{Where to Shop Wednesday} Colette Paperie

It’s been a while since I’ve done a w-t-s post! I’m back at it this week with a totally non-food related suggestion for you all…Colette Paperie.

I love witty cards…both getting them and sending them. Last year I found Keli last year at the Handmade Arcade and stood at her table cracking up for a good 15 minutes. I purchased some cards then and have since in her online shop.

Here are a few of my favorites:
fitness
flamingo

wedding

baby
Go buy some awesome cards in Keli’s online shop now! You’ll give the best cards for all of your upcoming weddings, baby showers and just-cause-you-feel-like-it occasions. You’re welcome 🙂

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{Lightened Up} Eggplant Parm Stacks

Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious dinner, however I always spend the rest of the evening feeling super stuffed. Its a heavy dinner that is more suited for cold weather, but when I got it in the farmshare last week I had a strong desire to bread it :). This recipe is a lighter take on the traditional preparation, keeping the slices separate, limiting the amount of cheese and omitting the heavy tomato sauce. Honestly, I’d take this version over the traditional any time of year.
eggplant parm stacks

I suggest serving with some pasta and simple tomato sauce. I like Trader Joe’s Arrabiatta sauce, it packs a nice flavor for a jar of tomato sauce. Connor says its too spicy for him, so we always have some basic tomato basil variety on hand. Also, leftovers of these eggplant stacks reheat very well in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. This is an easy dish to whip together on a weeknight and feels much more decadent than it is! That’s a win in my book, for sure.

you will need:
1 medium or 2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds (about 15 slices)
kosher salt
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon each freshly ground salt and pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup regular bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large eggs, beaten
olive oil for pan frying
2-8 ounce balls fresh mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced (about 15 slices)
2 large heirloom tomato or 4-5 plum tomatoes, thickly sliced (about 15 slices)
15 or so leaves of fresh basil
balsamic reduction for drizzling (I LOVE this Cream of Balsamic and always have some in my fridge)

Lay the eggplant slices in a colander or on a wire cooling rack and sprinkle generously with salt and let sit for an hour for the bitter juices to weep. Rinse the eggplant with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. While the eggplant is sitting, prepare your breading ingredients. In one bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. In a second bowl combine the panko, bread crumbs, parmesan, dried basil and garlic powder. In a third bowl beat the eggs.

Dip each eggplant slice in the flour mixture, then the egg, then the bread crumb mixture. Make sure each slice is fully coated before moving on to the next bowl. Place each breaded slice on a baking sheet until ready to cook.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. You will need to add more oil for a new batch of eggplant slices.

Fry breaded eggplant slices in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. When cooked, set the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. When all eggplant is cooked, top each slice with a piece of mozzarella, then a basil leaf, then a tomato slice. Broil on high until sizzling and tomatoes begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

Take out of the oven and drizzle with balsamic reduction/cream of balsamic and serve immediately alongside some pasta with a simple tomato sauce.

serves: 4
time: 15 min prep + 15 min cooking

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Fried Green Tomato BLTs

Every time I travel to the south, I can’t get enough fried green tomatoes. They are just so delicious. I’ve been wanting to make them myself and after I saw some other bloggers posting yummy photos involving these seasonal treats, I decided the time was now! One of the best food decisions I’ve ever made. This was an easy sandwich to whip up and felt so indulgent since it is not something I usually make.
fgt blt 2Honestly, I could just eat a whole plate of the fried green tomatoes with the aioli, but the sandwiches come with bacon, which is always a welcome addition. 🙂
fgt blt 1for the tomatoes, you will need:
2 medium/large sized green tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
salt & pepper
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of paprika
canola oil

Season tomato slices on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside on a paper towel. Set up 3 shallow dishes for the breading. One for flour and garlic powder, another for the eggs and the third for the panko, parmesan, cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs.

