Category Archives: Dinner

Eggplant Parm Make Over

This weekend, Brent and I were sitting out on our porch talking about what foods we wanted to get for the week. After spending about a year with my parent’s, Brent picked up the love for Eggplant Parm. It’s become a running joke that it’s one of the only ways we can get him to willingly eat veggies.

I haven’t really been eating pasta all too often and wasn’t really feeling the heaviness of it. It’s not on my summer food loving list. Immediately, the idea was born. Spaghetti squash Eggplant Parm.

The recipe below is actually a combination of two that I have done before. Baked Eggplant and just a typical Spaghetti Squash.

Eggplant Parm Makeover

Ingredients:

1 Large Eggplant 3 Eggs
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs 1 16oz Jar Tomato Basil Red Sauce
2 Medium Sized Spaghetti Squash 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Directions:

Spaghetti Squash:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each squash in half and remove the seeds. Spread the olive oil over the inside of half and place them face down on a baking sheet. Bake them for 40 minutes or until the outside has become soft or wrinkly.

2. Let them cool off to the side for a few minutes. Then take a fork to the inside of them and scrape the squash from the inside. It will turn into strings. Place the squash in a bowl.

Eggplant:

1. Slice the eggplant in even slices with 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch width, depending on your preference. It’s more important to make them even.

2. In a flat dish with edges, whip up the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water until it is uniform. Place the bread crumbs on a separate plate. Take a slice of eggplant, place it in the eggs mixture until well covered, then transfer it to the bread crumb plate and cover it with the crumbs. Don’t forget to do the sides!

3. Put the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Once all of the slices are finished, bake them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes or until as crispy as you want.

4. To serve, top the squash with the eggplant and finish with some red sauce and mozzarella.

DONE! You can make the squash and the eggplant at the same time. So don’t wait for the squash to finish in the oven before starting the eggplant.

Eggplant Parm Make Over Steps

Brent took a bite of it and I quote, “This may be the best thing I have ever eaten.” Words like this are really rare because normally I get, “Yea, it’s good.” And it’s a plate of veggies!! This will be making another appearance.

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I used a new red sauce for this as well, and it was delicious. I would recommend you give it Rao’s Homemade Red Sauce a try. You could make this gluten free by just substituting gluten free bread crumbs.

Have you ever changed a favorite and had it turn out better?

 

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Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

I promised some buffalo chicken drumsticks, and buffalo chicken drumsticks is what you’ll get!

It’s no surprise that Brent loves everything buffalo flavored so when I went to the store and bought WAY too many drumsticks for just two people, I needed to try a few recipes. After the fail of a lemon rosemary drumstick, and the epic success of the BBQ chicken drumstick, a buffalo recipe was on it’s way.

Actually, I tried 2 different ways of making it. One with Buffalo Hot Sauce and the other with Siracha. So, take your pick! They both turned out great!

 

 

Buffalo Drumsticks

 

Ingredients:

6 Drumsticks 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Sauce

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter 1/4 Cup Siracha or Buffalo Sauce
1 Tablespoon BBQ Sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees. Mix the canola oil, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour it into a freezer and bag add in the drumsticks. Toss the bag until the chicken is well covered and place them on a baking dish. Make sure there are separated. Bake for 40 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven. Mix together the melted butter, hot sauce and BBQ sauce. Cover the drumsticks with the sauce and bake at 400 degrees for an additional 15 minutes.

And finito!! They were delicious. The extra chili powder and hot sauce really added a second layer of heat to the hot sauces. Brent really liked the buffalo chicken sauce and I really enjoyed the siracha. I don’t think you could really go wrong.

Buffalo Drumsticks Steps

Don’t forget to check out the BBQ Chicken Drumsticks!

Happy BBQing!

Drumsticks on the Barbie

I went out last week and bought some drumsticks. Well, slightly over kill for two people, I bought about 6 pounds. Whoops. After attempting a rosemary lemon chicken drumstick last week and botching that one, I made a barbecue drumstick that was a winner.

I made these in the oven, but you could easily heat up the grill and make these for a BBQ.

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

 

Ingredients:

6 Chicken Drumsticks/ 2 Pounds 1 Cup BBQ Sauce
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce

Directions:

1. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together. Poke small holes in the chicken wings and roll them in the sauce. Make sure they are generously covered.

2. Place the wings in a baking dish, spaced apart, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Place additional sauce on the tops of the wings and bake for another 20 minutes.

I used buffalo wing sauce for the hot sauce and Yuengling BBQ sauce in the recipe. I would absolutely make these again and use this sauce on future BBQ chickens. I actually only planned on having one to taste because I wasn’t hungry going into dinner, but unfortunately for Brent, I inhaled 3 of them. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Drumstick Steps

 

Fortunately for you guys, I’m not going to share the rosemary lemon chicken drumstick recipe. It was a serious bust.

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But no worries! I’ve got another 2 pounds of drumsticks!! I’m thinking Buffalo Chicken 🙂 Who’s surprised??

Have you ever gone a little nuts and bought way too much of the SAME type of food??

 

Eggplant Parm, Love it or Hate it?

I have NEVER really been a fan of eggplant. The texture, the flavor…the everything about it. Well, the color is kind of pretty. But, I can’t really say I ever would have ordered eggplant anything throughout my entire life. But, I feel like the whole, your taste buds change while you grow up is completely true. I really like eggplant now. And onions, and tomatoes, and veggies in general. Brussels sprouts might just have to stay in limbo for right now.

