Favorite Hummus

Smitten Kitchen’s proportions are my favorite, but I generally add more lemon. And I can’t seem to NOT skin the chickpeas anymore. It really does make a difference.

  • 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (or 2/3 C. dried)
  • 1/2 C. tahini paste (Once Again brand is my current favorite. Made from dry roasted sesame seeds!)
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste. (I often  use a whole lemon, unless it’s particularly big or extra juicy, then half.)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 t. table salt, or more to taste
  • ~1/4 cup water or reserved chickpea cooking water
  1. Peel chickpeas.
  2. In food processor, blend chickpeas until powdery clumps form.
  3. Add tahini, lemon, garlic, salt. Blend to a thick puree.
  4. Drizzle water while machine is running, until desired consistency.

Amber’s Granola

My favorite.

3.0 C. oats
1.0 C. raw buckwheat groats
0.5 C. raw sunflower seeds
1.5 C. pecans, roughly chopped
1.0 C. walnut halves

1/2 C. coconut oil, just melted
2/3 C. maple syrup
1 t. cinnamon (very heaped)
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. fresh ground nutmeg
1.5 t. kosher salt (heaped), divided
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. almond extract

1/2 C. dried cranberries

Mix the oats/seeds/nuts in a large bowl.

Separately, mix the wet/spices (I do it in a big pyrex measuring cup), but only use 1.t of the kosher salt here.

Pour the wet into the dry, mix, pour onto parchment covered baking sheet, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 t. of kosher salt.

Bake at 350* for about an hour, stirring once, after 15 minutes, then rotating the pan once again after.

I think this granola tastes best with some color on it – I like to let it get fairly golden brown.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle dried cranberries over the top of the pan and let cool. Try not to eat the whole pan.


Amber’s Wendy’s Chili

My slight adaption of a Wendy’s copycat chili recipe.  Our household chili.

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3 (16 oz) cans of beans – pinto, black, kidney, etc.
  • 1 C. diced onion
  • 1 small can of diced green chiles
  • 1- 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2-3 t. cumin
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • 1 16 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 t. black pepper
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 2 C. water
  1. Brown the meat, drain any excessive fat.
  2. Add onions and celery, saute until starting to soften.
  3. Add spices, saute for a minute or so, then add tomatoes, water, salt and pepper.
  4. Bring  to a simmer, and cook for a couple of hours.  

(Sometimes I’ll sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of masa harina/fine cornmeal for flavor and thickening. )

Creamy Chicken and Potato Chowder

This was so easy and so good.  I doubted the thickening technique, because boiling low fat dairy is always a risk, but I looked away for too long and the whole mix was at a rolling boil and it didn’t break!  Win.

Adapted from a Taste of Home.

  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 2 T. butter
  • 3 C. chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon Chicken base)
  • 1# potatoes (about 2 med.), cubed.
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 C. cooked chicken breast/leftover rotisserie meat
  • 1/2 C. frozen peas
  • 1/2 C. frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup milk
  • dried parsley
  • fresh chives, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onion in butter until soft.
  2. Add broth, potatoes, and carrots, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for ~15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add chicken, corn, peas, a few shakes of parsley. 
  5. Combine flour and milk, stir until smooth, stir to soup pot. 
  6. Bring mix just to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  7. Add small handful of fresh with chives.