Eggplant Parm

I decided to make Eggplant Parmesan for the meatless Monday meal this week. It turned out so good! I stole a recipe from a blog called, Table for Two.

First, I cut the eggplants (I used 2) into 1/2 inch slices. Then I laid  the eggplant slices on paper towels and covered with paper towels, in order to soak up all the moisture from the eggplant.

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I let the eggplant sit for about 40 minutes.

After, it was breading time! I spread 2 cups of panko crumbs, some Italian seasoning and a dash of salt and pepper on a plate and then mixed 1 cup of milk and 1 egg in a bowl. Next, I dipped the eggplant slices one by one in the milk and egg mixture and then breaded with panko crumbs. I set the pieces aside on aluminum foil.

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After, I poured 3 tablespoons of oil (whichever you prefer) in a frying pan and turned on high. I placed 2 or 3 pieces into the pan and fried for about 2 minutes on each side.

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After I fried the pieces of eggplant, I poured a thin layer of marinara (I also used a small amount of white garlic sauce) into a baking pan. I then layered the baking pan with eggplant pieces. Between each layer, I poured marinara sauce and sprinkled some Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

After I finished the layering, I sprinkled a little more cheese on top and then put the meal in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top. I used the broiler for 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown – you don’t have to, but if you do, watch it carefully!

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I put the eggplant slices on top of spiralized zucchini and I served with a healthy salad. Such a delicious meal!

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This recipe will not disappoint!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! 😊

Motto of the day:

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
― Nicolas Chamfort

 

 

Weekend Re-cap

Whoa, what a weekend. Fun filled every.single.day. The weather was amazing which made the weekend just that much better. I also cannot wait to share what a great experience my friends and I had at a restaurant called E+O.

After work on Friday, I went to happy hour with some work people and Evan came and met us as well. We went to Taqueria Mercado and had a couple of margaritas. Any more than 2 of those things and you will be hammered. It’s crazy really. After happy hour, Evan and I met my brother and his girlfriend at the nearby Gastro Pub. A friend was in town from LA, so he met up with us too. We had a great time with the band and this place has the best people watching ever.

Saturday, I woke up to beautiful weather. I took advantage of the weather and went to the park with my friend, Abby and her two adorable kiddos.  We went to Mitchell Memorial and walked around the lake, played on the playground and had a little picnic. Nice little Saturday. Saturday evening, my friends and I went to E+O to celebrate mine and my friend, Sammy’s birthday. We actually have the same birthday, February 11th. Anyway, E+O was amazing. A few of us split the brussel sprout salad with fried kale, chilies, carrots and shrimp-best thing ever! We also split the wholly-mole which was also so delicious! I was very impressed at this point. Everything tasted so fresh and full of flavor. Sorry I didn’t snap any pictures of the food. I was too busy eating. For my meal, I ordered the crispy chicken tacos. I immediately noticed the tastey sauce on the tacos. I’m all about my sauces. 😋 I devoured the tacos, so good. I give this place a 10 and I will definitely be back! Here are my hottie friends 😘

 

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We had a great night! Always good to see my girls.

Sunday, I woke up not hungover. I was very proud of myself. Sunday was also beautiful out. Evan and I decided to go walk down at Smale Park along the Ohio River. We walked a couple of miles. It was so pretty out!

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After our walk, we grabbed lunch at Arthur’s in Hyde Park. I ordered a spicy black bean burger with fries. It was delicious. I love good food! After lunch, we went to Findlay Market to grab a few things for the week. We love to go and pick out new spices to try. We always pick something different. After Findlay Market we met my brother and his girlfriend at the park to soak in the last couple hours of sun. My dad also met us for an hour or so. After the park, we were pooped!  Long day on the go! We went home and cooked a shrimp Thai meal with zucchini noodles. It was delicious. So much flavor! I’ll have to share the next time I make it. We watched Straight Out of Compton while we ate dinner. I thought the movie and food were great! Perfect way to end a Sunday evening.

It ’twas a long weekend but I enjoyed every minute of it with people I love! Couldn’t ask for more in life.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Motto:
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

Yummy Stuffed Shells

I’m an Italian girl at heart so I love me some Italian food. I made ricotta cheese stuffed shells for one of the dinner meals for this week.

Here is all of the ingredients I used:

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Ingredients:

1 box of jumbo pasta shells

1 32 oz. container ricotta

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup shredded Parmesan

2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of ground thyme

Pinch of garlic salt

1 26-oz. jar marinara sauce

1/2 cup of fresh parsley

1/2 cup of fresh basil

Next, cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, basil and garlic salt.

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Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish.

At this point, you can freeze the meal for later or you can go ahead and cook for dinner. I decided to split the meal in half; I put half in the fridge for dinner during the week and I froze the other half for a meal later in the month.

If you decide to go ahead and cook the meal for dinner, you will want to pour the remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.

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I served the shells with a Caesar salad and some garlic bread. The perfect combination!

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday aka Friday eve!

