Spicy Black Bean & Red Pepper Hummus

Spicy Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

So a friend of mine had a housewarming party recently, and I wanted to make something fun for the guests to nosh on while in attendance. So I decided to make something homemade to take.

I love hummus and I love to experiment with it. Typically, I prefer making mine with cannelloni beans. But this time I wanted something new and exciting.

Hummus is quite easy to make (and even easier to buy). But it’s about having fun making and experimenting with it. So I can’t refuse making it.

I started with a 15.5 oz can of black beans. I find that throughly rinsing the beans makes the freshest tasting hummus. I emptied the beans into a colander and ran cold water over the beans until the water ran clear.

I have made tahini paste by hand before, but this time I decided to purchase the pre-made tahini from the grocery store. And rather than roasting my own peppers, I used pre-roasted red peppers.

Typically hummus calls for the use of a lemon. But I decided that I’d give this hummus a Caribbean flare. So I substituted a lime for the lemon. And I added one jalapeño for a spicy kick. I cut off each end of the pepper and completely removed the seeds and membranes. I diced the pepper into very small pieces.

Garlic is a MUST in any hummus I make. But since hummus isn’t cooked, I decided to use garlic paste. Fresh garlic is so yummy but the paste is just as yummy.

A food processor makes the creamiest hummus but this recipe can also be done in a blender. If using a blender, I suggest adding the beans in two separate transactions. This time I only had access to a blender, so this is how I assembled the hummus:

Half of the beans into the blender, followed by 1-2 tbsp of garlic paste, the finely diced jalapeño and 2 tbsp of cold water. I give this part a good whirl and once combined, I stop the blender and then add 1/3 cup of tahini paste and the juice of one lime and then blend well for a minute or so. Once this is combined, I add the remaining black beans and blend for 1 to 2 more minutes to assure that everything is thoroughly combined. (If the hummus is thicker than you desire add another tbsp of water and blend again. Repeat if you want it even thinner.)

Combine with zesty crackers or carrots. The taste is spicy* and heavenly.

Recipe Items

  • 15.5 oz can of Black Beans
  • 1/3 cup of Tahini Paste
  • Couple of Red Roasted peppers diced
  • 1 Jalapeno seeded and diced finely
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1-2 tbsp on Garlic Paste
  • Juice of 1 Lime

OhMyYum! Enjoy

Spicy Black Bean & Red Pepper Hummus
  • *While this recipe is NOT a five alarm chili, for those friends who don’t like spicy, suggest the carrots and chips without this yummy hummus.

Curried Pear Salsa

I had a “taste” for salmon and wanted to make it at home. I also wanted something to dress it up; but, I didn’t want a cream sauce. I looked around the kitchen and spied some pears and I thought a nice pear salsa would “pear” quite deliciously with the fish. So I set out to create one. Here’s how I made mine:


  • Juice of One Lemon
  • 1/4 Tspn Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tspn Red Curry Powder
  • 2 Bosc Pairs (Peeled, Cored and Quartered)
  • 1/3 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/3 Orange Bell Pepper
  • 1/3 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (plus 1 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and whisk together the lemon juice, cinnamon, red curry powder and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Then add the pears and toss thoroughly to coat. Spread the pears on a cookie pan and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool slightly and then cut into cubes.

While the pears are roasting, dice the peppers and onion. Add these to a small sauce pot and add the brown sugar, honey and apple cider vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl and add the pear cubes. Toss to mix thoroughly.

I do love a simple fish dinner. I had bought a nice piece of salmon at the local grocery store and dressed it with salt, pepper, butter and a few sprigs on dill and popped that bad boy in a preheated 450 degree oven and baked it for baked it for 15 minutes.

Once cooked, I added the pear salsa and OhMyYum! was it delicious.

Here’s a pic of the dinner.


Cheers and Enjoy!

A Day Out – Hollywood Riviera and San Pedro

I dropped off a buddy at the airport (LAX) and decided to do a little scouting afterwards. It was a morning flight so I decided to have breakfast after she was safely at the departures area.

I initially thought of heading over to El Segundo but decided to head a little further south. I ambled along Pacific Coast Highway south and passed Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and most of Redondo Beach. At the very south end of Redondo just before Hawthorne is a neighborhood called Hollywood Riviera. I’m sure in my many years in LA, I’ve passed by it but this time I decided to park and explore.

For breakfast, I stopped in at Good Stuff and had a most yummy Eggs Benedict. According to the menu there are three other South Bay locations. This gives me more places to discover.

After breakfast I walked around this charming little village within a village. I happened upon this Angel and it reminded me of Della Reese’s autobiography: “Angles Among Us“. Angels really are everywhere if we are receptive to experiencing them.

I also loved this art on the side of a shop:

The colors were so vibrant and beautiful.

After walking around for an hour or so I decided to head down to San Pedro. (Any other location this would be pronounced Paydro, but here in LA it’s pronounced PEEEdro. But hey, that’s LA.). The Friendship Bell was a gift from South Korea to commemorate the friendship between the two countries and to commemorate the Bicentennial of the United States. Here are some photographs:


Near the parking area are these two delights.  If we could all be as happy as these two depict:

And on rare occasions we have such beautiful clear days in LA after it rains.  This is a shot of the Angeles National Forrest from San Pedro.  It’s a distance of about 45 miles and you can easily see the snowcapped mountains.

