Eggplant Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Tomatoes - Baba Ghanoush Recipe

Eggplant Salad 2 Eggplant Salad 1

You can use a food processor to make eggplant dip, but take care not to make it too smooth; this is supposed to be a rustic, slightly chunky dip. I overdid it a little-)) Also you may add tahini (sesame paste), but I didn't, I am on a diet, so mine is fat free.


  • 2 medium eggplants, about 2 pounds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice of one lemon 
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary


Preheat oven to 375°F. Grill the eggplants over a gas grill, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred, about 10 minutes. Then bake the eggplants until they are soft inside, about 20 minutes.Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, drain off the liquid, and scoop the pulp into a food processor. Process the eggplant until smooth and transfer to a medium bowl.Combine the eggplant, minced garlic, cumin, lemon juice, the salt,chopped rosemary, and a pinch of cayenne. Mix well. You want the mixture to be somewhat smooth but still retaining some of the eggplant's texture. Top with a lightly roasted tomatoes. Serve with celery, or cucumber slices.

Eggplant Salad 4


Basil Chicken Salad with Mushrooms, Walnuts and Avocado on a Whole Grain Bread

Chicken Salad 1 Chicken Salad 4 Chicken Salad 5


  • 3 chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb. total, cooked (roasted)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced (more for serving, optional)
  • 1 large avocado, firm but ripe, pitted, peeled and diced (more for serving, optional)
  • 3/4 lb. mushrooms of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices of Whole Grain Bread, toasted


In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl dice your chicken into 1/4 inch pieces. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, the lemon juice, and scallions until blended and smooth. Fold in the chicken, and everything else. Mix together. Serve on the toasted bread.

It does not get any simpler, or delicious.

Chicken Salad 2


Usha’s Hazelnut Roll from Cooking with Italian Grandmothers Cookbook

Hazelnut Roll 4

Bay Area chef and teacher, Jessica Theroux spent a year traveling throughout Italy, cooking and talking with Italian grandmothers from whom she learned the true art of food, family, and love. Her cookbook, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers, features over 100 delicious recipes, stunning photography, and the poignant stories of 12 grandmothers from nine regions, each of whom welcomed Theroux into her kitchen to share their wisdom and a soulful meal. Along the way, she meets Armida in Lunigiana and her Pasta di Farro with walnut-parsley sauce; Maria in Sicily and her homemade Ricotta; and Usha’s dense, flaky hazelnut roll in Le Marche.

Usha’s Hazelnut Roll

From: Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

"This hazelnut roll changed my life. Upon first bite, it revealed itself to be the nuttiest, flakiest, most comforting baked good I have ever eaten….It marked the beginning of my learning about how love can transform food and cooking, and it remains one of my favorite things to eat. I find a slice of this roll to be quite perfect for breakfast, with tea or coffee mid-afternoon, or as an after-dinner dessert. The roll is rich and dense, and will easily feed many, making it an ideal treat for a large group."


For the dough:

  • 10 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 10 Tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) frozen unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. milk, water, or cream (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the hazelnut filling:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 Tbsp. water (I did not put water, the filing would be too runny)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4-5 drops bitter almost extract, or 3 bitter almonds (optional)
  • 2 cups toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped or ground into rough pieces

For the glaze:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp milk

Hazelnut Roll 3


Preheat the oven to 385 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare the pastry dough, mix together the flour and baking powder, and place them in a mound on a clean surface. Cut the frozen butter first into thin slabs, then long rectangles, and finally into very small cubes, about 5 to 10 millimeters. It is easiest to do this if you coat the butter and knife with some of the flour; this prevents the knife from sticking too much. Spread the butter cubes around the periphery of the flour mound. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add the sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla extract to the well. Scramble these together using a fork, then slowly incorporate the surrounding flour, using the fork to stir it in. When the mixture becomes too thick for the fork, use a large knife to cut in the rest of the flour and butter. Continue cutting the dough together, remembering to scrape under and turn over the dough during this process. Do this for a couple of minutes, until the dough is in the form of large, crumbly lumps. Wash and flour your hands. Briefly knead the dough until it is no longer sticking strongly to the board. If the dough is wet, feel free to sprinkle on a little extra flour. Do not over-knead. You still want to see the little pieces of butter in the dough; this will produce a flaky crust. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.

