Monthly Archives: October 2021

Halloween Dessert Tray

Hi Everyone,

Happy Halloween – part II

“Dishing with Diane” had the honor of being asked to participate in a local fundraiser toward different charities during a local Halloween party.

I jumped at the opportunity since that was part of my background before my heart transplant; running fashion shows and fundraisers and I know the strain of getting donations and sponsors so I wanted to help with anything I could do.

I decided to donate a “Halloween Dessert Tray” and asked that it be raffled off toward The American Heart Association.

The following is my finished product before we wrapped it to go and it was off to auction. I hope you like the tray and it gives you some ideas for your Halloween get-togethers.

I baked the oatmeal cookies and the rainbow cookies but if you are pressed for time, this tray can easily be completed with all store-bought goods with a little “Halloween” enhancement from you”.

I’ll tell you how…..

Stay well & safe and have a Happy Halloween!

The rainbow cookies were made using the same recipe from my Christmas cookies but used different gel paste to color the dough.

The link to the recipe is below but you can also find these cookies in a variety of bakeries for Halloween.

The donuts can be homemade or you can buy a box of Entenmann’s chocolate frosted donuts and frost three thin circles on the top of the donut and run a knife through the circles toward the outer edges of the donut to get the spider web effect. Let the donuts sit and set before adding to a tray.

The oatmeal cookies can be homemade or store-bought and this time, pipe four rows of white icing directly across the cookie (leaving a space for the eyes) and add a criss-cross design on top of the cookie. Add edible sugar wiggly eyes on top for the mummy look. Let the frosting set before adding to the tray.

The candy eyes can be purchased in Michael’s Arts & Crafts.

The large sugar cookies of the ghost, pumpkin, and trick or treat bag were purchased in a bakery (I am definitely not that talented).

The cupcakes can be homemade or you can find a decent selection of Halloween cupcakes at Costco, grocery stores, or bakeries. I added the cupcakes to spider cupcake holders to continue the Halloween theme.

The cupcake holders were purchased at Crate & Barrel and I am not sure if they are still a stock item.

Additional fillers to complete the tray- My suggestions: I used black licorice, Halloween Peeps marshmallow treats, candy corn, candy sugar pumpkins, Chocolate popcorn with Halloween assorted candies, and snack-size Halloween candy that I placed underneath for a surprise layer of goodies…

More suggestions– Chocolate-covered white pretzels with holiday sprinkles, nutter butter cookies dipped in white candy melts can look like ghosts, mini popcorn balls and the list goes on and on….

To complete the tray I always included a package of Halloween napkins that can be used as a plate when making selections off of the tray and to name the theme of the tray.

Just have fun with the tray and let your imagination run wild.

Depending on the age of the recipients, you could also add plastic spiders to the tray and spider web gauze, or skeleton hands to keep the theme going, but always be mindful of small objects and any choking hazards with little ones around.

I did not include any of those items on this tray because I wasn’t sure of the age group that would receive this tray.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Pumpkin Muffins

Hi everyone,

Happy Halloween Weekend!

I decided to spread the Halloween Holiday throughout the weekend since Halloween falls on a Sunday this year so I am starting out with “Pumpkin Muffins” for our Saturday breakfast.

Of course, we don’t count the extra calories of the whipped cream and sprinkles on a holiday because after all, we have to decorate and celebrate.

This is a recipe that is a compilation of a few pumpkin muffin recipes that I have tried over the years and this is my final draft. I hope you give this recipe a try. (I sometimes add pumpkin seeds into the batter).

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  •  
  • 1 can 15 oz 100% pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted (OR vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • pumpkin seeds added to the batter (optional)

Cooks Note:   How to Properly Measure Flour

  • Fluff the flour with a fork
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
  • Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup

Scooping the measuring cup straight into the bag or canister of flour will result in too much flour being packed into the cup, which can result in dry muffins.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper baking liners into each well of a standard size cupcake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, and the next 7 dry ingredients (In italics above in the recipe).  Whisk together to combine and set aside.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir to combine with a spatula or mixer on low for 30 seconds. 
  4. Por the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined into a batter. Do not over mix. (ADD pumpkin seeds now if using and combine).        
  5. Fill the liners to the top with batter. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  6. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. 