  • Fun fact: They say that the bitter flavor of brussels sprouts is really distasteful to children because when you are younger you have more taste buds. The bitter flavor typically indicates something that may contain toxins, where as sweets are generally safe to eat. So children will spit it out in response to the bitter flavor, where adults won’t be keying in on the bitter flavor and be able to enjoy them a bit more. 

Eggplant I think has always been a texture thing to me. I’m finally getting used to the texture of a nice fresh eggplant and it is kind of growing on me. It is also my father’s favorite so I know this meal is going to be around for a long long time. My dad had been talking about eggplant parm for a while and when my mother was out of town for a few weeks, we decided to whip some up for him.

Eggplant Parm

 

Ingredients:

 

 

2 Large Eggplant 2 Jars of Tomato Sauce
2 Eggs 2 Tablespoons Milk
2 Cups Bread Crumbs 1 16oz Bag Mozarella Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Garlic 1 Large Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Directions:

1. In a medium sized pan, add in a tablespoon of olive oil, minced garlic and your large onion, diced. I used a vidalia onion, but a yellow onion would work well too. Set it on a medium heat and stir frequently until the onions are cooked through. When the onions are cooked, add in the two jars of sauce. It can be any flavor you like. I used an italian sauce.

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2. With the sauce sitting on simmer, take your eggplant and cut them into thicker slices.

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3. Next, in a flatter dish, whisk the eggs with your milk until they are well combined. Then dip the eggplant slice into the egg, covering it on both sides and then dip it into your bread crumbs, covering it on both sides, as well as the edges.

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4. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and bake them all at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant looks browned. Then, flip them over and give it another 5 minutes.

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5. In 13×9 baking dish, line the bottom with some sauce and start layering the eggplant on the bottom. You want to fill the bottom as much as possible. You may have to cut a few in half.

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6. Then top the layer off with some more sauce, and a mozzarella cheese layer. Then another eggplant layer and so on. Until you have no more eggplant and the top layer is sauce and cheese.

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7. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 25  minutes, covered with tin foil. You need the dish to completely warm up and the flavors to blend. If you do not cover it, you will get a crunchy top. You can always take the tin foil off for the last 5 minutes if you want that effect.

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Not too complicated but just a little time consuming! On the other side, you will have enough eggplant parm to hold you over for a while! And if you have any left over baked eggplant, you can put it on sandwiches or on salads for other meals!

 

What are some foods that you like now as an adult that you may have hated when you were a kid??

The Superbowl Spread

Long time no blog! I’ve been in New Orleans for the past two weeks and have a few things to share with you about the delicious eats and all of the activities that went on. But first! The Superbowl!

I was slightly upset that I was leaving New Orleans, literally a DAY before the superbowl…but the crowds were unbelievable on a normal weekend. I didn’t want to know what would happen when Mardi Gras and the Superbowl collided. Madness!

Last night for the Superbowl, Brent and I stayed in with my parents and enjoyed an exciting game. When I got up in the morning, I threw together a chili that I think may have been one of the best. It was packed with tons of veggies and had a bit of spice to it. I loved how fresh it tasted…and how light it was. **You could EASILY make this a vegetarian chili by simply omitting the ground beef. There is so much veggies in this chili that you wouldn’t be missing too much 🙂

Spicy Veggie Chili

 

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs Ground Beef 2 Large Onions, Chopped
2 Green Peppers, Chopped 2 Red Peppers, Chopped
6 Medium Carrots, Diced 6 Cloves of Garlic, Diced
4 Tablespoons Chili Powder 1 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano 4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 28-oz Cans Gournd Peeled Tomatoes
1 15oz Can Black Beans 1 15oz Can Red Beans
Shredded Cheese to Top

Directions:

1. Dice, Chop and prepare all of your veggies. Including the garlic.

Chili Prep

 

2. Heat up a skillet and cook the ground beef until done. Be sure not to dry it out. Then, in a LARGE crockpot, add in all of your ingredients (minus the cheddar cheese) and stir well.

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Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. You want the onions and the veggies to cook through and the flavors to all marry. It was really fresh tasting, and don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings to your liking. Just bare in mind that the cumin is a bit more potent than you may think 🙂 This will feed 10 people easily.

On the side of the chili, I made some home-made corn bread. I was really kind of pumped to give this a go because I hadn’t even made cornbread from scratch before. The cornbread turned out really moist…even though I left it in the oven for a little too long. WHOOPS. It’s a bit darker in color than it should be but still tasted amazing.

Cornbread

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Flour 1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs 1 Cup NonFat Milk
1/4 Cup Melted Butter 1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Sugar

Directions:

1. Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together with a fork until it is light and evenly mixed.

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2. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, sugar, milk and melted butter. Make sure to combine it really well.

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3. When the oven is completely heated to 400 degrees, mix the wet ingredients with the dry and immediately transfer to a 9×9 greased baking pan and put it into the oven. **Once you mix the wet ingredients with the dry, you must transfer it quickly. Do NOT over mix the batter. It should be lumpy.

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Bake it for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Make sure you keep an eye on it or else it will come out a bit dark 🙂

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It was delicious and extremely moist. I will definitely be making this guy again.

I have one last thing that I whipped up for the Superbowl, but because this is getting to be a bit lengthy, I will save it for another post. It was a Buffalo Chicken dip that got great reviews. Brent inhaled it. Not that he doesn’t already love everything that is buffalo chicken.

Today is my first day back and I’ve got a few phone calls to start making, routing to do and some packages to go through. I think have about 15 individual boxes that are waiting for me in the garage. FUUUN!

Happy Monday!!