Motto of the day:

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

 

President’s Day Prep Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I decided to stay in and cook dinner together. We went to Jungle Jim’s on Saturday morning to pick up some Ahi Tuna steaks, brussel sprouts and risotto for our Valentine’s Day meal. Cincinnati ended up getting about 3 inches of snow so it was a good night to stay in, cook dinner and watch a movie.

Since I work for a bank, I had yesterday off! Got to love bank holidays. I decided to use my day off by going to the grocery and making some dinner meals for the week. Last night for meatless Monday dinner, we had 7 layer tostadas. Pretty simple and basic. I also made Chicken Pot Pie and Stuffed Shells for dinners during the week.

-Chicken Pot Pie Recipe-

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds of chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)

2 cups of chicken broth

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 carrots, diced

4 celery stocks, diced

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

4 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of flour

1 cup of milk

1 cup of frozen peas

1 cup of frozen corn

2 frozen pie crust

Pillsbury pie topping

FILLING

Dice up your carrots, onion and celery and sauté in butter in a big skillet over medium heat until tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and milk; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, peas, corn, salt, and pepper.

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Cool before pouring into pie crusts. VERY important! I put the filling in the fridge for about 45minutes. After, I scooped the filling into both of the pie crusts and topped with pie topping.

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1 with pie topping and 1 without 🙂

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:
Cover with foil, label and freeze.
TO PREPARE POT PIE FROM FROZEN
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 16 (from two pies–if you’re just making one pie it will just serve 8).
Freezes very well separately or fully prepared in the crust. Try them both and see which way you prefer!

Tomorrow, I will post about my Stuffed Shells recipe; one of my favorite meals! 😛

Have a great night everyone!

Motto of the day:

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

Birthday Festivities

It was my birthday yesterday… 2.11. It was a great day! I woke up to my boyfriend making me an egg and avocado sandwich (my fave) and went to bed with new memories and a lot to be grateful for.

My co-friends are so thoughtful! They got me a birthday cake to celebrate my special day. A co-worker of mine, Alecia, also picked up my lunch tab at Bru Burger Bar which is delicious by the way! If you have one nearby, I recommend checking it out. I ordered a Ground Turkey burger with carrot-ginger slaw, peach cambote and curry mayo and if course, onion rings. The burger and onion rings were out of this world. I do apologize for not snapping a photo of my delicious lunch meal. Next time I go for lunch, I will make sure to snap a photo to share!

After work, my boyfriend and I grabbed a quick bite before the terrarium class we signed up for, which started at 7pm. We learned that last nights class was the first terrarium class offered in the Cincinnati area. It turned out to be a lot of fun. It was at a bar in Mt.Adams, however, classes are offered all over the city. There were about 20 people in the class and everyone seemed to be having a blast. The class ended up being about 2 hours long and the instructor was very bubbly and outgoing. Since the class was at a bar,  we were able to drink while we made the terrariums; pretty cool,huh? 😎 The instructor also had a backdrop with some fun accessories to take some photos.

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The atmosphere was a lot of fun and the terrariums turned out great!

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I would recommend this experience  to anyone who enjoys plants! I will definitely be going back. If you are interested, checkout the website: Plant Nite website.

After we got home,  I opened a few gifts from Evan. He made this incredible necklace holder that I am absolutely in love with.

I couldn’t believe he made this all by himself. I had know idea he was such a handy man. Best present I have ever received! Bring it on 31. I am ready for ya!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

Motto of the day:

“Go to the people and places that spark your soul.”

Meatless Monday

How exciting was that Super Bowl game last night? Ahhhh I was so happy for Peyton Manning. Thank goodness for Denver’s defense; Vaughn Miller is a beast. He definitely deserved MVP. And that halftime show?! I think Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars killed it! Lady Gaga also blew my mind with the National Anthem. Who knew her voice was so good?! Definitely a Super Bowl game that will always be remembered.

After all the chicken wings we devoured last night, I decided to go with a Meatless dish for dinner tonight. I’m making Moroccan Cauliflower Chickpea Pitas. Sounds healthy and delicious. I can never get enough veggies and look what tonight’s dinner entails of:

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I used garlic naan to stuff the above goodness in and topped with feta and a cucumber feta dill sauce. The recipe calls for taziki sauce (which I love!) but I took the lazy way out since I didn’t get home until almost 6pm. The Marzetti’s Cucumber Dill Feta sauce is a good substitute if you are pressed on time. The pitas turned out delicious; way better than I expected.

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Here’s the recipe that inspired me to make this delicious meal:

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Thanks #joyfulhealthyeats. I love her recipes.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Monday!

Motto of the day:

“One kind word can change someone’s entire day.”

 

 

Super Bowl Sunday

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and you know what that means… Some delicious finger food to look forward to. We are just staying home this year and enjoying the game from the comfort of our own couch. Here’s what’s on the menu in our household:

-Honey Sriracha wings

-Garlic Parmesan wings

-Veggies with homemade ranch, blue cheese and hummus

-Homemade curly fries using the spiral vegetable slicer

First, a walk around the neighbor with Evan and a visit to my friend, Brigitte’s house before food prep begins!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! Go Denver Broncos!

Motto of the day:

“Some things must be believed to be seen.”