Monday, February 22, 2010

Food on the Mind

Three nights this week I hope to attend Fr. Tom Allender's parish mission at church; however, my cooking and baking radar is beeping uncontrollably. Turns out, this won't be a culinary adventurous one, but I might sneak something in.

Yesterday morning I woke with visions of checking the pantry for the ingredients needed for a Monday Muffin treat. I've made these Cappuccino Buttermilk Muffins before and hoped to resurrect the happy smiles from the hubby, co-workers, and, of course, my own food loving heart. Check out the food porn proof below:

To top it off, I planned on finally trying my hand at homemade granola with EzraPoundCake's peanut butter version.

My baking goals were crushed violently when my right hand picked up the red pen and found its way to the pile of essays awaiting violent marks. With the grading taking much time time than expected, no baking ensued.

I'll stop dreaming for now and catch up on one of my recent kitchen successes. Cue Real Simple's Best Recipes, a birthday gift from my friend Kim and their "spiced mini burgers with couscous salad." I love coucous and could honestly eat Mediterranean daily, and this recipe not only came through strong, but was amazingly easy to prepare.

spiced mini burgers with couscous salad
Total time: 25 minutes / Serves: 4

1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons EVOO
6 scallions, sliced
6 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 seedless cucumber, cut into half moons
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 container hummus (optional)

>Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for five minutes; fluff with a fork. (I actually cooked couscous on stove according to box directions.)

>Form the beef into 12 small 1/2 inch patties. Sprinkle with the cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. (Be sure to spice both sides.)

>Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook to the desired doneness, 4 minutes per side for medium.

>Toss the couscous with the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with the burgers and hummus.


The patties took center stage with a grilled, spicy flavor on the outer crunch and moist, tender inside. Cooking this again (which I surely will), I will cut the tomatoes and cucumber into smaller pieces. The larger pieces saved time, but I'd imagine the flavors would blend better together with smaller bites.

So what's next on the menu? TIME, I hope!
These days I spent more time bookmarking recipes than actually cooking them. Maybe I'll take something on this week. It'll depend on my taste bud's ever changing moods and the strength of conscience's pull to be healthy but perhaps:

Honey Lime Enchiladas?

Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower Soup? (when Texas temps did back into the low 30s)

Mushroom Leek Risotto?

Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf?

Paula's on y'all! There's surely some buttery goodness to inspire coming my way!

1 comment:

Alisha said...

That looks delish. I heart couscous.

I've made the honey lime enchiladas. Yum. You'll like em!