Now that my summer class is over, I'm playing catch-up on the blog. It will still be a busy month with packing up the house for our upcoming move and some traveling, but I am hoping to get a little work done here too. This is a very old post, but one of our favorites. I took new photos a few months ago and am finally getting this updated.
Our garden is pretty sparse this year. We have tomatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes. We didn't plant much since we will be moving in a month, but did put a few things in the community garden since my husband runs it. I love recipes that use fresh summer vegetables this time of year so if you planted eggplant, keep this one handy. You will love it!
I will admit, this is not my kids' favorite, but my husband and I love it. So invite some grown-ups over, open a bottle of wine and enjoy a slow summer night. Bonus, the left-overs are delicious too!
Here's the line-up. You need to get your batter ready in three bowls like this for coating the eggplant.
Once the eggplant slices are coated, you will bake them on a wire rack on a baking pan till crisp.
Then remove the wire rack and arrange eggplant overlapping on a baking pan. Drizzle sauce on the eggplant and then top with mozzarella and parmesan. Broil till cheese melts.
Serve with spaghetti pasta and extra sauce and parmesan. A salad would round this meal out nicely.
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the Italian seasoning, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set up a breading station using 3 dishes. In the first dish, add the flour and season with salt and pepper, to taste. In the second dish whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup water. In the third dish combine the panko crumbs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Coat them in flour, then in the egg wash and then in the panko crumbs.
3. Spray the racks with cooking spray. Arrange the eggplant on 2 sheet trays fitted with racks and bake in oven until crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Turn the oven to broil. Put the eggplant, overlapping, into a baking dish in rows. Cover each row with about a cup of sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 to 4 minutes. When broiling leave the oven door cracked open and put the pan on the top rack in the oven. Serve the eggplant parmesan with spaghetti noodles and the remaining sauce.
This easy, healthy quinoa salad is one of our favorite summer treats. It is so versatile, you can change up the ingredients to your liking. This simple recipe has our favorite mix-ins, but you could add your favorite veggies or even some feta cheese or diced salami.
This is so easy! You just make some quinoa then mix everything in.
This easy salad is perfect for busy summer days. If you follow me on instagram or facebook you may have seen that we are in the process of packing for a move. Moving with four kids is never easy, but we are still looking for a house, I am taking a summer grad class, and my husband has been gone a lot for conferences. My mom came and helped for a week so we got a lot accomplished. Thank you, mom! So during this crazy busy summer, dinner is going to be easy!
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. garlic, minced
2 cups quinoa
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
½ medium onion, diced (I like red or sweet)
2 tomatoes, diced
3-4 mini sweet peppers diced
1 (3.8 oz.) can black olives, sliced and drained
¼ cup plus 2 T. olive oil
1 ½ T. balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs to taste and for garnish (chives, basil, parsley, whatever you like)
I don't know about you, but our lives are crazy busy this time of year. Our big evening time commitment has been baseball practice and games. And with all four boys home from school and bouncing off the walls, it's a little harder to do anything too complicated. Plus I don't like to spend a long time in the kitchen when it warms up outside.
We love Mexican style food so I usually have everything on hand to make quick and easy dishes like this taco pie. Some more of our favorites...Kid Friendly Oven Baked Tacos, Easy Weeknight Chicken Fajitas, Easy Enchilladas.
I should also mention that I don't use any taco or any other prepackaged seasoning mixes. I generally avoid those kinds of processed foods, plus I think real food seasoned simply just tastes better. This recipe is so simple. Just 6 ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste and all of your favorite sides and condiments. We love guacamole and make it all the time. This will be so good with fresh tomatoes and salsa this time of year.
1 1/2 lb. ground venison or lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel, I use mild store brand)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
8-12 oz. shredded cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown meat with onion, garlic and cumin. Add tomatoes and half the cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Use a large oven proof skillet or transfer to an oven safe dish.
3. Add remaining cheese on top.
4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with your favorites:
Hard or soft taco shells
Disclosure: I received complimentary product in exchange for an honest review.
You may not be thinking about cozy pajamas in May, but these Ugly Christmas Sweater pajamas are perfect for cool spring nights. And if you are traveling at all this summer, they are extra snuggly for cold air conditioned hotel rooms. We have been traveling a lot and we experienced some cold stormy weather last weekend so I was glad to have these warm, cozy jammies in my suitcase.
And here's the fun part, remember the attic scene in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation when Clark got stuck in the attic wearing these dinosaur pajamas. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time and now I have my own dinosaur pajamas just like Clark Griswold!
I ordered a woman's medium, but the small probably would have fit just fine. I am on the tall side so I wanted the extra length of a medium. These are made from soft velour fabric. The pants are elastic at the waist and the top is button front. These are super comfy, the coziest pajamas!
Want to win your own favorite pajamas from UglyChristmasSweater.com? Winner's choice of any pajamas or onesie.
I never intended to write this recipe as a post, but when this throw-together leftover soup was so good, I knew I had to. I had a nice size piece of leftover roast beef that we just weren't finishing in the fridge so I decided to make this leftover makeover recipe for dinner last night and we loved it.
