Our oldest baby- Gwenivere Elizabeth, Gwen, G$- will be 11 in 6 weeks. I can’t believe how quickly time passes when I can still remember her as my little baby so clearly.
Please notice her younger sister, Victoria, throwing a tantrum in the background. How dare I make her wear shoes on Easter Sunday?!
They are complete opposites. Only 16 months apart but completely opposite.
Tori is our comedian, a sweet old soul and cute as a button. A music lover like me…And she has daddy wrapped around her little finger. We love our Tori Tor.
Gwen. My almost 11 year old, also an old soul takes things a little more seriously. She’s like a little mom. Always recognizing when help is needed. She’s been mature since the day she was born.
I can recall the nurses at the hospital commenting on how alert she was. She always looked like she knew something you didn’t.
She’s responsible. Eager to help me around the Homestead and man… has she grown up this past year.
What is it that happens between age 10 and 11? She’s still my baby, but I can feel her slipping further and further into her own self. Not that, that’s a bad thing.
It’s inevitable. Friends become MOST important, constant sports and dance classes. Band, school, studying (real studying too! Her homework is most often over my head) and some days, I feel like I’m just along for the ride.
I try and remind my self to take mental pictures each day. I don’t want to ever forget this ride. I never want it to end.
Birthdays have always been hard for me. Another year has gone by.
Time keeps me ever optimistic for the future but also reminds me that nothing lasts forever. And as a parent, that is the most important lesson my kids have taught me. Take nothing and no one for granted. The calendar is there to remind us of that. And my kids…their ever growing and changing minds and bodies are constant reminders of that.
Luckily though. Their spirit remains the same and that is what makes my heart overflow each day.
To my almost 11 year old. I love you. More than you’ll ever know.
So as I’m crying in my kitchen over coffee, I’ll get to the point of this post and that is Gwenivere’s favorite meal!
Mediterranean Couscous. Every year when the weather turns warmer, her birthday gets closer and this is the meal she asks for. The whole family loves it and I’ve been making it for years.
In kindergarten, at a parent teacher conference, I had noticed a brightly colored board in Gwen’s class room. It listed all of the students names and their favorite foods. As I went down the list I saw only, pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese… and then I got to Gwen.
Gwen- favorite food: Couscous and salmon.
Yep! That’s my girl!!!
It’s also one of those perfect dishes to bring to a gathering, cook out, baby/bridal shower…I’ve brought this to all of the above and people are always asking for the recipe after they try it.
So without any more gushing and reminiscing– I give you,
Gwenivere’s Favorite Couscous|
Serves a crowd, or is great for leftovers the next day!
45 min cook time
2 hours chill time
- 1 box, quick cooking Couscous
- 1 1/4 c chicken broth
- 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 1 medium size cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 c chopped black olives
- 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2-1 c of store bought or homemade pesto
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by baking your chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper and a little paprika or whatever you’d like, at 375 for 35 minutes or until completely cooked thru. Then let it cool. Rotisserie chicken is absolutely fine here too and is a real time saver!
Meanwhile, cook your couscous according to the package directions in the chicken broth. Chicken broth gives it so much more flavor than just the water the box calls for.
Fluff it with a fork and let it cool slightly before tossing it with a tablespoon or two of the prepared pesto. The oil in the pesto will keep the Couscous from clumping. Put the Couscous in a large bowl.
Next chop your veggies and add them to the Couscous. No need to stir yet.
Next, chop up your chicken! In a smaller bowl toss it with the remaining pesto. Don’t be shy here! Add as much as you’d like! It will only make the dish better!
Now it’s time to add the chicken to the Couscous and veggies, and then the feta!
Mix it all up and chill for at least two hours before serving! And then… enjoy