Thursday, October 19, 2017

~Flatbread Pizza~

The last slice of Grilled Pork Tenderloin Flatbread Pizza!
You are planning on Flatbread Pizza for dinner.  Pork Tenderloin was grilled last night & there are a few slices remaining.  A Green Pepper & Zucchini are in the fridge.  Ricotta Cheese & shredded Cheese are quickly found there, too.  Oh wait, the Zucchini is not fit to be used.  Need to toss it!  There is a change of plans!  No, not take out!  A quick glance in the fridge & a ripened Pear is just waiting. 

You guessed it.  This was going on last night.  Plan B was that the Green Pepper & Pear were sliced/ roasted & placed on the Flatbreads.  We enjoyed another variety of Flatbread Pizza! 

While you are roasting the Green Pepper & Pear, get the other ingredients ready.  Before you know it, it will be time to toast the Flatbreads for 2 Minutes in the oven.  Then, the ingredients are placed on top & you will be ready to place them in the oven.

These are so delicious!  They are also quick & easy to prepare.  For 2 servings, I use 3 Flatbreads.  The Ricotta Cheese is always spread on the toasted Flatbreads, first.  Then roasted veggies (fruit) & grilled Pork or Chicken.  Diluted BBQ sauce that's drizzled on top gives it extra flavor.  Then, sprinkle on the shredded Cheese!  Bake for 5 Minutes.
***Roasting Veggies:  Rinse Green Pepper & Pear under cold running water, pat dry.  Cut the Pepper into strips.  Then, cut the Pear into strips about 3/4" wide.  After coating with baking & sauteing Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Basil & Oregano, roast in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Flatbreads
     For 2 Servings

Flatbreads- I use 3.
Roasted Green Pepper & Pear strips
1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese (can be fat free) for each Flatbread
Grilled Pork Tenderloin- cut into chunks
4 teaspoons BBQ Sauce
1 teaspoon water
Shredded Cheese- desired amount

  1. Place (3) Flatbreads in a large cookie pan & bake in a 375°F Oven for 2 Minutes. Remove from oven. 
  2. Spread about 1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese on each.  (I use Fat Free.)
  3. Place roasted Green Pepper & Pear strips on Flatbreads.
  4. Add Grilled Pork Tenderloin that's cut into chunks.
  5. In a small cup combine 1 teaspoon water with 4 teaspoons BBQ Sauce.
  6. Drizzle BBQ Sauce mixture over Flatbreads. 
  7. Sprinkle desired amount of Shredded Cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 5 Minutes at 375°F.
  9. Remove from oven.
  10. Cut each Flatbread Pizza on a diagonal, into 3 pieces.
  11. Cover & refrigerate any leftovers. 
Last night one slice remained after dinner.  It was also the slice that contained the least amount of ingredients.  No problem.  It was part of my husband's lunch today.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan

Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan ready for the oven!
Eggplant Parmesan with Spaghetti is just so good!  In days past I enjoyed ordering this entree when we dined at an Italian restaurant.  Then, I decided to stop eating the batter dipped fried Eggplant slices.  It's not that they were not totally delicious, I didn't want to eat fried foods.  Now, I enjoy preparing this entree, but I bake it.  Actually, double bake the Eggplant.  Whenever I bake a batch, extra portions are packaged/ labelled/ dated for our freezer. It's a great take- out dinner from my kitchen!

I've been baking this for a while, but now I've also changed my original recipe.  When preparing it, place a combination of Ricotta Cheese + Mozzarella Cheese on top of the Eggplant round after placing the Eggplant in the baking dish.  Then, top with a second round of Eggplant.  That extra yummy taste of  creamy Ricotta Cheese sandwiched between Eggplant slices!

Bake a batch!  It's so good!      
Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan

2 Eggplants
Olive Oil for baking & sauteing
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese-  can be low fat or fat free
8 ounces Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Tomato Sauce- (16- 20 ounces)
(1) 6 ounce can Tomato Paste
Garlic Powder
1 Green Pepper (chopped) and/ or 1 Zucchini Squash (chopped)

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. 
  2. Line a large cookie pan with foil, spray with PAM.
  3. Wash & dry all vegetables.
  4. Cut each Eggplant into 1" rounds.  ***Cut an even number of rounded slices. 
  5. Place each Eggplant round on cookie sheet. 
  6. Drizzle a small amount of Olive Oil for baking & sauteing on top of each round.
  7. Then, lightly sprinkle with Basil. 
  8. Bake Eggplant for 20 Minutes in 450°F. 
 After Eggplant has been removed from oven, lower oven temperature to 350°F.

