To say that I'm an involved person is an understatement. I am working two jobs (both of which, I enjoy). I am a board member for the Wauwatosa Woman's Club. I am the president of the Goldendale Horseshoe Club (only really matters in summer). I play softball and in the handbell choir at my church. I am in a book club (hated the last book). And I try to post 2-3 times a week on this blog, which means that I have to be cooking on a regular basis. This last one is pretty easy since I love cooking and we have to eat, right?
However, last night after making 3 dinners (two are for next week when my friend Kalie and her mom come to visit from Texas!), I laid down next to my husband and opened a book. (FYI - Steve did help cook!) The first line of the book was one of my favorite passages:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:21It made me smile because here I was just relaxing at home with the person that I love the most. We weren't doing anything special. He had ESPN on and I had a book. We were all mashed up with our legs crossing over each others. That's where my treasure is. Right at home with our little family.
It was also a really good reminder that for all the busy, busy things I do, my real life is ahead of me in Heaven. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." says Matthew 6:21. Heaven is where my ultimate treasure is. That's a really nice reminder for a very busy week.
But what did I make for those three dinners? I was in a pasta mood. It's always a wonderful thing to feed a crowd! Remember the tortellacci? Or the lasagna? Or the meatballs and angel hair? We kind of love Italian food at our house, and I LOVE Giada de Laurentiis and her book (and show) "Everyday Italian." I consulted this book while making baked eggplant Parmesan last night. Note: that recipe is not in her book, but she has helpful hints about cooking with eggplant in it. I also made noodles with veggies and garlic butter sauce and these butternut squash gnocchi from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats.
Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan (original recipe with some help from research)
1 medium eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 heaping tbsp of Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp water
2-ish cups marinara sauce
1-2 cups (or two handfuls) of shredded mozzarella cheese
Gear you'll need: two shallow dishes, one 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish, one baking sheet, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry your veggies to make sure that all garden dirt is gone. In one shallow dish whisk the water and egg together. In the other shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Slice the veggies in 1/2 -1 inch thick slices across the veggie. That means we're not making long strips, we're making disc-like shapes.
Coat the veggie slices in the egg wash and then roll them/cover them on all sides with the bread crumb mix. Place on the baking sheet that you've already give a light coating of olive oil to and feel free to let the veggies touch each other since they'll shrink.
Tip: Put the olive oil in a shallow bowl or pour a little directly on the pan. Use a brush or even some paper towel to rub it all around. Only use half of the olive oil because you'll need the other half later for the baking dish. You could go ahead and brush that on now too because you won't have to do it twice!Bake the veggies for 25 minutes and then flip them over and bake for another 20-25 more so that each side gets golden brown. Remove from the baking dish and place the veggies in the baking dish and cover with most of the mozzarella cheese. Pour the marinara sauce on top of that and then sprinkle a bit more cheese over that. If you use the smaller pan, feel free to layer!
I put mine in the freezer for next week, but when you do need to bake it, make sure it's thawed all the way through. When it's ready, bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it's bubbling and cheesy.
Note: Feel free to peel the veggies if you aren't a fan of the skins, but remember that the part of the plant that is the most brightly colored is the most nutrient filled!