Recipe: Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

August 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Posted in country living, family, food, gardening, recipes, weight loss, Weight Watchers | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

New! Get my blog on Kindle.

And, too good not to mention … Flying Junction is having a Buy Two, Get One Free sale on all paper prints in his online store.  Plus, free shipping.  Gotta love that!

This is my Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan recipe … shared with love.  I hope you give it a try.  It is especially good if you can get your hands on eggplant from a local farm market rather than at the grocery store.  I have noticed the eggplants we buy at the farm stand are more tender and have less seeds than those I can find in a grocery store.

This recipe serves two. It is quick and simple to prepare, Weight Watcher friendly, and a tasty way to enjoy fresh eggplant. The recipe calls for breadcrumbs; if you are using this as a Weight-Watcher recipe be mindful what you use for bread crumbs. I have made this recipe using homemade bread crumbs tossed in olive oil and Italian herbs, baked in the oven until browned. However, while dieting I bake the bread crumbs without tossing them in oil. Or, try buying store-bought bread crumbs that are only toasted bread (read the ingredients and pick a brand that just has “wheat bread” or something like that for the ingredients).

Ingredients

One medium-sized eggplant
4 tsp olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 cups any marinara sauce*
1/2 to 2/3 cups prepared bread crumbs*
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese*
Thick-sliced mushrooms, any amount you choose to use

(For items marked with *, if you are following Weight Watchers, decide on amount to use based on the PointsPlus values you can allow for this meal.)

Preparation

Grill mushrooms until lightly browned on indoor grill.

Cut eggplant into 1/2″ diagonal slices. Rub olive oil on both sides of eggplant slices. When the mushrooms come off the grill, set them aside and get the eggplants grilling. Grill eggplants until tender but not mushy — this will not take very long, so watch them closely.

While eggplant is grilling, heat up marinara sauce on stove top.

Once eggplants come off the grill, arrange them on two plates. Spoon marinara sauce over the eggplants; sprinkle grated Parmesan over marinara sauce and top that with bread crumbs, followed by mushrooms.

That’s it — simple, and quite delicious. Healthy, low-calorie, satisfying!

~firefly

Advertisements

Things I look forward to

April 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Posted in country life, country living, faith, family, flowers, food, gardening, gifts, Holidays, Knit Alongs, knit-a-long, knitting, Life, love, marriage, Mother's Day, photography, recipes, relationships, shopping, yarn | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our lawn is beginning to show signs of the gorgeous, lush green glow that spring and summer bring to us.  As much as I love winter and the magical beauty of snow in a mostly monochromatic world, the anticipation of color returning to the world is very awesome.  I am sitting in an old fashioned, high-back chair by the window in our sitting area that faces the barn.  I hear birds calling, and see that glow from the lawn that promises much green to come, thinking of things I look forward to.

I look forward to green, orange, pink, purple, yellow, blue, and many other colors as they open up and paint themselves all over the countryside.  Wild flowers growing along the roadsides, the our farm fields waking up and coming to life, the Sincere Pumpkin Patch we will grow this year, the sunflowers I intend to plant all around the perimeter of our yard, between the yard and the crop acerage.

I look forward to Easter Sunday and an egg hunt out by the between the barn and the willow.  I look forward to opening up the cottage and bringing it back into service for the warmer seasons.  I look forward to my son and parents being here at the farm at various times during the coming colorful months.  I look forward to knitting by open windows, with a gentle breeze rustling through and the beautiful voices of the birds calling, singing, squealing, honking, tweeting … all of their various sounds.

I am looking forward to that first moment in this year when I step outside and feel actual warmth from the sun touching me lightly on the shoulder.

Trips on the river in the canoe, camping out in the backyard, picnicking there too.  Painting inside late into the day because of abundant light, painting outside because of the nice warm air, rain showers, thunderstorms, mud puddles, and blue skies.  I am looking forward to it all.

I am a couple of days late in sharing two recipes with you all, and several days late on issuing the next set of instructions for the Summer in the Country cotton blanket knit along.  My flu went away, and then it came back and felt a bit worse the second time around. Makes me want to talk like a pirate, but it isn’t September 19th yet so I might restrain myself.  Today I am feeling 98% well again but it has been a bit rough getting here.

For the recipes, they will follow below.  For the knit along, click here for that update.

Just a quick note about my son’s Etsy store before we get on to the recipes.  He has some new releases recently that you might enjoy checking.  First off, he has this new collection of three Los Angeles Subway Sign Prints, and of course I love the vintage look Keep Calm and Carry On signs (great story of the history behind that sign).  You can also follow his business now on Twitter and Facebook — I know he would really appreciate the support.

As I said last week, my son and I would like to share two recipes with you this week.  Both are for Pimento Cheese spread for sandwiches.    When I was a little girl and my family was still living in North Carolina, my mother used to make a pimento cheese spread from time to time and we would have delicious, refreshing pimento cheese sandwiches.  She continued making that treat for us at times when we were in California, and it was a special treat.

What I didn’t know at the time was that pimento cheese spread is — or was — a southern thing.  I found that out from an article in the Food section of the Los Angeles times where several pimento cheese recipes were shared.

Recently I mentioned pimento cheese to my son and found out he has been making it too, but his take on it is completely different from my mother’s.  We thought it would be a good idea to share the two recipes, side-by-side.  My mother has graciously given me her permission to tell you her recipe, one she invented to come up with a more economical way of providing pimento cheese sandwiches to a large family of seven (Mom, you rock).

