  I didn’t change anything (ingredient wise) and I would make these again for sure.  Go to the store tomorrow and buy the stuff to make these.  Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO!  If I sound angry it’s because I had a sucky day.  Actually the day was fine, I was the miserable one.  I am not sure if it was the 1/2 hour less of sleep or the fact that I didn’t get my walk/run in yesterday but I was definitely in a needspacenoworIwillhavetobecommitted kind of mood.  I was really excited to beat the poo (trying to keep it clean but we all know what I really want to say so insert proper adult word of choice here) out of my cinnamon bun dough, but discovered mid preparation that I didn’t actually need to knead it at all.  Of course, if I had read the recipe through I would have known that.  I also would have known a bunch of other things that I will discuss with you in the next post because the star of this post is THESE:

The whole meal took all of about 45 minutes and that’s only because we followed the rules and grilled the pineapple.  I even cheated and used par boiled rice cooked in the microwave.  I have a problem with rice.  I can’t cook it.  I don’t like when I can’t cook things so I did what any self respecting mom would do… I gave up and bought the instant kind.  Don’t you judge me. Read more…

Not Your YiaYia’s Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a baked Greek pasta dish that is rich, comforting and full of cheesy goodness.  Unfortunately, most of us can’t/don’t want to eat foods that high in saturated fats on a regular basis.  My dad’s version of this dish is lower in fat than traditional Pastitsio, prepared slightly differently and it’s absolutely delicious!  We love this and the kids love it too!  It’s one of the few one dish meals they will eat so it gets my vote!


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Chopped Salad with Satay Chicken and Peanut Dressing (Even Better Now!)

I told you I would post this again with better pictures, so here they are!!  Hopefully you will give this a try now that you can see how awesomely colorful and gorgeous it is!

I love Ellie Krieger.  She takes recipes we know and love and makes them healthier for us!  I have spent the last few years trying to do exactly that with my go-to recipes so I was so excited when she came onto the scene.  Every recipe I have tried of hers has been a success so when I found her recipe for Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce and I couldn’t wait to try it!


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Easy Turkey (or Chicken) Chili (Beer in it!) and Buttermilk Biscuits

*** UPDATE: This is a revised version of my chili.  I made this a couple of nights ago and realized my measurement guesses were off so I fixed them for you!  If you guys ever read a recipe of mine and notice a glaring error like “2 tbsp salt” please feel free to comment so I can fix it!  My cooking is very casual and I don’t often measure or perfect recipes before I post them so I won’t be offended!***

Chili!! I asked everyone what was on the menu this week and several people said chili so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and make some too!  I am not usually a fan of chili the traditional way, but a few years back I found two recipes that seemed like they would suit my tastes (one from The Food Network Kitchens and the other from Rachael Ray) and subsequently combined the two into this!  Even if you don’t like beer, you should try this because it doesn’t even taste like beer and it’s just GOOD, especially with globs of sour cream, scallions, pepper jack cheese…

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