Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Highlights of the week.

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  Anyone with a food-related post can play along.  Click to her blog and read about Man with a Pan.

I made several great recipes this week, amid the chaos of going in many different directions, that I'd like to share.  I have three categories: 

Adult Favorite:  Pearl Couscous Gratin with Goat Cheese and Spinach. This was so refreshing and light.  My husband and I loved it plus I shared it with a friend at work and she ate it cold right out of the container-she liked it so much!  It was easy to make and I'd never toasted couscous first.  I write in my cookbooks and this one I starred.  Loved the flavor combination of lemon, goat cheese, and fresh spinach.

Kid Favorite:  Micah's Mac and Cheese.  This was a huge hit which is saying a lot as my kids like one type of mac and after box of Annie's.   For years I've only had Annie's in my cupboard which has been okay except for the children who chose to spend time with my children over the years!  When that bowl of mac and cheese arrives in front of them and it is not bright orange, they are truly confused and more than a little disappointed.  This mac and cheese is pleasantly creamy, white and flavorful.  Husband and I added more freshly ground pepper on ours.

Best Hot-Hot Bites:  I also made these Rachel Ray baked poppers tonight.  A friend made them, said they were good and passed on the recipe.  I followed the directions to a T except for that one important line that said to scrape the seeds out using a spoon...I used my hands!  I've done it before but then again I have never scraped 12 JALAPENOS @ one time!!!!  Note to self...use the spoon next time. The poppers though were cheesy yummy spicy bites.   I burn myself frequently and I found the solution by tweeting about my pain.  @joellewrites told me to make a paste out of cayenne and water and apply it to my hand.  It worked.  Really.  It. Worked.  This was the very first Rachel Ray recipe I've ever made and I liked it.  I've never been a big fan because I like making things from ingredients not boxes.  This one, other than my hand burns, was a winner.  And the burns, of course, are my own dang fault. 

And last but not least I set a food-related goal for my summer.   A free summer is one of the MAJOR reasons I was drawn to teaching because I love love to spend all that quiet time with my children.(At least I used to feel that way until peaceful boy became  teenage cranky)  Standing in my kitchen at the end of a long teaching day and wondering what in the dickens to cook is one of my least favorite feelings. Summertime is the perfect time to implement menu planning so we can all get adjusted-the kids will have two days to plan as well.  I found these  fabulous menu plans at The Sister's Cafe blog...through Mel and the Boys.  If you haven't stopped by their foodie family blog-you must give it a try.

Happy Eating and Reading this rainy Saturday.  We're eating our cereal, watching the 1st Harry Potter.


  1. You son comment reminds me of Axl in The Middle - do you watch it? The mother is always wondering where her sweet little boy went, and then he'll surprise her with some unexpected nice gesture. :<) My wondering-what-to-cook meal is pasta or brown rice and sautéed vegetables, sometimes just onions. And this time of year I cut up chives for the top. With a salad, this is quick and easy and always delicious.

  2. LOL, teenagers! At least they're eating good, those poppers sound great! Delicious highlights, that gratin would be right up my alley!

  3. Just wait till you scrape out the seeds with your hands and then wipe your eye. OUCH!! For hours!!

    Here's my WC

  4. ouch! Those jalepeno burns are awful -- so glad you found a solution via twitter:)

    All of the recipes sound great, and all appeal to me as "comfort food." We don't make the bright orange mac & cheese either ...

  5. The couscous sounds divine to me!

  6. I'm a firm believer in meal planning! On my worksheet,
    I also include a column for activities that impact the dinner hour or my prep time - games, practices, meetings, appts, etc. One of my first posts at Lakeside Kitchen was even about the topic.

    The couscous dish sounds delicious!

  7. Your adult favorite would be a hit at our house!

  8. Great weekly wrap up post -- sound like you eat well at your house! I keep a box of disposable gloves in the house just for chilis -- it really helps.

  9. I've made alot of couscous but never thought to toast it. It makes sense, though, that it would enhance the flavor, just like toasting nuts or coconut does I guess. Thanks for the tip!

  10. I'm usually too lazy to toast the couscous. :) I don't use bright orange mac and cheese either, but I do know to wear gloves or use a spoon for pepper seeds. Ouch -- I've burned my fingers too.

  11. We had the poppers up here in Minnesota last night! Lori used the real recipe for a few, cheddar cheese for a few and just cream cheese for the rest! They were really hot this time and I don't understand the difference in heat from pepper to pepper, but I just ate what I could and drank a lot of ice water over the evening. The thing that calmed my mouth, finally, was a cup of orange herbal tea by the outside fire, with the family! Peace...............


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