Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fried Couscous Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Cucumber, and Green Bell Peppers

Fried Couscous Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Cucumber, and Green Bell Peppers
So I recently discovered the amazingness of couscous.  I have been adding it to EVERYTHING! I make a simple salad, and then go ahead add about a fourth cup of couscous and voila, you have a fancy salad for yourself! Couscous is also VERY easy to make, when you buy the pre-streamed and dried one.  Literally takes like 5 minutes.  I was again watching Giada and found her making something with couscous which made me rush out the door to get some. I would advise getting the whole wheat one just to be a bit healthier! Anyways take a stab at making this delicious dish.  Mine turned out really yummy, but the couscous was a bit mushy, which was entirely my fault for not waiting the whole 5 minutes before frying them.  So be warned! Anyways hope you like it!

Ingredients for Couscous
Ingredients (6-8 servings):
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 cups couscous (whole wheat is what I used)
1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup onions
1/4 cup of green bell pepper
1/2 cup cucumber
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
lemon zest (1/2 of a lemon)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Boil stock in a small pot. When stock is boiling, turn off stove and add couscous.  Cover and leave couscous for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
2. Fry 3 garlic cloves in a medium skillet (medium temperature) until golden brown.
3. Cut green bell pepper and onion into small pieces.
4. Add pepper, onions, and couscous and bell pepper to skillet and turn up skillet to medium-high.
5. Cook couscous for about 10-15 minutes, breaking up lumps. When done the couscous should be a nice olden to dark brown color. Set aside in a medium bowl.
6. Remove seeds of the cucumber and cut the cucumber in small pieces.  Add cucumber to couscous.
7. Cut the basil and sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and also add to the couscous.
8. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese to couscous.  Toss together.  Add more salt and pepper according to taste.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Hey everyone! I know it's been a very, very long time since I have last updated, but here I am trying to get back in the routine of everything! I have officially finished my first whole week of work and let me tell you, it's awesome! Working during the day, getting the evenings completely off to do whatever has really been great. I just love this life so much better than school life!

Anyways, so I made these cookies the other day and it was a complete hit! So many flavors that just blend perfectly with each other. The inspiration of this cookies comes from Giada herself (if you watch the cooking channel, you know who I am talking about).  I made this on the bigger side, just so the center was nice and soft while the edges were nice and crispy.  Yum!

Ingredient for Cookies
Ingredients (26-28 cookies):
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 tbsp butter (I used smart balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the mixture in step 3.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients from step 2 to the wet ingredients in step 4.  Mix well until everything is moist.
6. Add in the oats, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Mix until everything is incorporated.
7. Drop 2-3 tbsp of mixture (in a ball) on cookie sheet and press down on the top of the ball to flatten slightly.
8. Bake in over for about 15-17 minutes until nice and golden.
9. Cool for about 10 minutes.
10. ENJOY!