Monthly Archives: May 2013

Easy crowd pleaser – White bean garlic dill dip



I’ve made this dip before for my grandparents and it was even better the second time around! It’s tricky to serve up a healthy dip when all you really want to do before the meal comes out is gorge on some buffalo chicken dip (amiright?) So, say you’re starving. You show up at as a guest at someone’s house and not wanting to be rude, you don’t ask what’s for dinner. But then, you’re like, okay what if the food is not going to be enough? Then I’m just stuck at the dinner table trying to stay engaged in the conversation whilst chewing on what would be a delicious paella if the guy next to you hadn’t taken all the chicken and sausage. So now you’re just eating some spanish rice and wishing you would have eaten more of the delicious chile con carne dip served during cocktail hour.

Um, point being, (where’s my point…) you need a dip that’s hearty but not too hearty as to overpower the meal if it is going to be alot!! Whew. We had a delicious tandoori chicken, Indian cauliflower, and curry-peanut slaw for dinner, and this dip was a light yet wonderful hors d’oeuvres for the meal. My mom is growing some dill outside, so she asked me to come up with some kind of dip that could use this up. I’ve made HowSweetEats’ version before, and it’s SO SIMPLE to add/subtract from.

My version with only one ingredient-chopping necessary: Add 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, a few squeezes of dijon mustard, one can of rinsed white northern beans, about 2-3 tsps lemon juice, a few sprigs of washed fresh dill, salt, pepper, and a little less that 1/4 cup olive oil to a food processor. Puree until it reaches the kind of chunkiness you’re looking for. Refrigerate to thicken it up for ~30 minutes or serve immediately with crackers or cucumbers




Dinner date with Dad – Arroz con Pollo



I’m so excited to be able to cook a full meal for my fam! After trying to make small meals at school so I wouldn’t have to eat the same thing for a week, it’s refreshing to be able to make a family-style meal. This recipe has been on my list for a while and was the perfect one-pot wonder summer dinner. Although it is wonderful when the whole family’s together, it was nice to have a dinner just pops and me.

I was a bit nervous about setting the whole dinner aside in one pan to cook for 45-60 minutes, but the constant unpacking that overwhelms my life distracted me throughout the cooking time. I’m also terrible at cooking rice, but luckily my dad taught me a few tricks. This recipe calls for valencia rice, but we only had long-grain white rice (Indians…). I didn’t know you could rinse long-grain rice and get all the starch out to help reduce the cooking time to something along the lines of an arborio or valencia rice.

In addition, I substituted a few whole tomatoes from a can for roma tomatoes. We countered the lack of saffron in our pantry with an extra 1/2 tsp of tumeric and I ended up adding some more cumin and red pepper flakes at the end because I thought it needed a bit more spice. Adrianna says she used about 4 cups of chicken stock to fully cook the rice, but mine only took about 3. Either way I would keep 4 cups on hand in case you need the full amount to cook the rice.

This is one of those dishes where I feel stupid saying “aRRRRRoz con POYO” but saying “chicken and rice” reminds me of that time I had to feed a bunch of people and we put some shredded chicken in orzo and when brainstorming what kind of sauce/toppings we should add, my friend Sean tried to convince us to dump a can of cream of mushroom soup to the mix…….maybe, but no. just no.

Served with a side salad, this dish was sooo much and should have been for a crowd! We’ll be eating the leftovers all weekend woohoo

Recipe here:

Brown the chicken: SORRY if this grosses you out



once all the chicken is browned, remove and cook up the onions and garlic



add in tomatoes + bell pepper…spices added below


rice soaks up all zee flavors


after cooking in the broth for ~45 mins



Jack-of-all-trades sauce: Cilantro-lime dressing




I hate that I don’t truly have a recipe for this guy, but I’m working on perfecting the right cilantro-lime dressing. The last few weeks of school I went through a jumble-salad-for-lunch phase as I never really had anything in my fridge to make real meals. This go-to dressing was hearty enough to make the salad seem interesting even if it had some plain ingredients. The best toppers are black beans warmed with some of the lime juice plus red onion, corn, avocado, toasted hazelnuts, and dried cranberries…oh and goat cheese.

After seeing my favorite chef Jill Donenfeld’s post on this dressing via HuffPo, I was inspired to try this herby concoction. Delicioso. For some reason, I had the urge to add nuts to the blended dressing, so I’ve used both almonds and pecans in different versions. I think it comes out of habit from making pestos. The first version I made had half a chipotle pepper added with a few drops of adobo and omg, so. good. Also, to keep the dressing going, sometimes I’ll mash up some avocados in it if I’m running low on cilantro.

To get to the point, I’ll just give you a list of most of the ingredients I use based off of Jill’s vid with my variations:

a bunch of cilantro

lime juice

rice wine vinegar (or white/red wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar)

dijon mustard


hot sauce (I like to just add some cumin)

honey (or agave nectar)

olive oil

I think that’s what she uses? Like I said, I really like adobo sauce and chipotle peppers in this as well…This dressing is great for salads, and I’ve also used it as a spreadish type thing on burritos/wraps! Note to self…make sure to wash the cilantro well, mine was a bit gritty






HAPPY SUMMER!!!! Back to cooking for my family for a bit 🙂


Pancakes soak up LDOC tears




LAST DAY OF CLASSES!!! Clearly the only thing to keep me from crying is a big ole stack of flapjacks. Lovely breakfast date this week with my fellow pancake-lover Makela too :). I’m sure if you know me well it’s surprising that this is my first pancake post. My friends make fun of me for being overly obsessed with pancakes, and it’s true….I am trying so hard to be adventurous with breakfast, but EVERY time I go to brunch I cannot help but order the pancakes. I just want to try every variation. I have asked people about what their go-to item on a menu is, you know, that one that you just want to try at every restaurant.

Here are some of the answers: mussels, crabcakes, PHILLY CHEESESTEAK, veggie burgers. Well anyways, here’s a combo of various recipes that I combined given what was on hand. Last year, I spent practically every weekend making pancakes in my house of 17 on our super fun griddle. I miss those days!! From pumpkin to whole wheat to banana-oat, these are my ultimate weakness.

Here’s our recipe:

1 cup whole milk

1 cup soy milk

1/2-3/4 ish tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 mashed up banana

1 cup white wheat flour

1 cup oat flour (aka ground old-fashioned oats)

2 TBS sugar

4 TBS melted butter, cooled

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

dash of cinnamon

chocolate chips

Whisk together flour, oat flour, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Beat eggs and mashed banana together, add milk and vanilla. Once the butter is cooled and as well.

Pour dry into wet ingredients and stir JUST until combined. Let sit for a few minutes to let the oats have time to soak up the liquid. Heat up a pan with some butter and warm the oven to 200 degrees for the pancakes to stay warm. At this point add some chocolate chips or just drop them into the pancakes on the pan.

Scoop some batter on the pan and cook ~2-3 minutes each side! Throw each pancake onto a baking sheet in the warm oven while you’re cooking the rest. Serve with some sliced banana, PB, and syrup