The farmers market this week had some amazing vegetables. I was able to find cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. The eggs are fresh from a coop, unclean…quite honestly that’s the way I like them, not in a styrofoam egg case, with a stamp on the top. These eggs may have chicken droppings on them but at least they aren’t pasteurized and stamped with red ink! Okay - enough of crazy talk! :)
My papa sent a load of old kitchen gadgets worth holding into. I can’t say I’d grind up cheese in the old rusted cheese grater, but it’s a unique piece. Supposedly some of the tools were my great grandmothers from Italy; I wish I knew what tools were hers, but I suppose a mystery of sorts is part of life. On my porch i placed the gadgets in couple of containers that my great grandfather made out of brass and pewter. There are crafts out there that most do not apply in this decade, but I do believe we are a lot better off knowing how to make kitchen tools and holding onto rusty ones in this case - I wonder how hard it would be to pick up a DIY project within tool making?
How do you like the new candle holder? It’s too fun living in a garage apartment, my upstairs porch is away from all that goes on below but I feel like I run the block up here.
I ran over to a Volkswagen show during my lunch hour. It was amazing - I felt like I missed out on the 60’s. Even the cars all looked happy and I could have sworn I saw a few ladies wearing bell bottom jeans.
Eggplant Rollitini is now a new flip with the boring old purple vegetable.
I really didn’t like eggplant because it seems huge! or almost too much to even bother with. I found this recipe at work to be very good so I decided to post it. I really enjoyed making it for a friend and my family. The recipe is great with the three different types of cheese and the crunchy outer crust. I made a Julia Child marinara sauce that paired very well with the dish. At first I thought of making the typical marinara with garlic, onions, and tomato sauce. I decided to use canned tomatoes since tomatoes aren’t quite at their peak in season. Canned sauce can be great if you know what company to look for and most do can the vegetables at their peak season. So! The sauce I made had celery, carrot, onion - for sweetness and balance, then I added beef broth before adding tomato sauce and reduced it quite a bit. Yum!
Turn your ovens on all you food lovers!
350 degrees F
First start with the eggplant. Cut with a knife or mandolin, making long thin slices of eggplant, this way you can roll them and stuff them later on. Make bread crumbs with day old bread or use the horrible store bought bread crumbs for lazy people such as myself (kidding). Next scramble up some eggs, last make an all-purpose flour bowl with salt and pepper (for seasoning). I like to use my Nana’s old pie tins for this process because they are flat and easy to place long thin slices of vegetables in or meats, etc. If its confusing trying to remember which dredging comes first with the thin sliced eggplant, just think of FEBRUARY (FEB)- Flour, Eggs, Bread crumbs, wow easy huh? Yup I know, I use it every time.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of bread crumbs
3 eggs, scrambled
Salt & Pepper to taste
When dredging the thin slices, be sure to tap off any extra flour or bread crumbs, please be sure to fully scramble your eggs so there aren’t clumps of egg whites hanging off. Place all of the slices (not stacked) on a baking sheet and place in the oven until you can smell that beautiful toasted bread or until your neighbors are knocking on your door - don’t share! There should be plenty of food with a single eggplant, sharing is never a problem!
Next, start with the cheese mixture.
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of mozarella, broken up
1/4 cup of parmesean, freshly grated
Basil to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste (be sure to taste it!)
Mix the ingredients together! Easy. Done.
Once the eggplant is toasted slightly, pull it out and eat it! NO of course not, you have to add the cheese silly. Now take a nice big or small (depending on how much eggplant you have) pan and pour and spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom. Grab an eggplant slice and place a couple tablespoons of cheese mixture in the center and roll those babies up! Set them down into the pan on top of the marinara. Once all of the eggplant has been rolled up, place the pan in the oven and bake for maybe 15 minutes or more, give it the time it needs to create that love - or that melting action of the cheeses. Pop it out of the oven, add more marinara on top and serve!
I find it more rewarding to pull out the candles, I really do love the idea of not using as much electricity, unless I have guests over of course. Its a modern day world…its even tough not having a washer and dryer, but I find myself washing clothes by hand and drying them outside on my clothing rack. There is something enlightening to doing things by hand, I cannot imagine how people lived in the old west, without hot running water and a A/C unit quick with a switch. The shadows play funny games on the wall at night. I like the one my tea pot puts off, very cute:
This table was thrown to the curb, don’t get me wrong the painting on the top wasn’t too cute. The owner said that his grandmother painted a beach scene on the top and the table is from the 20’s. I can’t believe they would throw that out! But! - the problem is the table has a crack so I am going to fix it up and use it as a candle/picture table.
Lavender Butter Cookies
This recipe has to be a new favorite! For everyone!
1 TBSP lavender flowers
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1. Crush lavender in mortar & pestle
2. Cream the butter and combine all ingredients
3. Press into a cookie mold or press dough into a baking dish and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
My apartment is in the historical section of Lakeland, near Lake Morton, where my mother once owned a beautiful house off of the lake. I am so happy to live in the upstairs garage apartment. The building was put together around the 40’s and soldiers moved into the homes with their families after the war. I feel at home, I love all the sounds at night and the morning sun as it peeks through my window.
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely grounded black pepper
8 oz unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP sugar, plus additional for coating
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of cocoa nibs
1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add vanilla, then sift dry ingredients all over the fat/sugar and mix until combined
3. Chill dough for 30min.
4. Cut dough and toss in sugar
5. Bake for 40 min at 275 degrees F
6. Cool and enjoy with a cup of coffee or cappuccino
Dinner tonight for a good friend:
Steak with Goat Cheese & Spinach Risotto