Monday, July 23, 2012

Eggplant Compote

I am probably the least qualified to write on this (you know how I eat), but here is a cheap, fancy and not disgusting way to use eggplant. You can even watch a YouTube video on it.

Eggplant (this says Japanese but I used regular)
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest

Preheat oven to 450*
Cut eggplant in half and score, brush faces with olive oil salt and pepper.
Bake 10-15 minutes face up and flip for another 10-15 minutes.
Scrape pulp out of eggplant and chop up the insides, adding more salt and pepper.
Rough chop basil and mix in with the warm eggplant.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest and some more salt. 
Eat on crackers or baguette, or some toasted flat bread you have lying around.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

While We Are Waiting. . .

These are the photos I took for the boys' visas to China. By taking them myself and going to Target (they have a photo id program on their photo terminals), I saved about $30 :-). I highly recommend doing this if you have the time. The program on the terminal makes it super easy to make the 2X2 pictures you need for passports, visas, etc.

Well, no news from China this week. No news from the U.S. either. We are waiting for our visas to China to be approved. We are also waiting to find out if our Article 5 was picked up. When that has been done, the CCAA can issue our travel approval. Of course, the average wait time is still over 3 weeks from Article 5 to travel approval. So, we are waiting. . . and waiting. . .

I am feeling sorry for the handful of people who read this blog because there is no new news :-(. Not much happening :-(. Oh well, I was very encouraged by what another sister in the Lord wrote. She wrote, "God is never late!" I will trust in that.

In other news, Matthew and Nathan have started up their Chinese classes again. I can't say that they are loving it, but they sure are learning a lot. I think of how far they have come since last year at this time when they knew virtually NOTHING in Chinese. Now they can understand so much, can speak and write and read more and more as time goes on. My hope is that they will be able to converse with their baby sister in a few weeks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zucchini Soup

Okay, so I admit that I am my mother's child and I could eat soup 5 or 6 nights a week and never tire of it. This recipe is great for those cooler summer nights and a great way to use up those 10lb zucchini that hide in your vegetable garden. The original recipe is Karen Bishop's, but since I'm my mother's child, I have made a few changes/adaptations. My additions will be in (parenthesis).

Zucchini Soup
-a small batch, but you get the idea for ratios-

1.5 c zucchini, chopped
1.5 c chicken broth
(1onion, or some leeks, chopped)
dash nutmeg
2T butter
2T flour
1 c milk

(slightly saute onion and zucchini in soup pot)
Cook zucchini in chicken broth until soft
Add a dash of nutmeg
Slightly cool then blend until smooth with immersion blender or in small batches in your regular blender.
Pour into large bowl, set aside

In same pot melt butter. Whisk in flour until thick. Slowly add milk, whisking until it's all incorporated and not lumpy. Add zucchini mixture back into pot and stir together with milk mixture. Heat thoroughly, add salt & pepper to taste.

I serve this with homemade croutons and sometimes some shredded cheese. It would also be great with grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches.

Monday, July 25, 2011

God's Granola

Here's the official recipe for the granola from WCC this year. I ate at least 2 bowl fulls at breakfast everyday and plan on making myself a batch or seven to get me out of the breakfast dullddrums.

God's Granola
(makes 5lbs. also, the kitchen used a convection oven so if you don't have one, you may have to adjust the heat (25 degrees higher) and cook for slightly longer)

2c canola oil
2c honey
2.5 lb rolled oats
3/4 lb walnuts, halved
1/4 lb coconut
1/4 lb sunflower seeds
1c sliced almonds
2t cinnamon
1/2T cloves
1/2t nutmeg
1/2T allspice

1. place oil and honey in a sauce pan, heat up until it starts to come to a boil
2. in a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well
3. once oil/honey is heated up, add to dry mix and incorporate until all dry ingredients are well mixed (no dry spots)
4. spread evenly onto several sheet pans lined with parchment
5. bake at 275 degrees for 30-40min
6. allow to cool for a couple hours before storing

NOTE: I made this today. It ended up being 3 sheet pans full. I used the convection setting on my oven (for the first time) and it turned out great. I didn't have 2c of honey, so I used 1c honey and 1c maple syrup. It turned out AMAZING! When I store it, I'll probably mix in some raisens, craisens or other dried fruit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

Here's a pantry raid meal for you that tastes much more sophisticated than a typical semi-homemade dinner. I got it from a favorite recipe/craft site.

12 oz bag tortellini, prepared according to package (i didn't have dry tortellini on hand so i used
some frozen ravioli that i had)
4 oz bacon chopped up and cooked (i used leftover easter ham that i had, and just added a bit of oil for the next step since i didn't have the rendered grease)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
(2 Tbsp oil/butter/bacon fat)
2 Tbsp flour
2 C milk
1 1/2 t dried basil (i used a cube of frozen chopped basil from trader joes)
red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zest & juice
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 C grated mozzarrella cheese, divided (i used 1 cup cheese total)
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown bacon to a crisp in a skillet. remove bacon and drain. Reserve 2 Tbsp bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest (or add 2T fat to pan at this point). Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant. Add flour and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with a whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to sa simmer

While sauce is heating, use a grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 t zest and 1 T juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in pot. Add bacon to pasta. Add spinach, 1/2 cup of each cheese. Add sauce and stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Cover pan with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melty.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bacon Tomato Cups

These are what I made this morning for Easter Brunch. 

8 slices bacon, cooked crisply ( I used Kirkland bacon bits)
4 roma tomatoes
1/2 small onion
6 oz. shredded swiss/baby swiss cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, jack...whatever)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can refrigerated Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (it will say Flaky Layers somewhere on the can)

Preheat oven to 375.  Coarsely chop the bacon, tomato (don't use the seeds) and onion and mix with all the other ingredients except the biscuits.  Set aside.  Pop open the can of biscuits and separate each of the 8 biscuits into 3 thinner biscuits.  (Some may be a little thinner or thicker than others but this is OK)  Use a non-stick mini muffin pan and lay each of the separated biscuits over the mini muffin cup and press down to shape.  Fill each one with the above mixture.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Makes 24