Classic Hummus

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1 can of garbanzo beans (15.5oz)

1/2 cup water

3 tbsp. tahini paste

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This hummus really shouldn’t be eaten until it has been left in the fridge for 24 hours. Once it has had time to hang out in the fridge, the garlic flavor mellows out  and the olive oil flavor is a bit more pronounced. I add some water to my hummus because I just feel like it is way too thick otherwise. Once refrigerated, the hummus will thicken a bit. If you are not a fan of garlic, reduce the amount of cloves to one. Also, if you have never purchased tahini before, most grocery stores carry it and it should be next to the peanut butter. I first constructed this recipe a handful of weeks ago and since then I have been making it in double batches for Gar and I. I’m usually dipping at least one carrot or pita chip in my quart-sized container of hummus each day.

Ojai Farmer’s Market

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I had a great time going to the farmer’s market. When I go to a farmer’s market, I like to do a complete walk-through before going up to any stand or trying anything. This allows me to strategize. I figure out what things I want most and what my budget will be. First, I stopped by a Rivendell Aromatherapy stand. I wanted to buy something just because of the name of this company alone. I ended up getting body wash, leave-in conditioner, pet shampoo, and scented greeting cards. Next, I tasted about 5 different olive oils and picked a nice one to use for Julie’s Pasta Sauce. Then Gar and I took a break and ate a couple of really good tamales.

What excites me most about any farmer’s market is the produce. More than anything, I look forward to being inspired to cook something featuring whatever produce looks and sounds good to me that day. This time some giant leeks that caught my eye. I also saw some organic potatoes and my mind was made up, I wanted to make potato leek soup.

I was also ecstatic when I found out that one of the cheese stands had cheese curds. Cheese curds are basically the building block of all cheeses; they are very mild and extremely tasty. My favorite thing to do with cheese curds is make poutine. Poutine is so good and generally consists of french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. I’m hoping to write a post about that soon.

I just love cooking on Sundays, especially after hitting up a farmer’s market in the morning.

Toasted Garlic

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I’ve toasted so much garlic, usually in butter for my mashed potatoes, that I am well aware of the dangers of burning it. Here’s my number one tip: don’t walk away from the garlic as it cooks, and stir it almost constantly. To get started for a Marinara sauce, put about 3 healthy tablespoons of a good extra virgin olive oil into a skillet on medium to medium-low heat, depending on the stove. Next, add enough finely chopped garlic to mostly cover the bottom of the skillet. I used about 8 or 9 cloves of garlic, which is good for a large pot of pasta sauce or a family-sized serving of mashed potatoes. I was using kind of a large skillet in this picture, so my garlic didn’t completely cover the bottom. Just be sure to spread your garlic out on the bottom of the skillet, so that it all cooks evenly. The garlic needs to be toasted until it is a light golden brown, as shown in this picture. It’s very easy to burn your garlic, and once it turns a medium to dark brown it becomes bitter and will ruin your meal.

Check back tomorrow for a simple pasta sauce recipe using toasted garlic, it’s one of my favorites!