Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brighter & Lighter Recipe Exchange - Couscous and a Cookie

 images by What Katie Ate

Hello! Welcome to our third recipe exchange...I'm so excited to see what everyone is cooking up...I just have to say that today I'm cheating a bit and bringing you two which isn't even a recipe and one that totally deviates from the theme but something I think will make you pretty happy...the current schedule is at the bottom of the post and feel free to sign up here if you want to jump in...

When I was thinking about what makes me happy in February of course citrus came to mind...and my true soul mate in the kitchen, my ray of sunshine, that brightens up almost any dish, and works hard in every season is the ever loverly here's my favorite and fast way to whip up a batch of summer...

Lemon & Mint Couscous 
I LOVE M'hamsa handrolled couscous but any large israeli style couscous is great - just cook according to directions...toss in some frozen peas with couscous - let it return to a boil and then cover, turn off heat and let sit for 8-10 the meantime zest & juice one lemon, chop up a healthy handful of mint and add to couscous after it has absorbed the water along with a healthy glug of olive oil and a few generous pinches of super good sea salt ( I like the pink kind, of course)...done!
Totally easy to fancy up for a party dish...add any other veggies you like and/or some good feta or other salty cheese...YUM!

Okay now on to my other kitchen obsession...(just in time for Valentine's Day!)...the humble Chocolate Chip Cookie (hey, I warned you I was going outside the theme but really is there anything better?)...I'm just going to say it...I make a damn good Chocolate Chip cookie...I've tried all the recipes, yes, that one from the New York Times, Jacques Torres is another favorite, and the infamous Neiman Marcus cookie but I think I've finally found my all time numero uno - Kim Boyce's Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie from Good To The Grain (an excellent cookbook - thanks Joy!)...the perfect chewy, can still taste the butter, not too heavy and perhaps a little heathy cookie - and seriously my husband practically swoons when he eats them...
First, a few tips...use the best organic ingredients - especially the butter because it really shines here,  take the cookies out before they look completely done (if you like them soft and chewy like I do), use the big chocolate discs that they sell at Whole Foods etc, and a little sprinkling of sea salt on the top never hurts...heaven!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies - adapted from Good To The Grain
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white all purpose flour (Kim uses 3 cups ww flour but I like to lighten it up a little)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate, chopped into bits (Kim calls for bittersweet, I used semi-sweet, because it was what I had)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.
Whisk the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars. Once they are creamy, add the eggs and vanilla. Beat to combine.
Add the dry ingredients in two batches and mix. Finally, add the chopped chocolate and just stir to incorporate.
Scoop balls of dough that are approximately 3 tablespoons worth. I used a quarter cup scoop to make it easy. These are big cookies, so six per sheet is plenty. Bake for 16-20 minutes (*I make mine a tiny bit smaller and cook for 12 minutes*), rotating the pans so that they each spend half the bake time on top and half the time on the bottom.

Brighter Lighter Recipe Exchange Schedule - thanks everyone for participating!!

Feb 9 - Michelle, Pretty Mommy
Feb 10 - Carlie, Twinkling Along
Feb 11 - Torrie, a place to share...

Feb 14 - Tina, Bull in a China Shop Mama
Feb 15 - Carina, nonchalantmom
Feb 16 - Stephanie, scrumptious
Feb 17 - Elizabeth sophisticated pie
Feb 18 - Myndi The Naming of Things

Feb 21 - Barbie, Birds of a Lovely Feather,
Feb 22 -  J.P. Archie, C’est La Vie
Feb 25 - Samantha, Vintage is for Lovers


  1. Well, you've won me over with the "still taste the butter" and "sprinkle of sea salt on top". Normally, I can totally pass up a chocolate chip cookie. I'm so often dissapointed with this. This sounds fabulous. It just might get me off my lemon kick this weekend.

  2. I just posted these today too--yum!

  3. Thank you for sharing!!

    Well, if I want my husband to *swoon, I know what I must do... Make these cookies, and I will- soon. (and the couscous- love the simplicity)

  4. Sign me up for 2/24 Michelle!

  5. Ok, double yummy!

    So glad to be participating this time around...I followed the last one. I've got a couscous recipe I might share as well.

    Posted this on my blog today.

  6. Yay Yay Yay another exchange! I need some fresh ideas for spring. Off to sign up!

  7. these cookies look amazing! i love sprinkling a little sea salt on top of my chocolate chip cookie, too. i have never tried whole wheat flour, but i think i will!

  8. Hi there! I am jessica from Kitchen Belleicious- a good friend of Torrie's. She keeps mentioning you in her posts so I had to come see what all the fuss is about! LOL! No wonder she loves ya. I love your blog and your writing style. I missed how to do your recipe exchange thing but I would love to join if it isn't too late! Have a fabulous day!


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