In a large frying pan, add canola oil until it fills the pan up to a ¼ inch on the sides of the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and set aside until ready to serve.

for the sandwiches, you will need:
6 slices cooked, crispy thick-cut bacon
4 slices hearty bread, toasted
6-8 pieces of lettuce
several heaping tablespoons of a spicy aioli (like this one)

Cook the bacon and clean and set aside the lettuce. Toast the bread, then slather both slices with the aioli or just plain mayo. Add tomatoes to two slices of bread, top with bacon and lettuce and top with the second slice of bread. Slice and serve! Crunch, yummy, awesomeness.

serves: 2
time: 30 minutes
recipe inspired by: How Sweet Eats

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Summer Corn & Zucchini Chowder

Summer corn is one of my favorite vegetables. I could just eat a whole dinner of 3 ears of corn, and maybe a plate of heirloom tomatoes. That is summer happiness right there. When I saw this recipe, I knew I needed to make it ASAP. Then, as fate would have it, I got 5 of the key ingredients in my CSA one week and knew this needed to come out of my kitchen pronto.

This chowder totally lived up to my expectations and I loved every bite! What’s your favorite recipe for summer corn?! I have so many, but am always looking for more!
corn & zucchini chowder

you will need:
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 small/medium carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
handful fresh thyme
4-5 small red potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups water
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, grilled and kernels cut from cob
1 medium zucchini, diced
½ cup half and half or whole milk
handful fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne

In a wide sauce pan or dutch oven, cook the bacon until brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes more.

Add potatoes, water and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are completely tender. Add in the corn and allow to heat up, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food process or blend with an immersion blender. Puree until smooth, then stir back into the remaining mixture in the pot. Add the half and half or milk and cook just until heated up. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve with fresh basil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and voila, summer yummy in a bowl.

serves: 4
time: 15 minutes prep + 45 minutes cooking
adapted slightly from: Little Broken

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Cheesy Corn and Veggie Dip

I love a good party dip. I’ve been know to saddle up next to the snack table at a family get together and eat so much chips and dip that I basically have no room left for dinner. This dip is no exception. Despite the fact that this is packed with things like tons of cheese, mayo and sour cream, it has like a ton of veggies in it…so its pretty healthy, too…
cheesy corn & veggie dip 1

This recipe makes a lot, but reheats really well in both the microwave and oven throughout the week. It just makes your day better knowing this can be your after work snack…take it from me. Definitely make this for your next get together or cookout!
cheesy corn & veggie dip 2

Also, word to the wise…this recipe is a lactose intolerant eater’s nightmare because all you want to do is stuff your face with it and its going to just destroy your stomach 🙁 I had lots of Lactaid on hand for this one.

you will need:
5 ears of corn, grilled
vegetable oil
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
½ large red onion, diced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
1 can diced green chilies
chili powder for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F. Clean corn and brush it with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes on a grill pan or on a grill, turning frequently. Remove from heat and let cool, then cut kernels off of the cobs and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion, peppers and jalapeno. Cook until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mayo and sour cream until well combined. Mix in approximately 2/3 of the shredded cheese until combined. Add in the green onions, corn, veggie mixture and green chilies and mix until just combined.

Spread mixture in a baking dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.

serves: 10-12
time: 40 minutes
from: Pioneer Woman

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{Where to Shop Wednesday} Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee

I’m an iced coffee addict. Once sunny spring days hit, I just can’t get enough. I could go to Dunkin or Starbucks daily for my fix, but that would be very bad for my wallet. So in order to not spend all of my fun money on coffee, I’ve been trying a few different store bought cold brew options this summer to see if they do the trick, and I’m having some luck.
Cold Brew

I really liked Chameleon Cold Brew’s vanilla concentrate. I liked it best diluted with water a bit and with a hefty pour of vanilla soy creamer or coconut milk and lots of ice. I don’t need any sweetener. I totally want to try their Texas Pecan flavor, but haven’t seen it anywhere around Pittsburgh.

What’s your favorite cold brew? Please share with me!

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PB-Cinna-Choco Energy Bites

I have a massive sweet tooth. I think its genetic, so I blame my dad. But seriously, I can’t make it through the day without some sort of dessert. I’ve made a few different types of these no-bake energy bite cookies before and they can do the trick for me from time to time. Now that I have my dairy issue, these have made it back to the top of the quick dessert list.

