Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quick and Easy Eggplant Parmesan

1 medium size eggplant
Olive oil
1 jar favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder or favorite Italian seasonings
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
Fresh parsley
1 2qt. casserole dish OR 3 individual ceramic dishes

Heat around 2 tbsps. oil in pan

Place flour in shallow dish, sprinkle with the garlic powder or Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and combine

Cut the ends of the eggplant

Cut into six slices

Dredge the eggplant slices into the flour mixture.  By this time the oil should be hot

Brown each side for about 7-10 minutes until golden brown

I added a touch of olive oil into the bottom of the ceramic dishes

Add enough sauce over the olive oil and to cover the bottom of the dish

Add a slice of eggplant, mozzarella and sprinkle some parmesan cheese.  Repeat one more time

I had enough to make three individual ceramic dishes

Dress with a sprig fresh Parmesan and serve

How yummy does this look?? 

I love Eggplant Parmesan.  It's one of my favorite dishes to order at any Italian restaurant we go to.  It took me about an hour to put this whole dish together and bake it.  I had planned to serve this over spaghetti but I completely forgot.  My favorite Italian restaurant here in town does it and it's so delicioso!  

Did you have a good weekend?  It seems to have gone by really fast for me but I savored every moment and pray you did too!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Corn and Poblano Lasagna

Original recipe by Marcela Valladolid from

4 tbsps. unsalted butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
2 ears of corn (or 2 cups frozen and thawed)
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
4 poblano chiles
1 large zucchini
12 no-boil lasagna strips
2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, or mozzarella

Place the fresh corn cobs over a clean kitchen cloth so that the kernels don't bounce all over the place. Cut the kernels off the corn.  Set aside.

Melt tbsps. of butter in a large heavy pan.  Saute 2/3 the minced garlic for 1 minute.

Add the corn to the garlic, saute for 5 minutes.

Stir in the cream

and fresh thyme.  Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool slightly.

While the corn mixture is cooling, I charred the poblano chilis then transferred them to a gallon size baggie to steam and soften.

Transfer the cooled sauce into a blender and puree until smooth.

Remove the softened chilis from the plastic bag.  After I removed the skin from the outside of the chilis, I cut open the chili, cut off the stem and removed the veins and seeds.

Cut the chilis into long slices

Cut the zucchini into thin slices and same length as the chilis. 

Melt 2 tbsps. butter in skillet, add the sliced onions and saute until they're translucent but not carmelized.

Add the sliced chilis and zucchinis, saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  From left to right, I placed the lasagna noodles, corn sauce mixture, cooked vegies, and the mozzarella cheese.  Makes it easier to put together.

Start by adding enough sauce to cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.

Add the noodles next to fill the bottom

Next add 1/3 of the vegie mixture, spread out evenly

Top with the cheese.

Repeat two more times spreading the sauce over the noodles first.

Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.

Remove foil, turn on the broiler.  Broil until brown and bubbly (watch closely and never walk away while broiling)

Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.


If you're lactose intolerant, this dish is not for you (this contains butter, heavy cream and mozzarella cheese).  I couldn't wait to taste the corn sauce.  It definitely tasted corny, haha, corny, get it?  Seriously, though I could taste the corn and it just so happened to be sweet because I know I didn't add sugar.  It was good but seemed like something was missing.  Probably the heat that I usually like with Mexican dishes.  If you don't like chili heat, you don't have to worry about Poblanos, they have no heat.  Hubby and my MIL seemed to have enjoyed it and even asked for seconds.  I'm taking some for lunch tomorrow and I'm a firm believer that sometimes all a dish needs to make it taste better is to let it set for another 24 hours so that all the flavors "marry".  I'm really looking forward to lunch tomorrow :)

I had a busy weekend, worked the Football Spring Game yesterday, where I work.  That wore me out but I was still able prepare the sauce and vegies for this dish only because I knew I was going to be busy again today.  Mainly because I watched my beautiful grand-daughter for a couple of hours.  It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time together.  Her smile melts my heart.

And that's why I can say, I savored the weekend and relished every moment.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to our Nest - Family Tree

Welcome to our Nest!

Our family tree is finally complete

A few closeups to share.  Top: My mother-in-law.  Middle: my mother.  Bottom: My sister and her hubby

The picture in the middle of the tree trunk is a pic of my hubby and I back when we were engaged, a week away from our own wedding.

Our son and his kids are in the top right picture.  Near the top on the left is our daughter.

One of my favorite pictures on the wall of my husband, his brother and parents.  My hubby's the cute blondie on the grass.

Here's the other one of my hubby, wasn't he adorable?

This is one of my two brothers.  He's mentally challenged and he's celebrating his birthday with some balloons in this picture.

so this is what you see when you first walk into our home, our family tree

Have a blessed week and remember to savor every moment!

Click here and see how I started painting the tree.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Street Find TV Hutch

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has created a monster.  I'm searching all over the house seeing what else I can paint and transform and give it new life.  I remembered I had this piece of furniture in the basement for about two years now.  

One morning as I was leaving for work about two years ago, a house up the street had this two piece unit in front of it by the curb with a big sign that said "FREE".  I stopped and looked at it and decided I wanted it.  It was in great shape with a few knicks here and there.  I immediately called my hubby (good thing he's retired) and told him to go grab it!!  He said it was so heavy he had to make two trips (with a dolly).

I planned to paint my hubby's armoire as well, that's why I picked the graphite color because it was the most "manly" color ASCP had. 

Here's hubby' armoire. It's made out of cedar.  I bought it for only $25 about 25 years ago at a yard sale when we lived in NY.  I had taken off most of the varnish years ago and that's where I stopped and never did anything to it until now.

Hubby photo-bombed this pic.  He's thrilled with his new armoire.

Here's the armoire in it's rustic state, the way hubby wanted it.

So now we're back to my street find.  This is the top section.

Here's the bottom section

I decided to separate them only because it was just to high to put together in  Grandma's living room.  I placed the bottom section right in front of my military wall.

The TV would normally go into the bottom part of this top section BUT it wouldn't fit.  I'm not really crazy how it looks here but we'll let it sit here until we figure out what to do with it.  

I spent all weekend working on these three pieces of furniture along with another craft project as well as trying to put some finishing touches on my family tree.  A busy but fun weekend.  I'm certain hubby is happy that I'm back at work :)

Savoring every moment

P.S.  I had to turn on Word Verification because I'm getting a lot of SPAM! :(

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