Eggplant Parmesan…my way!!

20 Comments

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As I have mentioned in a recent post my Dad has a garden and so another vegetable that has been a plenty is Eggplants.
Most of the summer, I would grill them or just roast them in the oven, and a couple of times I made Eggplant Parmesan.  I would post my pictures on facebook and of course my friends say tell me the recipe.

So this last time I tried to remember as making it to take pictures of the process and what I do 🙂

First I used my homemade tomato sauce that I made out of the tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and I love using Fresh Mozzarella 🙂

So enjoy!!

First I peeled, sliced then sprinkled slices with salt in a colander
for 30-40 minutes, then pat each slice dry with paper towel. 
(LOL of course the first picture of that I forgot to take)
Then place them on a baking sheet 

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I took panko bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

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Mixed in some Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzeys
(coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
you can add Italian seasonings as well

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Put about 2 Tbsp. on mixture on top of each slice

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with your hand press down crumb mixture

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Then I sprayed each piece with PAM – Olive oil spray
of course you could drizzle with olive oil if you wish too.

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Then bake in a 385 degree oven until tops are brown

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Sauce you can use any you like, so pick your favorite
I used my homemade sauce and I added
some of the Sandwich Sprinkle to the sauce

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I have some Fresh Sliced Mozzarella

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In a sprayed baking dish, place a eggplant down
and top with sauce

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Then top with a slice of mozzarella

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Place another piece of eggplant and repeat
with sauce and cheese

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I topped the final piece of cheese with the rest of the sauce

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I had crumb mixture leftover

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and I sprinkled some over top the entire dish
And bake at 385 degrees until brown 

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and cheese is melted and brown

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This was so good, most of the time I don’t measure anything so when
I cook unless I write it down it really just turns out to what I have 
in my pantry and such.  So when I am experimenting and it turns out good, I have to remember what I did so I can share in a blog, and then most the time I don’t take picture either 😛 LOL
The last time I made this (pictures below), I did the same except I didn’t have
any crumb mixture left, so I sprinkle the final layer with a little parmesan chesse

They both turned out delicious 😛 so as you make yours just make to what you like and
it will be just as Delicious!!

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Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 medium size eggplant, peeled, sliced a 1/2- 3/4 inch thick (6 slices from each)
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian seasonings, divided
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Mozzarella sliced, 2 slices for each stack
(used 1 1/2 logs for 8 stacks, so 2 logs would work for 12 stacks)
PAM Olive Oil spray

Sprinkle each slice of eggplant both sides lightly with salt, place slice in colander in the sink,
let set for 30-40 mins.  Then pat each piece with a paper towel, doing this helps draw out the bitterness that some eggplants tend to have.

In a bowl add panko, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. seasonings; mix together.  Place slices on a baking sheet and put about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mixture on top, press mixture down with hand then spray with olive oil spray.
Crumb mixture does fly around a little that is why I press down the mixture, you can drizzle tops with olive oil if you wish.  Bake at 385 degrees until tops are brown about 25 minutes or so. 

Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready, mix in 1 Tbsp. seasoning, have mozzarella slices ready.
Spray a baking dish that will hold the amount you are making.

Once eggplant tops have browned, place half the slice in the baking dish, top with 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce,
then a slice of cheese, repeat again, eggplant, sauce and cheese.
At this point you can top each stack with leftover sauce and sprinkle with any left over crumb mixture, or just sprinkle some a little Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 385 degrees until light brown and cheese is bubbly.  

You can really make this your own, you like more sauce use more sauce, or cheese even, if you want to stack 3 high then stack 3 high.  These a great meal served with a simple salad on the side.

Enjoy!!!

 

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

10 Comments

Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake 🙂

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure 🙂

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name 🙂 so this is my recipe 🙂

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Ingredients

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Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out

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Place parchment in pan and spray paper

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I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan

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sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan

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Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time

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then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)

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Fold in lemon zest

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pour on top of blueberries and bake

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let cool for about 10 minutes

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place platter on top of cake and flip upside down

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and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

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slice and serve

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Topping

1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Cake

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently.  Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen  cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious 🙂 Enjoy!!!

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Crispy Red Pepper Jelly Chicken Tenders!!

9 Comments

Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly…Yum!!!

