Or the name you might be more familiar with – Eggplant Parmesan.

When we visit antique stores and flea markets the first thing I look for is cookbooks. I don’t NEED any more but they are so fun to look through and sometimes I find one that is ‘reasonable’ and has great pictures and recipes. I found one just like that in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Elodia Regante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking . Inside were 150 or so recipes handed down through 4 generations. And each one with a story, picture, and family hints. The whole book is full of stories with the introduction telling the story of Elodia’s grandparents arrival in the U.S., meeting in Little Italy, having children, losing children, and celebrating holidays with family and food. And that is what is wonderful about this book – family recipes: authentic, unchanged for 100+ years except to adapt to American ingredients. I have so many recipes marked and ready to share.

This one caught my eye immediately because I have found/tried so many recipes that really aren’t ‘real’. This one was simple and delicious. I even made her Marinara sauce {1 hour, maybe 2} to go with it.


    3 medium eggplants, peeled if the skin is tough
    6 eggs, beaten
    4 cups Italian bread crumbs
    Olive Oil
    8 cups Marinara sauce {you COULD use your own recipe}
    2 cups grated Romano cheese
    1 1/2 lbs Mozzarella Cheese, shredded


Slice the eggplants about 1/4″ thick. Place on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with more paper towels. Weight them down to drain as much liquid as possible. This may take up to an hour.
Dip slices in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs. Fry them until olden brown, drain, and cool. {You can also bake them.}
Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Layer with eggplant, then Mozzarella and Romano cheese. Cover with sauce. Repeat until your pan is just about full. You may get 4 – 5 layers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until the Mozzarella melts.
Allow dish to sit for about 10 minutes to let the ingredients settle before slicing and serving. (serves 6)

Marinara Sauce Salsa al Pomodoro

    1/8 cup minced garlic
    3 Tbl olive oil
    5 lbs ripe tomatoes {I used some I canned this summer}
    1 cup red wine
    1 Tbl oregano
    1 Tbl basil
    1 tsp thyme
    1 pinch rosemary
    Salt and Pepper to taste

Sautee the garlic in a large saucepan until soft but not browned. Remove the pan from the heat.
In another pot boil some water and add the tomatoes just long enough to soften and slip the skins. Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the tomatoes, their juices, wine and some of the boiled water to the pot with the garlic. {If you used canned tomatoes you don’t have to do this, just add the contents to the pot with the garlic.}
Add the spices and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. Two if you have the time. Stir periodically.
{Original recipe page 127}

This was delicious and one of the easiest recipes I have found for the Parmigiana. I made just 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two people.

This month’s Lets Lunch comes to you from Germany. Octoberfest! An annual all out Beer Party held in Munich. It is the World’s largest VOLKFEST or “Public festival” where the beer is served in huge 1 litre steins carried 8 – 10 at a time by comely waitresses. By the way, that’s 8 – 10 in EACH HAND!!

What better way to celebrate Octoberfest if you cannot be there than to cook or bake with beer. Ok, I CAN think of better ways but this is the easiest!!

      Beer recipes all around!!

When I was little we lived in England. We spent four years there and moved 5 times. The Military is really good at that! While there we discovered lots of great food, despite what people said British food can be delicious, one of which became one of my Dad’s favorites – Welsh Rarebit. Or is it Rabbit? Rarebit? Rabbit? No one really knows, or cares for that matter, what it’s called. It is a wonderful easy dish for snack or lunch or dinner. This is the recipe my Mom got from one of her English friends and I still use it 55 years later.


This is NOT just melted cheese, this is melted cheese mixed with beer, cayenne, paprika, and Worcestershire. MUCH better….

    1 lb sharp natural Cheddar {Use the really good fresh cheddar not the shrink wrapped from the grocers. Other wise it will not blend with the other ingredients.}
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp dry mustard {or 2 tsp prepared English mustard}
    Dash Cayenne pepper
    Dash Paprika
    1/2 cup ale or beer
    Buttered toast cut into triangles

Shred the cheese and set aside
Mist the Worcesertshire, mustard, cayenne, paprika and beer in a saucepan and place over low heat until beer is hot.
Add cheese and stir until melted. {Don’t let the mixture come to a boil}. Just keep it over low heat until all the cheese melts and blends with the rest of the ingredients. If it boils, the cheese solidifies and separates from the liquid.
Pour over toast triangles.

So simple. So quick. So good.

I was going to stop there but then I ran across a recipe for Pumpkin Beer Bread and knew I had to try it and include it here.


It is made with Pumpkin Beer which just enhances the flavor of the pumpkin.
This recipe is enough for two loaves or one loaf and some muffins or one loaf and some mini loaves.

    1 15oz can of pumpkin
    1 2/3 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Splenda and 2/3 cup sugar}
    1 bottle pumpkin beer
    1 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup oil
    4 eggs
    4 cups flour {I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat.}
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    3/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray two 9×5 loaf pans
In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, beer, oil, eggs and spices
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add those slowly to the liquid ingredients.
Pour into 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven. Let bread cool in pans completely before slicing. (Recipe is from Dessert before Dinner

What else is on the Lunch Menu?

It’s POTLUCK week with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I seem to gravitate back to Bittman for Potlucks. [So many recipes, so little time.] This time it was for something simple again. It’s just too hot for complicated!


Simple. Quick. Tasty.

A whole wheat tortilla {mine was spinach and herb}filled with melty cheese, mushrooms, and sage it was the perfect breakfast. YES! Breakfast. I just wasn’t in the mood for eggs or cereal.