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Pasta Primavera

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and if you live in the Northeast like me, I hope you still have power after the storms and high winds we have been having the past few days.

I have been testing some new dessert recipes for Halloween and really haven’t given much thought to dinner, so I whipped something up as a last-minute meal that I wanted to share with all of you for a quick weekday meal when you don’t have much time.

I made a quick easy version of Pasta Primavera which is a simple dish of pasta and fresh vegetables in oil and garlic with your favorite herbs and spices added. It is a great way to use up leftover veggies left in the bin toward the end of the week before they spoil.

I have been taking a little shortcut the past few weeks with vegetables, by steaming some vegetables at the beginning of the week and storing them in an airtight container for easy meal prep during the week to add to salads and pasta or as a side dish to have ready in minutes.

This week I had some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower so I incorporated these veggies and some shallots and tomatoes and made a simple garlic, olive oil, and anchovy sauce for a delicious quick meal served over tri-color spaghetti.

I read once that most people think Pasta Primavera is an Italian dish but it is an American dish created by chef Sirio Maccioni and two sous chefs and was first served in a New York City restaurant. It wasn’t until a recipe for this dish was published a few years later in the New York Times that this dish became popular.

The ingredients vary for this dish depending on what veggies you have, what pasta choice you make, and what sauce you want so I am providing a basic recipe as a guideline but please feel free to change ingredients according to what you have (steaming the vegetables ahead of time is a blessing and a timesaver). So here is the recipe. Have fun and enjoy every bite……

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of pasta (suggestions: penne, spaghetti, farfalle, gemelli, cassarecce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion or shallot, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2- 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of calabrian pepper paste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add olive oil, onion or shallots and saute 2 minutes to get a slight golden color.
  4. Add garlic and anchovies (if using) and saute for 2 minutes to melt the anchovies.
  5. Add the vegetables of your choice and saute until the veggies are softened but still a little crisp.
  6. Add the Calabrian pepper paste (if using) and mix well.
  7. Add Italian seasoning and dried oregano, saute 2 minutes longer and mix well.
  8. Add drained pasta to the veggies and add the pasta water with 1/2 cup grated cheese and mix well to form a sauce. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt & pepper as needed (additional pasta water and cheese can be added to make the sauce a consistency you prefer).
  9. Toss in parsley and serve with additional grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Cooks Note – if you want to make this a complete meal on a single plate you can also add the protein of your choice – (suggestions: shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken slices, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, or nuts).

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Hi Everyone,

I just had to share this recipe that I found the other day while looking for some new side dishes. I am always changing my recipe ingredients and experimenting with new flavors and I came across this recipe that intrigued me.

“Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites”.

I have used cauliflower to make tater tots and General Tso’s “chicken” in the past and posted it to the blog, but this was another way with cauliflower that I never tried before.

(Here is the link for my previous cauliflower recipes)

Since this recipe caught my attention, I felt it was the perfect side dish to go along with some chicken, rice and black bean enchiladas that I made for dinner last night. I absolutely loved the result.

(Sorry only one photo but I didn’t plan on making this a blog post since it is not my original recipe).

I loved the Cauliflower Buffalo Bites so much that I had to share with all of you immediately so you could try it too. And kudos to the author, Dani Spies, she is brilliant.

The recipe is easy and tasty and comes together in very little time.

The cauliflower bites were a little too spicy for Bob between the spices in the batter and the Buffalo hot wing sauce, so remember that if someone in your family is not a lover of spicy to tone it down a little.

Next time, I will have to cut the spice level down for Bob to really enjoy them, but I loved every bite with the original ingredients.

I am a lover of spicy foods and this recipe was fantastic for me.

This is a great party food for the vegetarians on your guest list that can’t have Buffalo Hot Wings and it makes a nice presentation.

Plus, it’s baked and not fried which helps with the calories and the clean up. I added some celery and carrot sticks and a little ranch dressing as another layer to our meal to complete the traditional Buffalo style.

The recipe is from “Dani Spies” and she has various you-tube videos showing her creations. I find her to be fun and entertaining and this recipe is a keeper for sure. So, thank you Dani for this fabulous recipe….

