We’re wrapping up the week here with a great dip for those awesome chips we taste tested from Food Should Taste Good. My kids went through all the bags (except the Guacamole) so I used the opportunity to serve them vegetables instead.

I’ve made hummus a zillion times (as per my kids) but I’m trying something different this week. Traditionally hummus is made with tahini, which is a sesame paste, instead I’m using peanut butter. I wish I could say I had some sort of culinary epiphany but the reason I tried peanut butter is simply because I ran out of tahini! I loved the subtle peanut butter flavor; the boys were on the fence…

Peanut Butter Hummus


1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

¼ cup smooth peanut butter, look for brand with no added sugar

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt

Pinch of paprika



Drain chickpeas and reserve liquid. Place liquid in freezer to chill it.

Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and peanut butter in a food processor and pulse until it combines into a chunky paste. You can microwave the peanut butter for about 20-30 seconds before you add it to soften it up a bit. Scrape down sides of the food processor as needed to make sure all the ingredients are combined.


Remove the reserved cold liquid from the freezer. Add the olive oil and about 3 tablespoons of the liquid to the chickpea paste. Process until smooth. Add a little more of the liquid until you reach desired consistency, anywhere from 3-5 tablespoons. Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle with a bit of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with sliced veggies & fruit.


WARNING: There will be double dipping, and even triple dipping so make sure each child gets their own bowl of dip!

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Appetizers! It kind of has a weird aftertaste”

Liam (age 5): “I like the apples!”

Dylan (age 5): “Is this dinner?

Not exactly rave reviews BUT they ate all the fruit and veg, plus about half of the hummus – SUCCESS!





Bean Olympics

Not sure exactly who threw the gauntlet down first but the other night at dinner the boys had a serious string bean showdown. Someone dared Liam to eat a bean and it took off from there. Facing the peer pressure of both brothers he choked down a string bean to the cheers of the crowd. Not to be undone Matthew quickly raised the bar and ate two string beans. Well, Dylan, the major underdog surprised us all by eating five string beans at once. The crowd went wild!

Being of a competitive nature, Matthew couldn’t let his gold medal slip away to a younger, unseasoned, competitor. He ate another five and added the longest bean on his plate to make it an even six. Dylan was determined to defend his title and even the score so he, too, ate six beans! It was one of the most exciting sporting events I have ever witnessed.

Matthew and Dylan each walked away with a gold medal and Liam took the bronze! I claimed the silver for eating all the beans they left on their plates.

Peanut Butter Beans

1 pound of green beans, edges trimmed

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, about 1/2 a small lime

1/2 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds (optional)


In a large saucepan bring some lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, and sesame oil until combined. Drop the beans into the boiling water for about two minutes until they turn bright green.Drain well.


Add the hot green beans to the soy mixture and toss to coat.


Sprinkle with sesame seeds and double dare your kids to eat them!


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Oooh, yum, wow”

Liam (age 4): “I like the peanut butter best”

Dylan (age 4): “Better than the peanut butter is the salt – I am the champion right?”

Although not an Irish dish, we made this recipe in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day – green is green after all!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from House of Bedlam!

Play Ball!

We are deep into T-Ball season around here, so baseball is on the brain – and when our little guys start to think of baseball, they inevitably make the hot dog connection (followed by peanuts, cracker-jacks, etc.).  So it came as no surprise when I got a request from Matthew to make hot dogs this week. The first time he ever tasted a hot dog was during his trip to Yankee stadium with Brian. It was one of the happiest days of his life, hanging at the Yankee game with his daddy and eating a hot dog as big as his head.


I try not to get all crazy about cooking hot dogs but I must confess it makes me insane when I read the ingredient list on the package. However, knowing how my kids LOVE them, I do need to give in once in awhile.

Wonder how they would feel if I told them that those hot dogs they crave so much are made up of mechanically-recovered meat, preservatives and other assorted things I can’t pronounce?  Better yet, imagine how the conversation would go if I said they were eating innards, pig ears and snouts! A bit of an exaggeration, but surely they would find this hysterical and become ever more enamored of them. I know my audience, so I stay mute and just break out the buns.

A couple of things I sometimes do when we have hot dogs is 1) cut them in half – which then makes them “puppies” and 2) add a healthy side.  It makes me feel a tiny bit better about serving them….

Puppies & Pineapple Slaw

I based this slaw on the flavors of a traditional Thai salad – the vegetables can be changed according to taste – I used carrots and cucumbers instead of the traditional cabbage and onions. And instead of papaya or mango I chose pineapple.


3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded cucumber (English cucumbers work well because there are no seeds)

2 cups ripe pineapple, diced

1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed



Combine lime juice, sugar, water, peanut butter and pepper in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until peanut butter is well blended.



Drain the cucumber in a colander and press to remove any excess liquid.


To the dressing, add carrots, cucumbers, pineapple, mint, cilantro and 2/3 of the peanuts; toss to coat.  Garnish with remaining peanuts.


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 5): “Yuck! Can I just have regular pineapple?”

Liam (age 4): “I hate it”

Dylan (age 4): “It is a little good” (he had one piece!)

Hmmm, not exactly the reaction I was hoping for!  Good thing they had those hot dogs and lots of leftover pineapple for dessert….