The first time I tried hummus? Not. A. Fan. I couldn’t even tell you now what I didn’t like about it (it was years and years ago) but I can for sure tell you I didn’t like it. Fast forward to this month when Kiddo’s BFF’s mom made it at her house. Seeing as how it’d been years and years I wanted to try it again, so I sort of held my breath and took a bite. YUM! I don’t know what the difference is, but now I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Vanessa sent me her recipe so I made a big batch of this for last night. Halloween night at our place is hanging out with the neighbors on the front porch with food and wine while we hand out candy; we don’t go trick or treating because Kiddo doesn’t like candy (of course) so we just make it into a party (and I LOVE it!). In the three and a half seconds I spent looking in the grocery store I couldn’t find the tahini Vanessa’s recipe called for so I used natural peanut butter instead, a la Alton Brown.



  • Gather up:
  • 1 can chick peas (drain, keep 1/3 c of liquid)
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (or tahini)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled or a couple spoonfuls of jarred minced garlic
  • Healthy pinch of salt
  • Cayenne pepper to taste


  1. Put everything but the chickpeas in a food processor and process till garlic is well chopped
  2. Add in chickpeas and process till smooth and give it a taste — adjust salt and cayenne as desired
  3. Chill; eat with pita chips and/or baby carrots


On a trip to Hilton Head Island the Yankee and I discovered this dish: guacamole topped with crab meat. This is a win. I set out to recreate it as soon as we got home, and I’m pretty pleased with the result! This is a huge party hit, too; I highly recommend.



  • Two ripe avocados
  • Two Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste, but about 1/2 tsp.
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (or some onion powder if you hate the crunch of raw onion)
  • Eight ounces lump crab meat, drained
  • Chips (obviously)


  1. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork
  2. Stir in tomatoes, pepper, cumin, pepper, salt and lime juice, plus onion if you’re using it
  3. Top with crab meat and serve with chips

Chilpotle cheese dip

I’ve been doing a bit of desperation cooking around One Particular Kitchen.

In the initial thick of things with the flood we were trying to stay out of the way, stay home, and leave the available gas, water (oh the irony), roads and groceries for those who needed them far more than we did.

We figured since life gave us limes, we’d make margaritas. And margaritas call for chips and dip! A quick inventory of the pantry revealed no Ro*tel. How is that possible? So I threw together this.

Chilpotle cheese dip


  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chiles chilpotles
  • 1 lb. Velveeta


  1. Pour can of tomatoes (undrained) into a large bowl
  2. Dice chilpotles and add to bowl
  3. Cut Velveeta into cubes and add to bowl
  4. Now melt this either in the microwave, stirring every minute or so, or by setting the bowl over a pan of boiling water, double-boiler style
  5. After it’s all melted either serve as-is or use an immersion blender (carefully! This stuff is hot) to make it totally smooth
  6. Serve with chips and mucho margaritas

Before I let you go make this, a note on my fair city: the water is going down. Nashville is open for business. We’d love to see you! Amazing things are happening here. The flood? We got this. Please come visit and see why I’m so proud to live here and why there’s no other place like this in the world. We are Nashville.

Queso fiesta dip

It’s another LuLu Buffett recipe! This was every so slightly modified from LuLu’s Crazy Cheesy Queso Dip. I love it especially right now because the red and green peppers look all Christmasey. Aww!

Here’s what I used:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
  • 1 pound Velveeta or other melty cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (white pepper if you have it)
  • Salt to taste

To make the cheesy goodness:

  1. Slice cheese into 1″ chunks and put it and milk in top of double boiler, or in a large glass or metal bowl put over a pan of boiling water to start melting
  2. Finely dice onion and peppers in the food processor
  3. Melt butter in heavy saucepan and add diced veggies; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until veggies are soft
  4. When cheese/milk mixture is melted, stir in cooked veggies and add cumin, pepper and salt
  5. Serve immediately with chips, or keep warm in a crockpot for your fiesta

Cheesy chili dip

Hi, it’s ridiculously simple week on One Particular Kitchen. Care to join me?

This dip calls for exactly four ingredients:

  1. A block of cream cheese
  2. A can of chili
  3. An 8 oz bag of shredded cheese
  4. A bag of chips

When my alma mater is losing playing, I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen! This is so quick and easy to throw together that I can serve a crowd (recipe is easily doubled) and keep everyone full without missing a Crompton interception play.

So here’s what you do:

  1. Using the foil from the package, press the cream cheese into the bottom of a pie plate or baking dish
  2. Pour over the chili (I use Vietti, or leftover homemade chili)
  3. Sprinkle on the cheese (I used colby jack; cheddar is also great)
  4. Bake at 350F till everything is melty and bubbly. Serve with chips!

Whatever you do, please do not use reduced fat sprinkling cheese — it just doesn’t melt right, and meltiness (uh, it’s a word) is a key trait of this dish.

Now. How easy is that?