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Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites-

courtesy of Dani Spies

Course: DIET, DINNER, snacks + starters

Cuisine: American, Super Bowl, vegan, vegetarian

Author: Dani Spies

Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time 30 mins -Total Time 40 mins 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup of white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce I used Franks
  • 1 tbsp. butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, water, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika and stir until smooth. Add in cauliflower and stir gently until florets are evenly coated with batter.
  • Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with some cooking spray. Be sure the pan is not over crowded (use two pans if needed). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  • In a separate bowl combine hot sauce and melted butter. Pour evenly over the cauliflower and gently toss until evenly coated.
  • Pop bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to crisp up. Serve with carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Simple Fresh “Grape Tomato” Sauce with Basil…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well … I wanted to share with all of you one of the easiest tomato sauces you can make from fresh tomatoes.

I usually make this sauce from grape or cherry tomatoes. And you will be surprised to find out the other simple ingredients for a quick fresh delicious tomato sauce that you can make at home and you will never need to buy a jarred sauce again.

In my Italian home jarred sauce was forbidden. You couldn’t even say the words jarred sauce to my Mother or Grandmother.

In fact, the first recipe I was ever taught from my Mother was how to make the weekly Sunday Sauce. She told me once you master this, you can add it to anything and survive- pasta, chicken cutlets, meatballs, rice and her list went on and on.

The Sunday sauce is a little more involved with various cuts of meat and more ingredients and a low and slow process of hours to cook, but this is a quick sauce with minimal ingredients and a fabulous flavor.

Of course, the fresher the tomatoes the better the outcome but I have to say this really never disappoints.

I add a few extra ingredients when I want the sauce a little spicier and I will list that in the ingredient list below in the recipe, but otherwise it is a tried and true winner.

So lets get started.

The only equipment I suggest you use is a 12- inch skillet with sides.

I find this pan so valuable in the kitchen for many recipes but especially for this sauce to avoid splatters all over your kitchen when the tomatoes burst (don’t be scared, it’s not that bad).

Last night I served this sauce (I made mine spicy) with asparagus and goat cheese filled ravioli and I roasted some additional asparagus spears to serve as a side along with the fresh ravioli…… so delicious!

Cherry tomato sauce – serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic -minced
  • Fresh basil- 1 cup (and additional leaves to garnish)
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • Grated cheese for serving
  • Pasta of your choice – 1 lb.
  • 1 ladle of saved pasta water
  • OPTIONAL – ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • OPTIONAL – for a little spicy addition – ½ tsp of jarred Calabrian chili peppers (see image below) OR 1/8 tsp or red pepper flakes)
MY FAVORITE BRAND OF CALABRIAN CHILI PEPPERS

Directions:

Boil water in a large saucepan (with added salt) and cook the pasta as per package directions.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. ADD the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until a slight golden color.

ADD the tomatoes, salt & pepper and half of the torn basil leaves, oregano and IF USING, garlic powder and the Calabrian chili peppers or red pepper flakes.

Cook stirring occasionally until the tomatoes start to burst open and their juices are released.  If the tomatoes are not all bursting after 6 minutes, I take a potato masher and manually burst the remainder of whole tomatoes. –BE CAREFUL– the squirting juices from the tomatoes are very hot and you can get burned easily- wear an oven mitt when mashing.

Continue to cook the sauce for an additional 5 minutes and add a ladle of pasta water to thin the sauce a bit and also add a little starchy water to enhance the flavor of the sauce.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, additional basil, and grated cheese. Enjoy

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes and Mulled Apple Cider

Hi Everyone,

Since yesterday’s response to the apple cider donuts was so overwhelming I decided to reach into the archives and take out some additional FALL favorite recipes.

The first recipe is for Caramel Apple Cupcakes…. The same great flavor of the caramel apples we had as kids with less of a chance of knocking out a tooth (always a plus when having dessert).

I had this recipe for years and have been making them every Halloween. Made with both apples and applesauce they stay very moist. This is a cupcake you need to bake at least once. I can’t take credit for the recipe, but it was a great and appreciated find.

And to go along with these luscious cupcakes I have also included a recipe for Hot Mulled Apple Cider.

