Eggplant Parmesan

In all honesty, I have only ever eaten eggplant once in my life. I had it last year when I made ratatoulli! So trying eggplant in a different form, I wasn’t too sure how this recipe would turn out.

I can say that I actually impressed myself and have a new favorite recipe that is light, crisp and delicious. The entire recipe cost me $10 and it makes about 5-6 servings. I really recommend trying this out, impress yourself, impress your friends and enjoy an awesome meal!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 1-2 cups of fine Italian bread crumbs (I like to use Kroger)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-4 tbsp of grape seed oil (highly recommend over olive oil for this frying)
  • Parmesan cheese shredded
  • Whole milk mozzarella shredded (available at Kroger)
  • Tomato sauce canned or see recipe below
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper
  • Deep medium size baking dish
  • Frying pan

Fresh tomato sauce recipe

  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small can or half of a large can pureed tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • half a small onion finely diced
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper

Tomato sauce instructions

  1. Cut up/smash the whole tomatoes. Pour all  juice from jar and pieces into a sauce pan.
  2. Add your pureed tomatoes
  3. Saute your finely diced onion and minced garlic in a pan, till they’re soft but not browned.
  4. Finely chop your basil and parsley. About 1-2 tbsp each.
  5. Add in your onion/garlic mixture and begin seasoning with your thyme, oregano and additional seasonings.
  6. Taste taste taste! Get the sauce to your liking and keep on low heat so that it can cook while you begin your eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan Instructions

  1. Peel your eggplant and then cut vertically into thin strips.
  2. Place the strips on paper towel and sprinkle with salt then cover with more paper towel. This process helps get all the moisture out of the eggplant so it wont’ be mushy. Let the eggplant rest for an hour, this is when I made my tomato sauce and prepared the rest of my ingredients.

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3. Once you’ve hit your hour mark, rinse off the salt from your slices and pat dry with paper towel.

4. Cut the vertical slices in half, so you have almost like squares. This will allow easy placement and stacking in the baking dish and makes serving easier.

5. We are now going to prepare our batter station with 3 separate bowls. An egg wash bowl, a flour bowl and then an Italian bread crumb bowl.

6. Whisk together 4 eggs so that the egg wash is smooth.

7. Take a slice of egg plant, dip into the egg wash–shake off any access then dip into the flour so that its lightly coated and shake off any access. Dip your slice back into the egg wash and into the bread crumbs.

8. Have a frying pan ready with 1-2 tbsp of the grape seed oil. Place your slice into the HOT pan and let brown on each side. About 3 min each side. I usually put 4-5 slices in at a time. More oil may be needed the more you fry.

9. Repeat batter process and fry all pieces.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

11. Place a layer of your slices into the baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese then add another layer of eggplant. Repeat stacking until done. Top with sauce and cheese then bake for 30 minutes.

12. Cook your spaghetti as directed.

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Place your eggplant serving on top of your spaghetti, garnish with some parsley and serve with a nice dry white wine.

Enjoy!

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Carmel Apple Cinnamon rolls

This…this recipe…is just..ASTOUNDING. Impress your family, coworkers, your neighbor…like beyond delicious! This recipe takes a little time due to dough rising, like a few hours..but they keep well and warm up perfectly.

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Ingredients

Cinnamon roll dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk (warmed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour

Cinnamon roll filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter

Apple filling

  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Carmel icing

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Cream cheese icing

  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 7 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Starting with the dough–warm milk on stove, pour in a bowl and add in yeast to dissolve.
  • In a separate bowl add your sugar, butter, salt, eggs and flour. Mix to fully combined, I mix by hand.
  • Next pour in your milk/ yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  • Now we will let hte dough rise for an hour, cover with a cloth and let rise till its about double its size.
  • While this is rising, we will get the apples ready! Peel skins off apples, and dice into pieces.
  • Place apples in a skillet, add butter and sugar. Cook apples on stove at about medium, until apples are tender.

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  • Once apples are ready, place in a bowl and mix them with the additional apple ingredients. Set aside.
  • Next lets get the filling ready, get another bowl–mix together softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

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  • Your filling is ready and now your dough should be ready to rollout!
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  •  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, make into a large recetangle shape.

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  • Melt some butter in the microwave until it is liquid. You will then brush this on the dough leaving about an inch for the edge.
  • Now spread on your filling evenly and then spread on your apple filling.

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  • Once ready you are then going to roll this into a log–about 12-15 inches long.
  • Have a greased pan ready to place cinnamon rolls in.
  • Cut rolls into about 2 inches thick, should get about 12.

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, you will then cover your rolls with a damp paper towel for 30 minutes and let them rise again.
  • Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until dough it cooked.

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Now for the finishing touches! Lets get the icing started!!

  • First we will do the carmel icing, that will go on first then get covered with the cream cheese icing.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt your butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved at about medium heat.

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  • Next add in your condensed milk and bring to a boil on medium high heat for about 2 minutes. You will need to watch this carefully so it doesn’t burn.
  • Remove from heat, stir and then spread over your rolls.
  • For the cream cheese icing, mix together softended cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  • Then mix in your vanilla and milk. Add salt, and then gradually mix in your powdered sugar.
  • Spread icing over the carmel icing.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

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Midwest French Onion Soup

I love French Onion soup…but I have never tried to make it. One of those things where I always thought this will be too difficult and take too much time. Well I proved myself wrong, I made it after work starting at 7:30pm and finished by 9:30pm…so if I had started it at 5pm like I told myself I would, it would have been done in a normal dinner time slot ha. But this recipe, is easy, its cheap and not a lot of work goes into it! I am over the moon on how good it is!