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I got a couple of samples of this jelly from the office and well my mind starting thinking of something to do with it.
Of course what most people do with it is pour it over cream cheese, which is good…but

When I got home I was like I want crispy chicken tenders, I thought why not use the jelly 🙂

So I added the Jelly to my eggs mixture and it worked out awesome, this Red Pepper Jelly is great you can use it on some many things, here are just few that I thought of:

Brush on Grilled Corn
Mix into your Corn Bread or Muffin Mix
Brush on Grilled Chicken or Pork
Brush over grilled peach halves or pineapple rings, serve with slices of grill pound cake
I could go on and on 🙂

Diffidently worth a try for sure!!

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whisk jelly and egg together

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Seasoned flour

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chicken tenders

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dredge the tenders in flour

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coat in egg mixture

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dredge in panko

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place on baking sheet and spray with olive oil

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Bake at 400 degrees

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microwave jelly to drizzle

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Drizzle over top the tenders and enjoy!!

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Chicken Tenders

seasoned flour
egg
Panko breadcrumbs

I keep seasoned flour in my freezer so I have it whenever I need to coat something.
Mix together egg and a couple tablespoons of the jelly and whisk together
Place panko in shallow dish or on a plate

Dredge chicken in flour to coat, then coat with egg mixture and then dredge in panko and place on baking sheet, spray chicken with an olive oil spray and bake at 400 degrees until chicken is done about 20 minutes.

Take a couple of tablespoons of the jelly and heat in microwave for 15 seconds and drizzle over the chicken.

I really enjoyed the sweet heat to the chicken tenders will make this again so sure, so hit up your local Remke Markets or your local grocery for Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly!!

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Cinnamon Quick Bread…Two Ways!!!

15 Comments

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Cinnamon Strawberry and Cinnamon Strawberry & Blueberry!!

I always have strawberries in the freezer for my kale smoothies 🙂 I will buy various fresh fruit, clean it, cut it up and freeze it, then I always that it on hand 🙂

So I was trying to think of a quick bread to make and well the strawberries came to mind, when I was testing my double batch (so I could give to family and friends) I was a little heavy handed with the cinnamon…but I have to admit it was pretty good and I got great reviews 🙂

I recently got some Coconut sugar and I had been wanting to use it, so I try it again but this time with blueberries, coconut sugar, coconut oil and whole grain pastry flour, this one is a little healthier for you 🙂

Here are both recipes, make both or just one of them…they both are Great!! 🙂

1st – Cinnamon Strawberry

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2 bowls, one wet, one dry

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whisk each individually, add strawberries to wet

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mix together

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then mix in the dry

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put into loaf pans and bake

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Cinnamon Strawberry Quick Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters (if frozen, let thaw)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, whisk until fully combined.

In a med bowl whisk together eggs and oil; fold in strawberries, then pour into flour mixture and fold together just until combined.
Scoop into loaf pans and bake.

For mini pans bake 30 – 35 minutes for larger loaf pans 45 – 50 minutes, always check at first time by inserting a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done.

2nd more healthy for sure – Cinnamon Strawberry Blueberry

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whisk dry in one bowl, add blueberries, toss around to coat

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mix wet with strawberries

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then add to dry

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put into loaf pans and bake

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Loaf is much darker because of the coconut sugar

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Cinnamon Strawberry Blueberry Quick Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters (if frozen, let thaw)
1 cup blueberries
3 1/4 cups whole grain pastry flour
2 cups coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid state
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, whisk until fully combined, toss in blueberries and mix around to coat.

In a med bowl whisk together eggs and canola oil; then whisk in coconut oil, if you need to heat a little to melt then do so, just let cool down first before adding it to egg mixture, fold in strawberries, then pour into flour mixture and fold together just until combined.
Scoop into loaf pans and bake.

For mini pans bake 30 – 35 minutes for larger loaf pans 45 – 50 minutes, always check at first time by inserting a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done.

Enjoy both these recipes I hope you make them both!!! 🙂

 

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Bread Pudding

8 Comments

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Bread Pudding…you either love it or hate it 🙂

I don’t think there is any in between 🙂

I myself like Bread Pudding…if it made well…believe me I had some that I’ve wanted to spit out 😛

But I must say I have had great success making Bread Pudding 🙂

As part of what I do in my job, we host wine dinners, beer dinners, customer appreciation dinners.  One of the dinners that happens each month is a Wine dinner with a local radio station and the morning DJ’s and their winners.  They are Bob and Marianne…Check out photo below…doesn’t he look familiar….think “Entertainment Tonight”

