Stuffed Eggplant

I couple of days ago I came across a recipe on Facebook for “Roasted Eggplant Fan” – I have a special ❤ for eggplant, being that it’s my favourite vegetable. It’s so versatile and in my books, a vegetable that makes a statement!

Of course, right from the beginning I had to twist the recipe around. It starts by slicing the eggplant lengthwise so that you can fan it out, I decided to slice it the other way and ended up with this long accordion looking eggplant. Make sure not to cut all the way through as you want the slices to still be attached.

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I then followed the recipe that called for sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella wedged into each slice. By now I already knew that I would have to alter the roasting time for this baby. Little side note, add a tad of salt to each slice of eggplant before you stuff it!

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After stuffing each slice, I added crumbled mediterranean seasoned feta cheese instead of the plain one, I gave it a good salt and pepper dusting and then added lots of oregano instead of thyme. A drizzle of olive oil and a nice squeeze of 2 lemons and its now ready to go into the oven.

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Recipe called for it to roast in the oven at 220 ° C which is aprox 425 ° F for 15 minutes. I ended up roasting mine for 45 minutes.

Unfortunately only my daughter and I got to enjoy it because the “men” in the house do not get along with the purple looking vegetable 🙂

And with my love for lemons – I added another extra squeeze of lemon right before eating it, it was just heavenly!

Oh and don’t forget to check out my first cookbook on Amazon – “For the Love of Lemons” available on paperback and kindle edition!

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Lemons-First-upcoming/dp/153910592X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482862062&sr=1-1&keywords=for+the+love+of+lemons

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Lemons

To all my food blog followers and lemon lovers, I have finally followed my dream and written and published my first humble cook book. This one in particular focuses on Lemons, but there will be many to follow, all concentrating on different flavours!

So if you are in need of stocking stuffers, lemon recipes and willing to support me you can now purchase my book on amazon – For the Love of Lemons

Would love to get comments and feedback and will happily answers any questions you might have on any of the recipes!

Of course the most popular recipe in this book will probably be my most followed blog post – the Lemon Caper Capellini Salad Obsession!

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season 🙂 and thank you for being such a great audience ❤

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Thai Lemon Beef soup with Ditalini

This weekend I came across a recipe for Lemon Chicken Soup with Spaghetti and after looking through it I decided to change it all around as usual and give it a Thai twist and use beef instead of chicken!

For this I used:

  • 6 cups of Swanson Thai Ginger Broth
  • 1 diced large onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1lb of braising beef cubed
  • 6 Kaffir Lime leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups of Ditalini pasta

In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and braise your beef until it has a nice color. Remove beef from pot and put it aside, add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onions and celery until they are nice and transparent.

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Add, carrots, beef and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for a few minutes until all the flavours have blended.

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Add the Thai ginger broth and bring to a rolling boil, then add the Ditalini pasta and cook on medium for 10 minutes.

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The result is total comfort food, perfect for a family dinner with a fresh baguette or some sinful garlic bread 🙂

 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I recently saw a recipe on Facebook for what they called Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes. Tonight I decided to test my own version on the kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces, sautéed with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 6 baby new potatoes boiled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 box of puff pastry defrosted

I used my muffin pan, sprayed it with some pam, stretched out the puff pastry a bit more to make it a bit thinner. I cut 6 large round circles and lined each holder with it.

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In a bowl, mix the chopped chicken, chopped potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, chopped chives and cayenne pepper.

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I filled each holder to the top with the mixture and then cut some cute little hearts out of the left over pastry which I placed on top of each one.

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Bake in a 400 Deg F oven for 25 minutes.

I am pleased to report that they turned out pretty darn good, kids polished them all off 🙂

Cheers to a successful dinner…. ❤

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George Chang’s Cannoli Dip…

A good friend, Mr. George Chang, gave my a tub of his fabulous Cannoli Dip to see how I could incorporate it into my baking.

After a few days of pondering I settled on the following:

Sugar Cookie Bowls filled with cannoli dip, fresh strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate to finish them off! Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound good?

I have to confess I did not make my own cookies this time round, just used a pack of Betty Crocker Sugar cookies. Only change I made was I added 2/3 of a cup of flour to ensure that the dough was more manageable.

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I grabbed one of my muffin/cupcake pans, turned it upside down and sprayed all the bottoms with non stick cooking spray.

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I divided the dough into 12 kind of equal sized balls, flattened them with my hands and then lightly pressed them around each cupcake holder.

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Instructions say to bake for 9-10 minutes, I left them in for about 15-18 minutes as I needed them to hold their shape. I removed them from the oven and let them cool down before I popped them off the pan.

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And there we have them, some lovely sugar cookie bowls ready to be filled with this light, fluffy, tasty cannoli dip!

I piped some dip into each cookie bowl, topped them off with some chopped strawberries, a little drizzle of chocolate and they are now ready to be tested….. 🙂

Mr George Chang, hope you approve of the use of your fabulous cannoli dip ❤

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Harry Potter Moment – Butterbeer fudge

It’s that time of year, Halloween is almost here!

I have been playing around with a few new recipes and came across this posting on facebook for Butterbeer fudge that caught my eye and I decided to give it a go.

Of course I had to put the “Andy’s Kandy” twist on it, but then again, that’s just me in a nutshell 🙂

I found the recipe to be fool proof and easy to follow:

Butterscotch Layer

  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3 cups of butterscotch chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended and butterscotch chips are totally melted. Mixture should be nice and smooth. Poor into a lined  8×8″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Vanilla swirl

  • 1/3 cup of condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended. Then dot all over with a large spoon and use a knife to swirl it around.

You can finish it off by topping it with 1 cup of mini marshmallows, I added a dusting of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows and then blasted them with my cooking torch to give them a nice roasted look and flavor!

Place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, slice into desired size and enjoy!

“Fall Dinner” – Florida Style

At this time of year everyone in the USA gets excited about fall. The color of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, the fresh smell in the air, the pumpkins, spices and I could go on and on. In Florida, Fall is just another day on the calendar, weather doesn’t change, hurricane season is at its peak and the humidity does not allow for any fresh air as such and the green on the trees is there to stay!

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So the only way to get the “Fall” comfort cozy feeling around here is by cooking dishes that fill our homes with those “Fall” smells as well as pumping that A/C and lighting some fall smelling candles :-).

Today I was having a “fall” moment so I decided to make some Butternut Squash soup.

  • 2 butternut squashes
  • 4 green apples
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg and all spice
  • 2 cups of broth (I used beef broth because it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half

Preheated my oven to 385 Def F . Stared by peeling, deseeding and chopping up 2 whole butternut squashes as well as the onion and apples. I left the garlic cloves whole but smashed them up a little.

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Grabbed a large baking pan and lined it with foil (this of course helps a lot with cleanup). Tossed everything in olive oil and placed it in the baking pan. Sprinkled some salt and pepper (about a tsp of each).

I let it all roast nice and slowly for a good hour, checking it every once in a while to make sure nothing was burning or sticking too much.

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Once everything was nice and roasted I removed it from the oven and let it cool down a little. Out came the blender where it all went into, together with 1 cup of broth and I blended it away!

Once it was all nicely pureed, I transferred the mixture over to a saucepan, added the rest of the broth and the cream, a dusting of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of all spice.

The soup is nice and thick, so if you prefer it less thick you would need to add some more liquid, but do it little by little so you don’t lose the flavour!

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All that is left to do is to pump up that A/C, light the cinnamon candle, put some garlic bread in the oven and its time for a “Fall Dinner Florida Style”! ❤