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!