Hazelnut Roll 1

While the dough chills, make the hazelnut filling; Whisk together the egg whites, yolk, sugar, and bitter almond. Stir in the chopped toasted hazelnuts. After the dough has chilled, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour onto your work surface, to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll the dough out to form a large rectangle, about 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. Remember to scrape underneath  the dough, and flip it over a few times; sprinkle a little flour on the surface each time you do this, again to keep the dough from sticking. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, to about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll the long side of the dough over itself, using a knife to scrape under the dough if it is sticking. Roll all of the dough to form a long log. Carefully transfer the log to the baking sheet, forming it into a half circle. Fold each end of the dough over itself, pressing it together to close. Using a knife, cut a zigzag along the top of the roll. Whisk together the egg yolk and teaspoon of milk; lightly brush this over the top of the roll. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the roll is crispy and dark golden brown on top. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature.

Hazelnut Roll 5


Curried Fried Eggplant and Bob's Red Mill's Spar for the Spurtle Oatmeal Recipe Contest + GIVEAWAY

Bob’s Red Mill kicked off its second annual Spar for the Spurtle 2 Oatmeal Recipe Contest which invites home cooks and professional chefs alike to submit videos demonstrating a unique recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill’s Steel Cut Oats – the World’s Best Oatmeal.

The complete rules can be found here, but basically you submit a 3 minute video featuring your unique recipe using Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. Last year’s winner was Merry Graham, whose winning entry was Black Bean Porridge Patties.

Three finalists will be flown to Portland, Oregon to compete in a live cook-off. The winner of the cook-off will then be sent on an all-expense-paid trip for 2 to Scotland to represent Bob’s Red Mill in the 19th annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship!

The grand prize, includes the following:
  • Round-trip airfare for two to Scotland to represent Bob's Red Mill at the 19th annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in October 2012
  • Two nights' accommodations in Edinburg, three nights' accommodations in Carrbridge (for two)
  • Rail transportation between Edinburgh and Carrbridge (for two)
  • $2500 cash!
How cool is it?

The deadline to submit your videos is July 20th, which is less than a week away.  To help spark your creativity, the folks at Bob’s Red Mill have generously offered to do a giveaway! The first five readers who enter a video and then let me know, then you’re getting a prize pack filled with goodies from Bob's.

The prize pack from Bob’s Red Mill would include the following :
  • Honey Oat Granola
  • Cinnamon Raisin Granola
  • Scottish Oats
  • 7 Grain Pancake Mix

The rules are simple:
  • Submit a video entry for the Spar for the Spurtle 2 Contest 
  • Leave a comment here to let me know you entered

The deadline to submit a video entry is July 20, 2012, this giveaway will end on July 19, 11:59 pm

Good luck!

Today I have a very simple eggplant recipe for Curried Fried Eggplant, eaten as the side dish for a healthy salad.

  • 2-3 small eggplants, cut into slices about 7-10 mm thick, no need to peel
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder


In the small bowl mix together breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and curry powered. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy pan. Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten egg mixture. Then cover slices thoroughly in a breadcrumbs mixture. Fry them till golden brown.

I served them with the white peach chutney (I will post the recipe for chutney later). Quick, easy and delicious!

Eggplants 1 Eggplants 2 Tomatos Eggplant Salad 3


Chocolate Cake with Poached Pears in Red Wine and Happy Birthday to Everyone Who Was Born in the Month of July!

Pears Chocolate Cake 5

I had a desire today to bake something special, not only for my Birthday but for everyone who is celebrating Birthday in July. This is an easily prepared dessert with a sophisticated taste. Warm poached pears coated in a rich red wine sauce on a top of chocolate heaven - who could resist?

Happy Birthday Dear Friends, I wish you all very sweet year!

Pears 3 Pears Chocolate Cake 7 Pears Chocolate Cake 3 Pears Chocolate Cake 1
Adapted from Gâteau «Reine de Saba» by Pierre Hermé


For the cake:

  • 5 oz dark chocolate with 60% cocoa, chopped into very small pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, room temperature plus more for greasing
  • 3 eggs, separate 
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup potato starch 
  • 2/3 cup almond flour 

For the poached pears:
  • 4-6 pears, peeled and cored 
  • 2 cup red wine, recommend Shiraz or Merlot
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1 anise star
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon

Pears Chocolate Cake 4

To make a poached pears: Combine wine, honey, sugar lemon zest, cinnamon stick and anise star, and bring to a boil. When the wine mixture is boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer pears for 25-30 minutes until they are tender and are easily poked through with a fork. Remove pears and let them cool. Boil wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by half.

To make a cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Butter an 9-inch pan with 2-inch sides.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter melts and is incorporated. Let it cool.

