Category Archives: taste

Easiest Black Bean Hummus Recipe Ever

the food processor and me

the food processor and me

I like hummus, but I love black bean hummus. Problem (that, turns out, is not really a problem): I rarely see BB hummus in the grocery. Solution: I will figure out how to make it, and it will be the easiest recipe ever, and it will be delicious. And so it is. In fact, my husband says I’ve ruined all other hummuses for him.

I made our New Favorite Hummus as my contribution to a Super Bowl gathering, and now that I have more widespread assurance that it is indeed fantastic-tasting, I’ll share.


1 clove garlic
1 15 oz can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika


pepper garnish

pepper garnish

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with cayenne and black pepper.

Enjoy with rough bread, pita chips, cucumbers, and other edible plates.

Also, just a quick note on the ingredient “tahini:” I was unfamiliar with the term and had a bit of trouble locating it in the grocery. I finally found it in the healthy/organic food section, next to the organic peanut and almond butter.

Homemade Pizza Like Whoa

Once a week, my friend Jess and I get together and make dinner. Sometimes, it’s the only day in seven that I spend more than 15 minutes in the kitchen. Other times, it’s the catalyst for a fortnight’s snacks and dinners and desserts. Either way, I enjoy our culinary adventures together like I enjoy working out with a friend – I’m not always 100% certain I want to go through the effort, but I’m always more than ecstatic about the end result. Last night’s menu was quite Italian and quite bold – homemade pizza.

The idea started with a recipe for pizza sauce that a dear friend posted on her blog a long time ago. I wrote it down then and filed it away. Yesterday seemed the perfect time to try it out. We looked up a pretty straightforward pizza dough recipe and stopped by the grocery to pick out toppings.

glorious toppings

The rest of the steps are pretty self-explanatory. We baked breadsticks as an appetizer, brushing them with a melted butter and garlic salt mixture and serving them with a dish of olive oil and Italian seasoning.


I threw together the sauce and she kneaded the dough. I chopped the peppers and she brushed the crust with oil. Together, we created one killer pizza and ate marvelously. And out of the whole experience, I have one secret: homemade pizza sounds like a lot more difficult than it really is. Trust me and try it yourself!

hungry yet?

knead that dough, girl

gourmet, wouldn't you say?

the final product, oven ready

Whiskey Kitchen


I don’t know if Nashville is known for being a host to a plethora of fabulously trendy and consistently appetizing (it’s difficult to judge from the inside out), but it probably should be. Growing up in a suburb like Germantown, I know what it’s like to feel a lack of restaurant variety. My parents were always complaining about the scarcity of interesting cuisine. Yes, there are plenty of chains and old standards, but so rarely did anything new and exciting happen in our world of dining out.

Nashville, on the other hand, is positively teeming with fun and fascinating places to try. I’ve lived here exactly 3 years now and haven’t even scratched the surface of the deliciousness Music City has to offer.

Part of my issue, though, may have to do with places like Whiskey Kitchen. It’s a tough fork in the road – go somewhere I’ve never been but heard is amazing or go somewhere that has incredible food and a whiskey wall behind the bar (don’t believe me? see below). Yeah. You understand my dilemma now.


If that’s not enough to have you (me) racing to the place, the WK website quotes an old Irish saying:

“‘What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.’  – Irish Proverb”

Needless to say, Whiskey Kitchen is one of my favorite Nashville originals.

ambrosia (click to enlarge)

If you (I) can get past alllllll the whiskey, the food is fantastic as well. I kind of forget every time I go, and then as I’m sipping my Jameson and figuring out what to order, I catch glimpses of dinners I want to try all over the restaurant – gourmet pizzas, ranchero wraps, Guinness-battered fish, “Tennessee whiskey yam fries,” “black peppercorn caesar.”

However, despite this new dilemma in deciding what to get, I have still been able to distinguish a clear winner – the Grilled Chicken Tacos. Deceivingly simple, these tacos are fresh, flavorful, and filling (pardon the unintended alliteration); the menu describes them plainly: “fresh tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, lettuce, onion, sour cream and white cheddar,” but I’ve found myself craving these guys at odd hours of the night and day (kidding, sort of).

taken from one side of the empty room

and the other

the bar, populated

Overall, Whiskey Kitchen is trendy without being pretentious and gourmet without being expensive, and whether you’re a native or just passing through, WK is a great example of Nashville’s best and should not be missed.

Homemade Popcorn

I know that homemade popcorn may sound like a pretty easy feat to accomplish (and it is!), but if a good friend of mine hadn’t taught me how to do it, I don’t think I ever would have seen the value in popping my own over just buying the microwavable bags. To set the record straight:

1. There is something so cozy and antiquated about homemade popcorn.
2. It is SO EASY to make.
3. It saves a lot of money when compared to microwavable popcorn.
4. It’s a lot healthier… more natural, fewer calories, fewer preservatives, etc.
5. You can season it however you like!

doesn't seem like a lot of kernels, but makes a full pot of popcorn

And now, I will share my own recipe for this delicious snack:

What You Need: popcorn kernels (they come in a bag or a jar, are extremely inexpensive (like $1.50 for a pound), and can be found in the same section of the grocery store as the microwavable popcorn), olive oil, medium pot with lid (mine’s about two quarts), seasoned salt, and the juice from half a lime (lime juice in a bottle works just fine too).

with my choice seasonings

1.  On a stovetop, pour a bit of olive oil into the medium pot – just enough to cover the bottom. Heat the pot on medium high for 2-3 minutes without covering. The oil should not pop or sizzle at this point.
2.  Next, pour the popcorn kernels into the pot, again just one layer… enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to medium or a little hotter, and cover.
3. Watch the popcorn pop (it happens so quickly… if you walk away even for a moment, you risk burning the popcorn). When there are 2-3 seconds between pops, remove from heat.
4.  Wait a few moments before uncovering (for possible late pops). Then pour the popcorn from the pot into a bowl. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and spritz with lime juice. Toss a bit to spread the seasoning. Enjoy!

I recommend trying other seasoning combinations like garlic salt and lemon or even gorgonzola and pepper. Make up your own… I really don’t think you can go wrong here. Get fancy!


New Year, New Woman

Yes, that’s right. It’s 2011, and there are several keys differences between the me of 2010 and the me that I am now. I have collected them into this concise list:

1. I am officially a college graduate, with honors, thankyouverymuch.
2. I am driving a new car, a direct result of #1.
3. I am working full time at a real job (fancy job title and all).
4. I am a professional free lancer. I have proof. (See my portfolio.)
5. I am the editor of a music business textbook, one that will be used at Belmont this semester.

I have different priorities, additional responsibilities, more time, no homework, less money. Overall, I am pleased with my expectations for the year.

This week, I will begin my plans to post regularly with a delicious snack recipe, an awesome new band I’ve discovered, and the books I plan on reading this month.

And this is just a picture I took today:

the new collection of Dickens I got for Christmas is enormous