Archive for April, 2010

One of my good friends, Sandy, has made this for me several times and I love it! She gave me the recipe a while back and I finally made it last night. It is a great snack to take to potlucks, picnics and parties! I used this recipe as an excuse to get a bottle of my favorite red wine vinegar from Zingerman’s Deli (where is spend my days snacking on various vinegars and olive oil).

The first step is cubing the eggplant and sprinkling it with sea salt and letting it drain for a couple of hours. Eggplant tends to soak up any and all oil that is in the pan when sauteeing it, this helps to make it less sponge-like. After it had been sufficiently drained, I knocked off any excess salt and tossed it in a frying pan with a little olive oil.

After the eggplant was finished cooking I set it aside and cooked down some tomatoes with a pear-diced, added some cooked celery, capers, black olives, a pinch of sugar and Banyuls vinegar. I let this cook down a bit and added the eggplant in the last few minutes of cooking.

I let in set up in the fridge over night, turned it out onto a plate, sprinkled it with some toasted almonds and served it with a french baguette.

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It is hard for me to resist the temptation of fluffy, buttery goodness when it is sitting out in my kitchen,  that is why I try to save the really decadent things for when I can share it with my friends. The other day I was getting together with some of my friends for book club, so I figured is was the perfect time to make some monkey bread. My sister just made some last week, so naturally I felt the need to follow in her footsteps and make a batch myself. Since monkey bread is so very ooey-gooey and irresistible, I figured it was the perfect thing to take to my book club. I followed the recipe, from smittenkitchen.com, almost to a T.

I love recipes with lots of steps with breaks in between!

I started by making a simple sweet yeast dough and kneading it well, until it is soft like ear lobes. This dough has two risings, the first before shaping it….

…and the second one after. It is composed of 64 butter-dipped and sugar rolled balls.

I don’t have a bundt pan so I rigged a springform pan and a biscuit cutter together to create one.

It worked pretty well. Some of the butter oozed out into the center so I spooned it on top while it was cooling. I also followed my sisters recommendation of having the cream cheese frosting on the side for dipping instead of drizzling it on top. The next time I make it, I think I will try it with a hint of orange zest, either in the dough itself or, more likely, in the frosting.

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