Sunday, January 11, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan

It has been a long time since I posted a recipe (sorry!) and this one is actually from back in September but I finally got around to uploading pictures so here it is:

We bought eggplant at the farmer's market so we turned to one of our favorite new cookbooks: Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook and found a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. It was fantastic - tasted like lasagna but much healthier.

Eggplant Parmesan

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (whole wheat, panko, whatever your preference is)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 cups of marinara sauce
  • 3 cups of mixed Italian cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan)
  1. Slice the eggplants into 1/2" rounds.
  2. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for 20 - 30 minutes. This is supposed to help reduce the bitterness that is especially common in larger eggplant. 
  3. Rinse the eggplant then pat dry with paper towel. 
  4. Place flour in a plastic bag with half of the eggplant slices, seal the bag and toss until all eggplant are coated evenly. Remove eggplant and repeat with remaining slices of eggplant. 
  5. Preheat the oven's broiler. 
  6. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. 
  7. In another small-medium size bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, seasoning, and salt. 
  8. Dip each eggplant slice in the beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumb mix fully coating each side. 
  9. Place the covered eggplant slices in a large baking sheet (greased).
  10. Broil for 5 minutes until golden brown, then flip and broil the other side for 2 - 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove the eggplant from the baking sheet.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  12. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with olive oil then spread a cup of marinara sauce along the bottom.
  13. Arrange about half of the eggplant in the baking dish, spread a cup of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle half of the cheese over the top. 
  14. Place the other half of the eggplant slices on top and spread the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 
  15. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly around the edges and until the cheese is slightly browned. 
  16. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blueberry Glazed Salmon

I like to try recipes with fresh ingredients.  This one sounded intriguing and tasted good as well.  The ingredient list is pretty small and the only thing that took some time is reducing the blueberries to a nice glaze.


1/4 cup fresh blueberries
5-6 springs of thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar - I had just received some tangerine balsamic vinegar, which I thought added a nice additional flavor
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
4 5 ounce salmon filets
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small pot, cook blueberries, thyme springs, sugar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce reduces and thickens.

While this is cooking, like a baking sheet with foil.  Dry the salmon filets with paper towels and then place on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon skin side down.

When the sauce is thicken evenly place on all 4 salmon filets.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the salmon while you switch the oven over to broiling.  Ensure you move the rake up close to the top of the over.  Broil for 5 minutes, then test the salmon for being done.  If they are not, continue to broil at 1-2 minute intervals.



Cooking the sauce

Salmon filets ready to be glazed

Broiling the salmon

Finished filets

Irish Chocolate Cheesecake

Happy New Year!

I changed up the look of the blog to freshen it up...same recipes, just a new look (I'll have to check with Kelly to make sure she likes this too :-)

I was running through Pinterest and came across this recipe...with a name like O'Shea, I like to find a few Irish dishes and this one looked interesting.  I modified it slightly because when I first tried it, I was ready to give up and call this a pinterest fail, but with a few modifications, I liked the results.

Warning: This recipe uses lots of dishes and utensils, but the results look good and it tastes great.


1 14 ounce package of oreo cookies 
2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream + 1/4 cup 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar, divided
2 packages (10 ounces each) of good quality chocolate chips
12 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup Irish cream

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, start with one minute, mix and then cook another 30 seconds if not completely smooth.  Continue to cook for 15 second increments until the chocolate is all melted.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Put the oreos in a food processor to crush...pour in the melted butter and mix again.

Put 10-12 4 ounce ramekins on a cookie sheet.  Divide oreo crumb mixture between the ramekins, reserving a little to sprinkle on the finished dessert.  This will be between 2-3 tablespoons of crumb mixture in each ramekin.  Tamp the mixture down with a smaller glass or bowl to create an even crust.

Whip cream, vanilla and 1 Tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form.  Put in the fridge until you're ready to fold it into the chocolate mixture.

Place cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of a mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Next add cooled chocolate and mix an additional 3 minutes.   Add Irish cream and beat until incorporated.

Take bowl from mixer and fold in whipping cream with a spatula.

Scoop half of mixture into ramekins.  Next add 1/4 cup additional heavy cream to mixture and  beat until smooth.  Place the mixture into a large piping bag with a 1M tip.  Pipe the rest of the mixture onto the top of  the dessert dishes.  Sprinkle with reserved crushed oreo cookies and the refrigerate for 2 - 12 hours.


Ingredients (I also added vanilla)

Smooth melted chocolate

Crushed oreo cookies and butter

Prepping the dessert dished - I tried a few different types

Whipping the cream

Whipping the cream cheese

Mixing in the chocolate and Irish cream

Piping the top of the chocolate on the dessert cups