Sunday, December 02, 2012

Weekend Cooking 12/2

Each weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  This is perfect for me since I love food and cooking almost as much as I love books!

After returning from our Thanksgiving trip to visit family, I did a lot of cooking this week, including both old favorites and some new recipes, with a focus on quick and easy (as well as healthy and tasty!).

On Monday, with little fresh food in the house after our trip, I made a simple one-pot Rice and Beans dinner.  This is so quick that we often make it when we are camping, so it is a family favorite that reminds us of our camping trips!  I've included my recipe below.  The three of us were all craving something sweet (and my son was sick and craving comfort food), so I made up a new dessert, S'More's Pudding.  I made a quick microwave chocolate pudding (it's a Cooking Light recipe but so old it isn't available online!), crumbled graham crackers on top of the pudding cups, then toasted mini marshmallows in the toaster oven (use cooking spray or you can't get them off the foil!) for the top.  Sooooo good!

Tuesday night, we tried a new Cooking Light recipe, Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Peppers, from the most recent issue.  It was fairly easy and absolutely delicious, with a great blend of flavors.  I served roasted potatoes on the side. Everyone loved it - a definite keeper.

Wednesday, I used another Cooking Light recipe, for Mongolian Beef.  This one is super quick and easy, and a family favorite.  I add frozen broccoli florets with the scallions, to make it a complete one-dish meal.

I had two nights off from cooking; we ate out one night since we had to pick up my car from the repair shop.  The other night, my husband was at a work function for dinner, so Craig and I just ate quickie frozen meals from Trader Joe's.  Last night, I tried another new-to-me Cooking Light recipe, Jamaican Chicken Stew.  It was very tasty, but next time I might add a bell pepper and cut the cayenne pepper in half (my husband said it was a bit too spicy for him). Left-overs for lunch today!

And tonight, I am making one of our all-time family favorites, Beef Bourguignonne.  The recipe calls for a pressure cooker, but I have always made it in a regular dutch oven over low heat and just doubled the cook time.  The mix of flavors in this dish is SO GOOD!  I can't wait for dinner tonight.

Hope you are enjoying your food and cooking this weekend!  My Rice and Beans recipe is below:

Rice and Beans
Serves 4
Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 can chopped tomatoes
water (see recipe)
1/3 cup salsa
1 cup quick-cooking (10 min) brown rice
2 cans beans, rinsed and drained (any variety – I like to use 1 can of black beans and 1 can of pinto or kidney beans)
Fresh ground pepper
Shredded cheese (optional) – we like cheddar or Monterey Jack

  1. Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil until soft. Add spices and stir.
  2. Drain juice from tomatoes into a glass measuring cup and add water to make a total of 3/4 cup liquid, and add to pot, along with salsa. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add rice and tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  4. Add beans, replace cover and heat through.  
  5. Serve with shredded cheese, if desired.

© Suzan L. Jackson 2012
(Do not reprint or publish without written permission from the author)


  1. The Chicken Stew sounds really good. My family loves spicy food. Thank-you for sharing your rice and beans recipe. It sounds like a hearty, healthy meal.

  2. I could eat beans and rice every day of the week.

  3. Boy! A week of good cooking. I really should read Weekend Cooking posts late in the afternoon, because they make me HUNGRY!

  4. Ohhh, the roasted chicken with balsamic peppers sounds good.

  5. You had a very tasty week. I can't say I was as successful with dinners as you were, but I did try a new shrimp recipe that I got a few weeks ago from one of the Weekend Cooking bloggers.

  6. I am such a Cooking Light fan, and your post is a good example of why. All your meals look wonderful to me. I'm going to have to try that s'more pudding one of these days.