Cook something groovy!

I never had any desire to write a single word about Rachael Ray. Unfortunately, I was given one of her cookbooks for Christmas and now that I’ve tried two of the recipes, I figured I’d write about it. Especially since the recipes came together easily and actually tasted good. (I was surprised.)

Smoky Black Bean and Rice Stoup I used six bacon slices to her two, more celery, soy sauce instead of Worcestershire, brown rice instead of white and no hot sauce. I probably used more garlic, too. It was a really hearty soup with a thick, smoky flavor. I would definitely do this again.

Road to Morocco Lamb with Pine Nut Couscous This was my first time cooking lamb and I definitely want to learn more about preparing lamb. I’ve had some phenomenally tender lamb—I want that! Since I apparently have trouble following directions, I made a few tweaks on this recipe, too. I prepped my meat and spices last night. I added another onion, way more garlic and substituted half a cup of golden raisins for her one cup of dates. For the couscous I used more pine nuts than called for, added slivered almonds and threw a cup of frozen peas in after the couscous. (Cover, don’t mix—keeps them “fresher.”) I’ll make this again (maybe with chicken) but further tweak for more flavor, thicker sauce and tenderer meat.

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