I have a good friend, Tanya, who teaches me how to cook different Asian dishes. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes she cooks and then explains how it’s made. Sometimes she just gives me a recipe and suggests I try it. This was one of those recipes. It is from her brother who submitted it to his local cookbook. And it is delicious.


    5 – 6 Tbl salt
    5 – 6 Asian Eggplants peeled and cubed
    5 Tbl oil
    6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
    4 – 5 Tbl Basil leaves, chopped
    2 Tbl sugar {I would use less next time – very sweet!}
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    4 – 5 Tbl cilantro, chopped

Soak the eggplant in water with the 5-6 Tbl salt for about 15 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Heat the oil. Add the eggplant and fry for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and continue to fry until crispy with soft centers.
Add the sugar, garlic, and basil. Stir fry about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir fry an additional 3 minutes or so.
Serve over rice.

I’m always looking for new ways to cook eggplant especially when the garden gives us a great bounty – or someone else’s garden. And frying is not always an option.

Thanks, Tanya, for another good recipe.

Now! About that deconstructed wonton soup…..

Last week we said good bye to Chef Pepin. This week we are saying hello to our new chef – Ellie Krieger. In case you don’t know her already you can see her Bio HERE! We will be cooking with her for the next six months. And that is exciting. I was introduced to Ellie’s wonderfully tasty and healthy recipes almost 6 years ago when I joined Craving Ellie in my Belly. That group is now defunct but I loved the first dish I made – Peach French Toast Bake and I’ve never looked back. And now I get to cook with Ellie twice a week because, with 6 other ladies, I am cooking my way through Ellie’s newest book Weeknight Wonders over at Eating with Ellie.. Twice a WEEK!! That’s what I call good times!

I’ve had my eye on several Ellie Dishes so I figured I would use one of those to introduce Ellie Krieger.


This is her Mushroom, Onion, and Gruyere Quiche with Oat Crust

The crust is made with rolled oats, butter, and buttermilk and just a pinch of flour. And it is wonderfully crispy and tasty. The crust is layered with shredded Gruyere cheese and then piled with mixed mushrooms before being covered with an egg/milk mix. Talk about good. It was hard NOT to eat the WHOLE thing!


    Cooking spray
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    3 tablespoons cold, lowfat buttermilk


    4 teaspoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, sliced thinly into half moons
    4 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake {I used button and a “Forest Blend” of dried ‘shrooms.}
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
    3 large eggs
    2 egg whites
    1 1/2cup low-fat 1% milk
    3 Tbl AP flour
    3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1-ounce)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

Process the oats, flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until you get a pebbly course texture. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the mix comes together. Form the mixture into a disc and chill for about 45 minutes.Place it between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out into a circle about 10 inches in diameter. {As you can see I made mine in a rectangular tart pan so I had to roll it out differently and then patch it here and there.}

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Transfer the crust, still on the other piece of waxed paper to the pie dish, then remove the waxed paper from the top. Press the crust gently into the dish. Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool. {I completely missed this part about pre-baking but it came out just fine!}

To prepare the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, and thyme.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, flour, and milk.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.

I was wondering why Ellie had the cheese sprinkled on the bottom. Usually it is mixed in. But then I took my first bite and the first flavor was the smokey Gruyere I used and THEN the mushrooms. Perfect! And lots of ‘shroom flavor.

Definitely a repeat.


The recipe is on page 23 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix and a different version on FoodTV

See how the others welcomed Ellie over at I Heart Cooking Clubs

This was the last week to cook with Chef Jacques Pepin. It has been quite a fun 6 months trying so many of his wonderful recipes. Some of the dishes I made included:

Looking back I see that most of the dishes I made were sides. And that is usually what I have the most trouble deciding on with meals. Pepin made it easy. So I decided to say goodbye with just one more.


    Risotto with Vegetables

Which was delicious. So full of vegetables it is almost a meal in itself.

    1 cup of chopped peeled asparagus
    1 cup of frozen peas
    1 cup of julienned mushrooms
    1 cup of diced red (or orange) bell pepper
    2/3 cup chopped fennel

all mixed into a creamy risotto.

Pepin does his risotto a different way than I am used to. Usually one adds some broth a bit at a time and stir, stir, stir, stir until the rice is creamy. But Pepin sautees the cup of Arborio rice in butter and olive oil then adds 2 1/2 cups of the broth cooking only about 12 minutes and only stirring 2 or 3 times while keeping it on covered over medium heat. The last cup of broth is added with ALL the veggies {except the fennel which he added earlier} and cooks uncovered for another 5 minutes. This means of course that you aren’t completely tied to the stove cooking the risotto. And then, right before you serve it – add about 1/4 cup grated Parm. Perfect risotto!! And perfectly DELICIOUS.

