Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipes for Kim and Mike

Because I love you both so much!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
2 eggplants sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (so you have round discs)
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (buy some or make your own by just belnding up two bread ends in a blender or vitamix --whether you buy or make add parmesan cheese and italian spices to your bread crumbs for more flavor)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (roasted vegetable or any variety)* I used my own homemade (see below)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Pasta of your choice (penne or rotini works well) about 4 cups dry
Fresh basil (this is the best part-- dont skip the fresh if you can find it)

Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Generously grease hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes. While baking boil your pasta to al dente. Mince up your basil.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F.
In an 8 x 10-inch oven proof dish, grease and layer red sauce with basil sprinkled over it, eggplant, pasta, red sauce sauce, fresh basil, cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheeses. Make sure the top layer of pasta is covered really well with sauce so it does not dry out the pasta and then top with cheeses. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15-20 minutes.

Red Sauce (if you want lots of sauce to freeze or can double or triple)
it thaws out in like less than a minute in a freezer bag in sink of hot water
Fill large pot half full of water and boil (the more extra room in the pot the better for later when cooking sauce so the bigger the pot the better)
Blanch about 10 medium to large tomatoes in the water till skins start to split (1-2 minutes)
Submerge in sink of very cold water
squeeze seeds out
Place tomaotoes back in large pot and boil then turn down to medium simmer (less mess if you have lots of room at the top of the pot)
In a sauce pan heat up 3-4 TBS olive oil and add a handful of chopped up garlic and about 2 TBS salt, heat in oil till it smells strong and then dump oil and garlic in tomatoes and stir
Stir and potato mash occassionally for several hours as you go (don't burn) till sauce is cooked down, thick and most of liquid is boiled out. Salt and pepper to taste.
The sauce is best to make a day or two ahead so it can sit in the fridge and get tastier

Plum Oatmeal Crisp
Serves 6
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
Between 1/2 to 3/4 cup cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 pounds ripe plums (about 8), cut into 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
In a shallow 2-quart baking dish, toss plums with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle with oat topping. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Food glorious food

I love going to the farmers market every Saturday! This week I got eggplants, lemon cucumbers, pears, pluots, dried plums, sugar plums, fresh basil, and carrots. mmmm...

Which made for a lovely sunday dinner experiment. Heather and I made a baked eggplant parmesan casserole dish that turned out delicious-- especially since we had fresh basil and eggplant and my own homemade marinara sauce that I made earlier this week to add to it. It was soooo good... I love cooking. I just totally love it. :) It's my therapy.

As you can see this dish was a big hit-- they dug into it before I even had a chance to take a picture
Then we whipped up a delicious plum oatmeal crisp. That recipe came from this months edition of everyday food by our favorite ex convict-- martha stewart-- this is an excellent publication my sister turned me on to which includes recipes for the whole month that utilize ingredients that are typically available during that month-- hence the plum crisp.

If you want either of these recipes let me know...

This week I am looking forward to making carrot baby food and drying lots of plums and making more marinara sauce cuz man that stuff is so good- there is nothing like it at the store. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Look What I Did!

Today was a super productive day...

I made homemade butternut squash bread. It is s0 yummy! If you want to make it you can go here
And if you want to make homemade marinara sauce you have to have lots of fresh tomatoes from your garden. I made two pots of this stuff today!
In here you can see my little jars of pear tomato preserves, and frozen fresh green beans and squash for making baby food this winter when its time for ezra to start eating. You can see some of my marinara and plums too (kind of)!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This month I turned 31 and Ezra turned 3 months old! I have been busy canning and cooking and working and taking care of my favorite little boy on the planet.

The days pass quickly and I find myself staring at other people's blogs and my emails and trying to muster up the energy to write on my blog and Ezra's blog...

The mail man babysat her girls so Heather and I could go to Art in the Park for my birthday!Then my dad and Ryan and Mary took me out for Sushi!Ezra had his baby blessing given to him by my dad and my brother Ryan. My mom got to be there too I love my boy!

Marley Jane is just 11 days younger than Ezra and they had their belssings on the same day! My mom also helped me and Heather with some of our many canning and food preservation ventures (Heather is even more prolific than I and she inspires me to keep at it!)
Dill pickles and plums
Bread and Butter Pickles
Corn which we went and picked ourselves and then processed for freezingPeaches and Peach Sauce for Ezra
HUGE Beefstake tomatoes from my dads garden for yummy fresh salsa

Eating breakfast at Honkers in downtown Nampa before hitting the farmers market!

We are staying busy and having lots of good times with our family.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I started a blog just for Ezra so that mine can still be my journal and his can be his. I'll still post about him on mine but there will be more about him on his own blog for those of you that want to follow his sweet little life around in more detail! It's still not much but I'll be adding to it as I have time. If you want to see it go here