Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ina Garten's Curried Couscous, Ellie Krieger's Double Chocolate Pudding Pie AND My 100th Post!





Talk about a mega post!

This week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe is Ina's Curried Couscous, selected by Ellyn of Recipe Collector & Tester. We love couscous and I'm always trying to think of new ways to make it exciting. Trust Ina to come up with a tasty twist on this go-to side dish.


I changed up the recipe somewhat, substituting whole wheat couscous, nixxing the red onion (figuring the spring onions have enough onion flavor), substituting cilantro for parsley (sorry cilantro haters!) and slivered almonds for sliced. I also tossed in a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans for some added protein and called it dinner! What can I say, I was going to make tandoori chicken to serve along side but that requires taking the chicken out of the freezer. Maybe next time!

This was soooo tasty and it made (in typical Ina fashion) a ton of couscous. We'll be eating it for a while, and I'll have plenty of chances to dress it up with different proteins and make it seem new. It had a great curry flavor without being overbearing, and the almonds and carrot gave it a nice crunch. Definitely another great recipe from Ina. Thanks, Ellyn for a wonderful pick!


For Craving Ellie in My Belly, we made Double Chocolate Pudding Pie, selected by Tessa of Handle the Heat. This recipe was so easy, I made it at 6 AM before work, with time left over for 20 minutes of cardio (I MUST counteract all of these!) and a shower before leaving for work. Hearts make me happy, so I used these mini tart pans I got while we were in Paris. I also wanted to break in my new mini pie pan, and two of the heart shaped ramekins I bought about 10 years ago at Williams-Sonoma and have never used. Truly. I made Ellie's graham cracker crust almost as written (no water, extra tablespoon of butter and one additional graham cracker sheet). I didn't mess with the filling, using 70% bittersweet for the chocolate. I did follow one Food Network reviewer's suggestion to sprinkle the gelatin over cold water rather than hot, and I didn't have any clumping at all. It took ten minutes of constant whisking before the chocolate mixture thickened. Once it did, I actually LISTENED to the voice in my head that said to use a ladle to fill the various tins, ramekins, molds, etc. No spills to clean up, though we won't talk about what happened to the traces clinging to the side of the pan.


This was delicious! The crust wasn't as sturdy as my usual butter-laden graham cracker crust, but this was outrageously chocolaty and the perfect portion size. Truth be told, I preferred the ones I made sans crust, as the graham cracker crust interfered with my enjoyment of the chocolate pudding. If you prefer a less assertive chocolate flavor, you could substitute milk chocolate and the flavor would mellow out.

And finally, this is my 100th post. I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and can't get my head around it. When I started this blog last fall, it was to be a part of Tuesdays with Dorie. I've since joined Craving Ellie in My Belly and Barefoot Bloggers, and have gotten more out of blogging than I could have ever imagined. I love to cook, and I love to share my cooking, and this is just another way to share. Most of all, I love visiting your blogs to see what YOU'RE cooking, to be inspired by you, to learn from you, and to share in your story. You have elevated my cooking by your words and your sharing, and I am a better cook and baker because of you. Thank you.

30 comments:

Suzie said...

What a sweet post! I feel exactly the same way about blogging. It has taken my cooking so much further (although my photo skills need some work!). I love your little chocolate hearts too - so very cute and happy.

somethingsweetbykaren said...

congrats on your 100th post, that's exciting! i liked your little shout-outs at the end, that was nice. i wasn't even sure i'd like this couscous due to the curry but it was pretty amazing and easy. i also posted mine with chocolate today too (ina's brownies from last month).

applecrumbles said...

Congrats on your 100th post.
The heart shaped pans are really nice. Good job on all the cooking and baking.
Agreed...cooking with groups helps with skills and adds variety to our diets... that's if we are willing to try new things.

spike. said...

Congrats on your 100th post! I love reading your blog. Love the hearts and the couscous-looks like a good day of cooking to me!

Jessica said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! I completely forgot about CEiMB until I looked at my Reader this morning and started seeing the posts. Oops! I love the heart shaped pies, they're adorable.
I love couscous and the BB pick that you made this week looks splendid. I love it when there are a bunch of mix ins :)

Tracey said...

Congratulations on 100 posts! That's terrific! I've just recently found your blog but I really enjoy it. Love the heart shaped pudding pies - they look delicious!

