Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mici

This is another Romanian food that I grew up with.  It literally translates as "little ones".  It can be served as an appetizer, with some yellow mustard to dip in, or as the meat on a main dish with mashed potatoes and veggies on the side.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 lb ground beef (or ground lamb)
-1 lb ground pork
-6 (or more) cloves garlic, pressed
-salt, to taste
-pepper, to taste
-1 Tbs dried savory
-1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (using your hands is the best way to mix this).  Shape mixture into rolls, like this:
Spray grill with cooking spray, then heat it up.  Place rolls on hot grill and cook until done to your liking.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

I just love this pie.  It's super easy to make and so delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (9 inch) deep-dish pie crust, frozen
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
-1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
-2 eggs, beaten
Directions:
Preheat oven at 425 F.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place pie crust on top.  In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 F.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pecan Pie

I love to read good books.  A while back I got to read some of Betsy Brannon Green's mystery books.  At the end of it I found this recipe for a pecan pie.  I gotta admit that pecan pie is probably my favorite type of pie, so I was really excited to try it out.  I was not disappointed at all.  It was soooo good!  Betsy calls for 1 1/4 cups pecan halves, but I put 2 whole cups in my pie.  It wasn't overdone.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup light corn syrup
-2 Tbs butter, melted
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 cups pecan halves
-1 (9 inch) unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust
-pinch of salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place pie crust on top.  In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork.  Add sugar, syrup, butter, vanilla and salt.  Stir until blended.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Let it sit for about 20 minutes for it to thicken.  Let it cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sausage, Dried Cranberry and Apple Stuffing

I like to do my stuffing on the side, like a casserole.  I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com.  It came out real good.   Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 pound mild bulk breakfast sausage
-4 tablespoons butter
-3 cups sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only, cleaned well (about 2 large leeks)
-2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
-1 Tbs poultry seasoning
-1 cup dried cranberries, rehydrated in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
-6 cups boxed bread cubes (croutons)
-2 to 3 cups chicken stock
-1 Tbs salt
-2 tsp ground black pepper
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Saute the sausage in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage and drippings to a large bowl. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, apples, and poultry seasoning to the skillet and saute until the leeks are soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in the drained cranberries. Add the mixture to the sausage, then mix in the croutons. Next add the chicken stock a little at a time until the stuffing is very moist. Be sure not to overdo it; it shouldn't be mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a casserole dish. (The stuffing can be made to this point 2 days before Thanksgiving, refrigerated.)

Bake in a casserole dish and place, uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the center piping hot. Remove and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole

This is just the French's recipe, but it really is so good that I have to make it every year.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3/4 cup milk
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
-2 cans green beans, drained
-1/8 tsp black pepper
-1 1/3 cups French's fried onions
Directions:
Mix milk, soup and pepper.  Add beans and 2/3 cup onions.  Pour into casserole dish.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle the rest of onions and top.  Bake for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Juicy Roasted Turkey

I know the whole turkey brine is now in fashion, but I seriously don't have the time, energy, nor space to do my turkey like that.  So I followed Bobby Flay's advice and roasted my turkey by varying the temperature.  Oh, the results were amazing!!!  The turkey came out super moist, so flavorful and absolutely delicious!  Enjoy!
 Thaw turkey in the fridge about a week before roasting it.  Wash it and pat it dry with paper towels.  Generously rub it with olive oil, seasoned salt, garlic powder and black pepper.  Don't forget the cavities and under the skin!  Place roasting rack on top of roasting pan.  Place rubbed turkey on rack.  Bake at 450 F uncovered for 1 hour.  Lower heat to 325 F and continue roasting covered with aluminum foil for 1 1/2 hours.  Uncover and cook for 1 more hour.  Let it rest for 30 minutes.  Carve and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pork Chops Casserole

