Japanese Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant AppetizerThis friend of mine was telling me an easy way to roast Japanese eggplant on an electric stove top element … Followed by a dip in egg and…. She saved me a taste treat. And it was so delicious I couldn’t believe that’s all she did. So, as my son-in-law likes to say, a little R&D was called for. It was simple and successful even with my first attempt … and I added a little breading to my process to give it a bit of an Italian twist. I didn’t go as far as a drizzle of marinara and a sprinkle of Parmesan but could see this as a special addition. Thank you so much my dear friend (who wishes to remain nameless).

Hope you too try and enjoy this simple but wonderful treat! BTW, if you frequently question whether you wish to try eggplant again because the outcome in the past has been chewy, tough or tasteless this Japanese Eggplant Appetizer will change your thinking.

Recipe in time for your Fourth Of July gathering!

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Quick Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese EnchiladasQuick and Easy Enchiladas … Enchiladas have always been a family favorite. In the day, putting together enchiladas seemed like a big laborious process … grating the cheese … cooking the onion … and just in general making it a big operation, preparing dozens at a time. So many tasks back then seem so easy today … Has the process really changed? Yep, it has! This can be done in no time with the help of a few conveniences that either were not available or just not used in the 60′s. Enjoy this easy delicious recipe for Cheese Enchiladas.

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My Breakfast of Champions

Vegan Molasses Cookies

 

Perfect for me and healthy too. Amazingly chewy and so moist you can eat them without a plate. I’m pretty tidy and like the no crumb experience while reading. Perfect for reading and eating! Enjoy this Vegan recipe I’ve shared in the past.

 

Or if you’d rather go butter and eggs for a delicious experience with a taller cookie try this version here.

 

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Maseca Hot Pockets

Mexican Style Hot PocketsQuick and Easy Hot Pockets. Make this easy tortilla filled treat … fry or deep fry. Chicken, ham and jalapeño Monterey Jack Cheese filling is my favorite but try any number of fillings. You don’t need a tortilla press unless you have a need for perfectly round tortillas. For this recipe perfectly round will make little difference. You just need a rolling pin, waxed paper or plastic wrap. I benefited from a very thin metal blade spatula too. BTW these Mexican Style Hot Pockets are great cold too! Thank you Carly for the Hot Pocket idea!

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Old Fashioned Chocolate Chippers

Shortening vs Butter

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chippers

I’ve been making Chocolate Chip Cookies for many years using the original Toll House Recipe. I don’t know if my memory is failing me but I don’t remember a butter option … The recipe called for shortening and a teaspoon of water. No longer.

Often we develop cookie (other foods too) taste and texture preferences early on and we tend to go back to these over and over. You may prefer a chewy chocolate chip cookie while another prefers a crispy one and still another may even prefer a Chips Ahoy.

Butter and shortening may be used interchangeably in this homemade cookie recipe but know the results will be very different. There is nothing like a butter taste but I enjoy a taller cookie that is hard to achieve with butter unless the dough with butter is refrigerated until firm before baking. And still there is a chance if baked just a little too long the cookie will be crispy. I have a taller chewy cookie preference but not too tall. I solve this by using half butter and half shortening. I’ve become accustomed to using salted butter for cookie making. Options for no salt butter were not often available many years ago. And since shortening has no salt I add just a pinch more salt.

The chocolate chips used are equally important. The choices today are pretty varied. Since I grew up on one particular type, the only one available except for a waxy knock off, it’s my choice to this day. Use the chocolate chips you and your family like best.

It has been my experience too that the baking makes a big difference in texture. Most old recipes call for a 375 degree F oven. I like to knock this down to 325 degrees … baking a little longer and removing the cookies at the right moment, a slightly golden brown. Any longer and the cookies will become crunchy when cooled to room temperature.

Hope you enjoy comparing some old recipes for this Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie. And just maybe trying something a little bit different.

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Beet & Arugula Salad with Feta

And Bacon, if you’re into it

Beet and Arugula Salad

104 degrees today and an ongoing drought have me thinking lighter more hydrating meals. This means fruits and vegetables. Are you thinking what I’ve heard many times before beets taste like dirt. I consumed my fair share of dirt as a toddler, so I’ve been told, and I can honestly say it’s not sweet and while red beets are earthy they lack the grittiness. Still fearful? For a less earthy taste try the golden beet.

Make this recipe an easy quick fix with jarred baby beets (not pickled) or use fresh with a little added prep time. Make this completely vegetarian or add a little cooked bacon. Just a great dinner salad for a hot hot day.

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Why a waffle panini?

Waffle PaniniThis panini is inspired by a friend who loves roasted red pepper sandwiches … that simple … that good. Not even a panini when he puts his together … yep, he’s a pretty good cook and the whole thing works. I love the toasted sandwich, panini. And I’ve seen this in vogue use of a waffle iron … making a waffle meal of turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes to cakes and other desserts.

And since I have yet to invest in a panini press and I’ve lost, in my most organized kitchen, my Le Creuset grill I decided to use my waffle iron. Aside from the waffle look the results are the same as a panini press, delicious!

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Eggplant Parmesan and More

Eggplant Parmigiana

Egg Plant Parmesan and MoreThese beauties, pictured two summers ago … but I can tell you I’m up for a good crop this year too. I love eggplant but only if it’s tender … not chewy and tough as it can be if certain steps are skipped when preparing. I know there are those who swear the salting process is not necessary but I’ve tried to skip this one, you guessed it, with chewy tough results. So get out your colander, salt 1/4 inch eggplant slices heavily on both sides and place into the colander for draining for at least 30 minutes. Pat liquid and dust off salt with paper towels (or rinse with cool water and pat dry) and you are good to go. An old dish that never grows old.

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