This combination is a definite winner.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Courtesy of Momontimeout.com

Prep Time – 10 mins    Cook Time- 25 mins     Total Time 35 mins

There is no better way to usher in fall than with these delicious Caramel Apple Cupcakes. Moist cupcakes loaded with apples and applesauce for double the apple flavor. A decadent caramel frosting top them off beautifully. 

Course: Dessert  Servings: 12 cupcakes  Calories: 244 kcal   Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce OR vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded apple Rome, Granny Smith, or other baking apple or combination of two varieties

Caramel Frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with parchment baking liners and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.
  4. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined.
  7. Stir in the shredded apples.
  8. Evenly divide the batter between the 12 cups.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Caramel Frosting

  1. Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Stir in heavy cream.
  3. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minutes. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until caramels are melted and smooth.
  4. Spoon frosting onto the top of cooled cupcakes and spread. You want a nice thick layer. If the caramel starts to thicken, microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, and spread on cupcakes.
  5. Popsicle sticks are optional 

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Hot Mulled Apple Cider

Courtesy of Tonkcats at Genius Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine brown sugar, allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and apple cider in large saucepan.
  2. Bring to boiling.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain to remove spices.
  5. Serve in mugs with clove-studded orange wedges.

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Until my next post, enjoy your Fall treats and remember, Make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Apple Cider Donuts

Hi Everyone,

Well, it’s that time of year again when the chill is in the air and pumpkin picking and apple picking seem to be the ” big event of the weekend”.

Here in the northeast and especially on Long Island we take car rides “out east” (which is a traditional term we use here on Long Island to signify a ride to the farms and wineries). They are concentrated on the eastern end of the island and for whatever reason since I can remember we group all towns in this area as “out east”.

We search and search for the perfect pumpkin in the fields and then reward ourselves for our hard work with a farm stand treat of hot “apple cider donuts”.

We stand on long lines to buy a dozen hot donuts placed in a brown paper bag and then eat them at a picnic table with a cup of hot cider or coffee while getting cinnamon sugar all over us and then the day is complete.

If you have a craving for an apple cider donut during the week and you can’t get to the farm, many grocery stores and even Costco sells them.

But, if you want a hot, fresh apple cider donut and the best aroma filling your kitchen, I have the perfect recipe for you.

They are delicious and sometimes I grate a little bit of fresh apple in the batter. Not in the original recipe, but I have to experiment with any recipe I find.

Bob loves these donuts with and without the butter and cinnamon sugar topping but I love the full experience with the topping and the added calories of course.

I hope you give them a try and enjoy…..

If you don’t have a donut pan, you can make apple cider muffins- directions below…

Apple Cider Donuts

Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  1. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
  4. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donuts bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
  1. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  2. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make ahead tip: You can freeze the donuts, coated or not coated in the toppings, for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap ’em for a couple seconds.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Note on the apple spice: Do you have apple pie spice where you live? It’s pretty standard here in the US. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. – SEE BELOW
  2. I usually use buttermilk, but I’ve found that any milk (dairy or nondairy) works pretty well. For a denser crumb, you can use 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream instead.
  3. Don’t have a donut pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Grease your pan or use muffin liners, fill each 3/4 full, then bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes about 10-12 apple cider donut muffins.
  4. Want to make mini donuts or mini donut holes in a mini muffin pan? Grease your pan, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 8-9 minutes.

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I found a recipe for apple pie spice…Apple Pie Spice

  1. 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon.
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  4. 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Please tell your friends and family to join DishingwithDiane.com

Once you become a member, you will never miss a post!

Eggplant “meatball” Pizza

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share my dinner tonight with all of you.

I wanted to show you one more meal to make with the leftover eggplant “meatballs” that I posted earlier today.

Bob and I had a busy day and I was trying to think of something quick so I decided to re-purpose the meatballs and make a pizzette (10 -inch individual pizza) with store bought dough (no time to make fresh dough). A Boboli shell or flatbread shell would also work.

I had a few bell peppers, yellow onions, some leftover marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese from the eggplant parmigiana, grated cheese, olives and of course the eggplant meatballs (sliced in half).

I sautéed the diced peppers and sliced onions lightly in a frying pan with a little olive oil just to soften them a bit.