First up …

Mom’s Downhome Pimento Cheese Spread

1 8-oz loaf Velveta cheese
1 5-oz can evaporated milk
1/2 cup Miracle Whip or other sandwich spread
1 small jar chopped pimentos

Gently heat Velveta cheese and evaporated milk in a medium sized saucepan on low to medium heat until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in Miracle Whip until thoroughly mixed. Drain pimentos and fold into the cheese mixture. While warm and soft, place in a glass container to cool.

Make sandwiches with this spread by, well … spreading it on your bread and then you’re done.

And now …

Flying Junction’s Favorite Pimento Cheese Spread

8-oz grated cheddar cheese
4-oz grated Ppepper jack cheese
1/3-cup mayonnaise
2 ounces canned diced pimentos
1/4-tsp granulated garlic
1/4-tsp granulated onion
1/4-tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)
two drops green pepper sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before spreading on sandwich bread. Our favorite thing is to use this to make a grilled cheese sandwich on a couple of slabs of hand-cut sourdough bread.

We hope you will give pimento cheese spread a try, if you haven’t ever had it before. Personally, I think it makes a wonderful springtime sandwich — so refreshing and bright!

Here is another bright thought for you … need a unique idea for a Mother’s Day gift? Our top three suggestions for unique gift ideas for Mom:

1) Send your Mom to Paris with a collection of three Paris Metro Line 1 signs from Flying Junction
2) Knit her a biscuit blanket using our beautiful Deluxe Biscuit Blanket Kit (includes fine art gift card and beautiful gift box) — not many left in stock
3) Give her a Knitter’s or Crocheter’s Eye Chart art print

Off to enjoy a pretty spring day … hope you have a great one!

~firefly

Peepers, willows, and geese

March 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Posted in country life, country living, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, Knit Alongs, knit-a-long, knitting, Life, love, photography, recipes, shopping, travel, yarn | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My husband’s grandfather had a saying about the peepers freezing three times before spring officially arrives … we heard them last week, then there was a freeze and we heard them again this week.  I don’t know if this counts as them being frozen twice already, or only once.  What I do know is that once you start hearing peepers the glowing green grass and flowering fruit trees are not too far behind.

Between now and then we will hear more and more peepers until peepers is about all we can hear, there will be so many birds singing that they will wake us in the morning and charm us during the evening hours, the geese will create an ever increasing symphony (I think of it as a symphony, though some might consider it a cacophony) of calls and honks as they feed in the fields around us and fly overhead at dusk and dawn.

The willows will transform from their lean, graceful golden winter state to a plumper green-gold of early spring as the buds of their little leaves begin popping to the surface up and down their slender whips.

This in-between time when the peepers are freezing and thawing and the world is slowly waking from a long, cold winter nap is a time of sweet anticipation of warmth and beauty we know will come.

I wanted to thank everyone who participated in the drawing my son and I held last week going into this one. When I asked people to visit the Love Letters Treasury at Etsy and from there to visit my son’s store then go back and leave a comment at the Treasury I didn’t know what to expect. It was so fun to read the various comments people made, coming up with creative ways to mention something they had seen in his store.

If you didn’t check it out, you might enjoy reading through their comments … somehow it seems like a walk in a park to me. I don’t know why. Check it out and see how it impresses you.

Using a random number generator, I selected three winners from those who left comments. I contacted each of the winners via the “convo” feature at Etsy and have heard back from two. The winners are:

phqueenb = Grand Prize
nuttywifery = First Prize
sandyp218 = Second Prize

By the way, you should check out Flying Junction’s new “Keep Calm and Carry On” vintage style print, available in 32 decorator colors. I will be hanging one of these in my dinning room shortly to remind us all to do just that … keep calm and carry on.

And, I notified one reader who participated in last week’s survey that she is a winner in another random drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate — congratulations Linda H. She tells me she will be picking up a new knitting book from Amazon, how sweet is that.

I have another survey for the same client this week, and there will be another random drawing of all participants for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate. If you are willing to help, it is a brief survey–only four questions–so if you can take a couple of minutes to participate you can get into the random drawing. Note: To be eligible for the drawing, you must complete the survey by midnight tonight, 31 March 2011.Check it out here.

Tomorrow I will post Stage 3 directions for my Summer in the Country Cotton Blanket Knit-Along, so be sure to check back if you are participating. If you aren’t in the knit along yet, check it out and look at some of the photos members of the group are posting on their blogs, Ravelry, etc. to show their progress. It is a lovely pattern, with some cool surprises as you go along.

Next week be on the look out for two recipes for Pimento Cheese, a delicious and refreshing sandwich spread. My son and I will share the down home southern style spread my mama used to make when I was a kid along with his updated urban gourmet style spread that I have yet to try. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Hope you have a great day!

Best wishes,
~firefly and son

My son is a designer, graphic artist and photographer (Etsy seller: FlyingJunction at http://flyingjunction.etsy.com, specializing in vintage look subway signs and bus scrolls). He has worked as a professional artist and graphic designer for more than ten years. His t-shirt designs, sold both online and in exclusive boutiques, have been worn by celebrities around the globe and are frequently spotted at major sporting events, in celebrity photos, television productions, and music videos. He commutes between Los Angeles and the family farm in upstate New York, calling both places home. We collaborate on many things, including recipe development and the Knitter’s and Crocheter’s Eye Chart prints and other fiber lover art prints I sell in my Etsy store.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: