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Please Help the Learning Process

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My apartment has less counter space than Barbie's Dream House. It's not uncommon for me to balance a cutting board on a hot burner, or on my lap as I sit cross-legged on the floor, or even to find an unpleasant chunk of garlic in the food because I got too frustrated to keep chopping.

So when my IKEA knife set finally went on to glory (the blade actually dropped out of the handle. And that was OK, because the knives were as sharp as socks. That's what I get for using a $10 knife set), I bought a Cuisinart food processor. This thing is magical. I can't imagine why anybody makes anything without using a food processor. I've had it a week, and so far I've made guacamole, pico de gallo and ground chicken (which I ate with a spoon when I was 13 and thought I was fat, but now I mix with dollops of mayonnaise and other food-processed bits to make chicken salad). I used the food processor to chop up vegetables for last night's stir-fry, but the ends of the plastic tongs I was using to lower celery stalks into the blades got lopped off, and everyone had to chew with caution.

As much as I love my food processor, I'm running low on things to process. If I make any more guacamole or pico, my taste buds will start bleeding out of protest.

I thought about making my own hummus, but the effort it would take to hunt down chick peas and tahini and adequate olives and whatever else would be way out of proportion to the flavor achieved. Plus, I don't have a problem with the hummus I get from the store.

A friend suggested I, "You know, chop up some peanuts, and then you'll have chopped peanuts to put on ice cream. Or, no! You could mix 'em with peanut butter and make chunky peanut butter." But I'm not 6 years old, and I can do better than that.

Share some of your favorite food processor recipes. I know there are chefs better than I who believe in a set of quality knives, and maybe one day I'll refine my motor skills and stop cheating. Maybe I'll have enough counter space for a full-sized cutting board. Maybe two cutting boards! Until then, help me process.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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