Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last night's dinner: Seven-Vegetable Couscous

So, I have made new friend (mentioned earlier) and she came over to make some couscous with me! It was a lot of fun, I don't have much expierence sharing a kitchen with someone, but it was no problem at all! She is Morroccan, so she also had alot of expierence making couscous. I was wonderful.
However my head wasn't working so great and I got a picture of it in a yellow bowl under a bad light, so it just looks like a yellow bowl of yellow stuff, but it really was much prettier!
We did not follow the recipe exactly so I am going to try to make revisions where it is need but if you would like the original recipe just let me know!



5 onions
3 cloves garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
6 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric
4 carrots
3 potatoes
3 medium yellow squash
2 medium/large zuccini
3 tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh cilantro

For the couscous:
1 12oz package couscous or 3 cups couscous
6 tbsp butter
4 tbsp oil
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans; 15 1/2 oz)

Peel onions and garlic and cut both into cross sections. Cut half head of cabbage into quarters. In a large, heavy saucepan (stock pot), combine meat, the equivalent of 2 onions, garlic, cabbage and butter. Add salt, pepper and turmeric. Pour 3 quarts of waterover the top, bring to a boil and simmer or 45 minutes.

Scrape carrots and peel potatoes. Cut carrots, potatoes, squash, zuccini and tomatoes into large chunks. Wash cilantro, pat dry and chop leaves. Add carrots, potatoes, squash, zuccini, tomatoes, remaining onions, and cilantro to saucepan and simmer for 1 hour.

Drain chickpeas and add to saucepa for 15 minutes before it ha finished cooking. Season sauce to taste.

At the sametime, prepare the couscous according to packag directions, mixing in the oil and butter.

Transfer hot cooked couscous to a large round serving dish and pour on as much sauce as it can absorb. Form a well in the center and place meat and vegetables in this well. Pour the remaining sauce into a bowl and serve separately, very hot.

Serves 6
Prep time: 30 minutes (yeah right!)
cooking time: approximatly 1 hour and 45 minutes

Well I really don't have any, what few I did have I put before the recipe. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. You mainly want to look for plenty of color (don't use my picture as an example! lol) and be sure to add the things that will take the longest to cook first and the veggies with a shorter cook time should be added later.

I will try to upload the original recipe and put a link on here to it. It is pretty different but I imagine that it would still taste just as good as ours!
ETA: Here is a link to the oringinal recipe: http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y257/starina_bliss/seven_vegetable_couscous.jpg?t=1222792265

MY RATING: 4 couscous out of 5!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Last nights dinner: Oven Beef Stew

Ok so this is my absolute favorite food of all time! I have never had anyone make this for me, but that is ok, I would be kinda scared that they might screw it up! Not to mention there is nothing better then tasting the fruit of you labors, or should I say stew of your labors! haha
Anyway, I found this recipe in an old cookbook from the 50's. My friend and I made it for home ec in high school and it has been my favorite ever since! This does take 2-3 hours to make but it is well worth it!



2 lbs boned chuck or bottom round in 2" cubes
1/4 c flour
3 tbsp salad oil
2 1/2 c tomato juice or water
12 small white onions
12 pared small carrots, quartered lengthwise
1 10oz package frozen whole kernal corn thawed just enough to separate
1 tsp monosodium glumate (MSG)I will talk about this later)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp prepared mustard

Start heating oven to 350. Sprinkle meat with flour. Reserve leftover flor. In hot oil, in skillet, brown meat well on all sides - 15-20 min. Remove meat to 3 qt casserole dish.

Into oil, stir MSG, salt, mustard, and any remaining flour. Slowly add tomato juice (or water), stirring constantly making sure to keep it smooth, then pour over meat. Bake, covered, for 1 hour.

Add onions and carrots and bake, covered, for 45 minutes.

Add corn and bake, covered for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Before serving, stir stew with a fork to bring meat chunks to the top.

Makes 6 servings.

TO VARY: Add 12 pared small potatoes with carrots, substitute peas for corn.

While MSG is still sold in stores, it is not recommended to use it! It can cause very dangerous side effects to some people. Please read up on it before useing it. If you don't use it you can easily substitute an extra tsp of salt, that's what I do.

I usually just buy the stew meat they sell at the store, it is cut smaller so it cooks quicker and is easier to eat in the stew.

I use extra virgin olive oil for the salad oil because I'm not sure what they mean.

I also have no idea what prepared mustard is. I've made this with ground mustard, yellow mustard, I have mixed ground mustard with water to "prepare" it, and I have even combined yellow mustard with ground mustard. They all turn out good, there isn't much of difference, unless you have a VERY trained tongue! My favorite thing to to is add 2 tbsp of ground mustard and 1 tbsp of yellow mustard.

If you don't have enough tomato juice, just add water to it until you have enough!

As far as cutting goes, I usually roughly chop the carrots and just use a large yellow or white onion, which ever I have, and cut it in half then quarter it. It's all good!

MY RATING: 5 Stew chuncks out of 5!!! YUMMY!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last night's dinner: Curry with Rice

So it has been a little while since I have blogged my dinner, but the good news is that I have finally gone grocery shopping! I took advantage of sales and coupons and got $165 worth of groceries for $90!
Since I have food once again I can cook so many things! I have made a new friend and she is going to come over and we are going to make some Couscous together. Well that got me inspired and I decided to have some yummy Curry for dinner last night.
The recipe came from a Reader's Digest book by the title Homemade. This book has proven time and time again to be a great buy! It gives you instructions on how to make everything from cleaning products to food, from fertalizers to home remedies, it even has pet food recipes!

Curry with Rice


1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breasts or thighs, or lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp Curry powder
1 3/4 c chicken stock or reduced sodium canned chicken broth
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
2 c cauliflower florets (about 1/2 head medium cauliflower)
1 1/4 c basmati rice

In a large, self sealing bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Working in small batches, add the chicken, turkey, or lamb to the bag, seal and shake to coat the meat with the flour mixture.

In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over moderately high heat, heat the oil 1 minute. Divide the meat into 2 batches. Add one batch to the skillet and saute until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining meat.

In the drippings left in the skillet, saute the onion, garlic, and celery, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 inues. Add the curry powder, stock, carrots, cauliflower, and reserved meat to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is just tender, 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over high heat, cook the basmati rice following the package directions. Transfer the cooked rice to a large, heated serving bowl. Spoon the curry over the rice and serve immediately.

NOTES: This note was at the top of the recipe in the book:
Flavorful, economical, and easy to prepare, curry is one of the most adaptable recipes you'll ever make. It's a fast and easy way to use up leftovers. Meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, just about anything can be used to make curry.

It also give you recipes for the curry powder and chicken stock. I just used some mild curry powder I bought at the store and boullion cubes instead of the stock.

Here is the recipe for Curry powder, I haven't tried it so I can't judge this.


1/4 c ground coriander
2 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground celery seed
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container. Shake until all the spices are well blended. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

MY RATING: 4 curries out of 5!