In October I joined Uniflame's Cookbook Challenge and pledged to cook one recipe from Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals. I know, I aim high, huh? I knew I'd be out of town one week for Ireland and another for my Orlando business trip and then another week gone for Thanksgiving and leftovers, so I chose three recipes from the book and gave them a go. Her final link-up post is here.
Smoky Black Bean and Rice Stoup – I'm an idiot and didn't think that one cup of rice seemed like enough so I added two. So, this was basically a rice dish. The spices were good and I'd make it again, but next time I'll be patient and follow directions.
Leek-y Chicken and Couscous – Can you believe that this was the first time we've had couscous? I wasn't a huge fan of the texture but think this was because I made it too early and it dried out a bit. I was shocked at how much Scott liked this one, especially the couscous!
Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini – The winner! Now if I could have just convinced Elle that the spinach was not as menacing as she made it out to be. You can find the recipe on Food.com (with much simpler directions than Rachael Ray gives!).
I used to watch Rachael Ray's cooking show when I was in grad school and loved it but was never moved to make any of her recipes because the ingredient lists are so dang long. But if I was diligent about my prep-work planning throughout the week (like chopping up a bunch of onions ahead of time), the ingredient lists didn't seem quite so daunting come cooking time. I was also pleased that all of these recipes took me less than 30 minutes to prepare. Very easy! My last complaint about RR is one that I'll just have to continue to work through—the slang and cutsie names drive me crazy (I mean, why does it have to be a Sammy? (for sandwich)). Just call the recipe what it is!
Big thanks to Uniflame for hosting the challenge and giving me a kickstart on one of my 2013 Things which will be to focus on one cookbook a month. I will definitely be revisiting this cookbook in the future.
On another but related note, I wanted to let y'all know about the Foodie Reads Challenge hosted by Vicki from I'd Rather Be Reading At the Beach.
This was previously hosted by Margot, but she's passed the baton this year. The rules are pretty simple and you can set your limits how you'd like. Categories include Cookbooks, Memoirs/Biographies, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Since I no longer like to plan out my reading too far in advance (please ignore my penchant for readalongs), I'm committing low but really look forward to the challenge! I'm hoping to finally read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver and maybe some Michael Pollan. For now I'm going for Short-Order Cook.
Any Foodie books I MUST add to my list?
Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking. "Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs." Hope you'll join the fun!