Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eggplant & Brie Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup!

Let's start with the soup-

Tomato Basil Soup- recipe from Bravo in Jackson, MS

  • 5 cans chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch-o-nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic


  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simmer first 7 ingredients in a stockpot for 30 min. over med. heat. Puree the soup- I did this in my wee little food processor and wished I'd had a larger one or something hand held. I'd suggest that you get a large bowl and place a stainer over it- THIS IS KEY BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE THE SOUP JUICES- strain the liquids into the bowl and dump back into the pot. Now puree the tomatoes that are left over in the strainer, adding into the pot as you go. Once you've pureed all of the tomatoes, return to the heat and bring to a boil.

While the soup is reheating, let's get ready to make a roux- whisk the flour and oil together until golden. Whisk into the soup.

When soup is almost boiling stir in the cream and pesto. Continue to stir frequently to prevent scorch. As soon as soup comes to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer. Add S&P. Simmer until desired thickness, skim off any foam or film.

Eggplant and Brie Sandwich-

  • 8 (1/2" thick) eggplant slices
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • Loaf of ciabatta bread
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • Salad style spinach
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Brie cheese- we had a quarter of a round

Preheat oven broiler. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 tsp oil. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membrane. Arrange bell pepper halves, skin sides up on baking sheet with the eggplants- flatten peppers with your hand. Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over- don't turn bell pepper. Broil an additional 4 minutes. Remove eggplants from pan. Broil bell pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened. Place bell pepper in a ziploc bag and seala. Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.

Broil bread slices for 2 min until lightly browned, turning once. Spread brie or your other favorite cheese onto one side of bread. Spread pesto on the other side. Layer each bread slice with eggplant and bell pepper. Toss spinach with remaining 1 tsp oil and black pepper. Divide and spread across sandwich. Stack em up and enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009


This is the reason I love fall. And the reason my pants are too tight. 8) I made one of these tonight and Rachel, Paul, and I ate half of it. WHOA. It is that good. Took some over to the neighbors and she ate it with her hands because she couldn't wait for a fork. That's right. It is that good. Also note that I don't have a picture of a whole one... like it would last long enough for that. Try it for yourself!

3 cups pears- we use ugly ones from my parents pear trees.
1 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
3 cups flour
tsp salt
tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
2 tsp vanilla- I don't measure this, but you're welcome to 8) More is better than less!

Peel and chop the pears. Toss in a bowl with the sugar. Refrigerate until you're ready to add them into the recipe later.

In a large bowl, or your mixer's bowl, mix eggs, sugar, and oil. Beat until blended.

In a seperate bowl mix flour salt and soda. This is to be sure that you don't end up with any salty soada lumps in the cake- yuck. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Beat together well. Fold in the pears, pecans and vanilla.

Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Now for THE GOOD STUFF. Glaze-
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter. That's right.
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Stir in sauce pan, bring to boil. Stir constantly until sugar disolves- this will be +- 2 minutes.

Pour the glaze over the cake while both are still warm. This will give you optimal soakage 8) You'll need to scoop the glaze up as it slides down the cake. Do this until the glaze starts to cool and doesn't run anymore.

Better have a gallon of milk to go with this. Or some really tasty coffee!

Prize Meatloaf

Prize Meatloaf Recipe:
Background- Beth and I searched long and hard for the perfect meatloaf recipe, and this one was DEFINITELY it. It is just sweet enough, with a delicious ketchup based sauce that i was swabbing it up with bread while I made the meatloaf! I found that there was TONS of tomato sauce left over, so don't feel guilty for having a taste 8) You're gonna love this one:

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (i used dried b/c thats what I had)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 8 ox can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup beef stock (can use bouillon)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce

In a medium size bowl, combine tomato sauce through worcestershire. Mix thoroughly.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients from beef to parmesan. Also add 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Use your bare, fabulous hands to mix this all together. Form into a loaf, place in a lightly oiled bread loaf pan or a 7x10. Pour some of the remaining tomato sauce over the loaf to rim of loaf pan if you're using one. In that case put the loaf on a cookie sheet or place a cookie sheet on the rack below in the oven- it will bubble over. If you put it on a cookie sheet it will take longer to cook, so adjust for that.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Easy-peasie Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie-

Preheat oven to 400
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup with Herbs (important that you get WITH HERBS)
1 bag frozen vegetables, 9 oz. beans corn carrots

1 lb. chicken- diced/cooked

Thaw veggies, cook the chicken and dice it up. In a 9" pie plate, mix together and add the soup. Crack some pepper over it.
For the topping-
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Mix in a seperate bowl until the chunks are smooth. Pour over the chicken mixture and spread it around.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Found the recipe!
1 cup plain flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl.melted butter
Mix together until blended, you'll see bubbles. Heat pan over MED heat. Spray a nice coat of non-stick spray(your choice)and then scoop out batter for the first crepe. Pour it in the middle of the pan and then pick up the pan, rotating around until the batter makes a large thin circle. Flip when slightly golden.
Serve by rolling up the crepe. I put syrup and cinnamon sugar in the roll up and then also on the top. Serve with fruit- particularlly raspberries!