After leaving San Pedro, I drove over to Wilmington and up to Norwalk and then eventually back home.  It was a great day that was later capped off with dinner with friends and a show.

All-in-all another wonderful day in my Paradise.

Much Love and Peace to all.

Crooked Halo

You know you either have one or you wish you did.  lol. Come on now, be Honest.  A Crooked Halo might be a bit of fun.

And when it comes to my newest drink creation, it’s way more than just fun.  It’s delicious.

The inspiration came from the wonderful people at Angel’s Envy.  They have pledged to plant a white oak tree for each post tagged with #ToastTheTrees (click the link) and of course I thought if they can do something this great, then I could create a drink to celebrate their pledge.  And that is the backstory of my Crooked Halo.  And it’s super easy to make and is made with things you might already have.  But if not, get to shopping!


Muddle an orange slice in a glass.  Add two ounces of Angels Envy and one half ounce of Grand Marnier and stir together to incorporate.  Fill glass with ice and finish off with ginger ale.  (Fever Tree is a great Ginger Ale.)  Garnish with an orange wedge.  I served mine in a vintage Playboy rocks glass.  I’m cool like that.  Here’s the results:

Cheers to Angel’s Envy for their mission.  May it be a Success!

Enjoy often and responsibly.


Love & Peace



Western NC Mountains


As with some of my friends, I love trains.  A couple of friends and I had chatted about taking a train ride.  So we settled on this past weekend and we chose Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.     The train leaves from Bryson City and travels up the Nantahala Gorge and stops for lunch and returns to Bryson City.  * The train we took was about a dozen cars long (engine and power cars included).  Here are a few of the cars:

Once we reached the top of the gorge, the engine uncouples from the “front” of the train and travels to the rear to reverse the train’s direction.  Now the front is the rear …

From Front to Back

(Click on the link above to see the engine moving from front to rear.

I love train travel and this was no exception.  I will say the train IS the destination.  Here are some of the sights, but the scenery never changes much so the train ride should be your love, or this trip may not be the most exciting. Here are some views:






AND, here are we  three train riders:

Marshall, Chad and Dan.

The most fun was US.  We cut up and carried on and had a hoot of a time.  Once we detrained, we DERAILED.

Never let it be said that Dan can’t find a martini.  Because it wouldn’t be true.  The martinis helped us wash off the trail dust.  And the ones at Derailed and Anthony’s were FAB.

We walked around Bryson City and had fun until some fish tried to eat my LV clutch.  I wasn’t having any of it.  See

Needless to say, I got my clutch back and I made up with the fishy and also made a “FWB” with the Italian.









Somedays I wonder why I am free to roam without supervision, but that’s society’s problem.

At the end of day one we went to Asheville to overnight and have dinner and a few libations.  My very favorite watering hole in Asheville is the stunning The Times at S&W.  Chris and Joe make the greatest drinks.  If you want any flavor, call it, and they will create.  I had two different variations of a Negroni.  One substituted Braulio for Campari.  Oh my how delicious.  If you want the best creations while in Asheville stop the The Times and let me know how much you LOVE IT.  See my OutWithDan twitter post from our stop at The Times.


I went in a different direction from my friends.  They headed south to Atlanta and I headed back west to Johnson City.  Instead of taking the freeway home, I decided to travel the much longer mountain route.  I had heard of Hot Springs NC and wanted to see it.  I had heard it was small and quaint.  It was very small and very quaint and although I may return to explore one day, it didn’t hold much in store for me on this trip.  Here’s one pic from Hot Springs.  (Note the train theme returns):

Along the way to Hot Springs I saw a sign that says “Thisaway” to Historic Marshall.  I confess that this use of Historical is often a ruse to get you to stop.  Sometimes, I feel the Historical just needs a Match to correct the Landscape.  But I was pleasantly surprised with Marshall, NC.  You wind down from the main road along a curvy road until you come to the little downtown mostly along one road.  I parked at the beginning and walked the entire expanse of downtown.  The little touches all along the main street and the side streets were so well manicured and cared for.  It was fun to walk and explore and enjoy.  Here are some of the lovely sites I encountered.

There was a small farmers’ market on the “Island” and a few local churches turning out while I was there.  Everyone said “Hello” and seemed happy.  I am not 100% what one does in Marshall, but visually they’re doing it just fine.

I arrived home mid-afternoon happy.  It was an enjoyable weekend of great fun with friends, great visuals and a non-hurried life.  I approve and highly recommend it!

Peace and love!


Let’s go OutWithDan

  • Sadly, he GSMR website is NOT friendly.  It has schedule upon schedule and so many of them are duplicative and not accurate.  And, not enough concrete info about food and sights are included.  Most links are “possibilities” so the trains seem so much more expansive than they actually are.  And try to get someone on the phone is like calling the pentagon and asking for the chief.  It simply ain’t a-happenin’.  But if you like trains, the train part is GREAT.




So, I’ve been a lil slow lately.  And to fill the gap I am posting a link to a wonderful trip I did a couple of summers ago with my Gal Pal Cynthia.  We explored the inland empire of LA and stayed at the coolest WigWam.  See her post here on her blog and enjoy the time that she and I had!

More soon from me.  XO

A $200 2 Day Road Trip to San Bernardino, CA