Layer all the ingredients on the pizza shell and bake at 500 degrees for 8-minutes and you have a steaming hot “eggplant meatball pizza”. Not the same old thing but with a lot of the same old ingredients.

Just thought that I would pass along a quick idea for any hectic weeknight meal. Enjoy……..

Until my next post, make every day a celebration !

Stay well,

Diane

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Baked Eggplant Parmigiana with Eggplant “Meatballs”

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well…… Here in the Northeast the weather is getting a little cooler and we are trying to hold on to the Summer as much as we can while Fall creeps in so we are trying to continue with our “Summer activities” and still go to the farm stands and outdoor markets as much as we can.

Bob and I went to a farm stand last weekend for some fresh vegetables pretending in our head that is was still July and not October and I found the most wonderful eggplants. (sorry I cut the eggplant before I took a picture).

I also found great zucchini, & tomatoes but as soon as I saw the nice shiny eggplants, I knew I wanted to make eggplant meatballs. I think I posted this recipe many years ago but it was time to re-post.

Along with the meatballs will be the tried and true eggplant parmigiana but this time instead of the traditional fry, I am baking the eggplant slices for an updated version.

Sometimes standing and frying a lot of eggplant slices at once is back breaking so I decided to try the baked version to make life a little easier.

(Here is the link to the traditional recipe for fryinghttps://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/08/22/eggplant-parmigiana/

So let’s get started on the updated recipe…..

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 large eggplants -sliced to ½ inch rounds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of Italian seasoned or plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano (Locatelli) cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 49 oz of fresh marinara sauce or store-bought jarred sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees…. Brush 2 baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil: set aside.

Set up a breading station …. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tbsp. of water to thin it out.

In a second bowl – combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated cheese, salt and pepper, basil and oregano.

Dip the eggplant rounds in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture (pressing crumbs down with fingers if needed to cover evenly).

Place on the baking sheets…. Bake until golden on the bottom, 10-20 minutes. Then carefully flip each slice and continue baking until golden on the other side, an additional 10-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese, then layer shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, grated cheese and top with mozzarella.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted, 15- 30 minutes. (Optional — broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese a little golden, but watch carefully because it can burn easily).

Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

I chose to make my eggplant parmigiana in an individual serving dish for this meal ….

I hope you try the baked version of eggplant parmigiana and enjoy every bite.

Now on to the next recipe …. Eggplant meatballs (updated version)

Eggplant Meatballs

I served this with farfalle pasta (another favorite of mine).

(recipe courtesy of by Lynette Marie by way of Allrecipes – 2016)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (I peeled the eggplant)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ½ cup grated cheese (recipe called for Parmesan, I used Locatelli)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet (I used a silicon mat, parchment paper can also be used). 

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and sauté garlic just until lightly browned.

Mix in the eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes.

COVER AND STEAM

Place steamed eggplant in a large bowl to cool.

AFTER 20 MINUTES, NICE AND SOFT

Mix the cheese, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs into the eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture workable.

ADD INGREDIENTS TOGETHER

Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.

Place eggplant balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

I add the cooked eggplant balls to remaining sauce and then serve immediately.

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I hope you give both of these recipes a try and please let me know what you think of them.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Kudos to Debra!

Hi Everyone,

I am having such a great week with members making some of my recipes and having great results. It gives me great joy to share their successes.

Debra Vanderheiden, posted that she made the Trapanese Sauce and she was very happy with the outcome.

Below is her comment and photos…

I came across Diane Kantor’s Pesto Trapanese and thought I’d give it a try! Especially since along with all my herbs, I bought a large tub of cherry tomatoes at Costco and needed to use them. The only difference is I used half basil and half parsley. It turned out so good!

“Hi Diane! I just love your blog and all your great recipes! I saw this post for Pesto Trapanese and couldn’t resist trying it. I did use half basil and half Italian parsley and upped the crushed chiles just a bit. Oh my, is it ever wonderful! I love being creative with pesto recipes and this is yet another one in my recipe box! Thanks again! You are truly an inspiration!”

Debra’s Trapanese looks wonderful- great job!

(My original recipe posted 9/28/21)

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.