Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eggplant, Etc.

Hi there, friend.

Sorry it's been quiet around here for the past week.  That's because it's been pretty quiet in real life, too.  And that's just fine with me.

Wata melon. It's that time.

The back pack has stayed (mostly) unused, and I've spent the week hanging out, sleeping, eating, and yoga-ing.

Full-on Summer Vacation mode. Just in time for the end of summer....


I know it's the end of summer because I've already been to my new classroom once to organize.  And it's been chilly at night and in the mornings.

And I've eaten so much zucchini and eggplant!

Erin's zucchini chips, dipped in milk instead of eggs.  Gooooood. I ate the whole plate.

Then it rained and cooled off, and I got on a spicy curry kick:

Sauteed summer veggies over curried lentils.  Sweet and warm on a rainy evening.

Curried summer veggies on a bed of whole wheat cous cous.  Cous cous is as fun to eat as it is to say.  This was lighter and nuttier than the lentils, more like a stir fry.

And THEN there was the eggplant. Oh, the eggplant.

Eggplant pizza. Saute the eggplant first.  Topped with peppers, onions, eggplant, mozz. Pairs well with Downton Abbey.

I love eggplant, but I didn't have many good recipes using it beyond eggplant parm, which is heavy for summer.  I just didn't really know how to make it taste good when it wasn't covered in bread crumbs, cheese and sauce. (Hence, the bitter baba ganoush fail.)

Then I discovered the technique on Pinterest (man, I love Pinterest), and it worked like a charm.  

Hello, grilled eggplant.

Grilled eggplant panini.

It's what everyone else knows how to do, but I had never actually done it.  

Directions: Slice up the eggplant and layer it in a colander with a bunch of salt.  Set a bowl of water on top, and let it push out all the bitterness.  Then rinse, olive oil, grill (grill pan counts).

Trust me, this will change your life.  At least when it concerns eggplant.

August of our CSA has been bountiful, but it's sometimes hard to eat all the veggies and not get sick of them. It's required research and creativity, but that was the idea when we started it. I've eaten more veggies in the last few weeks than... ever! It's good for the waistline, and almost makes up for all the wedding meat I ate last month...

Enjoy your summer veggies.  Then make these:

... and call it a meal.  It's fine. YOLO.

<3 p="p">

Friday, August 10, 2012

Time to Relax.

I've been to Ithaca twice in the past month... both times to see good friends tie the knot.

Local brews. Do it.


I've known Mary for a really long time (we've been friends since the first day of kindergarten!) so it was especially awesome to celebrate this day with her and her new husband.  She's wanted this for a very long time, and they're a beautiful couple.  Cheers!

Her wedding also marked the end of the my extensive summer travels, and I was really excited this week to.... do nothing. Rest and detox, and spend QT with the kitties. 

Taking in the view from her new favorite window.

I finished Catching Fire in 3 days.  I tried several new recipes that came out really good.  And I still can barely lift my legs after taking the longest yoga class of my life last night.  All of my favorite ways to relax.

The next phase of August is getting ready for school, but I don't want to talk about it yet.

In the meantime, I'll keep pretending that summer lasts forever.  

And I'll leave with you some of my new favorite recipes to try this week:

Fresh corn salad. LOVED this one. Follow this recipe, but I substituted the wheat berries for Israeli cous cous because it's what we had in the cupboard, which made an even lighter summer salad.

Tomatilla-Avocado Salsa (over chicken tacos).  Tomatillas are weird. But this salsa was easy and really delicious.  I'm sad that we already ate it all, and I'm crossing my fingers for more tomatillos to show up in our CSA.  I mean, let's face it, it's mostly an excuse for a taco night.  Taco night is always my favorite night.

Ratatouille. Not the Disney movie, although that's really good, too.  This was an easy and delicious way to use up a ton of summer vegetables all at once.  The eggplant came out especially buttery and delicious sauteed in the olive oil.  All the work is in the chopping, which isn't so bad.  Emeril knows what he's doing.

I hope you're enjoying this last stretch of summer.  Have fun, and keep cool. 

-- D