Too much of nothing exciting, and a sandwich.

My favorite spot in Tallahassee - St. Michael's Pub on Gaines St.
A great friend from Tallahassee, FL called me last night. We spoke briefly, but I was tickled pink!  She's desperate for a change in scenery, and is contemplating moving to San Francisco, or Chicago. How hard would it be to resist the urge to join her? Spontaneity is a character trait that I admire, and her readiness is inspiring. I've felt rather unsettled in Baton Rouge of late; moreover, I greatly miss my life in Tallahassee: the lights, the sounds, the smells. The people are incomparable. I know I'm glorifying the city's mediocrity, but the lonely idealize everything and reminisce about nothing. I'm beyond ready to pay that old town a visit. The last five months have felt like years with little resolve; there is too much of nothing exciting. My return is tardy. Tallahassee, I'll see you yet.

Some, but not all, of Tallahassee's finest.

Naturally, I've attached myself to a small array of potentially time consuming activities. Foremost and without exception, I'm working close to 10 hours a day. Weeknights are primarily devoted to spending time with our dog, Merlin. He's trapped inside while Matt and I are working and is psyched upon our homecoming. My greatest consolation is spending time in the kitchen. I'll spend a fair amount of the evening hovering over the stove while Merlin anticipates my clumsiness and laps up all of what I spill. Last night was no exception. My aforementioned nostalgia bred fierce sandwich cravings (pun certainly intended), like I would have back in Tallahassee. From cheap falafel and grilled vegetable pita's to house-made veggie burgers and creamy tempeh wraps, Tallahassee understands sandwiches and helped nourish my unhealthy obsession with bread and what lays in between. I understand sandwiches, even the simple ones.

Avocado, spinach and tomato with garlicky cilantro hummus and home-baked bread

A good sandwich starts off with great bread. For anyone interested in baking their own bread, but lacks the time and patience needed for traditional leavened loaves, I recommend purchasing Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. With their method, there is no kneading, starter or proofing involved. Just mix your ingredients, allow two or more hours for rising, and you're ready to bake!

Sourdough buns pre- and post baking
For the sandwiches, I made sourdough buns with sesame seeds and dried thyme. They puffed up nicely! I split the loaves open to spread on Garlicky Cilantro Hummus (recipe included at the bottom of the post) and topped them with my always on-hand fixin's: spinach, tomato and avocado.

Garlicky Cilantro hummus, spinach leaves, sliced tomato and avocado with a sprinkle of black pepper

If you like cilantro, you'll love it in hummus.*

Garlicky Cilantro Hummus
2 cups of cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15oz) can
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from half a large lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
water for thinning (unless you like a chunkier hummus)
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro

Add the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt to a food processor or blender. Blend until well combined. Add water by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Toss in the cilantro and pulse until it's chopped and you can see little green specks throughout.

For a spicier dip, add 2 teaspoons diced jalapeno with the cilantro and pulse until evenly distributed.

*Don't like cilantro? Reduce the garlic to 1 clove, add 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary and 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes for a sweeter and mellow hummus.


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