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

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