This is another super quick and yummy dinner.  The flavors are nicely combined, the chops are juicy and tender, what's not to like!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 boneless pork chops
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 can cream of mushroom soup
-1 cup uncooked rice
Directions:Brown pork chops.  When done, drain on paper towels.  Mix broth and soup well.  Pour into casserole dish.  Pour rice into broth mixture and mix well.  Place pork chops on top.  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes ir until rice is done.  Make sure to stir the rice once half way through.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Best Chocolate Pie

There are many reasons I love Thanksgiving day, one of them being all the pies we get to have.:)  This is seriously the best chocolate pie I've had.  Not only does it taste divine, but it's also extremely easy to make.  You only need 3 ingredients and 5 minutes!  And since it's a freezer pie you can make it a few days ahead.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-pie crust (any type you want: chocolate, graham cookies, shortbread, etc)
-1 tub cool whip, thawed at room temperature
-6-8 oz chocolate (I like milk chocolate, but you can use any type you want)
Directions:
In a large microwavable bowl, break the chocolate in small pieces.  Add 1/4 cup water and microwave for 1 minute.  Mix well and add cool whip.  Mix well.  Pour into pie crust.  Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Slow Cooker Honey Chicken

This is one of the easiest and yummiest recipes ever.  I found it on my friend Karen's blog.  It's one of those meals that you kind of throw everything together in the crock pot and then you come home to a yummy ready to eat meal.  I like to brown the chicken before putting it in the slow cooker.  Also, I like to serve this with rice and a side of vegetables.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4-6 bone-in chicken thighs
-1/3 cup honey
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/3 cup lemon juice
Directions:
Brown chicken, then place on bottom of slow cooker.  In a separate bowl, mix honey, soy sauce and lemon juice.  Pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 4-41/2 hours.  Place a piece of chicken on top of rice and dish some of the sauce on the rice.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is one of those comfort foods, always easy to make and soooo tasty.  My family loves this dish.  For me, the key to a successful Chicken Parmesan is the chicken.  The way I prepare it makes it very tender and it melts in your mouth.  I hope you enjoy it!
 
Ingredients:
-1 lb  pasta (my children like garden rotini)
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
-1 tsp seasoned salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp ground black pepper
-1 Tbs + 1/2 cup  freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
-1 egg. beaten
-vegetable oil for frying
-1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
Cook pasta according to package instructions.


Slice the chicken breasts into equal sizes (I slice one breast into 3 parts).  Tenderize the meat until very thin. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepper and 1 Tbs Parmesan cheese.  Dredge the tenderized meat through the beaten egg, then through the bread crumbs mixture.  Place into hot oil, fry until golden brown, and drain on paper towels.  The cooked chicken should look like this:
Place cooked pasta into a baking dish.  Layer the chicken on top of pasta.  Pour spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle the cheese (both mozzarella and remaining Parmesan).  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

This may not be the healthiest soup, but it sure is yummy!:)  It's very easy to make and so creamy.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-7 Tbs butter, divided
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
-8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
-2 cups whole milk
-6 Tbs all-purpose flour
-1 cup half and half
-2-4 tsp salt, to taste
-1 cup sour cream
Directions:
In a large stockpot melt 3 Tbs butter.  Add onions and stir them around for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown (be sure to not burn them).  Add cauliflower and stir.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour in broth and turn up the heat.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, lower the heat again and let simmer.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbs butter in medium saucepan.  In a separate bowl, combine milk and flour.  Once butter is melted, add milk and flour mixture and whisk well.  The mixture should thicken into a white sauce.  Once thickened, whisk in half and half.  Pour this whole mixture into simmering soup.  Season with salt.  Let everything simmer 15-20 minutes. 
Just before serving, remove the soup from heat.  Add sour cream and stir until completely incorporated.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chewy Yummy Brownies

