Monday, June 24, 2013

Mama is learning this summer, too

So I've talked multiple times about the summer Coussoule Curriculum, and I'm quite certain I've mentioned that my kids aren't the only ones with assignments. I'm four weeks in to summer, and today was my fourth new recipe. It's both educational and a little bit self serving - all of the recipes are out of the same cookbook. Two birds with one stone: we try new things, I work on #32 on my life list.

I'll admit - the first one, not so good. Cornbread and Meat Squares. Where could I have possibly gone wrong with that, right? I love cornbread. I love meat. The kids love cornbread. The kids love meat. (Justin gracefully chose to eat leftovers that night - I made it on the night he teaches a Bible study and he doesn't much like things that resemble a casserole, anyway).

So. Cornbread and Meat Squares. Turns out it was basically a Tex Mex shepherds pie. And without the green chilis in the cornbread (in the false hope that my kids would love it so much I couldn't chance hot green things in it!), it was.... Well, it was just meh. Definitely not one to repeat. 

On to week two! Mexican Eight Layer Dip, the old party standby. My only mistake was planning it for dinner. Everyone loved it - but unfortunately for them, dinner was over after the appetizer. Oops. 

Last week was Hearty Rice Skillet. I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for a casserole. Which is weird and exactly opposite of how I feel about foods on my plate. I treat my food the way I treat my kids on a long car trip. NO TOUCHING. I mean, seriously. Nobody wants their roll touching their green beans. That's just gross. 

With casseroles, though, I'm usually all in. When it's cooked together, it is just my little piece of comfort food heaven. This world is a better place because of my mother's hamburgermacaroniandcheese casserole. And you really should run all of those words together when you say it. It's a literary casserole, and also, if you say it fast enough, nobody will ask you if Cheez Whiz truly counts as cheese.

So the Hearty Rice Skillet - I loved it. Another Lenten Friday night option for the future. Kids were unimpressed, but at least they tried it. We're big on the "no thank you bite" around here. You don't have to eat every night, but you definitely have to try everything. You can't say "no thank you" if you don't even know whether you like it, right?

So after a bit of a rocky start to the summer of new recipes, I decided this week I needed to deliver a crowd pleaser. Enter: One Bowl Chocolate Mocha Cake and homemade Rocky Road Frosting. 

This may be my first cake I've ever made from scratch. Certainly the first one I can remember making from scratch. We're talking cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate; measuring cups and spoons; even a sifter for the powdered sugar. Honestly, I picked this recipe because of the promise inherent in its name - one bowl. Pretty much foolproof. 

We'll see if it really does please the crowd tonight. The irony? I'm not a chocolate person. Don't like chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, etc. etc. But I'll take my no thank you bite just to see if this changes my mind. 

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