Politics and Avocado-Cilantro Hummus

What a crazy 24 hours for politics, you guys.

I’m sorry, I know it’s tacky to talk about religion and politics or whatever, but indulge me in this and I’ll indulge you all with POSSIBLY my best side dish recipe ever.

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{actually, considering the fact that I work in politics and live blocks away from the State Capitol, it’s a wonder that I don’t talk about it more!}

So first of all, Halle Berry was at the State Capitol yesterday. Yes, the one I live blocks away from.

She was testifying in support of a bill that would impose tighter restrictions against the paparazzi when it comes to photographing children [of celebrities]. Bill authors and bill sponsors get semi-famous people to testify from time to time, but I think Halle Berry takes the cake for most famous/fabulous in recent memory.

Next up: Wendy Davis is a BAMF.

source: NPR

She filibustered for 11 hours yesterday…while wearing fabulous pink sneakers of course. I actually listened to a good 2 hours of her filibuster at work, and then my roomie and I streamed the last 2-3 hours of it after we got home from work. The crazy/amazing thing about this is that during what seemed like every second of that time, old white dude after old white dude would try and bring up bogus points of order or interrupt her to get her all tripped up. She was advocating for a woman’s right to choose. And the men kept trying to silence her. What’s wrong with this picture?

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OK now LAST political thing before we get to this deliciousness:

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I have a picture to share.

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This is me and my family at my aunt Martha’s wedding in.. judging by my bangs…1994. It was me and my brother’s first wedding. Normal family picture, right? Happy family, happy to see our aunt joined in love with her partner.

Yup. Partner. The first wedding I ever attended was a gay one, y’all.

My mom retells the story about how a confused 8 year old me asked her, “Who is Aunt Martha marrying?” and was shocked when she replied, “Her ‘friend’ Michelle”. This early understanding that love can be found between two of the same gender has affected my outlook ever since.

That union eventually ended, and my aunt found her true soulmate a few years later. They were one of the first couples in line at City Hall in San Francisco to make it official when gay marriage was legalized. They have since moved to Connecticut, where they renewed their vows and made it official again when CT legalized gay marriage, this time with their young daughter by their side.

So you can see I am elated today that the Supreme Court essentially upheld the decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. It is an issue near and dear to my dad’s family: A regular American family who goes to church every week. No degenerates, no hoodlums, no drag queens. Just normal folk!

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It’s a very happy day, and you can bet you’ll find me celebrating at the Capitol this evening!

I got this bracelet from our friend Amanda, who is the Chair of the California Young Democrats LGBT Caucus (and who I met last year…at a gay wedding). I feel like it was my most appropriate jewelry to wear today!

OK, you have all been patient…and now you are awarded:

DSC_0609I bought Avocado-Cilantro Hummus from the Farmer’s Market two weeks ago and I have been dreaming about it ever since. But it cost $5 for a teeny tiny tub, so I decided to take matters into my own hands: I bought $2 of avocados and cilantro instead of the hummus, and got to work. It ended up just as great as the original, and the avocado made the texture of this homemade hummus thick and smooth. Probably my best hummus yet, and really, who doesn’t love avocado?

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[proof that my nails are rarely perfect. haha]

Avocado-Cilantro Hummus
makes about 1.5 cups

1- 16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve the liquid!)
1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 tbsp tahini
zest and juice of 1 lime (2 if needed)
1 garlic clove
1 avocado
pinch of cumin
pinch of salt & pepper

If desired and if you have time, peel the skins off the garbanzo beans. Discard the skins.

Place garbanzo beans, cilantro, tahini, lime juice/zest, and garlic in bowl of a food processor. Blitz until everything is a coarse meal, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally. To get things moving, add up to 3 tablespoons of reserved garbanzo bean liquid. Keep processing for a minute or two until mostly smooth, and all the cilantro is incorporated.

Add avocado and spices to food processor. Keep processing until completely incorporated and mixture is smooth…if needed, add more lime juice rather than more reserved liquid.

Will keep in fridge for up to 3 days. Like guacamole, it will start to brown after about 3 days.

Just Like Storebought Roasted Garlic Hummus

Action packed weekend after action packed weekend, I’m telling you!

After going out of town last weekend, we had another fun weekend, but this time it lasted 3 days! Friday and Saturday included board games, hunting down Stone Brewing’s Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA (eventually we found it and each tried a pint!), bottling T-Man’s beers, and going to a Yelp Elite party. As if that wasn’t enough, we then went to Napa on Sunday to hang with T-Man’s mom and I cooked dinner, then came home yesterday morning and I promptly started grocery shopping for another meal, this time at my parents house (testing another Beeroness recipe!).

Needless to say, it was off to bed at a decent time for me last night and it was still preeeetty hard getting up this morning.

This is something I made this weekend.

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But I’m not gonna lie, this wasn’t the first attempt. The first attempt started at T-Man’s house on Saturday afternoon at about 4:30pm, with me hurrying to shell the skins off of all the garbanzo beans (because I’m convinced, as is Deb at Smitten Kitchen, that it’s one of the keys to a perfectly smooth hummus) because I wanted to finish the hummus in time to photograph it in some natural daylight. After 10+ minutes of peeling, I realized I left my food processor blade at home. 15 minutes later, I was back at it, with about 25 minutes of daylight left. Instead of taking my time and making sure I added the right amount of liquid tablespoon by tablespoon, I was so hurried that I poured in more than I needed all at once, and I got hummus soup. AND the sun had set.

I threw a fit, and T-Man reminded me, “it’s ok! It will make a funny story later! You can blog about it!”

Well, I’m still not laughing, but I tried again the next day and came up with this beauty, so I guess I’m not too bummed anymore.

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I have been making hummus for a couple of years now, and it’s an art form that I’ve improved at over time. There are two keys I’ve learned that will help ensure that your hummus has the same smooth and fluffy texture of store-bought hummus:

  1. Peel the skins from the garbanzo beans. If you have an extra 10 minutes to spare, I highly recommend that you do this.
  2. Process the ingredients in stages, and take your time. Let that puppy run for a good 30 seconds – 1 minute each time you process!

Another thing I recently learned is that you do not need olive oil in your hummus. Reserve water from the can of chickpeas, and be amazed at the lower-in-fat hummus you just made! Of course, tahini is essentially a nut butter made out of sesame seeds, so your hummus still won’t be completely fat free, but of course all things in moderation.

Try it yourself! I normally char roast a bell pepper and blend it in to make roasted red pepper hummus, but I wasted my bell pepper on the first failed batch so I tried roasted garlic instead. Garlic lovers, you need to try this hummus! Garlic haters, don’t worry- roasted garlic has a much less intense garlicky flavor. You’ll love it too, I promise.

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, skins shelled
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
8 cloves roasted garlic (here’s how to roast it)
olive oil, for garnish

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Drain your can of garbanzo beans and reserve the liquid. Separate the garbanzo bean skins from the beans. This is really easy to do between your index finger and thumb, they pop right off!

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First, add garbanzo beans to the food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until everything is in small bits. Next, add tahini, lemon juice, and spices, and process again until well combined. Finally, start adding 1 tablespoon of garbanzo bean liquid at a time. I usually only need about 2 or 3. You want to see that everything is moving around in there, but you do NOT want it to be too liquidy so don’t be heavy handed with it.

Add 6 of the garlic cloves and pulse until evenly chopped and distributed. Dice the other 2 to use as garnish.

Transfer to serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and diced garlic, and serve with pita chips or veggies!