***While Eggplant is baking:
  1.  Spray a large baking dish with PAM.
  2.  Combine & mix Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste in a bowl.
  3.  Place a small amount of sauce mixture in baking dish, covering bottom of dish.
  4.  In another bowl, combine 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese and about 3 ounces of Mozzarella Cheese.

    After Eggplant comes out of the oven:
  5.  Place half of baked Eggplant rounds in baking dish.
  6.  Place Cheese mixture on top.
  7.  Place an Eggplant round on top of cheese.
  8.  Top with Sauce mixture.
  9.  Sprinkle on Mozzarella Cheese.
  10.  Add chopped Green Pepper and/ or chopped Zucchini to baking dish around Eggplant.
  11.  Cover the vegetables with all the remaining sauce mixture.
  12.  Bake for 30- 35 Minutes until Eggplant is soft.
  13.  Serve with Spaghetti & a Veggie Salad. 
This is a delicious dinner using fresh vegetables!  No longer do I miss ordering Eggplant Parmesan at an Italian restaurant.  :)


Sunday, October 8, 2017

~Early Autumn~

What a great month- October!  Warm days, cool nights!  Oh wait, for the past few days it's been warm days & warm nights.  Well, sometimes things change a bit.  It is October & the local Butternut Squash are now available to purchase.

That brought our recent visit to Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow.  From leaving our yard to arriving at the road side stand, it was autumn.

The fronds on our Porcupine Grasses sway in the breeze.

Orange Dahlias, multi colored Zinnias and Grasses in our side garden.

And then, the colorful Mums at Meadowbrook Farm!

Definitely in season- gourds & Pumpkins!

Before we know it, the leaves will be turning.  Autumn is colorful!


Friday, September 29, 2017

Saving Zinnia Seeds

Sometimes the Zinnias Attract Butterflies!
It's autumn!  It's time to save those Zinnia seeds from the plants you've been enjoying all summer.  You know you'll want to enjoy these beautiful colorful flowers again next summer.  So, save the seeds from this year's crop and plant them in your flower garden next spring!  In other works, it's time to plan ahead.

Before we get a frost this autumn I harvest the colorful flowers (no stems).  That frost will end my Zinnia crop!  Place the flowers in a cut down tissue box.  Then, place the box in front of  a window to dry them out.  After the flowers have dried, pull off the outer petals.  No longer are the petals colorful, but dried out.  Each petal is attached to a "tear shaped" seed.

"Tear Shaped" Zinnia Seeds
Those seeds are a gold mine of new plants for next year!  The red, the orange, the pink and the yellow flowers!  Save the seeds in an envelope for next year.  I always seal it, so none fall out.

Next spring, take out your envelope of seeds!  You will be so happy that you saved those seeds!  Find their spot in your garden & plant them in the warm soil.  Cover with a light coating of soil.  Water.  Before you know it sprouts will pop up & your new Zinnias will be on their way!

This is a tradition with me!  After perhaps 5 years the flowers start becoming a little smaller.  Then, I know it is time to purchase the seed packets to plant.  Until then, I'll be saving my colorful Zinnia seeds!

Happy planting!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Baked Haddock Casserole

Baked Haddock Casserole
Who would guess that under the crushed "hint of salt" Ritz crackers is a light covering of shredded cheese & Parsley flakes?  Under that is an individual sized portion of Haddock or Cod.  There's also the light sprinkling of Parsley, Paprika & Basil on the fish. 
Baked Haddock Casserole!  This is such a delicious entree! 

My Fiestaware individual sized casserole dishes are perfect for baking this yummy seafood.  It can be prepared any time during the year using fresh or defrosted Haddock.

We've enjoyed this at dinner so many times during the past year.  Last summer when we were at the Cape (Cape Cod in MA) we stopped in for dinner at a favorite restaurant in Orleans, MA- Rock Harbor Grill.  At dinner that evening we had a yummy baked fish entree, only it contained sausage in the topping.  Considering that I am watching my cholesterol, I decided to make a similar dish at home minus the sausage.  I add Paprika for the extra kick here.  To be honest, I do not see a difference in taste.

The fish is light & moist in this casserole.  The cheese & herbs give it a great taste.  It has become one of our favorite dinners on a cold New England night.

Bake this entree some evening!  It is so good!    