This recipe is based off of Julia Childs…and yes…I changed it up. I know, I know–how could I!

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Ingredients

  • 3 medium size yellow onions
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • French baguette (I got mine at the Kroger bakery)
  • Swiss and Italian mix cheese (contains- mozzarella and Parmesan–can be found at Kroger)
  • dutch oven (If you are serving as a large meal you can put it in the oven as is. If serving for an individual highly recommend getting a french onion soup crock bowl–I found 2 at Goodwill!)Please note:If you’re not going to add the cheese to cook in the oven a regular soup pot is fine to cook in.

Instructions

  • Cut onions into thin slices. I cut my onion in half, sliced each half of the onion then cut those long slices in half to get nice squarish pieces.
  • Put onions in dutch oven with butter and olive oil, cover and  cook on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

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  • Uncover add in your salt and sugar, stirring frequently for 40 minutes. Keep uncovered as they cook. The onions should begin to get a deep brown color as they become carmelized.
  • At about 10 minutes before your onions are ready, boil your beef broth.
  • Add in  your flour, mix for a few minutes.
  • Pour in your boiling beef broth and white wine. Season with your salt and pepper till its to your liking. Then set the temperature to a simmer, so about a low medium. And cook half uncovered for another 30-40 minutes.
  • If you are going to gratin your soup, whether serving family style in the large dutch oven or doing individual crocks–Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut your french baguette into about 1 inch thick slices. Add a little raw onion over your soup before placing them on top of your soup.

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  • Top with swiss cheese, then add a little Italian cheese mixture over top.
  • Place in oven and cook about 20 minutes, if your cheese isn’t where you want it to be do about 30 minutes.

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  • Then switch to broil, when you see your cheese at the level of melty you like. Watch as the cheese begins to brown, should only need to be in there for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Let it cool a little and enjoy!

Midwest Succotash

If you were like me, you may have heard the words “suffering succotash” by a famous by Sylvester the cat. Who knew succotash was a delicious meal/side dish that’s easy to make and perfect for all those summer veggies available!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ears of corn or 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 3 fresh okra pods, chopped
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 small sweet peppers
  • 1-1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, snapped into small pieces
  • 1 bag frozen Lima beans
  •  1 TBSP fresh herbs, I used Tarragon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper, chili powder, lime

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your corn, I usually put my corn in the microwave on a plate and wrap the corn in a wet paper towel for about 4 minutes. But prepare as you see fit.
  2. While corn is cooking put your onion, okra, zucchini and peppers into a skillet with a little olive oil and saute until tender. Medium heat
  3. In the same skillet, now add your chopped green beans, corn and 1/2 of your butter.

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4. Prepare your Lima beans and then add to your skillet with the rest of the butter and mayonnaise.

5. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder, add a little lime for a kick.

6. Now pour in your tomatoes and water. You want just enough water for all your veggies to marinate, not drown in. This will cook the green beans and make the Lima beans more tender.

7. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower to medium/low and let cook for about 20-30 minute or until water is almost evaporated.

8. Serve and enjoy

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Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise is a sauce that should be velvety, tangy, and something you can’t stop eating.

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Ingredients

For 1-3 servings

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick of butter PLUS 2 slabs aka 2 tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • (pinch of cayenne if you like heat)
  • 1 Tbsp of water

For 4-5 servings

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 sticks of butter plus 2tbsp aka slabs
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • (pinch of cayenne if you like heat)
  • 1 Tbsp of water

Instructions

The best way to cook hollandaise is having several  sauce pans –1 small, 1 medium

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  1. Crack  eggs, put egg yolks in your medium sauce pan—discard the egg whites and shells.
  2. Take your stick or sticks of butter, cut into slabs and place in sauce pan. Set sauce pan to the side for now.
  3. In the medium sauce pan that is now holding your egg yolks….add in your 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
  4. You will now put this on your stove….if you have gas put it on low…and move it slowly to medium, if you have electric you can set it to medium since it will take longer to cook. THE GOAL — slowly warm up your sauce.
  5. As you put your sauce pan on the stove you will add in 1 slab of cold butter…this is  one of your 1 tbsp of butter that you’ve left behind.
  6. This will slowly melt….like slowly 3-5 minutes. The goal is not to 1–not over whisk…and 2–not curdle our eggs by making it too hot. So watch it pan, begin slowly whisking/stirring your butter into the egg yolk mixture. If for any reason your eggs begin turning into scrambled….your pan is too hot and you need to start over. (It happens…)
  7. As your egg yolk mixture is melting your cold butter–turn to melting the rest of your butter in the small sauce pan. You will put the small sauce pan over low heat and make the butter frothy. Once the butter becomes frothy and totally melted—- REMOVE FROM THE HEAT.

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8. Back to the medium pan, your butter should have melted by now and your sauce become thick….if it hasn’t …no worries! Slowly add in small amounts of lemon juice and up the temperature–carefully. You will know the sauce becomes thick because it will coat your whisk every so lightly. If its still soupy add in more lemon juice and keep it on the heat. Once the mixture becomes slightly thick–remove from heat!

9.Remove the medium sauce pan from the heat and add in your last tbsp of butter. As you whisk together you should notice it melting easier. Your medium sauce pan will remain off the heat, FYI.

10.Once melted, slowly pour in your melted butter and whisk….this should thicken the sauce a bit more.

11. Once all butter is poured in and whisked…add in your salt/pepper and cayenne if wanted. Taste, taste, taste–season till you’re happy and then serve immediately.

FYI the sauce can’t be  kept on the heat cause it will curdle and you can’t keep the sauce past like an hour because it will separate. SO SORRY YOU WILL NEED TO EAT RIGHT AWAY…ITS AWFUL I KNOW.

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