I realized that I only took one picture of the brownies before we dug into them and enjoyed every single bit.  They were sooooo delicious!  Super easy to make, quick and yummy.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 2/3 cups sugar
-3/4 cup butter, melted
-2 Tbs water
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup baking cocoa
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
-powdered sugar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 9x13 baking pan.
Mix sugar, melted butter and water.  Add eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Slowly stir into sugar mixture.  Stir in nuts, if using.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into bars and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mushroom, Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

I was really looking forward to making this lasagna.  Everything about it was so enticing.  I still absolutely loved the flavors, but I have to admit that the sausage was really unnecessary.  It did not go at all with the yummy flavors of the veggies.  I'll make this again, but I will definitely leave the sausage out, making it a vegetarian version.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1/2 lb lasagna noodles
-1 lb mild turkey sausage, optional
-10 oz sliced mushrooms
-1/4 cup water
-1 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
-1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, in puree
-1/4 tsp salt
-pepper, to taste
-2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
-2 cups (or more) shredded mozzarella
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F and coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook the pasta al dente (slightly undercooked).  Drain and cover with cold water, until ready to use.
Coat large saute pan with cooking spray.  If using sausage, cook it now, breaking it as much as you can.  Add mushrooms and water.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until water is evaporated and mushrooms are cooked.  Add chopped spinach and cook an extra 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat.
Mix crushed tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Spread a little of the tomatoes on bottom of dish.  Arrange a layer of noodles on top, trimming to fit, if necessary.  Spread evenly half of the ricotta cheese.  Top with half the veggie mixture, half of tomatoes and half the mozzarella.  Repeat next layer: noodles, ricotta, veggies, tomatoes and mozzarella.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until bubbly.  Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes.
Let rest for about 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lemon Broccoli

This is the perfect side dish.  Super easy and very versatile.  You can use a combination of broccoli and cauliflower, if desired.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb bag frozen broccoli
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 Tbs lemon juice
Directions:
Steam broccoli.  Drain completely.  Mix with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Polenta/Cornmeal mush (Mamaliga)

This is yet another one of my favorite comfort foods.  It's super easy, very filling and simply delicious.  You can serve it plain as a side dish with fried chicken or fish,with garlic sauce, or sarmale (stuffed cabbage/grape leaves-recipe to come soon).  Or eat it by itself with lots of goodies for toppings.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-4 cups water, divided
-1 cup cornmeal
-salt, to taste
-butter
-sour cream
-real bacon bits
-feta cheese
Directions:
Prepare the mush by bringing 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add salt to the water.  Meanwhile, in a small container, mix remaining cup of water with cornmeal.  Pour mixture into boiling water and reduce the heat.  Stir until thickened.  Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Pour mush onto plate and top with butter, sour cream, bacon bits and feta.  Mix well and enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mama Mia Vegetable Pie

My husband did Weight Watchers online a few year ago.  That's when we came across this recipe.  I have to admit that I am a carnivore and love my meat in most dishes.  But with this one, I instantly fell in love and I do not miss the meat at all.  We absolutely love this dish!  It is super easy to make, healthy and delicious!  I adapted it a little by adding more veggies and  cheese, of course; but it's still within the healthy range.:)  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 medium bell pepper, chopped (or you can use frozen)
-1 onion, chopped (or frozen)
-1 lb mushrooms, chopped
-1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
-10 oz firm tofu, drained and crumbled
-cooking spray
-2 cups cooked spaghetti
-1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. 
Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pepper, onion and mushrooms.  Saute until veggies are tender.  Stir in tomato sauce and tofu.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Coat a 9 inch deep pie plate with cooking spray.  Arrange spaghetti on bottom.  Pour tofu mixture over spaghetti.  Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fish soup (Ciorba de peste)

