Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Recipes for friends

Friends of ours came to visit for the weekend.  They live in Indiana, own a bakery and are food lovers like we are.  My friendship with Barb predates husbands and children, when her and I waited tables together in Denver, CO.  Eventually we both married, had children, she and her husband moved back to Chicago and eventually her hometown in Indiana.   She is the one friend who's visited me anywhere I've moved and the year we lived in Chicago she drove in often to visit and helped me find local great stores like Stanley's for produce.  Both of us were vegetarians for years (and years)and moved back into eating meat as local options came available.  Now she's added yoga to her morning routine so we sought out a Saturday morning yoga class at a nearby wellness center as my favorite studio held a pregnancy workshop this weekend. 

Friday night after school I grocery shopped for two recipes I planned to make, came home and  frantically vacuumed (vacuuming is the one thing I do to make my house presentable) the house (with Groovy Girl and Teenage Boy's help).  After cleaning for about an hour (moving piles around) I poured a glass of wine and started cooking, which is truly the *second  best reason  for having guests over.  I picked two interesting recipes that we would eat on Saturday afternoon that wouldn't involve me being in the kitchen all Saturday afternoon-the easy place to look for a recipe like that is in my Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker book by Robin Robertson. I wanted a recipe I hadn't made before and the Pintos Picadillos list of ingredients appealed to me.  On Saturday right before dinner I also whipped up this Couscous Salad recipe from Super Suppers Cookbook 2 by Judie Byrd-I talked about this cookbook and the Angel Biscuit recipe in another Weekend Cooking post. 

We ate both recipes last night with some spring salad greens and a Newman's Own ginger dressing, which was delicious!!
Everything tasted amazing and all the adults had second helpings.  My kids love Pearl Couscous but didn't love it mixed with all the veggies.   Conversation and wine flowed freely as we discussed a variety of topics and played several board games with our children.  They headed home this morning and the house is quiet. 

Other food-related news:   April's Vegetarian Times magazine arived in my mailbox on Friday and with all the vacuuming, cooking and hanging out I haven't cracked the cover but I look forward to paging through it today.  I checked out two awesome library books the other day...Earth to Table; Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann and Reducing Your Foodprint; Farming, Cooking, and Eating for a Healthy Planet by Ellen Rodger.  I will be reading these this week and I'm shocked that March is almost finished and April is right around the corner!!  Hopefully, warmer weather is just as close cuz I'm still freezing here. 

Two upcoming Weekend Cooking posts just waiting in my brain...My husband's birthday was this week and I cooked several of his favorite meals,  including Lamb Korma using an expensive cut of (local) lamb from our small organic store and I made Angel biscuits with a group of students after school one day last week.  Oh, and I have to make a coconut pudding for a Haitian dinner on Wednesday!  

Enjoy a pleasant and peaceful week...
*The number one reason for having houseguests is the shared conversation~sometimes lively, sometimes filled with laughter and sometimes in stillness.


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads-stop over and see what she has to say about pressure cookers and Lorna Sass!