Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hodge Podge

I believe that this fall has been busier than any before. It seems like I haven’t done nearly as much cooking as I would like, but, this is THE week of food and I’m pumped. Thanksgiving, naturally, is my favorite holiday. I am looking forward to all the delicious items that will be hitting my tongue Thursday and for many days that follow. This will be my first Thanksgiving where I will be contributing my own dishes to the feast. So far I am planning on preparing my green beans and cranberry compote. My mom and nana are awesome cooks so they will be doing the majority of the “big” cooking. My nana, a sassy yet loving woman, still loves to do big holiday meals and I love it. I hope I am like that one day too.

This past week we were preparing for our Young Life weekend camp. We had a bunch of stuff going on at night so we ate out some nights and ate in some nights. Typically we don’t really eat out a lot. We had some awesome girls (shout out Becky & Courtney) over Monday night for dinner. We had my favorite risotto, grilled chicken, and green beans. That was all good, but dessert was the star of the meal. We had chocolate lava cakes. One reason why dessert rocked is because, let’s be honest, I did not bake it. We all know how that probably would have turned out. The second reason it was awesome is because Courtney made it. The last reason it rocked is because it oozed chocolate. You can't go wrong with that.

I also made a tilapia dinner this week that I have made and posted about before. It was as good the second time as it was the first.

One night husband made his spaghetti. As I’ve mentioned before, he usually sticks to making his spaghetti during the winter and I make mine in the summer. I thought that it was one of his best pots ever. He won’t allow me to disclose the recipe, so sorry, but there is a picture!

When I was uploading food pictures tonight I found a picture of couscous stuffed peppers. I don’t remember when I made them, but it’s a great and simple recipe. What I like about it is that it’s a dish that takes only a little bit of prep time. The rest of the time is spent cooking. So, if you don’t have a lot of time to spend making dinner, but have time to let it just bake in the oven, this a good option for you. For this recipe you need 2-4 bell peppers. I prefer red and yellow, but it’s really whatever you like. Cut the tops off and hallow them out, taking out the seeds. Preheat the oven to 400. In a pan, brown up about a pound (maybe a little less depending on how many peppers you are making). While the meat is working, prepare ½ to 1 cup of couscous. Once the meat has browned, drain it and combine with the couscous. To the meat mixture, you add 2-3 scallions, sliced. I then add in parmesan cheese. The original recipe (Real Simple) calls for feta cheese and apricots, but I have adapted to suit my non-cheese and apricot-loving husband (yes, he eats parmesan). I also add in a few of my own favorite herbs and seasonings. I usually will add a hit of dried basil and parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Once you have mixed in the scallions, cheese, and your preferred seasonings, spoon the mixture into the peppers. Then, bake the peppers for 45 to 50 minutes in a covered dish.

So, that's it for now. Santa, if you're reading, I really want that new Nikon camera for Christmas so I can take better pictures of my food. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Accidental Sabbatical

So, it has worked out that for roughly the past two weeks I have cooked next to nothing. A series of events worked themselves out to where I just ended up not needing to cook. So, if you've been wondering about the scarcity of posts, here's your answer. I just took an accidental sabbatical from cooking. I still love it, but we've been on a temporary break.

Anyway, tonight starts the cooking again. I am making roasted new potatoes and talpia that I posted about previously. I like it a lot because its so good and easy, therefore it became a repeat on this month's menu from last month.

In other news, my herbs are quickly perishing. Many factors have contributed to their dying process. One- it got cold outside so the herbs were relocated into my very hot apartment. I'm not so sure they appreciated the drastic temperature change. Two- for one reason or another I have had to occasionally move the herbs from the sunny window into the office with the not-as-sunny window. They really didn't like that. No sun=unhappy, dying herbs. Three- I was very unaware that parsley wanted to still be outside during the winter. Apparently, the cold suits it's fancy. So when it is 80 degrees in my apartment, it dies. Better luck next year I suppose.

Last week was husband's birthday. He turned 26! My mother-in-law (MIL) visited for the weekend and we did cook one night for his birthday. We had mashed sweet potatoes, roasted lamb, and asparagus. The picture below is of the table set with our delicious food.

This next picture is for laughs. It really goes to show my baking impairment. I "baked" a cake for husband's birthday and well, the picture speaks for itself. Enjoy.

(In case you're wondering-the white squiggles are supposed to be a football.)