I know I cook a lot of soup, but it's so cold and rainy that all I want to eat is something nice and warm like soup!:)  Fish soup is another traditional Romanian dish.  The best flavor comes from using a whole fish, but I had a hard time finding one so I used cod fillets.  It still tastes amazing!  And, of course, it's super easy to make.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-about 1 lb cod fillets, cut into large chunks
-8 cups water
-3 carrots, peeled and finely shredded
-2 medium onions, finely chopped
-1 bell pepper, finely chopped
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 Tbs tomato paste
-bors (click on the link for more info) or 1/2 cup lemon juice (or more, to taste)
-1/2- 1 cup uncooked rice
-salt
Directions:
Boil the 8 cups of water and add carrots, onions and pepper.  When cooked, add tomatoes with juice, tomato paste and bors (or lemon juice), as desired.  Stir well.  Add fish chunks and salt, to taste.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add rice and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, or until rice is cooked.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beefy cabbage casserole

I absolutely love this recipe!   You might think the flavors will be weird with the mix of cabbage, sour cream and beef, but let me tell you: it's absolutely amazing!  So yummy!  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 head cabbage, cut up (remove the tough parts)
-1 onion, chopped (you can use frozen just fine)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1 cup sour cream
-1/4 cup apple juice
-2 Tbs butter, melted
-1 cup herb seasoned stuffing crumbs
Directions:
Brown beef and pour off excess fat.  Add cabbage and onion.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir and add salt and pepper.  Cover and continue cooking until cabbage is translucent, for about 5 more minutes.

Add cheese, sour cream and apple juice.  Mix well and heat through.  Transfer mixture to a warmed and greased casserole dish.  Toss crumbs with butter.  Sprinkle over cabbage mixture.  Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes, or until topping is browned.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cucumber tomato salad

This is an amazingly easy and delicious recipe.  I grew up with this salad.  It is best in the summer when the veggies are fresh, but since we can find fresh produce year round it satifies the craving any time.  You can enjoy this salad as a side dish or by itself with some delicious hot rolls.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
-3 large tomatoes
-1 cucumber
-4-5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 tsp vinegar
-crumbled feta
-kalamata olives, pitted
Directions:
Cut tomatoes in bite size pieces.  Peel cucumber and slice.  Mix.  Add oil and vinegar (you can add more, according to your liking).  Top with crumbled feta and olives.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Best cheese ball

I tweaked this recipe from one of my mother in law's.  This is the best cheese ball I've ever had!  It's super easy to make and sooooo delicious!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
-2 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
-1/2 green bell pepper, very finely chopped
-1 Tbs shredded cheddar cheese
-1 Tbs shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, very well drained (squeeze all the juice out)
-2 tsp celery salt
-1 (2 oz) jar pimentos, very well drained
-1/2 cup pecans chips
Directions:
 Mix cheese, green pepper, celery salt, marble cheese, pineapple and pimentos.  Shape into a ball and roll in pecans.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or for at least 3 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Sour Cream

I love mashed potatoes to begin with.  This version takes it to a whole new level!  It is absolutely delicious!  Creamy and delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (5 lbs) bag of yukon potatoes, peeled and quartered
-4 large leeks, washed, peeled and sliced
-2 Tbs unsalted butter, plus 1/2 cup
-2 cups chicken broth
-salt
-white pepper
-1 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup whole milk
Directions:
Cook potatoes in boiling water until nice and tender.
Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbs butter in large saute pan.  Add leeks and sweat until soft and translucent.  Add chicken broth, a little salt and white pepper.  Simmer for about 3 minutes.  Pour the mixture into blender and puree.  Set aside.
When potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them with a masher.  Add the leeks, sour cream, 1/2 cup butter and milk.  Mix well together.  Season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mom's spinach soup