Crawfish Rolls

Shrimp Creole

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fat Tuesday~

Mardi Gras spread-
King Cake
Jalepeno Cheese Ball by Donna Reese
Crawfish Ettouffee!
and my new Gustavo painting that I got for my birthday!!!!
And of course, bloody marys

Crawfish Etouffee

6 tbs salt butter
1/4 c flour
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped shallots, white part only
1 tbs finely minced garlic
1 1/2 c. crawfish tails (about 30 tails)
1/2 cup crawfish fat, kept refrigerated
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 c thinly sliced green shallott tops
1 tbs finely minced fresh parsley
1 cup cold water
2 cups hot water
In a heavy 6 quart pot, melt the butter over low heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat until a medium brown roux is formed (about 15- 20 min). Quickly add the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are glazed and tender (about 20 min). Add the crawfish tails, crawfish fat, salt, black pepper, cayenne, lemon juice, shallot tops, and parsley- mix well. Add the 1 cup cold water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the crawfish tails are just tender, stirring frequently. Shortly before serving, heat the etouffee slowly over a low flame and gradually add 1 to 2 cups hot water to provide the gravy. Serve over boiled rice.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


For our first velntines as the Reeses we stayed in and had a romantic dinner. We also lucked out and found Zoe's favorite lost mouse! So she had a great valentines as well!
We had a pot roast with vegetables and strawberry shortcakes for dessert. Recipes below!

Easy Crock Pot Roast
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 pound pot roast
6 small red potatoes- quartered
15-20 baby carrots
1 sweet onion- sliced, big chunks
2/3 cups water

Put the veggies into the crockpot. Season the roast with Salt and pepper. Go ahead and shake some salt and pepper on the veggies too. Fresh ground pepper is always best 8)

Next, pour the water into the crockpot. Turn on Low and cook for 6 hours. I would recommend opening the crockpot at about 4 hours and spoon some of the liquid over the meat to keep it tender.

Strawberry Shortcakes- also super easy.
Shortcake shells- availble in your local grocery store
Fresh strawberries
Coolwhip- we got chocolate flavored

Slice up the strawberries, put them in a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Toss them and put in the refrigerator for a few hours.

About an hour before dessert time, spoon the berries onto the shortcakes. hold off on the cool whip until you are ready to serve! YUMMY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sewing Class

I'm signing up for a sewing class next week! I'm SUPER excited. I believe we're making an apron- which is the one thing I want to make the MOST! I am pumped to learn how to use my sewing machine! I might go craft-wild in the soon future 8) Wait and see!

This weekend I'm painting some shelves so we can hang them up. Our walls are SO bare. I'd like to start working on a painting, but there is alot to do and only a few short days of the weekend! However, I am off work Monday- President's Day. So Maybe I could work on it then!

Happy Early Valentines day to everyone, hope you have a LOVEly weekend 8)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Personalize Your Wine!

I just found this great website where you can order personalized bottles of wine in small quantities. I'm sure there are lots of companies that do this, but I thought it was a fun idea!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Reese-McMuffin (Bryan's Favorite)
Wheat English Muffin
Thick sliced ham
Colby Jack Cheese Slice
1 egg
Cooking Spray

We have an individual egg poacher, so that is what we use for cooking the egg. You could fry it.
Spray a small frying pan, cook ham on both sides until browned.
Toast the english muffin. Lay the ham on bottom half of english muffin, cover with cheese slice. Place egg on top of cheese and put top of english muffin on the stack!

Orange French Toast
Sliced french bread
1 egg
Cooking Spray
About 1/4 cup Orange Juice
Cinnamon Sugar

Whisk egg and orange juice together in a bowl. Spray frying pan with cooking spray. Drench french bread in egg mixture and put in frying pan. Flip oncec bottom is thoroughly cooked. After both sides are cooked, place on a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, drop in a few raspberries and drench with syrup!

Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions and Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

This dish was SO good. The Maple flavored sausage really makes it!
The recipe is from the Southern Living Cook-off Cookbook, 2004.
My favorite cookbook of all times. Enjoy!

