Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms.

I told you there was more to come from my farmers market visit this weekend. I have always wanted to make fried squash blossoms. I don’t know why. It’s so intriguing to me. Why did someone decide it was a good idea to pick a vegetable flower, stuff it and fry it? I have no idea. I needed to find out. And I am here to tell you that the crazy person who thought of this idea is a genius.

This was so simple to make. I stuffed the blossoms with cheese. Once you have washed the outside of the blossoms, carefully open the blossoms and stuff the cheese inside. Make sure they aren’t too full because you will need to twist the ends so the cheese stays inside. In preparation to frying the blossoms, you will need to dip each blossom in egg, then flour and finally in bread crumbs. After, fry on both sides and devour! It’s easiest to hold the flower by the stem and eat the blossom.

This is definitely out of the box, but I am positive you will enjoy it with no questions asked. I mean, it’s fried, obviously it will be good!

 

 

 

 

Drunken Pears with Goat Cheese

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

Tonight I made an appetizer for our Christmas Eve party. I got the idea from Pinterest and made it my own. It’s quick, simple and easy. I hope you enjoy!

Drunken Pears w/Goat Cheese

Pears
1 Package of Goat Cheese
1/4 cup Pecans
2 cups (or more) White Wine

Roll the goat cheese into several balls about 1 inch in diameter.
Roll the goat cheese balls in the chopped pecans.
Using garnish toothpicks, skewer one pear slice (after they’ve been soaking in wine) and then one goat cheese ball at a time, then place on a serving platter.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Eggplant Rollatini.

So, I have entered a contest. Giada is having a photo contest. Step one, make one of her recipes. Step two, take a photo of the recipe. Step three, submit the photo and (this is where you come in) have as many people vote as possible! If I win, I could become famous. I’m just saying. Think about it.

Click here to vote for me!

I made Giada’s Eggplant Rollatini. I have never made this before but am so glad I discovered it! This dish is colorful and bursting with flavor. It’s a perfect Italian dish that does not involve a noodle or meat. I would recommend this for all. It may seem like a lot of steps, but is actually pretty easy to put together.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Can vegetable spray
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 20 basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the grill pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange eggplant slices onto rack. Sprinkle with sea salt to help remove excess moisture and any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants and pat dry with a towel. Spray hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray and then place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until lightly scrambled. Mix the ricotta in with the egg. Add mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not overmix.

Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into a greased (with olive oil) 13 by 9-inch baking dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant. Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Say Cheese.

A cheese plate is needed at every dinner party. Wether it’s served as an hors d’oeuvres or something delicious to snack on while preparing a meal, it serves as something salty and savory to prepare for the course(s) ahead. A cheese plate must have a sharp cheese, a soft cheese, a blue cheese and a cheese outside the box (ex: a cheese with fruit in it). Of course, this is not a cheese plate rule, but one I like to go by in order to make a plate pleasing and adventurous for all. The cheese can be accompanied by crackers, bread, olives and fruit.

This summer me and two of my girlfriends were having a dinner party… and when I say a dinner party I mean just the three of us. We created this cheese platter, and it was delicious if I may say so myself. Accompanying our cheese was crackers, green olives filled with blue cheese and red peppers stuffed with feta. It was all tantalizing and addicting.