The Talley's said...

Congratulations!! The heart shaped chocolate pudding pies are SO cute. Isn't it funny how we buy things we think we need and then don't get around to using them until much later? LOL. Super cute.

Alyssa

Kate said...

I enjoyed this too, and had no idea couscous fluffed up as much as it did. I've got so much couscous, I'll be eating it for a week!

Amy I. said...

Congrats on post 100! I love the idea to make the pudding pies in little tart pans...yours came out great!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

Congrats on the 100th post! Your blog is truly one of my favorites to read.

Hearts make me happy, too. Everything looks great.

Sara

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Love those tarts, especially the hearts. A low fat intense chocolate treat is nice to know about, and I'd skip the graham crackers too. I have a friend who doesn't like hearts. I can't figure out what's wrong with her, she's normal otherwise!

Thanks for the shout out! I agree totally with your last paragraph. I wasn't that big of a foodie, but blogging has been so rewarding! 100 posts is a big milestone - good job, you!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

100 posts is a great milestone! congrats! The tarts look lovely in their charming heart shapes. I am intrigued by your Curried Couscous. The innovations you made sound right on!

AJM said...

Congrats on 100! I should count up how many I'm at, good idea. I LOVE the individual heart puddings!!!! That would be such a good kids cooking project for mothers/fathers/bday. Must find heart ramekins!

Sara said...

Your heart shaped cakes look awesome.

We really like this one, despite lack of crust and a few measly graham crackers on the top of ours!

--Nick/imafoodblog.com

Pamela said...

Yahoo!! Congrats on your 100th post! Time just flies right by, doesn't it?? I honestly enjoy your blog so much! Everything looks great, too. Thanks for the tip about the gelatin with cold water, too! Keep up the great work!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Congrats on 100! Way to go girl. I love your blog.

Mary said...

Congrats on your 100th post. I liked the part about having ramekins you had never used before :)...hee...hee...sounds like my house where i buy cool yet esoteric kitchen stuff (root beer extract/pasta making stuff) but then never make the items.

AmyRuth said...

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, MISSY!!!! Way to go and have you been busy??? Yes. I am so jealous that you traveled to Paris. What a lovely idea. What kind of drugs do you take? You must have scads of energy. How inspiring you are!!! Thanks for sharing all you adventures in the kitchen and for stopping by my little spot and not giving up. huh? Nice. Oh yea and when no one is looking, its okay to lick your fingers after they do what they do. ha ha Thank you Leslie.
AmyRuth

thenotsoskinnykitchen said...

Congratulations on 100 posts!!

These both look great; I love the heart-shaped spin on the pudding pie:)

girlichef said...

Yes, the cilantro amped it up...I loved it!! I like the garbanzo's with it..YUM! Congrats on 100 posts...wow :D

Michele said...

Congratulations on 100 posts!

Amanda said...

Wow those pies look Heavenly!

lola said...

Leslie, Congratulations on your anniversary post. The heart puddings look delicious. Good idea of garbanzo beans with the couscous. I made half of the recipe and it still made a bunch. I really appreciate you visiting my post and your comments. I have a long way to go with my photos, but it certainly is fun. Have a great week! lola

What's for Supper? said...

Those hearts look great! Yay for the 100th post too.

Jaime said...

congrats on your 100th post!

Tammy said...

I loved the couscous, too. Your heart tart pans are precious!

natalia said...

Ciao ! Happy 100 posts !! Your cous cous and tarts are great ! Great reading your posts !!

Lisa said...

Congrats on 100!! I love that you added chick peas to the couscous. I kept feeling like it was missing something and I think that was exactly it. I'll have to add those next time.

Cathy said...

I love your mega-post, Leslie - congrats on 100 posts!! I completely agree that blogging can be so inspiring and rewarding. I can't think of a nicer, cooler, more fun and creative community than the food blogging community! Your posts are always so much fun to read -- I always feel like I'm right there with you when you're cooking! I missed the couscous but hope to get to it before the end of the month - it looks incredible! And I really need to add a lighter Ellie dessert to the repetoire to offset all that Dorie goodness - this pudding looks great! Congrats on 100 posts, and I look forward to the next 100!

Gabe's Girl said...

wonderful! Congratulations of your 100th post!