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.

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Weekend in Photos

Yes, another Weekend in Photos post… it seems like forever since I’ve posted a Meatless Monday recipe! A full THREE months (my last was these Red Pepper & Chickpea Veggie Burgers)…sorry guys. I actually have photos and a recipe for an easy weekend breakfast hash that I’ve been meaning to share, but I forgot to upload the pictures from my home computer last night so you’ll have to wait till next week! I’ve got an even better recipe later this week that will surely tide you over ’till then, which leads me to my first picture of the weekend…

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I came home from work on Friday with a can of garbanzo beans and one goal: to recreate the avocado-cilantro hummus I bought at the Farmer’s Market a couple weekends back. I’m happy to report it was a smashing success! I almost finished the entire batch by Saturday evening…. 🙂

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On Friday night, I had plans to check out a new spot with my friend Shannon, whose cousin from Spain was visiting. We went to Vanguard, which is actually located on the ground floor of the building where I work! It felt kinda weird to be sitting outside enjoying a drink within eye-shot of the lobby I sleepily walk through every day at 8:30am and 5:30pm. But it was a gorgeous venue, super classy and pretty chill since it was more of a lounge than a club.

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As I told you all on Friday, all I wanted to do on Saturday morning was go for a nice long run and hit up the Farmer’s Market. My mom called and made plans for early in the afternoon, so I decided to combine the two- what was going to be a 3 mile run followed by a ride to the Farmer’s Market ended up as a 3.25 mile run ending AT the market. Once there, I finally went for it and tried the Kombucha Truck! I had Synergy Gingerade, which was awesome since I love ginger. Would it be weird to put kombucha in my Whiskey Gingers from now on? Is that kind of defeating the purpose of kombucha being healthy?? Haha.

I also picked up summer squash (every week I get assorted summer squash from the same stand – next week they said they might have cherry tomatoes WAHOO!), a purple cauliflower, and some shiitake mushrooms!

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We have a family wedding in New York in August, and my mom and I had been procrastinating our dress shopping. East Coast weddings require something a bit more formal than my go-to ‘California Casual’ wedding outfits. We left for the mall at 12:30pm and didn’t leave until nearly 5 PM!!! Oh, except around 3:30 we drove to ANOTHER mall. It was an intense day, people. I found a dress I liked right off the bat (see that little red number above), but red doesn’t do much for my complexion and hair color.

My mom found a nice navy blue number that she loved (and was comfortable in! SUPER important for what’s sure to be a hot and humid wedding), and I kept looking. I came home empty handed, but looked on the Macy’s website and found the dress I loved in yellow. It’s hard to judge from a picture, but I’m gonna give it a shot and see how it looks! Yellow has worked on me before (see this picture from my About Me)…I may require input from you all, so stay tuned 🙂

That night, we went to Napa to spend some time with T-Man’s mom before she moves…she’s moving to DENVER this week! It will be strange not having her an hour away anymore. She has treated us to some amazing dinners and wine tastings during our visits over the last couple of years. Sad! But excited for her to start a new chapter of her life.

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After saying goodbye, we joined T-Man’s dad, step mom, step siblings, and a few friends for a fantastic meal for his step brother’s 30th birthday. Since the last time I visited, they had built an addition to their dining room that is amaazing. It’s a sun room, complete with a full dining table, kitty apartment, and lush plants. The meal involved some Filipino favorites and two “semi homemade” Angels Food cakes 🙂

We got home in time to catch the Mad Men season finale right as it was airing on the West Coast (though it was DVR’ed earlier so we still got to fly through the commercials!)…very interesting episode. Such a strange season of Mad Men this was. It felt so cerebral…After each episode I just needed to sit and think and analyze!

That’s it for now! Didn’t take too many pictures this weekend so unfortunately for you guys, if you follow me on Instagram you likely saw most of these. Either way, it was a good weekend. It’s raining outside right now, but next weekend is expected to be in the triple digits. It’s a real mixed bag over here!

What did you do this weekend?

Are you a Mad Men fan?

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!

Meatless Monday: Curry Chickpea Fritters

So, remember when the Wicked Witch of the West said she was melting?

I’m starting to see what she meant.

