Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Cooking 11/10

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!

Family Favorites Week
After a couple of months of only cooking quick, simple meals and relying a lot on leftovers, frittatas, and take-out, I cooked up a storm this week! I was finally feeling better and had some energy back, my younger son finished the soccer season so we didn't have to run off to 5 pm games, and my older son came home from college on Monday night. That last part is not good - he's been too sick to take care of himself (we suspect mono on top of his chronic illnesses but are waiting for bloodwork to confirm). As a mother, I did the only thing I could do - took care of him and cook him his favorite foods. I'm hoping that at least gives him a little bit of comfort and pleasure.

So, we had lots of our favorite meals this week and lots of flavor (as usual, all of the recipes are from Cooking Light):

I started the week with an empty fridge because I haven't been able to go to the grocery store in weeks. From the scraps we had left in pantry and fridge, I discovered we had the ingredients for Jamaican Chicken Stew. We tried this once last year while my son was away at college, and I thought he'd like it because he loves soups and stews and he loves spicy food. I added a chopped red bell pepper and sliced carrots (sauteed with the onion), and it was absolutely delicious! The flavors in this dish combine into something magical. Everyone loved it, and I also enjoyed it for lunch the next two days! (Note: my kids aren't fond of capers, so I left them for my husband and I to add on at the table.)

One busy day this week, I needed a crockpot meal, so I turned to another recipe we tried while my son was away that I knew he'd love: Tiny French Beans with Smoked Sausage, from the Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight Cookbook (link included below). Again, I added extra veggies, as I tend to do - a red bell pepper and sliced carrots, sauteed with the shallots (and used navy beans). When we returned from a late doctor's visit, the house smelled wonderful. This dish is the very definition of comfort food - the beans are creamy and soft, and the smoked sausage adds fabulous flavor. As I suspected, my older son loved it....and he and I both had leftovers for lunch!

Another night, I made one of our family's all-time favorite dinners: Chipotle Tamale Pie. I love anything flavored with chipotles, and this casserole with cornbread topping is delicious - more comfort food. (Can you tell this photo was taken by me rather than a professional? I need some practice!)

Finally, last night, I made another of my son's favorite meals, Chicken Piccata. This is another very tasty meal and also quick, especially if you start with thin-sliced chicken and can skip the pounding step. I always serve it with whole wheat egg noodles, and last night, we had cauliflower on the side.

Tonight I am making a classic corned beef dinner, since our last CSA pick-up a couple of weeks ago included a giant head of cabbage. This is another favorite meal at our house, though we often eat it just once a year, for St. Patrick's Day, so this will be a treat. I like the New England Boiled Dinner recipe from (yes, you guessed it) Cooking Light.

So, there you have it - a week full of flavor, with many of our favorite meals. I hope you have enjoyed some good food this week, too!

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  1. Sue, all your dishes look wonderful, but I would especially love to dive into that dish of French beans and smoked sausage. That just screams comfort food to me, and I love that it can be worked in the crockpot.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your son not being well, but I hope that your nurturing will have him on the road to recovery soon.

  2. Those look great, I will have to try the Jamaican chicken stew. Sounds perfect for the fall. I need to link up with this, I love sharing recipes I find and love to cook/eat as much as I love books. Hope your next week is delicious too Sue!

  3. Anonymous8:15 PM

    I love the sausage and bean slow cooker dish. I make similar things all the time in mine.

  4. my son is of that age, that when he is home from college, he helps with the cooking. much appreciated. the dishes you described all sound good.

  5. I was out of town until today, which is why I couldn't comment over the weekend.

    That Jamaican recipe really caught my attention. And the sausage and bean dish is perfect for our first snowfall (this morning).