One thing I love about making soup is how forgiving it is. You could substitute your meats and vegetables in this soup and try different combinations to use what you have on hand and clean out your fridge. A great way to reduce food waste.
To start this soup, I sauteed onion, mushrooms, and garlic in a little olive oil to tenderize and caramelize. I ended up adding a little butter when I thought it needed it. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and continued to cook over a medium heat until soup started to bubble. I then reduced heat to a simmer and continued to cook for 25-30 minutes.
Easy, healthy and delicious soup perfect for busy weeknights and a great way to use up leftovers and reduce your food waste. Which will save you money too. The less food you waste, the more money you will save.
Note: If you do not have leftover roast, you could use beef for stew or ground beef or venison. You would need to brown the meat first with the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. If you are using beef for stew instead of leftover roast, you may need to simmer longer to make sure meat is tender.
2-3 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. butter (if you need it while sauteing)
1-2 pounds leftover beef roast, cubed
1 can 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
1 bag (10-16 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable or beef broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. creole seasoning (We like Tony Chachere's)
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic adding a little butter for flavor as needed in a dutch oven or large pot. Cook until vegetables tenderize and caramelize a little.
2. Add beef, diced tomatoes, mixed vegetables, broth, water, and seasonings. Bring to a low bubble, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes (20-30) to blend flavors.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
Allergy season is always a tough time for me. It has been so bad in the past that I have had to lie down with a wet wash cloth over my eyes to feel some relief. My eyes are sensitive. It doesn't take much for them to water, even bright sunlight can have me squinting and tearing up. I knew I was a good candidate to try Similasan Allergy Eye Relief because of my experiences with seasonal allergies.
My husband and I have both been using these eye drops this allergy season and have found them refreshing and soothing. So much better than the itching, watering, burning, downright painful experiences of my past.
These drops come in a glass bottle so you actually squeeze the plastic tip instead of the bottle. It seems a little odd at first, but they are actually very easy to use.
Similasan Allergy Eye Relief drops are made with natural active ingredients of Eyebright (Euphrasia) and Sabadilla which are flowers. Eyebright (Euphrasia) is intended to temporarily relieve minor symptoms such as a thick mucus and/or watery discharge, redness, and swelling of the eyelid. Sabadilla is intended to temporarily relieve minor symptoms such as watering eyes and eyelid redness.
These eye drops do not contain antihistamines or vasoconstrictors.
Similasan Allergy Eye Relief drops are available at a long list of retailers including Amazon, CVS, Dollar General, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Meijer, and Walmart.
You may have already seen this on facebook and instagram because this proud mama posted it everywhere. My husband who tends to be really creative made a fairy garden last week with the boys to enter in the Murray Woman's Club Floral and Iris Show.
The boys gathered everything for this project from the yard and the arboretum which is basically an extension of the back yard.
So much detail! They meticulously glued sticks together to build the house and furniture using a hot glue gun.
I love this little fishing pole. My husband made a little clay fish to dangle on the line.
They even made a little clothes line and tiny iridescent clothes to hang on the line. This stone was borrowed from our flower beds.
The boys made this tiny pecan shell vase and arranged small flowers in it. Our oldest made this little table and stool from sticks and an acorn.
My husband chipped away bits of stone from the large stone to make these little stepping stones.
I think this little tree is adorable. It is made from four pieces of Juniper glued together.
The boys were so excited to win 1st place in the fairy garden competition!
I made a quick video of the fairy garden and posted to youtube.
The boys did an amazing job and had fun doing it! I am so proud of them and my awesome husband.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCain Foods. The opinions and text are all mine. #MyMcCainPotatoes #CollectiveBias
If you have been to our house for any type of get-together, you have probably had our pork carnitas. We love pork carnitas! It's one of our favorite things to serve when gathering around the TV to watch the big game with family and friends.
I decided to take my pork carnitas up a notch with McCain® potatoes to get game day ready! Doesn't that look delicious! Crispy fries on top of pork carnitas! Yum!
McCain® products are available at Walmart in the frozen potatoes section. There is even a handy sign above the potatoes section so you can't miss it.
McCain® potatoes are the perfect addition to this game day pork carnitas spread. I used McCain® Seasoned Curly Fries Seasoned Potato Fries which add a burst of delicious flavor to any meal. The kids loved them. I also used McCain® Extra Crispy Crinkle Fries which were my husband's favorite and McCain® Craft Beer Battered Thin Cut Fries which were my favorite.
This is the perfect game day spread for watching the big game with family and friends! With so many choices, there is something for everyone.
Serve in tortillas or alone. McCain potatoes make the perfect crispy topping for pork carnitas.
4 or more pounds pork shoulder ( also known as Boston butt)
Small amount of oil
1/2 T. (approximately) fresh ground salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 T. oregano
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. orange juice
1 C. or more real sugar cola
Fresh squeezed lime juice and more fresh ground salt and pepper for flavoring the finished pork.
