Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Dinner: Couscous and Apple Cider Cake

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Two Sunday dinner recipes, since my couscous roasted veg dish is barely harder than popping a frozen pizza in. I've been eating a lot of couscous lately because 1) I love it and 2) it's even easier than pasta, which is really saying something. I had loads of winter veggies left over from the Thanksgiving shop (and the last CSA box) so I decided to use a bunch up. I also had walnut pieces left over, which made me think of a beautiful roast veg and walnut salad I had in California. The only thing I had to go out to buy was the Feta cheese.

Couscous with roasted winter vegetables

Cube assorted winter vegetables, toss in oil with some salt and pepper. I had two different squashes, onions, carrots, beets and brussel sprouts. Roast them until fork-tender.

Prepare couscous according to package directions. I cooked mine in chicken broth (also left over from Tgiving.)

When the veggies are done, toss them with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of walnut pieces and balsemic vinegar to taste. I was making enough to serve maybe two for dinner, and I used 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

Mix in the couscous, sprinkle with feta cheese. Eat quickly so you can get to the really good part of the meal: desert!

Joan Emerson (via Betty Crocker) provided us this recipe for Apple Cider Donut Cake, which made everyone drool in yesterday's comments section.

Mix together
1 box Super Moist™ yellow cake mix
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Beat with electric mixer for two minutes.
Stir in 1 cup coarsely shredded peeled tart apples (2 medium)

Pour batter into greased and floured twelve-cup Bundt pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for twenty minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.
Place a plate or waxed paper under the cooling rack.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter; mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Brush the cake with melted butter; use your hand to press sugar/cinnamon mixture up the side and over the top of the cake. Wait twenty minutes and repeat.

Cool cake completely; store loosely covered.


Sounds perfect for a cold winter night to me! How about you, dear readers? What are you cooking or eating today? 

42 comments:

  1. Mmmmm, your couscous and vegetables look delicious, Julia.

    We’re having a chicken dish made with apple cider and apples [since we have cider and apples on hand!], bacon, and onions . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds good, too, Joan! Maybe we should just all come over to your house for dinner.

      Delete
    2. I wish we all lived close enough. We could have a dinner club!

      Delete
    3. A dinner club would be such fun . . . .

      Delete
  2. Delish! I have two pans of whole-wheat blueberry muffins in the oven right now. Chili later. Have a warm and cozy day, all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have half a dozen fry cakes left over from the Schutt's tour Friday. That will have to do for today. However, I also have the ingredients for your muffins, at least the blueberries and the whole wheat flour. What else do I need? Hmmm. yum.

      Delete
    2. I was feeling cravings, so I made brownies last night. #NoGuilt

      Delete
    3. Any left? Wouldn’t be at my house.

      Delete
    4. Sorry to see this so late, Ann. Just the additional usual for a quickbread/muffin: eggs, milk, baking powder and soda, brown sugar, vanilla, and oil!

      Delete
  3. That cake looks so easy and good, and so does your winter veg/couscous recipe. I've never quite got my head around couscous, so perhaps I'll try that combo. Half the world can't be wrong on this.

    Not sure what's on today's menu, but it will incorporate chicken, thighs of course. Someone posted a recipe from Ayesha Curry's cookbook yesterday. It involves roasting it in a brown sugar sauce. What's not to like?

    And today we are putting up the tree, late for us, but then we've been so very busy with Julie's retirement. Yesterday we had lunch reservations at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake, drove two hours to find it was the middle of the Christmas Parade, and the road into town was closed. If we could have found a place to park, we'd have had a three mile walk and I wasn't up to that. So we toured around the falls for an hour, notice that head shops had sprung up on every corner, found no place to eat that looked better than Tim Horton's, and turned around and came back across the border. So much for that idea. But it was a nice ride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, I laughed when I got to "head shops had sprung up on every corner." It took me a moment to remember Canada is now the center of northern pot tourism.

      Delete
    2. You wouldn’t believe it. I was there the end of July, and of course pot wasn’t legal then. Suddenly there are maybe 25 head shops. And we didn’t see them all!

      Delete
  4. Garides Tourkolimano (Greek shrimp) with chopped Roma tomatoes, green onions, and feta cheese. Parsley garnish from my last herb pot still standing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum! I confess, I'd eat a brick if you put enough Feta cheese on it.

      Delete
  5. Julia, those roasted veggies look tasty! We don't do much couscous here--but lots of quinoa and brown rice. Both can be found precooked at our grocer's, making meals even quicker when the nephews want something fast and healthy. The cake, unfortunately, would be eaten mostly by me--but maybe for the holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been cooking more with quinoa as well, Flora. I think its texture stands up to some pretty substantial toppings.

