Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bacon, egg and potato brunch casserole

brunch casserole

I’m not much of a breakfast person normally. I love breakfast when I am on vacation, but on a day to day basis it’s the one meal I don’t set aside time for. Breakfast is a grab and go kind of meal for me. Lately my breakfasts consist of 2 clementines and a baby bel cheese ball. But on Saturday, my friend was dog sitting for a family in Princeton and mentioned that the house had a huge fenced in backyard. She had the brilliant idea of hosting a doggie play date/ brunch. We brainstormed and decided we would have mimosas, bagels with cream cheese and lox, french toast with fresh fruit, and a dish involving bacon and eggs. We split up what we would each bring and I volunteered to bring the dish with the bacon and eggs. This casserole is what I came up with and I was really pleased with how it turned out. We had the perfect weather, an amazing spread of food, and the dogs had a great time too. It was exactly what I needed after a long work week. There’s something about brunch that just makes everyone feel relaxed. Continue reading

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Balsamic roasted mushrooms and eggplant

eggplant and mushrooms 2

Sometimes some of my best creations in the kitchen happen by accident. This was one of them. I had one lonely leftover eggplant that was in danger of going bad and a whole pack of sliced portabello mushrooms that I hadn’t used yet. I had already decided that I was going to be cooking up some mahi mahi burgers from the freezer that night because I really didn’t feel like cooking but then I remembered that I had these vegetables and the thought of food going bad and then throwing it out makes me really sad. So, I thought I’d just try roasting them. I roast veggies all the time and I think it’s the best way to cook them. They get carmelized and crisp on the outside but tender on the inside. Delicious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how eggplant and mushrooms would turn out if I just roasted them in the oven like I do so many other favorite vegetables. Sometimes eggplant can be bitter if it’s not cooked the right way so this was a gamble. But, as I said, I didn’t feel like cooking and roasting vegetables is so easy that it almost doesn’t even count as cooking. The oven does all the work.

Let me just say that what I thought would be an average maybe even bad dish turned out to be one of the best vegetable side dishes I’ve ever made. And it is SO easy. I am going to stop at the grocery store after work today to pick up more eggplant and mushrooms because I’m going to make it again tonight. It was THAT good. Continue reading

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My version of Baingan Bharta (Indian eggplant curry)

eggplant 10

I love eggplant. It can be a tricky vegetable to cook, but when it’s cooked properly it is delicious. I went a bit eggplant crazy the other day at the grocery store because the eggplants looked so good. I still have some leftover that I need to figure out what to do with before they go bad! After searching the internet for eggplant recipes and not finding anything that really suited my mood, I decided to try my hand at making baingan bharta, an Indian eggplant dish I often order at Indian restaurants. I love eggplant parmesan just as much as anybody but I was in the mood for something more exotic. I’ve been experimenting a lot with cooking Indian food, and although not everything I make has turned out well (I had a bit of a disaster the other day with some spiced stuffed peppers I made), I am learning which spices go well together and so I figured I’d give this eggplant dish a whirl. I’m glad I did, because it came out quite well! Continue reading

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Smoky spiced potatoes and chickpeas

indian food 2

Some of my favorite meals don’t include meat. I’m not a vegetarian but if I had to cut out one food group it would definitely be meat. I just don’t crave it the way I do other food groups, like carbs, unfortunately. Sunday night’s dinner was yet another meatless meal for me. I wanted something with a bit of an Indian flavor and this is what I came up. In this dish, potatoes and chickpeas are flavored with garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and red chili flakes. One of the most important components of this dish is the carmelized onions. I let the onions cook probably for about 15 minutes until they turned a deep brown color and became really sweet. This really adds an amazing deep flavor to the dish so be patient as they carmelize. Greek yogurt, cilantro and lime are the perfect finish to the meal and add a nice freshness to the potatoes and chickpeas.

Side note, I also made beef enchiladas, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, because unlike me, my husband eats a lot of meat. Continue reading

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