Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Thankful for Friends + Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Last week was a hectic one. It was the end of the first grading period and so much had to be done. By Friday evening I was frazzled. Ellie had another bad case of Poison Ivy, the dog was feeling needy, Larr was out of town for a funeral and Ethan was out of town as well.

However, I found ways to get together with Natalie on Friday night. She fed me tapas for dinner, sending me home with blushing pears that had come straight from Palisade. I got to soak up some of the fun of Camille's first Homecoming week and a chance to chat with Ben.(So thankful to have the chance to have quick get togethers like that).

On Saturday evening I hung out with Kay and Mari. We are all ESL teachers together. We swapped tales of work; Mari helped me feel better by letting me know that the frantic, hectic feeling I have is common right now. Kay always knows what to say to calm my worries. Mari and I helped Kay with her problems as well. Before I left for the night I helped Kay write out some official forms. That saved her a ton of time. As a thank you she send home a blackbird on a pumpkin sculpture that will join my collection of blackbirds.

My heart also goes out to Michelle and Nils who recently gave birth to lovely Anaelise after such heartache around pregnancy issues. Kassidy and Brian were called out to Oklahoma to witness the birth of Tucker, the sweet baby boy whose adoption was official today.

My heart also goes out to my friend Julie and her family who lost their home, everything they own and the family dog to a house fire due to random arson. They are an amazing family and many have rallied around to help ease their situation.

All of that makes me feel humbled.


Ellie and Ethan are finally old enough to enjoy Eggplant Parmesan, one of my favorite dishes.

Eggplant Parmesan
via: Deliciously Declassified

1 large eggplant (try to pick a male eggplant because they have less seeds – here’s how you tell if it’s male or female)
2 -3 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
Olive Oil
Robust Red Sauce (approximately 1-2 cups, depending on preference)
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano), grated


Prepare your eggplant by peeling it and slicing it very thin, at most 1/8″ thick .

Pour the eggs, and breadcrumbs into two separate containers.

Dip your eggplant slice into the egg and then coat it in breadcrumbs

Continue this process with all of the eggplant slices

Brush a baking tray with olive oil and place the eggplant onto the tray

Generously brush the breaded eggplant slices with olive oil

Bake for 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side) at 350°F

Remove the eggplant from the oven and layer the slices on a dish in between paper towels (to blot excess oil)

Lightly coat the bottom of a deep casserole dish like this one with the tomato sauce

Place a layer of eggplant down and spoon more sauce on top of eggplant, I usually make sure it’s covered but I don’t like to use too much
Next, put down a layer mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle a bit of parmesan (or pecorino) – you can make this as cheesy as you want, but I wouldn’t put down too much because it adds up over the layers

Put another layer of eggplant on top of that and follow the same steps until you reach your desired height
Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes (covered for 20, uncovered for 10) or until it’s heated through

Robust Red Sauce
Posted on October 7, 2011
This red sauce is rich in flavor and has a little bit of a kick. It goes well with any Italian dish and I use it with a lot more than just spaghetti and meatballs…


1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 28 oz. can Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes (if you want a smooth sauce, use 2 cans of this instead of the diced)
1/3 cup red wine (one you would drink)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and then add the garlic – saute until fragrant
Add in the cans of tomatoes and the rest of the olive oil and turn the heat up to medium-high, bringing the sauce to a boil
Add the red wine
Season the sauce with the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper
Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour (or until it begins to thicken), stirring frequently – I usually also break up the large tomato chunks with the back of the spoon
- See more at: http://deliciouslydeclassified.com/2011/10/13/eggplant-parmesan/#sthash.lx4lHIHs.dpuf

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