Baked Haddock Casserole
     2 servings  

Oven Temperature:  350°F          Time:  45 Minutes

2 pieces (1/2 lb. each) Captain's Cut Haddock (- thick pieces)
1/8 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1/8 teaspoon Paprika
1/8 teaspoon Basil
3- 4 ounces shredded Mozzarella or Mozzarella/ Cheddar Cheese combo
15 Hint of Salt Ritz Crackers, crushed   OR   2/3 Cup Bread Crumbs

3 Tablespoons Butter/ Margarine, melted
1/3 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

  1. Butter individual baking dishes.
  2. Rinse Haddock under cool running water.
  3. Place in baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle on Parsley Flakes.
  5. Then, sprinkle on Paprika & Basil.
  6. Cover with shredded Cheese.
  7. In a small bowl combine crushed Ritz Crackers  OR  Bread Crumbs & Garlic Powder.
  8. Add melted Butter/ Margarine & Worcestershire Sauce.  Combine well.
  9. Spread half of Mixture Topping on top of each baking dish.
  10. Bake at 350° F for 45 Minutes.
I find the crushed Ritz crackers work well here as do the Bread Crumbs, so I use either.  

This entree is just delicious!  There's no need to enjoy it only at a restaurant!  Serve it at home with a Salad & a Baked Potato!



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes
(File Photo)

O.K., I admit it!  I wrote this post for me.  That's right.  Banana Cornmeal Pancakes are so easy to prepare- especially if you use a box of "Jiffy" Corn Muffin Mix.  That is one of the few "mixes" that I use when baking/ cooking.  It's probably totally comfort food for me.  Growing up my mom always used this mix for Cornmeal Muffins.  Now, I use this mix for pancakes that are banana flavored.

In the past the recipe for the Cornmeal Pancakes was printed on the box.  However, times have changed.  It's no longer visible- at all.  So, I always google to locate it.  I always seem to forget the amount of Milk needed.  For this reason I am writing this post!  For me & also for all of you who just may try it!

My Substitutions:
  • Soy Milk for the Milk  
  • 2 Egg Whites for 1 Whole Egg 
  • Olive Oil for sauteing & baking for melted shortening.

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes

1 whole ripened Banana, mashed
2 Egg Whites, beaten
1/2 Soy Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for baking & sauteing
1 pk. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

  1. Combine mashed Banana & beaten Egg Whites.
  2. Add Soy Milk + Olive Oil.
  3. Combine with 1 pkg. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.  Stir well.
  4. Use about 1/2 cup batter for each pancake, more if desired.
  5. Place batter on hot griddle, turning over when brown.
This morning we enjoyed this pancakes.  When I prep them again, I will not need to google the amount of Milk! Woohoo!

The extra pancakes???  Oh, I always freeze them.  Place in a sandwich bag & then in a Ziploc Freezer Bag.  Label/ date & freeze.  They are so tasty on a busy morning- after heating in the microwave!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Grilled Chicken Flatbread with Roasted Veggies

Grilled Chicken Flatbread
with Roasted Green Pepper & Zucchini
Sometimes, do you have a few slices of Grilled Chicken remaining after dinner?  Do you have a Green Pepper & a small Zucchini just waiting in the fridge?  If the answer is Yes, Flatbread Pizza might be in your future!  This summer whenever we have leftover Grilled Chicken I know we'll be having this for dinner in the next 2 days!  

In April I shared how yummy BBQ Pork Tenderloin Flatbreads with Roasted Asparagus are.  Roasted Asparagus & fresh Spinach were placed on top along with chunks of BBQed Pork Tenderloin.  What a quick, easy & yummy dinner!

The packages of Flatbread that I use have baking directions on the package.  I make 3 White Flatbreads.

***Roasting Veggies:  Rinse veggies under cold running water, pat dry & cut into slices or chunks.  After coating with baking & sauteing Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Basil & Oregano, they are roasted in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. 

Then it's time to start making the Flatbreads!

Ready for the oven!

Grilled Chicken Flatbreads
with Roasted Veggies

***Roasted Green Pepper strips & Roasted Zucchini slices.
1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese (can be Fat Free) for each Flatbread
Grilled Chicken cut into chunks
1 teaspoon Water
4 teaspoons BBQ Sauce
Shredded Cheese- desired amount to be sprinkled on top

  1. Place (3) Flatbreads in a large cookie pan & bake in a 375°F Oven for 2 Minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. Spread about 1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese on each.  (I use Fat Free.)
  3. Place Roasted Green Pepper strips & Roasted Zucchini slices on each Flatbread. 
  4. Add Grilled Chicken, that's cut in chunks.
  5. In a small cup combine 1 teaspoon cold water & 4 teaspoons BBQ Sauce.  Mix well.
  6. Drizzle BBQ sauce mixture over the 3 Flatbreads.
  7. Sprinkle desired amount of Shredded Cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 5 Minutes at 375°F.
  9. Remove from cookie pan & cut each Flatbread into 3- 4 pieces.
Any extra slices are refrigerated for the next day's lunch!

These are so good & not full of dough!  Just topped with chunks of Grilled Chicken & Roasted Veggies!  With all of the local fresh produce at our roadside stands, fresh veggies are now in season!