Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan Light

This was posted in What's Cooking a few months ago. I decided to try it today, and we loved it. I used leftover meat sauce instead of half the marinara, to use it up. Other than that, I don't think I changed anything else.

Cook It: Eggplant Parmesan Light

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)

3 large egg whites

3 tablespoons water

1 cup plain fine dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided (1 ounce)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

1/3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil two large baking sheets and a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Set aside.

Slice the eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. There is no need to peel them. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk the egg whites and water until frothy. Set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

One at a time, dip the eggplant slices into the egg-white mixture, then coat both sides with the breadcrumbs. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and very tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the marinara, basil and red pepper flakes. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

When the eggplant slices are done, arrange half of them over the sauce, overlapping them slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant, then top with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.

Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top, pressing them down into an even layer. Top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is browned, 25 to 30 minutes.


Pumpkin Muffins

I got this recipe from Erika on Os. As she suggested, I did half of the batter in muffin cups, and the second half in a baking pan as a small cake. I poured out the muffins first, then added chocolate chips to the rest and baked that as a small cake. And, since I can never leave well enough alone (most of the time because I don't have the foresight to gather all the ingredients before starting), I made some changes. I only had whole cloves and no nutmeg, so I omitted both. I used 2 3/4cups white and 1/4 cups brown sugar, and I upped the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons as well as adding 1/2 teaspoon allspice. My hubby, who hates pumpkin in dessert, really liked this.

spiced pumpkin bread

Bon Appétit | November 1995

Vern Bertagna: West Frankfort, Illinois

Serve one of these loaves the day you make them. Wrap the other in foil and freeze up to one month so that you'll have it on hand for unexpected company.

Servings: Makes 2 loaves.

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3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


This was really good. I added half a bunch of parsley, minced, and two potatoes and three carrots, peeled and chopped. We had it with vermicelli rice.

Adapted from Gourmet, December 1994

This tastes so much better the next day.

Goulash can be made into either a soup or stew, and the latter can be spooned over egg noodles or potatoes

Servings: Makes about 16 cups, serving 12

3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet*)
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (I didn't have caraway, so I used a mixture of fennel, dill,and cumin seeds)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup tomato paste
5 cups beef broth
1 to 5 cups water or beer (use the former to make a stew, the latter to make a soup) (I used water)
1 teaspoon salt
2 red bell peppers, chopped fine

In kettle brown chuck in small batches over high heat, transferring it as browned with slotted spoon to bowl.

Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking, 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Stir in broth, water, salt, bell peppers,and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer soup, covered, stirring occasionally, 60 to 75 minutes.

Season soup with salt and pepper. Soup may be made 3 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Reheat soup, thinning with water if desired.

Mexican Polenta casserole

I tried this tonight, but added a can of chopped tomatoes, as suggested by the poster of the recipe (melissatn). We really liked it. I used plain polenta.:


* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 packet taco seasoning
* Frieda’s Green Chile & Cilantro Polenta (or plain polenta if desired)
* Pictsweet Authentic Mexican Corn & Black Beans (or similar fresh or frozen veggies)
* 1 can of black beans (approx 14 oz)
* 1 small can tomato paste (approx 6 oz)
* 1 bag of shredded Mexican cheese (approx 2 cups)


1. Grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan. Slice polenta and place it in a layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees while preparing ground beef mixture.
2. Prepare ground beef according to instructions on taco seasoning packet.
3. Add canned black beans (drained), tomato paste, and frozen veggies to skillet. Mix well and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Take polenta out of oven, add beef mixture and top w/ mexican cheese.
5. Cook until cheese is golden brown and forms crust…about 25 minutes.

The only thing I’d change is adding more tomatoes…there weren’t enough in the frozen veggies. But I REALLY love tomatoes, so that’s just a personal preference. Obviously, not everyone will be able to find those specific products, so improvise as necessary.