      Delete
  6. "Bowl" meals are ubiquitous these days, and no wonder. They're comforting, aren't they? And a nice change from pasta. Lots of good flavors together. This one sounds tasty, Julia.

    I might make a big pot of venison chili this afternoon. It's really cold here (although warming up this week), and it will be great to have some extra to freeze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friend and I met for Christmas shopping and general bumming around yesterday, and one of the many things we agreed on was that bowl meals are the best when cooking for one. Lucky us, one of the places on our shopping list was a pottery studio, where she got herself the perfect bowl. (I have . . . uh, several . . . already.)

      Delete
    2. I was already the Queen of Casseroles when cooking for five, so this sort of thing isn't a stretch. I'm so famous for tossing everything and anything in a pot that one of my kids told a friend, and I quote, "Mom's meals look like barf, but they taste great."

      Delete
    3. Eh, sprinkle enough cheese on top, and it will be fine. Right?

      Delete
    4. Julia, that's what they call a backhanded compliment!

      Delete
  7. Putting BOTH of these recipes into my rotation. Thanks, Julia, Joan, and Betty!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Related veggies with couscous sounds fabulous, especially with balsamic vinaigrette, think I'm a little addicted to balsamic vinegar. will need to try on Thursday. The cake looks fabulous and reminds me of my childhood. I used to bake about 50 cakes a day, with help, during summer for the church's food concession at the County Fair. We got tired of the same old plain box recipes so we played around with some recipes and one of them is similar to the Julia's cake recipe but we call it Wine Cake because it has wine in it, of course. Box of yellow cake mix, small box of instant vanilla pudding, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup white wine and about 1/2 to 1 tsp nutmeg, To be honest, I don't measure the nutmeg, just grate some into the bowl. Mix everything in a bowl, pour into prepared Bundt pan. Bake @ 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) until done. Cool on rack, in pan, for a few minutes then flip onto rack remove pan to cool completely. No glaze on this one, though I have made a simple raspberry sauce when I want to drizzle on slices if I want to dress it up. I swear this cake reminds me off eggnog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deanna, Ross loved to make cakes starting with box mixes, so one year I got him THE CAKE MIX DOCTOR cookbook. He loved it - tons of easy recipes to put unique spins on classic ingredients.

      Delete
  9. This is fabulous! What a menu… And ‘Joan, I am completely drooling! Planning a menu for dinner… Um, words to go before I do that! And then we shall see! Xxxxx happy Sunday, everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Here’s a question… I just got a gorgeous fruit bowl box from someone… It’s amazing, except it includes 2 papayas. What do I do with the papayas? At least I think that’s what they are…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to eat them with a spoon for breakfast, in the same way you might scoop out segments from a grapefruit half. They have to be nice and ripe, though.

      Delete
    2. Hank, what Julia said, except squeeze lots of fresh lime on them.

      Delete
    3. I bet Hank has never seen a pawpaw!

      Delete
  11. I need to find out which of you lives closest to me, and then invite myself over for dinner! Monday is my shopping day, so my cupboard is nearly bare!

    DebRo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here! That's why my Sunday recipes are always made with stuff I have left over or pantry basics, DebRo!

      Delete
  12. Woke up with a co-o-o-o-ld! Soup today. Lot's of soup.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's chili for me today. I got all the ingredients a while back, but then it turned warm, and who wants to make chili when it's 70 degrees outside? Today it's clear but cold, with wind to make it feel even colder, so chili it is, and I'll have something to eat the rest of the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MMMM. I haven't cooked chili in at least a month. Last time I made it the way I used to and had leftovers for a week, even with Samantha eating some. I have to figure out how to shrink my recipe, because I love chili on a cold day!

      Delete
    2. Chili freezes well in individual serving sized plastic containers.

      Delete
  14. I've written two of the articles I need to get done, with plans to do a third after watching the Patriots game. Then I'll cook up some pork chops.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yum! The couscous and veggies sounds delicious, and Joan's cake as the perfect treat. I haven't been cooking this past week, as I've been going to lots of Christmas events and eating out. Yesterday, I brought home a take-out order of lemon pepper chicken penne to have today, probably for supper, and will share that with hubby. I'm in the mood to fix chili, but I more want to read today and write a review I need to get posted on blog. Tomorrow I'm on the go again, so it will probably be Tuesday before I cook again, and I wouldn't be surprised if chili is our choice then.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Julia, I will make your roasted veggies, just for me. Rick would not eat a single thing on the that tray! But I'd have a week's worth of lunches.

    Hmm, now thinking about chili. It's going to be a cold week here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm going to have leftover chili with sour cream and shredded cheese. No Fritos though. Some pig (moi?) snarfed them up.

    ReplyDelete