Except it’s misleading to say that you feel like you’re melting when it’s hot. Because I actually feel more like Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in Beetlejuice, where they dry out and turn into skeletons and pretty much crumble to the ground.

Yeah…. That’s more like it.

So, it has been 100+ degrees for five days in a row now, and the end isn’t quite yet in sight. I don’t dare turn on my oven when it’s like this, since it’s been 90 degrees in my apartment and my oven is on steroids. I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while, so the only cold food I have to choose from at my place is fruit, veggies, hummus, chips and salsa…..I’m not complainin’, but you can see my options have been limited!

A few weeks ago, I tried a recipe for Curry Hummus. I really liked it, as did all our friends who were at the party I brought it to.

Inspired by my craving for cold veggies dipped in cold hummus, I decided yesterday to make something that might actually constitute a meal (haha), and I based it off that curry hummus. Enter: Curry Chickpea Fritters.

These puppies have a ton of flavor, but they’re a bit on the dense/dry side…with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, they’re perfect!

Curry Chickpea Fritters
Makes 5 small patties
Loosely based on Edible Perspective’s Curry Hummus

2 cups garbanzo beans/chickpeas (if not already done, take the skins off the beans! It takes a few minutes, but is worth it to not have mouthfuls of bean skin in your fritters. Ew)
1.5 TBS tahini paste (almond butter would also work)
1 TBS honey
2 TBS finely diced red bell peppers
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
canola oil, for pan frying
plain greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
{edit} I forgot to add originally that I also included about 1/4 cup finely grated zucchini.

Drain and rinse the beans, then peel their skins. Mash about 1/3 of the beans in a bowl with a fork, then add second 1/3 and continue mashing and mixing, followed by the last 1/3. I did it this way so that I would have some varied texture in my fritters.

Add the rest of ingredients and mix to combine. It all should stick together pretty easily. Roll into balls, flatten, and place in skillet with hot oil over medium-low heat. I recommend not using a high-heat oil like olive oil or coconut oil, as it will burn easily.

Cook 3 or so minutes on each side, then serve hot with a cool dipping sauce. I had some leftovers later and they’re also pretty delicious cold!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens are alright, but I prefer avocado, hummus, and cilantro lime rice. Here are some of the meals, products, and activities I’m into right now. I started writing this entry before the fracturing of the hand, but I still love them equally, even if I can’t do/eat them properly anymore.

Hope you all had a good July 4th! We had a very successful party, and have yet to tackle any of the cleaning, since we both had to work today. Speaking of which, isn’t it weird having to go back to work today? Oh well. Enjoy!

My favorite things at the moment:

1. Amy’s Organic frozen meals

I’m normally not a fan of the frozen stuff, but with the help of a coupon, I snuck a few of these into my mom’s shopping cart when I was home a few weeks ago. I like how hearty it is, and I could actually taste which veggies were which! Usually, it’s all mush. Plus, I think I’m a mind reader cause now that my hand is broken, frozen meals are a godsend.

2. Going to the gym after a good run

Again, pre-broken hand, so I don’t foresee much of this in my future, but didn’t I look good? Sigh. Also please don’t take note of my short-hair-attempting-a-ponytail afro.

3. Chipotle’s Veggie Burrito Bowl!

After living 2 blocks away for over a month, I finally gave in and had some Chipoodle last week. Burrito bowls are just too good. Corn, black beans, guac, charred fajita veggies…yum. It was perfect as lunch with the leftovers for dinner.

4. Avocado ToastUsually I just mash avocado with salt (the salt is soooo necessary), but sometimes I fancy it up with scrambled egg whites! Paired with a healthy multigrain bread, this breakfast is packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats.

5. Sabraaa Hummus

They are about $5 at Safeway (ick), but my neighborhood Grocery Outlet sells them at half price! When I want to mix up the above breakfast, I often top my toast with hummus instead. This Basil Pesto flavor is good, but my favorites are Mediterranean Olive and Roasted Garlic!

6. New York Bagels

My parents bought a bunch of fresh bagels on their last day in New York, and my mom brought me one the next day  when she took me to Kaiser to get my permanent cast. This delicious blueberry bagel was the only thing keeping me from jumping off a building when I saw how large my cast was (this large), and how long I’d have to wear it (6 weeks). WOE IS ME