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 med size sweet onions, thinly sliced- not chopped
3 tbsp margarine, divided
1 tsp brown sugar
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 1 1/4" thick)
6 oz. maple-flavored ground pork sausage1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half 2 tbsp all purpose flour
Refrigerated/frozen mashed potatoes, or make from a box..

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med. heat. add onions, cover and cook 10 minutes or until soft- stirring occasionally. Add 1 tbsp butter and brown sugar; cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until onions are caramelized- stirring occasionally.

Here we have the onions caramelizing! OOOOhlala

Meanwhile, Sprinkle pork chops evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper- I just cracked some pepper and salt over the chops, I'm not a big measurer! Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over med heat. Add pork chops and cook 8-10 minutes on each side; varies by thickness. Remove chops, let stand about 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp pan dripping from skillet; set aside. Discard remaining drippings.
Prepare mashed potatoes however you like.

Add sausage to skillet that chops just came out of, and cook over med- high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Reduce heat to med. Add 2 tbsp reserved pan drippings, 2 tbsp butter, and chicken broth; bring to a simmer.

Whisk together 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup half and half, and flour until smooth. Add flour mixture to sausage mixture, whisking until blended. Simmer, stirring often, 4-5 minutes or until thickened.

Spoon mashed potatoes on individual serving plates. Top each pile with 1 pork chop, onions and gravy.

Cooking Light

This is one of my favorite magazines, but I haven't been seeing it lately... so I'm a little worried. However I do have the Cooking Light "Best of" cookbook. Check out their website-
Most recipes include nutrition facts, which I think is nice!
Also, I just found these create-your-own-cookbooks. You can choose which recipes go in and even come up with your own clever title!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Barbeque Shrimp

Tonight, we had Barbeque Shrimp and it was DELISH! The recipe is out of the Cooking Light cookbook- What luck!

Barbecue Shrimp
1/2 Cup Fat-free Caesar Dressing
1/3 Cup Worcestershire
1 Tbsp Margarine
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary
1Tbsp Dried Thyme
1 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Hot Sauce- Tabasco around here
5 Bay leaves
3 Garlic Gloves, Minced
1 Pound Large Shrimp
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
Lemon Wedges
French Bread Baguette

Combine first 11 ingredients in a large non-stick skillet, and bring to a boil. Add the Shrimp, cook for 7 minutes- Stirring occasionally. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute or until the shrimp are done. Serve with lots of bread and lemon wedges.

Tips- we wished we'd peeled the shrimp before cooking them, although the recipe calls for shrimp with the peels left on. The sauce was SO good we felt like it was wasted on the shell pieces we had to throw out!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Party

We had a few friends over for the Super Bowl last night and made a pretty good spread- if I must say so myself! It was a great excuse for us to clean up the apartment- THANK GOD! and do some cooking! We had buffalo chicken quesadillas, homemade salsa and chips, sundried tomato dip, summer sausage with cheese and spicy mustard, and triple chocolate chunk brownies!
Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
4 Flour Tortillas
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (Lite)
Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
1 Rotissere Chicken- Ours was "Southwestern" Flavored in support of the Cardinals
Tear up the chicken meat and put it in a bowl. Pour Buffalo sauce over it and toss until all of the chicken is coated. Lay out one tortilla, cover half with the Buffalo-coated chicken, sprinkle with pepper jack (GENEROUSLY!), and then drizzle the blue cheese dressing over it. Fold over tortilla.
Heat a frying pan on Medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay in Quesadilla. Flip once bottom side turns golden brown. Quesadilla is ready when cheese is melted and both sides are golden brown.
Serve with extra buffalo sauce and chunky blue cheese.
Katherine Brown's Sundried Tomato Dip
1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes in oil, Drained & chopped
8 oz. Cream Cheese (fat free) @ room temp.
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup "Good Mayo"
10 Dashes of Tabasco- K. Brown says this is what MAKES it!
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
3/4 Tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 Scallions- Thinly Sliced.
Puree all ingredients except for scallions in food processor. After these ingredients are creamy add scallions and pulse twice.
Serve with pita chips! Yummy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let the blogs begin!

I thought it would be fun to start a blog about Bryan and I's married life and center it around food. Let's face it, we love to eat! And cook!

I'll start with our honeymoon to Jamaica- We spent a relaxing week at Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was amazing. The resort was fantastic- very small, only about 75 rooms, the service was impecable and the food was TO DIE FOR. We photographed basically everything we ate, but I'll try to cut it down to a few favorites for you 8)

This was our dinner at "La Pappillion", the french restaurant. OOH, AHH!

Breaded Veal

Excellent Duck

Escargot! Yummm!

Just a few desserts!

Here we have some of the nightly specials from The Terrace Restaurant

Here we are having Mangosas with Eggs Benedict for Breakfast- Room Service!