Archive for May, 2012

Seasame Garlic Eggplant (aka my new favorite dinner)

Very rarely do I make something for dinner and then immediately think “Wow that was good! I think I will make that again tomorrow!” But that exact thing happened yesterday. I love eggplant but I don’t often cook it for myself, but I thought I would take on the challenge of this recipe, the original found here: I make a few adjustments to the original, I added half a chopped yellow pepper that I had on hand and substituted the xanthan gum for corn starch.  Also between salting the eggplant and the soy souse in the recipe there is the potential for a very salty dish, so I would suggest using low sodium soy sause (which I did) and a squeeze of lime juice at the end to cut through some of that salt.

I served this with some brown rice, a fried egg and some chopped green onions on top, Making this a very simple and easy Tuesday night dinner.

Sesame Garlic Eggplant:

  • 2 small eggplants
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy souse
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or fresh grated
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Chop eggplant into one inch cubes, place in a colander and spring with salt. Let drain for an hour.

Heat oil over medium heat, add eggplant and peppers and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

While eggplant is cooking, mix water, soy sauce and ginger together.  After garlic had been added, add the sauce mix and stir to combine. Sprinkle with corn starch and let thicken.

Remove from the heat, drizzle with sesame oil and top with sesame seeds.

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Caitlin Cookies (Gluten Free!)

This weekend I developed a recipe for my dear friend Caitlin who was in need of some cookies.

These came out much better then I had originally planned! These could very easily become vegan by using non-dairy butter.

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1 Stick unsalted butter (8 Tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • Zest of one Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dired strawberries, crushed to form powder
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter, honey, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract.

Mix the berry powder, cornstarch, flour, and salt together then add gradually to wet ingredients to form a soft dough.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. Then roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Bake in a 350F oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy! 🙂


Copy-Cat Salad

At a family dinner recently, my mother and I experienced salad perfection. The harvest salad at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. It is a perfect combination of roasted butternut squash, blue cheese, dried cranberries and apple cider dressing.  I tried to duplicate this perfection, with mediocre results.

My version was good, though it did not quite reach the awesome-ness of the original. I suspect this has to do with my dressing choice, I was lazy and used a pre-made pomegranate vinaigrette, which did not exactly match the flavors of the original apple cider dressing.

I added almonds to my version as I was taking it with me to work for lunch and felt it could use the added protein to get me through the second half of my day.

Harvest Salad:

  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Almonds
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Pomegranate dressing

To roast the squash:

Peal and dice the squash into uniform small pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 F for 30minutes or until brown on the edges.

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Amazing Cheesecake Stuffed Strtawberries

I don’t like this “pintrest” thing. It clogs up my twitter and facebook feeds. I do however enjoy trolling the web for new recipes.  When I saw this recipe I had to try it.

I ended up making these the day before to bring to a family dinner, but had to make two batched because people kept eating them!  They are that good and extremely easy. The original recipe suggested cutting off the end of the strawberries so they could stand. I did that with my first batch, but they were still very wobbly, so I skipped that step with the second batch.

Rather than buying pre-crushed graham crackers, I prefer to smash my own… get out some of by frustrations. Also I like the look of various sized crumbs.

When I make these again I’m planning on swapping the vanilla extract for almond and topping with sliver almonds.

Original Recipe found on:

  • 1 pound Strawberries washed and hollowed out (cut of the tops and use a paring knife to remove some of the center)
  • 1  8oz package of cream cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • graham cracker crumbs

When all strawberries have been prepped, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Add to a ziplock bag and snip off the end of a corner. Use the bag to pipe the filling into each prepared strawberry. Dip the strawberry into the prepared graham crackers.

This was most defiantly a successful experiment 🙂