Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan Burgers

I'm finding it a wee bit difficult to get motivated when it comes to putting together a meal plan.  A kitchen that smells like mildew isn't exactly inspiring.  We're still waiting for our insurance adjustor to call us back.  The lack of communication makes me crazy.

So because I haven't been to the grocery store in quite a while, our dinners have mostly consisted of scrounging through what we have, and making what I know.

I had an eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used and I found a pound of ground beef in the back of the freezer.  Plus, I had some ricotta leftover from the Skillet Lasagna.  So I kinda just faked everything as I went.

Eggplant cooked like this would be delicious in tons of different things.  Layered in a lasagna, topped with some marinara and cheese as a side dish, on pizza.  I mean, it's crunchy and fried, what's not to like?

I just did the flour, egg, panko thing, all seasoned with salt and pepper, and then cooked them in a cast iron skillet in some veggie oil.  Not too much, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, adding more with each batch.

Take a look see...

Looks good enough to eat, right?

For the meat, I mixed in some onion powder, minced garlic, a pinch of cinnamon ('cause that's what I'd use in my eggplant parm), and some salt and pepper.
While The Dad grilled the burgers, I got the buns ready.
I put a slice of the eggplant, some tomatoes, and sliced parmesan cheese on one side, and a schmear of ricotta on the other.
Then I threw them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Yum, right?

When the burgers were done, I put them up on top of the warm ricotta and added some fresh basil.

Here's dinner on my plate:

Seriously one of the best burgers I've ever eaten.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Princess Jasmine Party

Since my nephew's Lego Birthday Party post has been so popular, I figured I'd share my niece's party pics from earlier this month.  She's a girlie girl all the way, and wanted a princess party.  So my sister went with one of her favorites, Princess Jasmine, and followed the Aladdin theme with Middle Eastern food.

Here's the day in pictures:

Basmati rice.

Insanely delicious meat pita pockets that were cooked on the grill.



Baba ganoush.

Cucumber-feta salad.

Pita bread.

Super cute cupcakes.
Banana with cream cheese frosting.

And the grand finale, a Princess Jasmine cake.
Which apparently had yellow cotton candy clouds, but they disintegrated into the cake before the party.  :(
The rug is a rice krispy treat covered in fondant.
Super cute.

There ya have it.
A party fit for a 3-year-old princess.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Skillet Lasagna

I pinned this recipe the other day and had to make it happen asap, 'cause it sounded so dang good.  I'll give ya the link to the original, then tell ya how I changed it up.

So I didn't have any sausage.  Which really didn't hurt my feelings, 'cause I'm not an Italian sausage girl anyway.  I also skipped the frozen spinach because I was too lazy to thaw and squeeze all the water out.  I subbed white cheddar for the mozzarella because it's what I had.  And I just this moment realized I forgot to put the tomato sauce in.  Whoopsie Daisy.

What I added was, more garlic, the equivalent of a large bunch of chard, that I was excited to harvest from the garden, and about a cup of homemade pesto.

I followed the directions for cooking and assembly, with the adjustments to include my changes.

Here's everything coming together at my house:

First up, you saute your onions and garlic.
I put the chopped chard in, stems and leaves, when the recipe calls for adding the sausage, and cooked it down a bit.

The broken noodles go on top of that.

Then your diced tomatoes.
(and tomato sauce, unless you forget it like me)
I seasoned mine up with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.

This is where I added the pesto, right on top of the tomatoes.

Cover and cook as directed and you'l be eatin' this in no time.

Really good.
You could do it with any type of noodle.
The pesto mixed with the tomatoes turned the sauce sort of a brown color, so it's not that pretty in pictures, but it actually looked more like a meat sauce than vegetarian.
Which helps when you're feeding a carnivore a meat-free meal.
We had ours with salad and bread.
Here's dinner on my plate:

Really, really good.
And quick to the table once you have all your ingredients ready to go.
A definite keeper.

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