McCain frozen potatoes of choice
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cut the meat into chunks and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Brown the meat in a small amount of oil (I use coconut oil) in a large dutch oven.
3. Then add onion, garlic, orange juice, and cola.
4. Cook covered in the oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or so, until the meat easily shreds with a fork.
5. Remove any bones and shred the meat adding extra cooking liquid back to the meat. If you like you can put the meat under the broiler to crisp the edges for 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Salt and pepper to taste and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.
7. Prepare McCain potatoes according to package directions.
Serve pork carnitas with McCain potatoes, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, sour cream, and sliced limes for the perfect game day spread.
I serve in an iron skillet because I think it looks attractive, but it is also handy for re-warming the meat on the stove if desired. When re-warming, add a small amount of cola or broth to the skillet for moisture.
This Tomato, Asparagus, Brie and Parmesan Tart is perfect for Spring. It's great as an appetizer, fun side, or even as a meal for 2 to 3 people. I love the fresh flavors of tomatoes, asparagus, Brie, and parmesan. Simple to make and yet so elegant.
This is really easy to make since you use store bought puff pastry sheets found in the frozen dessert aisle of your local grocery store. Simply thaw puff pastry and lay it on a parchment lined baking sheet. You may want to use a sided baking sheet as you can see my little cheese run-off on the side.
Next you spread a layer of double creme Brie cheese on the pastry dough. I removed the rind and used the soft cheese inside because it was easy to spread that way. But you could also use slices of Brie and spread them rind and all as best you can. The cheese will melt either way. I am not one for food waste, so we enjoyed the rind pieces on crackers topped with sliced tomatoes for a delicious little snack.
Top with veggies, olive oil, salt, and parmesan and bake for about 30 minutes for a delicious Spring treat. I should add that asparagus is in season now so you should be able to find it for a decent price. I think I paid $0.99 a pound for this asparagus which is really good. Also, asparagus is on the clean 15 list meaning it has little to no pesticides and is considered safe to consume non-organic.
When you buy asparagus, it will be in a one pound bunch which is more than you need for this tart recipe. You can roast the extra in a pan with a little olive oil and salt while baking the tart. It won't take as long, maybe 15 minutes or so. So start it halfway through cooking the tart and check to see when it reaches your desired tenderness. Or you can put the leftover asparagus in the fridge for a few days until you need it.
1 sheet of puff pastry dough, thawed
10-13 oz. package of double creme Brie cheese
3-4 Campari tomatoes, sliced thin
About 1/3 pound asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
Olive oil to drizzle or spritz
Fresh ground salt
Small chunk of Parmesan cheese to grate
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sided pan if you have it. (See my cheese explosion than ran off the side of my pan, pictured above.)
3. Place a sheet of puff pastry dough on the parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Spread a layer of Brie cheese over the pastry dough. I just used the soft creamy inside and not the rind.
5. Place tomato slices over the Brie spread.
6. Next layer asparagus spears over the tomato slices.
7. Drizzle or spritz olive oil over vegetables. (Link to the spritzer I use below.)
8. Top with some fresh ground salt. Then grate some Parmesan cheese on top.
9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until pastry is done.
I love easy dinners. With four kids and all of our families activities, weeknights are busy so easy dinners are welcome in our house. This sheet pan roasted pork tenderloin with balsamic brussels sprouts and golden beets is both easy and delicious. It doesn't take a whole lot of prep time and then you just pop it in the oven for 45 minutes and you're done.
I didn't slice the brussels sprouts in half, but next time I will to give them more caramelized edges. You could also use your favorite vegetables. Maybe small potatoes, carrots, or asparagus which is in season now so you can usually find it on sale.
Whatever vegetables you choose, this is easy, healthy and delicious and your family will love it! I almost always have pork tenderloin in the freezer. When I see it on sale, I buy it. Then when I want an easy pork roast I have it on hand. Make sure to thaw in the fridge or in cold water before cooking.
Sheet Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Brussels Sprouts & Golden Beets
Small pork tenderloin (1 ½ lbs.)
1 to 1 ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, whole or cut in half (I recommend slicing them in half)
3 large golden beets
Olive oil (spritzer preferred)
Fresh ground salt
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spritz sheet pan with olive oil.
3. Trim greens from beets and cover whole beets with water. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for a few minutes (8-10 minutes) until beets peel easily with a paring knife. Hold beets with a hot pad while peeling because they will be hot. Slice peeled beets into wedges.
4. Set pork tenderloin in center of sided sheet pan. Arrange Brussels sprouts and sliced beets around pork. Spritz all with olive oil.
5. Sprinkle herbed salt and pepper over meat. Then grind regular salt and pepper over vegetables. Finish with generous splashes of balsamic vinegar over beets and Brussels sprouts.
6. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until meat reaches 160 degrees F. and vegetables are fork tender.
I use this EVO olive oil spritzer and I love it. I use it almost everyday. It's so much easier than drizzling olive oil and I get just the right amount.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned work at home Mom blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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