Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on an eggplant casserole...

Man oh man. This recipe right here will make you do a little jig. I ran across this recipe via here and adapted it a little. For the most part I followed but added a few things that I fancy. We had this casserole as a main dish mostly because it does have heavy cream in it so it felt like eating anything else along side would of been over doing it. It was so rich, creamy and heavenly beyond belief. I had one serving and the hubby helped himself to the rest. Two thumbs up and I totally recommend you make this for all your upcoming Holiday parties. People will be bowing down to you!

2 large eggplants 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small leek 
3 tablespoon parsley 
1 glove garlic 
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded 

Heat oven at 350. Start out with slicing the eggplant. I like slicing mine pretty thin. Brush each slice with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper ever so slightly and fry them in batch until they brown a little. Set them aside. Next, sauté the chopped leeks. Use both the white and the green with olive oil and a minced garlic. Meanwhile, pour heavy cream into a sauce pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on high stirring it so that it doesn't bubble over. Turn the heat low and add parmesan cheese, sautéed leek and chopped parsley to cream mixture. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and set aside. 
Oil up a 9 by 13 baking dish or casserole pan and start layering the eggplant. One layer eggplant and then drizzle tomato sauce (you can make your own or just use a canned sauce, I used a straight tomato sauce). On top of the sauce sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and a dash of parmesan. It's really up to you how much you like. Then do the same thing over again until you run out of eggplant. Cover the top with tomato sauce and the rest of the mozzarella. Lastly pour the cream sauce evenly over. 
And you're all set to pop it in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes.

It will come out bubbling with a golden finish! Bliss people, pure bliss! Put on those sweatpants, yeah those, and have a plate of this. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on a quick tip...

I was at the grocery store the other day and walked by a huge barrel of lovely pomegranates and since I've never actually bought one before, I thought that it was the day to do it! There was a neat little tutorial right at the store that showed you how to actually cut a pomegranate so today I wanted to share how I went about it. It ended up being easier than I thought! I encourage you to go buy one and try it out. 

I just love the color of them! First cut off the ends of the fruit on both sides and discard. I did four incisions into the skin. You can faintly see them in the photo above (labeled with numbers). Once you do that, grab a big bowl and fill it with cold water. 

Split the pomegranate open right where you cut the skin. It actually comes apart nicely!

You want to separate the red seeds from the white pulp membrane, which is what is floating on the top of the above picture. I've had someone tell me that they use a spoon to smack the outer skin with makes the seeds pop out but I found it pretty easy just using my fingers to gently extract them.

Pick out all the big membrane chucks and then use a strainer. And viola! You have a whole bowl of sweet & sour little pomegranate seeds. Yummy!

If you've never cut a pomegranate I hope this helps. I always feel awkward buying some of these fruits and vegetables when you don't know how to cut or cook them so I hope this inspires you to buy a pomegranate. I've been just eating them as a snack!


Friday, December 07, 2012

on oven roasted tomato soup...

Nothing like a hot bowl of tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese on a cold winter night. It's getting pretty cold around here and just the other day I knew from the moment I woke up that dinner was going to be some Oven Roasted Tomato Soup. 
When growing up tomato soup and grilled cheese was something I always made my dad and I after a day of being outside in the cold. Back then the good 'ol Campell's was our go to soup and don't get me wrong there's nothing like the classics but nowadays my stomach can't handle that stuff. 
This recipe is delicious and wholesome!

1 pound of roma or vine tomatoes 
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth 
fresh basil 
1 tablespoon heavy cream 

1// Slice tomatoes and coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet, in the oven on 400 for about 30 minutes.
2// Meanwhile in a pot sauté onion & garlic. Once they are opaque add the chicken broth, tomatoes and basil. Boil until and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
3// Pour the soup into a blender or use a hand blender and puree.
4// Cook up some gooey grilled cheese and bam. Warm your belly good!


Thursday, December 06, 2012

on some notables...

I've been MIA for a little while due to me dropping my mac and having to take it in to get repaired. All my fault and I was dying for a week and a half without it. It's funny how left out it makes me feel. Anyways, I'm sitting here being sick on the couch as I write to you all. I came down with one of those horrible sore throats and of course I was rockin' a fever last night. Just feeling lousy and even though it's my day off and I'm super bummed to have to spend it on the couch but I've been spending this time doing things I can't usually do or just haven't done for a while. Blog, read, sleep, watch Sons of Anarchy and rest my bones. Rest Ha! I'm soaking it all up folks because the rest of this month I'll be working 6 days a week and when I'm not working I'll be trying my best to keep my family alive and feed and then in between that I still have some more Christmas shopping, wrapping and baking to do.
Although it's busy, stressful and hectic I still feel on top of it all and that feel good man!  Here's a hodgepodge of notables...

  • I won a fun little giveaway on Twitter last week. Susannah has a cute blog full of outfits and crafty things. So you can see how excited I was to have won a small ad space on her blog. Go check it out! And if you're one of the lovely people that have clicked over, well, thanks for stopping by! 
  • I've been having a little too much fun with Jack, our elf. I guess it's getting to see Sebastian's face light up when he spots Jack in his new location every morning. Wanna follow Jacks adventures? Go follow me on Instagram @calicotales
  • After having a mishap with our Christmas lights, that mishap being they wouldn't cut on, I went out and bought some brand new boxes of fresh lights. Mini multi color lights. Nothing like some new lights! 
  • By the way, if you need a quick stocking stuffer that's perfect for pretty much anyone that loves Christmas go here and by the newest and best Christmas story out by JingleBelle Jackson. I think everyone should have it on their shelves! Link also on the side of le blog. Oh oh oh. 
  • Sebastian's Christmas play at his preschool is next Friday and he has his very own verse to say in front of everyone. We've been practicing every night. Can't wait!!