Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Couscous & Apple Cake

I decided to get really ambitious on my first day of blog cooking and made 2 things! Couscous and Apple Cake (I got both recipes from the Cooking 101 website but modified them to my taste/cooking level a little bit). My overall rating was really high for the Couscous. I'll be making that again soon! Plus, the leftovers are delish (I probably should've doubled the recipe). The Apple Cake recipe was just ok (but I think I'm still getting used to the taste of whole wheat flower). I thought it was slightly bland, but I'm a huge sugar/sweet lover. Chris loved the Apple Cake and ate half the pan in one evening! I served the Apple Cake with pumpkin ice cream, and that definitely made it taste better :)


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspon of salt
1 shallot, minced
1 box of couscous (follow microwave instructions so it's cooked)
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup roasted cherry tomatoes**

In a big skillet or pot heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the couscous and corn and cook until hot and sizzling. Stir in the spinach and cherry tomatoes. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pine nuts. Mix well so the pesto is spread throughout.

Serves 4 - 6.

** To roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt - pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mintutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

Apple Cake

Mine looks a little like Apple Poo...

2 cups crisp red apples, cut into 1/4 cubes (peel on)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Spray one 9-inch square baking dish or tart pan, you can also bake it in a 9x13 pan but really keep a close eye on it after 20 minutes - it will be quite thin.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl. And in a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined - try not to over mix. Now fold the apples into the cake batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cake is just set and a touch golden on top. Underbake it a little bit for best taste.

Serves about 12.

Source for both: 101 Cookbooks

About My Blog

After sharing numerous cooking stories with my family and friends about my recent adventures in the kitchen, I have received feedback that I should start a blog sharing my trials and tribulations. After getting married a little over a year ago, I decided it was time to stop eating Lucky Charms and mac & cheese for every meal. My husband is a typical "man's man" as he likes to say, and therefore claims he doesn't know how to cook (as a sidebar, I'd like to note that I've tried teaching him to simply boil water and add noodles several times and he still hasn't grasped that concept, although, he is pretty good at grilling). Welp, things didn't go to plan and after the first year of marriage, I averaged cooking about 1 meal every few weeks. We both got tired of eating ham steak (yes, that's a real product sold in your local grocer) and turkey sandwiches. that we are onto year 1+, I have really decided to get shizzle done and master this cooking thing.

I have never been interested in cooking or baking, but I definitely LOVE eating good food. I have a good appreciation for food, and really enjoy eating things when they are prepared well. Growing up, my mom and sister were the definite chefs in the house, and I was completely content enjoying whatever they made (minus a few "special" meals). Therefore, I went to college pretty much unable to cook and not willing to learn how to cook.

Now, on my journey to become domesticated (you heard me!), I am learning how to master the kitchen (or at least make something that resembles something edible)! I am using this blog to take you all on my adventures in the kitchen. I hope to offer good incite on easy cooking ideas and also share some good recipes with everyone. Even though didn't start cooking (successfully) until recently, I have several cookbooks and am always looking for new, yummy recipes.

My husband and I are both into healthy eating, so many of the recipes I blog about will be partly organic and/or healthy. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so I'm sure there will be many dessert recipes as well :) I'm going to be making fairly simple recipes with ingredients we've all heard of (I hate when I get a good recipe and have no clue what the ingredients are).