There are three things I’ve been making over and over again these past two months: oatmeal cookies, roasted garlic hummus, and avocado-grapefruit salad.
Cookies first, because the story is simplest. They’re this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, stripped down to the bare bones. No raisins or other dried fruit, no nuts, no chocolate chips. Just a beautifully simple oatmeal cookie. The recipe makes a half-batch, and I’ve been making one every couple of weeks and putting most of it in the freezer so there’s never a full batch calling from the counter. Then it’s easy to bake a couple of cookies on the nights when we want something sweet after dinner They might be even better after freezing, actually.
On to the salad. When I was a little girl, my grandma would serve me halved avocados sprinkled with lemon juice and salt. I’ve always loved them this way, and so I don’t know why it never occurred to me to combine avocado and grapefruit. But it didn’t until I read this post by my dear friend Fresca (to whom I owe an email! forthcoming, I promise!). And then suddenly I ran across recipes everywhere, most especially in this post on 3191, and so I had to make it. To date, I’ve never managed to make a full salad; instead, I supreme a grapefruit over a bowl so as to catch all the juice, slice an avocado into chunks and throw it in on top of the grapefruit, add a grind of fresh pepper and some salt, and stir the whole thing around. It is amazing, but not very photogenic. My friend Shannon has more patience, though: she did it up right and then took a photo.
And finally, the hummus. The last couple of years of grad school, Compatriot G was always cooking up big batches of garbanzo beans for his freezer. He’d thaw out a bag of frozen beans and poof, there’d be hummus. It seemed like a great idea and I meant to do this myself. Really, I did, especially since around that time in early 2008, Cook’s Illustrated put out a recipe for Restaurant Style Hummus that looked amazing. Instead, my cans of garbanzos sat in the cupboard and gathered dust, and I kept on buying hummus from the store for mildly ridiculous prices. But this past January I discovered cheap, wonderful, frozen naan in one of the local Asian markets. Then Mr. Husband brought home a bag of chana from the Indian grocery store and so I pulled out the hummus recipe and cooked some up. It is indeed the best hummus I’ve had, except for the stuff made by Holy Land deli in Minneapolis. I dial back the oil just a bit and use fresh-ground cumin, which makes a real difference. I also throw a head of garlic into the oven to roast and then squeeze the results into the beans before the first round of blending. It’s becoming a staple to the point that I’ve started automatically putting a pot of garbanzos on the stove while I’m making the yogurt on Sundays.