Russian Caviar

For those of you who like eggplant, whether you are vegetarian or just like the vegetable, my grandmother’s recipe is a good spread on crackers. Here are the ingredients:

3 medium eggplants
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 T. vegetable oil, I prefer olive
2 T. tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 T. parsley
2 T. chives, chopped fine
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake eggplant for twenty minutes. Remove from oven. Under cold water, peel skin from the eggplants. Chop up the flesh. Set aside. Fry onions in oil until brown. Stir in tomato paste and cook for two minutes. Add eggplant, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Place eggplant concoction into a bowl and sprinkle with chives and parsley. Serve with crackers. This is a great appetizer.

Ezy Cheese Twists

My mother-in-law used to make these for our get togethers and I loved them. Here is the recipe. You will need:
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out each biscuit to a 10 inch strip on a floured board or counter. Twist two strips together. Seal ends. Brush with egg then sprinkle with cheese. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Italian Dip

I guess I’m on an Italian kick this week or maybe it’s because I love those spices. Here is an easy dip to serve with chips or crackers. You will need these ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup dried, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 T. crushed, dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 T. dry, crushed basil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • chips or crackers

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Enjoy!

Italian Bake

I was looking for a vegetarian lasagna, but I didn’t find any that sounded appealing to me so I tried this and it turned out good. It’s not really vegetarian with the sausage though, but it’s optional. You will need these ingredients:

  • 1/2 pkg lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup white or pineapple wine
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, cut up
  • 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
  • a 25 oz. jar of Emeril’s Roasted Gaahlic Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped up artichoke hearts
  • 1.5 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 pkg shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz. container of Frigo shredded Parmeson, Asiago, and Romano cheese mix
  • 1 T. basil
  • 1 T. oregano
  • pepper and salt to likening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.To a small skillet, add 4 T. olive oil and turn stove on to medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until almost tender then add artichokes and zucchini. Cook only a few minutes then remove from heat. Set aside. In another skillet, add sausage and cook until no longer pink according to directions. Add to zucchini mixture. Meanwhile boil water in a saucepan and cook lasagna noodles until done. While the noodles are cooking, warm up sauce and add tomato paste to it in a large saucepan. Add spices and wine. Stir. Add zucchini and sausage mixture. Blend well. Drain noodles. In a large casserole dish, layer sauce, noodles, and cheeses. Cook in oven for 30 minutes.

Peppermint Brownies

I hate to waste things. I looked at the leftover candy canes and thought, What could I do with them? I developed this recipe and the brownies came out very moist and tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg 3.9 oz. instant chocolate fudge pudding
  • 4 oz. (1 bar) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint sticks
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with wax paper and spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, add sugar and pudding mix. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter in microwave. I placed each chocolate section in a cup and microwaved for 35 seconds each and 40 seconds for the butter. Add the butter and chocolate to the sugar mixture and stir it. Beat in the eggs. Add the extract. Stir. Add the flour and milk. Blend well.  Crush the candy and nuts in a coffee grinder. Toss into batter and stir. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 3-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean after poking the center of dough. Cool on a rack. Using the handles of the wax paper, lift brownies from pan. Cut into individual pieces.