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Yes Bob Goen…well he is just the nicest person ever!! 🙂

Our dinner for them included the following courses, each with a wine pairing

1st. course – Trio of Crostini’s
2nd. course – Mini cheese Ravioli’s with Apples and Walnuts with a Balsamic glaze
3rd. course – Zen Blend Salad with strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese crumbles, candied walnuts with a Balsamic glaze dressing
4th. course – Parmesan Chicken cutlet, with Whole Wheat Pasta served with Sweet Peppers, Kale  tossed in Arrabiata Sauce
5th. course – Lemon Marmalade Bread Pudding – recipe below 🙂

They loved everything 🙂

Side note****
But today is my Birthday 🙂 and when its your birthday you bring treats into the office and well I made the Lemon Marmalade Bread Pudding along with a Wild Blueberry 🙂

 

Ingredients

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Bread

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Cube it up

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place on baking sheet

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bake

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divide marmalade

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add butter to saucepan with marmalade

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stir and melt

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add mixture to cubed bread in a large bowl

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toss to coat bread, set aside

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add half and half to marmalade jar

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Shake

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add jar mixture, rest of the half and half, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla (lemon juice & zest)

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whisk together

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pour custard over bread cubes

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mix together, set aside for 30 minutes

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Spray ramekins

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add bread-custard mixture, place on baking sheet, bake

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after baking

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top each ramekin with the remaining marmalade

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Recipe – Lemon and Wild Blueberry Bread Pudding

12 oz. package of King’s Hawaiian Rolls, bread, sub rolls, buns…it all works 🙂
1 quart Half and Half
1 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter

For Lemon – zest and juice of 1 large lemon
                         1 jar Lemon Marmalade 12.35 oz – 14 oz. 

For Wild Blueberry – 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries 12.35 oz. – 14 oz.
                                        1 jar Wild Berry or Blueberry preserves

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes, toast on baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees, until golden brown about 10 minutes or so, let cool, once cooled add cubes to large mixing bowl, set aside.

Remove a 1/4 cup of the marmalade and set aside, take the rest of the marmalade and add to a small sauce pan with the butter, on medium heat, warm marmalade and melt butter, stirring to combine.

Once butter has melted, pour mixture over top the toasted bread cubes and toss to coat, set aside.

Take empty marmalade jar and add 1/2 cup of the half and half, shake vigorously to loosen any thing left to the sides of the jar.   In a medium bowl add that mixture, the rest of the half and half, sugar, vanilla, eggs and egg yolks, whisk to fully combine.  

(If making Lemon at this point add zest and juice to the wet mixture whisking to combine)

Pour custard mixture over the coated bread cubes, mixing together, let stand for 30 minutes, pushing bread cubes down into the custard occasionally. 

After 30 minutes, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Distribute the bread-custard mixture into buttered or sprayed ramekins, I used 10 8 oz. ramekins filling them about 2/3 the way full.  

(If making Wild Blueberry, top each ramekin with a little of the blueberries)

Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, remove from oven and and using the set aside marmalade spoon over top each ramekin.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

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Serve and Enjoy!!!

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Brown Bread!!

12 Comments

No I don’t mean like Whole Wheat bread…I mean Brown Bread, this is a sweet or quick bread and bake in a CAN!!  

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Yes I said a can…you know a can that veggies come in or soup 

I grew up having brown bread in our house my Mom would make this as well as my Grandma…I don’t think I ever thought it was odd baking it in a can…I was a kid it was a cool thing 🙂

Wikipedia says – 

New England or Boston brown bread is a type of dark, slightly sweet steamed bread (usually a quick bread) popular in New England. It is cooked by steam in a can, or cylindrical pan.
Brown bread’s color comes from a mixture of flours, usually a mix of several of the following: cornmeal, wheat, whole wheat, graham flour, or rye, and from the addition of sweeteners like molasses and maple syrup. Leavening most often comes from baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) though a few recipes use yeast. Raisins are often added. The batter is poured into a can, and steamed in a kettle. While most variations are quick breads, and can be made in less than an hour, several commercial brands are available. Brown bread is somewhat seasonal, being served mostly in fall and winter, and is frequently served with baked beans.