In a bowl, sift together the almond flour and potato starch. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the starch mixture and then the chocolate mixture until blended.

In a clean grease-free bowl, using an electric mixer beat the egg whites slowly until they are frothy. Increase the speed, and continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level the top. Bake until the top is risen and crusty and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve, top the cake with the poached pears and red wine sauce.

Pears Chocolate Cake 8


Sweet and Tangy Peach Crostata with Cardamom

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful worlds in the English language."

Henry James

Purple Sage 2 Peaches 1 Peach Crostata 3 Peach Crostata 2 Purple Sage 1 Peach Crostata 6


For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp. raw sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
  • 1 pound (about 3 medium) firm ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. of water for egg wash
  • mint (optional)
Peaches 2


To make the pastry: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball, and form into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (The pastry disk can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Meanwhile make the filling. In a bowl combine sugar with cornstarch, cardamom and lemon zest. Add the peaches and toss well. Let stand about 15 minutes, until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

Roll the pastry into an 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the baking sheet.

Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the peaches. Brush the border with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the peach crostata for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the crostata cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with mint leaves.

Peach Crostata 4


Chilled Summer Soup from Young Beets

There can hardly be a more delightful way to start a summer lunch or al fresco dinner than with a refreshing chilled soup. Borscht from Young Beets is a healthy vegetarian soup, which just good served on hot day.

Cold Borscht 1

Adapted from “A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes,” by David Tanis


  • 1 1/2 pounds beets
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • fresh fennel
  • crumbled feta for serving

Cold Borscht 3

Peel and slice the beets and put them in a large saucepan. Cover with 4-5 cups water and add the garlic, red onion, bay leaf, cloves, cayenne, sugar, vinegar, oil and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Check the seasoning of the broth. It should be distinctly sweet, sour, peppery and flavorful. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and cayenne if necessary, and freshly ground pepper. Cool slightly.

Remove the bay leaf. Purée the soup well in a blender, then strain into a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator or over ice until cold.

To serve, pour into small water glasses. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and, if desired, fresh fennel and crumbled feta.

Cold Borscht 6


Happy 4th of July! Garlic Popcorn with Cayenne Pepper and Popcorn with ”Buffalo Wings” Red Hot Sauce - Hot Snack for Hot Summer Days

It is always a good idea to pop a bunch of corn when watching a movie with friends, the games or even all alone with your book. Adding some salt and butter is never a bad idea but, let’s get creative for a change.

Garlic 2 Popcorn with Garlic and Pepper 2

Garlic Popcorn with Cayenne Pepper


  • I tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all ingredients together in the small bowl. Drizzle  the popcorn with a garlic mixture in a large bowl and toss to coat. Serve.

Popcorn with Hot Sauce 1

Popcorn with ”Buffalo Wings” Red Hot Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp Frank's RedHot sauce or any other Buffalo Wing Sauce

Toss melted butter and hot sauce with popcorn in a large bowl and serve.

Popcorn with Hot Sauce 3


Bass-Terre, Maine, Part Three and Lobster Salad with Scrambled Eggs for Breakfast


Goose Cove and Bass-Terre are the very Best of Maine and one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the world. What a place. We stayed there for one week, and had one of the most memorable vacations ever. It was hard to tear ourselves away from the deck, with its gorgeous view and lovely breezes. Even at night; the stars are spectacular. When we did leave the deck, we went hiking, biking and kayaking and eagle spotting, all within minutes of this home. We went to Bar Harbor as well, but couldn't wait to get back to the Quiet Side and our vacation home. We like to cook and have had some great meals. Please, enjoy my recipe of the Lobster salad we had for breakfast on our last day.

IMG_3176 IMG_3170 IMG_3064 IMG_2899 IMG_3179 IMG_3061 IMG_3149 IMG_3163 IMG_3150 IMG_3154 IMG_3162 IMG_3158 IMG_3184


  • 1 live lobster, about 1 1/2 lb.
  • 1 cup cooked fresh corn (or 1/2 can corn)
  • 1 small onions, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Organic, free range eggs - scrambled


Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the lobster, headfirst. Cover and cook until the lobster is red, about 7 minutes. Transfer the lobster to a large bowl filled with ice water and let cool completely. Remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tail, and discard the shells. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper until smooth and blended.

In the medium bowl, combine the lobster meat with corn, onions, capers and mayonnaise mixture and gently toss to coat the lobster and vegetables evenly. Serve on the toast with organic scrambled eggs.

Have a good breakfast!


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