The recipe is from Pepin’s Jacques Pepin’s Table on page 163. Also, there is a VIDEO where he makes this risotto along with some other dishes.

Stop by the IHCC webpage for more Au Revoir Chef Pepin Dishes.

My choice this week and I had to go with a shrimp dish.


And this was a good one. Even though I only made 1/4 of the recipe. One meal. But definitely a keeper and repeat. I was pulling out the ingredients and found I only had 4 ounces of orzo. Which is unusual because I usually keep it stocked. And did they have any at the store – NO!! So 1/4 recipe it was.

Shrimp, peas, basil, mint, shrimp, onions, lemon, all topped with feta right before serving. How can one possibly go wrong with that?

The recipe is on page 180 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders which is the book the Eating with Ellie group is working through for the moment. We will probably branch out into other books later. We’d love to have you join us. The recipes are listed on the EwE page. We post every Thursday. And we would add your choices to the rotation in December. Thank about it!

This weeks pick was from Kayte. And it was an interesting dish. Cauliflower, broccoli, and corn were about the only veggies I ate as a child and they are still my favorites. Finding new ways to cook them is always fun. Usually. I have to admit this was NOT one of my faves.


I should have liked this. A tapenade made with almonds, roasted red peppers, garlic, green olives and parsley sounded so good. But for some reason I just didn’t care for it. I added a little salt, but to no avail. I made 1/4 of the recipe and still have some of the tapenade, which I liked, left and I know it will be good with some toasted bread. But not the cauliflower.

Sorry, Kayte.

Check with the others via Eating with Ellie and see if I was the only one.

The recipe is on page 251 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders.

It’s reveal day for Secret Recipe Club. The day we trot out the new recipes we have discovered on our ‘assigned’ foodie blog. The day we glorify the fun dishes we have made from someone else’s kitchen. This month I Homesteaded with April over at Angel’s Homestead.

April lives on three acres with her husband and lives by her definition of Homesteading:

    Engaging in a give-and-take relationship with the earth. Growing your own food, cooking from scratch, raising backyard livestock, collecting rainwater, simplifying your life, reducing your impact, and living in harmony with nature.

I discovered not only some easy and delicious recipes but some great ideas for the home as well. Like a great Emergency Substitution Chart when you run out of every day ingredients, Gardening 101 but since this is a COOKING Club…

If you been reading about my SRC adventures you KNOW I cannot make just one dish. I just find too many to decide on less than three. I mean it’s hard enough to narrow down to that let alone JUST ONE! I had decided to cook a roast for Sunday Dinner this month. That is something I don’t do often anymore for just the two of us. I remembered seeing that April had a Crock Pot Beef Roast on the blog so I used that one.


It was nice not having to worry about the cooking. And fragrance of that roast cooking wafted through the house all day.

To go with the roast that night I made her…


So good! I usually just cut the butternut in half, deseed it, and then nuke it adding cinnamon sugar after the fact. THIS was so much better!!! And so simple!!

    1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups, cubed)
    2 tablespoons pure olive oil
    2 tablespoons Organic Coconut Sugar I used Turbinado instead.
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash cubes into a large bowl, along with the olive oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt and toss together until the squash is well coated.
Spread the squash into one layer on a large foil covered baking sheet that has been lightly greased. Don’t crowd them or the pieces won’t brown.
Roast squash for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven, turning the squash over and rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until the edges are browned and centers are tender.

Not wanting to stop there I made the dinner complete with her Fluffy Dinner Rolls.


If you need some rolls in about an hour or less THESE are the ones you need to make. These were the best rolls I have ever made. And I have made a lot of rolls!!!

It won’t be long before I go back and make her Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, Pecan Pie Muffins, or her Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits.

Thanks April for some great EATS!

You can check out the other Secret Assignments by clicking below

I wish you could enjoy the fragrances that were wafting through my kitchen as this simple chicken dish was cooking. It was the wine that you could detect. It is the wine that gives this dish its depth of flavor. Well, along with the Parmesan cheese and thyme.


We really liked this dish. I just wish I had had some fresh thyme rather than using ground. I didn’t discover my thyme was not ‘worthy’ until after I had put the ingredients together and got ready to cook it. The color would have been really nice. AND after looking at my pictures I wish I had browned the chicken just a tad longer. Ah, well. The potatoes, simmered in the wine and chicken broth take on the thyme flavor really nicely and the sauce is a great addition to the chicken itself. Definitely a repeat here. Thanks, Chaya, nice pick.

I am pretty sure the other’s liked this as much as we did. Check on our website – Wednesdays with Donna Hay

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