    2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
    About 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
    Salt and black pepper
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 fresh hot chile (like jalapeno), minced, or pinch of red chile flakes, or to taste
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
    2 large whole wheat tortillas
    1/4 cup grated Mexican-style melting cheese (like cotija or Monterey Jack){I used more.}

Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet and put it in the oven for a few minutes. When it’s hot-fragrant, but not smoking-add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir. Return to the oven and check after 20 minutes or so; the mushrooms should be releasing their water.

Stir in the garlic, chile, and sage. Continue to roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are fairly dry and deeply colored; total time will be about 40 minutes. {I found, if you roast them THIS long they get very dry. I would recommend using only about 25 – 30 minutes total. They will still be moist but well roasted.}
Meanwhile, generously grease a large baking sheet and spread the tortillas on it. (It’s okay if they overlap a bit.) Sprinkle the cheese over both. When the mushrooms are done, taste and adjust the seasoning and scatter them over the top.

Bake the tortillas until the cheese begins to melt, about 10 minutes. Fold each tortilla in half and press down gently. Bake for another 5 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 3 minutes until toasted and crisp.

These were really good and well worth turning the oven on for 30 minutes or so.

What did the others choose for POTLUCK? Visit IHCC.

Well, that’s NOT what Pepin calls it but that is exactly what this quick dish is. We were challenged this week at IHCC to come up with a dish that was fast – 30 minutes or less. Simple and ready for the table is perfect for this time of the year so when I came across this recipe for Coquillettes au Gruyere(aka Pasta Shells with Swiss Cheese) I figured it would be perfect.


And it was! Creamy. And different than our every day mac and cheese.

    8 cups water
    10 ounces medium-size pasta shells, preferably imported
    3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh
    1 cup (loosely packed) freshly grated swiss cheese (3 ounces), preferable Gruyere

Cook pasta until tender (about 15 minutes)
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid, and set aside.
Drain the pasta in a colander.
Put the cooking water into a stainless steel bowl large enough to mix the pasta and the rest of the ingredients in. Add the oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Add in the pasta and chives tossing to mix well and then add in the cheese.
Serve immediately.


I loved the mix of the Gruyere and the chives in this simple and quick side. It came together in 26 minutes. FAST!! Just as requested!

The original recipe came from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 338.

How fast were the other’s dishes? Check them out at I Heart Cooking Clubs

If you need a quick and simple meal this may be the one you want. Especially if you are in the mood for eggs and lots of herbs.


ITs a simple mix of eggs and some whites, parsley, spinach, chives, and goat cheese. Full of flavor and just enough for a light lunch. Or dinner! It comes together in less than 30 minutes so if you are in a hurry….no worries.

I made 1/2 of the total recipe {well, not quite 1/2: 2 eggs instead of 5 and two whites instead of 5} and it was just right for a 7″ black skillet.

I liked it, but…. I would use less parsley next time. I just really don’t care for lots of parsley.

The recipe is on page 228 of Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders. It was a good pick from Peggy this week.

Check with the others about their frittatas on our website – Eating with Ellie

When I think of strudel I think fruit, sweet, crunchy, dessert.
When Ellie thinks of strudel she thinks basil, spinach, cheese, tomatoes.
Guess we don’t think alike.
But I like her thoughts.


I think it was darn delicious.

Simple whole wheat pizza dough {she listed frozen but I made my own using Bittman’s no-knead WW dough} wrapped around lots of good stuff including ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, spinach, and sundried tomatoes. SO GOOD! Definitely a repeat.

I have to say, though, I would use less ricotta but then it’s not my fave. And now that i’ve made it I can see it with black olives or green olives or mushrooms.


Yes, indeed!

The recipe is on page 222 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders and it was my pick for this week. I hope the other Eaters liked it as well. Check on our website and see.

And if you would like to join in with our healthy eating the upcoming recipes are listed there. Just cook, blog, and leave comment. Love to have you.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is CHEESE!! Any kind of cheese in any kind of dish just as long as it is from Jacques Pepin’scollection of recipes. And believe me, there are plenty to choose from.

Fulfilling this week’s theme…


    Gruyère Cheese Soufflé

I made just 1/2 of the recipe because I wasn’t sure if The Man would like it. What I ended up with was three ramekins of deliciousness.

    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
    1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1 3/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup cold whole milk
    3 large eggs, separated
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 1/2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) {I used a smoked Gruyère.}
    1 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 slices of yellow American cheese, each cut into 6 strips

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease 3 4″ ramekins with butter and dust with the Parmigiano. Put in the fridge until ready to fill.
Melt the butter over moderate heat then whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add in the milk, bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until thickened, 1 minute.
Remove the béchamel from the heat, then whisk in 2 egg yolks along with the salt and pepper.
Beat the whites until firm peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whites into the béchamel. Gently fold in the rest of the whites. <font color="green"}I have found that if you just need a small amount of whipped whites my small electric chopper works very well and so much easier than pulling out a mixer.}</font}
Fold in the Gruyère and chives; scrape into the prepared dishes.
Top each ramekin with a small piece of American Cheese.
Bake for 23 – 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve. Original Recipe from Food and Wine

Had to photograph this one quickly because Soufflés collapse very quickly. But the collapse doesn’t affect the taste. Creamy. Cheesy. So much flavor. Now I wish I had the whole recipe. Even The Man liked it, kinda…..

For the rest of the cheesy dishes visit IHCC.

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