This is my  mother in law's recipe.  It's super easy and absolutely delicious!  I like to add canned tomatoes with jalapenos in them.  It gives it a bit of a kick, but it's nowhere near spicy.  My kids all love this soup and I actually have to add extra spinach for them!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 clove garlic
-8-10 cups chicken broth (you can add more or less)
-1 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano (both work just fine)
-1 chicken breast (uncooked, boneless, skinless and cut in small chunks)
-1 Tbs olive oil
-¼ tsp salt
-1 (15 oz) can great northern beans (rinsed and drained)
-1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (I love the tomatoes with jalapenos)
-1 cup dry elbow macaroni
-1 (1 lb) bag of baby spinach
-1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Directions:
Spray the pot with cooking spray.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute.  Add spinach and sauté until soft.  Take the mixture out and place in a bowl.
In the same pot, add the olive oil and chunks of chicken.  Cook until done.  Add broth, spice, salt, beans, tomatoes with juice and bring to a simmer.  Return spinach mixture to pot.  Add uncooked pasta.  Cook everything for about 10-12 minutes.  Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mongolian Beef

I love this dish so much, that I think I order it every time we have Asian type food.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to find a recipe for it, a recipe that tastes exactly (maybe better) than the one in the restaurant.  This is the site where I found it.  I did not have fresh ginger in the house, so I substituted it with ground ginger.  Also, it is important that you let the meat stay in the cornstarch for at least 10 minutes.  This way the cornstarch stays on the meat and it helps it crisp nicely while cooking.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
- 1 lb flank steak (I used chuck)
-1/4 c cornstarch
-2 tsp vegetable oil
-1/2 tsp minced ginger (1/4 tsp ground ginger)
-about 6 cloves minced garlic (use fresh, not the jarred type)
-1/2 c soy sauce
-1/2 c water
-2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
-1/2 c brown sugar
-1.2 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 green onions, sliced
-1 medium onion, sliced
-oil for frying
Directions:
Slice the steak into bite size pieces.  Toss with the cornstarch and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
Make the sauce by heating the 2 tsp of oil in a sauce pan.  Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 10 seconds (do not burn the garlic!).  Add soy sauce, vinegar and water.  Add brown sugar and let it dissolve.  Add red pepper flakes.  Bring the sauce to a boil and continue boiling for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Heat oil for frying.  Add the steak and cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and drain on paper towels.  Drain all but 1 Tbs oil from pan.  Add all the onions and stir fry for 2 minutes.  Return the beef to pan and pour the sauce over.  Continue stirring and cook until sauce gets bubbly.  Pour yumminess over white rice and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eggplant dish (Mancare de vinete)

This is another childhood favorite.  It's a bit time consuming, but well worth it.  There is little seasoning because the vegetables are so flavorful that they don't need much of anything.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-2-3 medium eggplants
-1 large onion, peeled and diced
-1 carrot, peeled and grated
-1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
-2-3 ripe, juicy tomatoes, chopped
-1 lb pork loin
-salt and pepper
Directions:
Wash the eggplants and peel like in the picture.
 Slice them and put them in a large bowl.  As you place them in a bowl, heavily salt each row.
Cover the bowl and let sit for at least an hour.  This will ensure that the natural bitterness of the eggplant "sweats" out and also that the eggplant will get nice and tender.
When done, rinse off the salt as much as you can with cold water.  Drain the eggplant slices very well.  Deep fry in batches until golden brown.  Set on paper towels to drain.  Eggplant retains a lot of oil, so make sure that you drain them as much as possible.
 Meanwhile, saute the onion, pepper, carrots and tomatoes (with all the juice they render) in a Tbs of olive oil until veggies are nice and tender.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Also, cut the pork into bite size pieces and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Fry until nice and golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.
Place fried eggplant slices on bottom of casserole dish (it's ok if you have 2 rows of them).  Top with sauteed veggies and pork. Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes.
Enjoy!

Salmon with garlic butter

This is yet another easy and delicious meal, quick to put together.  I like to serve this salmon with broccoli rice.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
-4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed with a fork
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-4 Tbs butter
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp dry parsley flakes
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. 
Mix mashed garlic, salt, pepper, butter lemon juice and parsley flakes.  Arrange the salmon in a baking dish.  Top it with the garlic butter mixture.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and it flakes easily.  Enjoy!

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