Trying My Hand At Eclairs

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I was recently looking through things on Pinterest and came across a pin about eclairs.  I have always wanted to try my hand a making them, but always thought they were really difficult to make.  Interestingly, they are really fairly easy, as long as you have a standing mixer.   They also are not as time consuming as I thought they would be.  Another plus, you can freeze the eclair dough for up to a month so you don’t have to eat all the eclairs in one sitting.  🙂

Other than making them a bit small (which is ok), they turned out perfect!  Now to make the vanilla creme filling and the chocolate topping

Homemade Cherry Scones

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I was watching Americas Test Kitchen the past weekend and they were making scones.  A little later another show was making scones.   Must have been a sign that I was to make scones… So I found an easy recipe in one of my MANY cookbooks, and 15 minutes later, I had cherry scones baking in the oven.  1/2 hr later I was enjoying a wonderful baked good. 

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup

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Tonight I decided to use some broccoli that I froze a couple of months ago.  I had been trying to decide what to do with it, then remembered I had some velvetta cheese in the pantry.

One chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil, couple tablespoons flour To help thickened the soup, couple cups chicken broth, one chicken breast-poached, chopped broccoli, velvetta cheese, a little garlic powder, and salt/pepper and wala!!  Dinner is served…with a slice of homemade bread that I made using the extra pizza dough I made the other day.

A special thanks to my friend Michelle Petschauer Spillman for sharing the recipe with me MANY years ago when we lived at Irish Hills and worked at Holy Cross together!

Awesome Homemade Pizza – Great Crust!!

I found another pizza crust recipe in one of my cookbooks that is even better than the last one I posted here.  The best part about this one – youcan use it the same day!  The other recipe called for letting the dough “rest” for 24 hours before using it.

Another great thing about this dough…. It makes a great bread!

My pizza last night was pretty simple – cheese.  Mozzerella and parmesan cheese over Cantina Pizza sauce spread on the dough.  As you can see from the picture, I baked it a tad too long, but that I fine with me, cause I love a crunchy crust.  Speaking of which, in order not to have a soggy crust in the middle, I put the pizza crust in the oven at 450 for 10 minutes, then took it out, added the sauce and cheese and returned it to the oven for another 15 minutes.  At 450*, next time I will put the crust in the oven for just 5 minutes and then top it and return it to the oven.

YUM!

Baked Eggplant Parm and Zucchini “sticks”

So,  a couple of weeks ago I went to the farmers market.  I love going there – the veggies are always so fresh, and you get a lot for your money.  They also keep for a long time in the fridge because they are so fresh; which is why I still have zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant (among other veggies) still in my fridge.  I know I need to use them, or make something that can be canned, or frozen for future use before they go bad.

I got an idea from a “pin” on Pinterest from my niece Jessie, about making baked breaded zucchini sticks, and that was also my inspiration for the baked eggplant parmasan that I made tonight.

ZUCCHINI STICKS

1 – cut up the zucchini in 3 – 4 inch sticks, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
2 – toss them in a bit of flour
3 – dredge them in egg whites
4 – dredge them in a mixture of panko bread crumbs and italian seasoning

5 – place on foil lined and pam sprayed cookie sheet

6 – Baked in 450* oven for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.  turn sticks 1/2 through for even browning.

BAKED EGGPLANT PARMASAN

I used the same process to bread the eggplant that I used for the zucchini sticks above. Prepped eggplant – skin cut off egg plant and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

At this point you can take some of the eggplant and put it in the freezer.  Once it has frozen on the cookie sheet, transfer pieces to plastic bag and return to freezer for later use.   Bake eggplant for 20 minutes at 450*, turning 1/2 through.

Once eggplant is done, top with sauce of your choice, shredded cheese of your choice (I used mozzerella), and return to oven for about 5 minutes to melt cheese and let it lightly brown.

You can serve the eggplant parmesan with a side of pasta of your choice as well, or just have it by itself.