Not Just For Decoration

I always love finding different types of produce that I am not familiar with. You never know if you might find something new you like. The other day at the grocery store I spotted some red corn on the cob. I quickly threw it in my cart. I always thought colorful corn was only for Thanksgiving decorations.

I ended up wrapping it in foil and throwing it on the grill with our steaks. It wasn't a huge taste difference from your regular white or yellow corn on the cob. It wasn't as sweet as white corn, and tasted healthier, almost earthy.

Try picking up something new next time you go to the store!


Eggplant Roll Ups

2 large eggplants
1 bottle of Italian salad dressing
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel eggplant, then slice in 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange on top of paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Marinade the eggplant in the Italian dressing for another 30 minutes.
4. In a large sauce pan saute onions, garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup of basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer.
5. In a medium bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1/4 cup of basil.
6. Grill eggplant for 2 minutes on each side. Spread ricotta cheese mixture on top of each slice then roll up and place seam side down in large baking dish. Continue with remaining eggplant.
7. Top with tomato sauce then the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese on top is melted.


Creamy Chicken Pasta With Mushrooms and Spinach

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 bag baby spinach
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 pound linguine noodles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat then add in chicken and garlic. Cook for chicken 5-7 minutes each side, or until each side is browned. Stir in the lemon juice, soup, Italian season, half and half, and Parmesan cheese.
3. Arrange spinach along the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish then top with sliced mushrooms. Pour chicken and sauce over the top and sprinkle with bacon then mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes.
5. In a boiling pot of salted water cook the linguine noodles 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.
6. Serve chicken on top of pasta.


Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar and eggs. Stir in pumpkin, butter and vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Then gradually stir into pumpkin mixture.
4. Stir in zucchini, nuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour into 2-greased loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.