Coming and Going

Lately I’ve been cooking in spurts.  Several dishes a day, several days without cooking.  But I think if I had to look at an average, I’d be up overall.  I’ve had some days off from work lately, which seem to have a direct correlation to the spikes in my kitchen activity.  Here are some of the recent highlights:

Tabbouleh: This was a hit on the first try, but don’t make too much.  It lasts a while in the refrigerator, but eating it daily for lunch may get a little old.  Not that I’m speaking from experience…


I use my mother’s hummus recipe (see below, and let’s hope she approves of my generosity in sharing with the world) as a base and add things as needed.  The only amendments I made to my mom’s recipe is that her original recipe called for a TON of garlic (and that was after she cut it down from her source) and more lemon juice than I like.  I prefer that the garlic take a bit of a back seat to whatever other ingredients I add.  This recipe gives you a pretty solid base, but you’ll want to add liquid and a strong flavor to permeate it.

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cans garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained

The most successful add-in I have found was due to an errant purchase at the grocery store.  I  usually buy Cento brand crushed hot cherry peppers (wow, are they key on sandwiches!), but I absentmindedly purchased Pastene crushed peppers, which have a lot more liquid in them, fewer seeds, and larger pieces of peppers.  They resulted in soggy sandwiches.  But man, do they make delicious, smooth hummus.  So delicious, in fact, that my colleague declared it possibly the best hummus she’s ever had, noting the play between the citrus and spiciness.  While I consider her comment mostly flattery, I do put some stock in it, particularly since I also found it to be a successful marriage.

Banana Banana Bread: I’ve made this twice now, and it’s unreal.  I highly recommend it.

I am picking tomatoes from my garden daily, so maybe one of these days, I’ll share the family gazpacho recipe, which I made tonight with local tomatoes, though not so local that they’re from my back yard.  Those we’ll be eating as unadulterated as possible.  And I’ll report back on my first-ever attempt at pickles.  I should, however, warn those of you that aren’t close to me that I travel a lot in the fall.  That means that instead of sharing recipes in the next few months, I will be reporting back with my experiences eating food instead of preparing it.  Next stop: Monterrey, Mexico!  Stay tuned…