I really had forgotten about this Brown Bread until I read this blog “A Small Insight” http://asmallinsight.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/mammas-fruit-loaf/
Lucy call it “Mamma’s Fruit Loaf and when I read this post and saw what it was, I immediately thought of Brown Bread 🙂 

So go to her blog and check her out and her recipe for her Mamma’s Fruit Loaf 🙂

All  know is that I really was not a big fan growing up, but now this stuff if great and I like mine with butter, now my Mom likes her’s with cream cheese.  So its up to you on which way you eat it, its also good heated in the microwave 🙂

My recipe here is is made with a couple of can, I also used small paper loaf pan, easy to give as gifts and I made some today for our office and I used a Bundt pan and it just came out so nice…perfect with you were having people over for coffee or tea, it’s perfect.

Now I did compare my brown bread to the ‘Can” kind you find in the store and let me say, I thought the store bought one was very dense, dry, very little raisins compared to mine.  And the flavor well I am sorry to say it was just plan awful…sorry if you like it, I just didn’t care for it 🙂

Store bought

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Ingredients

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Raisins and water in a small sauce pan

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add flour, salt, baking soda and bran/bran buds to bowl 

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Mix together
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cream butter and sugar

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stir in egg and vanilla

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add dry mixture and stir a little

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add raisin mixture

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Fold to combine

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pour batter into your containers

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bake

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this is the can

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this looks so good

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this is store on left and mine on right

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You can see that mine has so many more raisins

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Both buttered and ready to eat

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Out come, like I said did not care for the store bought, took one bite 😦

Mine oh it looks so good!!!!

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Brown Bread Recipe

1 1/2 -2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 cup Bran or Bran Buds Cereal
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

4 – 16oz. cans (fill 2/3 full)- bake for 35-55 minutes, small loaf pans (fill half full) – bake 30 minutes, large loaf pan (fill half full to 2/3’s) – bake 40 – 50 minutes, bundt pan (whole recipe) – bake 45 minutes.  With any of these just keep an eye on it, when you stick a toothpick or skewer in bread it should come out clean, it then is done.   Cool upside down on a cooling rack.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

In a small to med sauce pan add water and raisins, bring to a boil over med-high heat, once it boils, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl add flour, bran/bran buds, salt and baking soda, stir to mix…set aside
In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar for 1 minute, then stir in egg and vanilla, then add dry mixture, stir it a little and raisin mixture, fold to fully combine.

Pour into your WELL greased or spray baking container, and bake.  Let cool enough to handle and then you can dig in 🙂

The Bundt pictures

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Banana Bread!!!!

8 Comments

Okay who doesn’t like Banana Bread 🙂

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I love Banana anything…cakes, muffins, cookies, bread, ice cream, yogurt, candy!!!  

Oh and have you seen the **NEW** Dole Dippers, slices of bananas dipped in dark chocolate and FROZEN can you say

YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!!!!!!   download

I can, I have had them and they are addicting, they even have them with chopped almonds sprinkled on top too 🙂  They come 6 packages in the box, 100 calories a package, so well worth it 😛

So have a pack of those so when you have a slice of this Banana Bread you will not feel so guilty 🙂

So we’ve all had the few bananas sitting on the counter that are slightly or way past their prime…right 😛

I think what most people think of when that happens to the bananas is….BANANA BREAD TIME!!

So here’s my Banana Bread recipe 🙂  Hope you enjoy it!!

Ingredients

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whisk together, four, salt and baking soda

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add bananas to bowl and mash

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then add sour cream and vanilla to bananas

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mix together

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cream butter and sugar

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for about 3 minutes

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add egg yolks

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beat to combine

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fold in half flour mixture

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then add banana mixture and rest of dry

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beat egg whites just until frothy

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fold into batter, but don’t over work it

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I used mini loaf pans, you can also find paper baking loaf size too, for easy gift giving

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Then bake and done

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This recipe is so moist you will never use another 🙂

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Recipe

1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. sour cream
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

pans – 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan, or mini loaf pans or small bundt pan.

In a small bowl add mashed banana, sour cream and vanilla, mix to combine.

In another small bowl add flour, salt and baking soda, whisk to combine, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 3 minutes, then add egg yolks and beat until combined.
Fold in 1/2 of dry mixture, then add banana mixture and the rest of the dry.

In a clean dry bowl add egg whites and beat for about 30 – 45 seconds just until frothy, then fold egg whites into the batter.

Just until combined, try not to over work the batter.

Bake for regular size loaf pan 45 minutes to 1 hour, mini loaf pans about 30 minutes, check by inserting a toothpick in the center and comes out clean.

Enjoy!!!!

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