These are yummy and easy to whip together. Plus, in a non air conditioned house, I never want to turn on my oven to make real cookies in the summer, so these are a great substitute. I even excuse eating them as a snack because, I mean, they are healthy…right?!
energy bitesyou will need:
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted
½ cup ground flax meal
¼ cup mini cinnamon chips
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (I use vegan, dark chocolate chips)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Add in the remaining ingredients and then mix everything together until well combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Once chilled, shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Store in the fridge for up to a week…if they last that long 😉

makes: about 20
time: 10 minutes prep + 20 minutes chilling + 5 minutes to roll the dough into balls
adapted from: Cooking Classy

Posted in appetizers & snacks, cookies, sweets | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Sun Dried Tomato & Kale Quinoa

Quinoa is a stand by in this house. Whether for a dinner side or making a big batch for a week of lunches, I’m always whipping up a new version of this protein packed and filling grain. I usually just start throwing in whatever I have in my fridge or pantry or try to use what is fresh in my garden.
Sun Dried Tomato & Kale Quinoa

you will need:
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium sweet onion, chopped
½ bunch tuscan kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¾ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of smoked hot paprika
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package directions and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the kale and cook until kale begins to wilt a bit, another 5 minutes or so. Add to the cooked quinoa.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and consistency and add more spices and/or olive oil as necessary. Serve slightly warm, room temperature or chilled. Great as a side or even solo as a lunch.

What’s your favorite way to prepare quinoa?! Please share!

serves: 4
time: 30 minutes

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Cabbage & Collard Slaw with Tahini Dressing

Last year I got collards in my farmshare and wasn’t sure what to do with them. I didn’t want to do the traditional southern style preparation, so I tried this cole slaw instead. I liked it a lot and it was a nice departure from the usual cabbage slaws I make in the summer. This time, I tried one with a bit more crunch, adding other fruits and veggies to the mix. The tahini-dijon dressing has a great flavor.
Collard Slaw

What’s your favorite summer slaw recipe? Please share!

for the slaw, you will need:
1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1 apple, cored and julienned
1 large or 3 small radishes (I used a black radish), julienned
4 green onions, sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup sesame seeds (white and/or black), toasted
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and set aside until ready to toss with dressing.

for the dressing, you will need:
¼ cup tahini
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of kosher salt
1-3 tablespoons water, depending on desired consistency

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water and whisk until combined. Adjust to desired consistency by adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time.

If serving immediately, dress the slaw and toss well. If waiting to serve, store the dressing separately and toss just before serving.

serves: 6-8
time: 20 minutes
adapted from: The Kitchn

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Herby Kale Pesto

Pesto is a summer staple around these parts. As soon as the basil blows up, I’m out there cutting it and whipping up a batch of pesto for pasta, chicken, toast, to spread on sandwiches…you name it, I’ll try to put pesto on it.
kale pesto

Since we became farmshare subscribers, I’ve never have had so much kale in my house. I mean, I like kale as much as the next wanna-be-hipster-30-something gal, but I don’t know what to do with a new bunch of it each week. I’ve started making pesto with kale as the staple, and I really like it. This batch is mixed with chives and parsley, too, which adds nice balance. Not too kale-y, if ya know what I mean.
kale pesto pasta w/ chicken

One of my favorite pesto uses, as pictured here, is to boil some pasta, toss with the pesto and add sliced tomatoes, parmesan and basil. I also added some chicken breast tenders on top for protein, otherwise Matt would be hungry again an hour after dinner.

for the pesto, you will need:
1 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces & blanched
1 cup parsley
1 large handful chives, roughly chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup cold water
lemon juice
salt & pepper

Start by boiling a pot of salted water and tossing in the kale for 1 minute. Immediately remove and place in a large bowl of ice water to cool.

Combine kale, parsley and chives in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped and combined. Add in walnuts, garlic and parmesan and pulse until coarsely chopped. Turn on the processor and slowly drizzle in the oil and process to a coarse puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again for another 10 seconds. Add in the water as you did the oil. Season with salt and pepper and add in the lemon juice. Process to combine, about 10 seconds more. Store in a jar or container with a layer of oil on top in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in small batches (I use ice cube trays!) for up to 6 months.

for the chicken, you will need:
1 chicken breast, cut into
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup pesto
salt & pepper

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. While pan is heating, season chicken with salt and pepper and slather with the pesto. When the pan is hot, place the chicken in the pan and cook for 4 minutes, until browned. Flip chicken over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are browned and chicken is cooked through. Serve atop or next to pasta tossed in the pesto.

Such an easy weeknight dinner, particularly if the pesto is already made!

What is your favorite pesto?! Do share!

serves: 2
time: 15 for the pesto + 20 for the chicken & pasta

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Posted in kale, spreads, sauces, salsas & dressings, veggies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment