Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend Cooking 11/17

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!

My college-aged son recovered from whatever virus had hm down last week (it's less likely now that it was mono, though we are still waiting for one more set of blood test results) and returned to school on Tuesday, so my comfort food cooking frenzy of last week settled down a bit! I was still feeling bad myself, from a lengthy flare-up of my chronic illness, so I stuck with very simple and quick meals.

Here are the highlights from this week - all favorite recipes from Cooking Light that we have made before:

I was going to make mini meat loaves on Tuesday using a very traditional recipe from Cooking Light that we have used for over 20 years, when my oldest son surprised me and announced he was going to try going back to school. So, I switched to a less-traditional recipe with horseradish and cheddar, Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis, that the rest of us love (my oldest son is the traditionalist!). I made simple mashed potatoes with a bit of parmesan and some Trader Joe's frozen veggies (Balsamic Roasted Vegetables - yum!). The meal was delicious. That is definitely our new favorite meat loaf recipe - it is full of flavor.

On Wednesday, I did one of those "what can I make with the few things left in the fridge/freezer/pantry?" meals and settled on Tuscan Chicken Stew. This is a super-simple, tasty meal that goes together in less than 30 minutes start to finish. Unfortunately, the recipe is from the March 2000 issue of Cooking Light and doesn't seem to be online. It starts with chopped chicken breasts tossed with a blend of salt, pepper, and ground rosemary. You saute that and then add the rest of the ingredients: a jar of roasted red peppers (chopped), a rinsed can of white beans,  a half cup of chicken broth, and some chopped spinach. Then it simmers for about 10 minutes and is done. Super quick and a nice blend of flavors.

Thursday, I had a real treat! My local bookstore hosts a monthly book group called Eat, Drink, Read. A local chef who runs cooking classes makes a meal for the dozen or so readers (who sit at counters around the kitchen area) based on the book they read! We got to watch the chef prepare the meal and then discuss our book while eating a delicious meal. This combined my favorite things, so I really enjoyed it! We read Where'd You Go, Bernadette which is set in Seattle. The meal included Canlis Salad (not specifically mentioned in the book but the chef said it is a salad that's very popular in Seattle), Baked Salmon with a Garlic Herbed Aioli served over Sauteed Kale and Chard with Carmelized Leeks and a mixture of black and Jasmine rices, and, for dessert, Apple Tarte Tatin with Rosemary (which was specifically mentioned in the book). It was all amazingly good, and I enjoyed the discussion, too.

And, tonight we are having one of our family's top favorite meals, Beef Bourguinonne. The recipe calls for using a pressure cooker, but I just use a regular Dutch oven on the stove top and simmer it for double the amount of time. The combination of flavors in this classic but lightened dish - red wine, shiitake mushrooms, bacon, and fresh thyme - are just fabulous! We eat it over whole wheat egg noodles. I'll be making double tonight so we have leftovers for tomorrow.

I hope you have enjoyed good food and cooking this week!


  1. Glad the boy is back in school. No fun being sick and feeling like one is falling behind. All the recipes sound great -- I'm especially interested in the pressure cooker one. I love my cooker and use it quite often.

  2. I love the Eat Drink and Read idea-what fun that must be!

  3. Looks like a good week of food. The meat loaf sounds yummy and your book club sounds like great fun!

  4. How fun! I like the idea of the meat loaf a lot :)