This week I have been on a crazy baking and cooking frenzy. It all started though with a bowl of raspberry peanut butter oatmeal with blueberries to get the juices flowin’. I made oats with water and added some cinnamon and Sunland Raspberry Peanut Butter (BTW-this stuff is incredible!).
This meal kept me full for a loooong time, which was just what I needed to get my bake on. I ended up making raw cashew cookie dough balls, raw fudge balls, lowfat/low sugar macaroons using THIS recipe, but substituted Agave for Stevia and made them sans chocolate, and Super Charge Me! Cookies from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan made with goji berries and cacao nibs.
For the cookies I also used Beveri Flax Meal. This flax meal already had dried berries so I thought it would add to the recipe…and I was right! They turned out awesome.
Then fast forward to last night where I promised my dad I would make him a home made meal for this birthday. He asked for Eggplant Parmesan, and I delivered. This meal was homemade all the way down to the sauce. The only thing I didn’t make myself was the noodles and bread. It was expensive, labor intensive, and probably the most intense meal I have ever made. I know that is not saying much about me, but I am not one to spend hours in the kitchen. This meal took time! I started my day by hitting up 3 different stores to get all the ingredients; The Amish Market for fresh produce, The Fresh Market for some extras, and The Italian Market for the cheese, pasta, and bread. I wanted this to not only be delicious, but authentic as well. Plus I knew they had incredible mozzarella there.
I’m also preparing a few dishes for my BFF Kelly’s Birthday BBQ tonight so I had to pick up some ingredients for that as well. We are expecting a good turn out, and I’m making everything from scratch so I needed to make sure I had enough of all my ingredients.
To give my dad a little appetizer I put together 2 of his favorite things to munch on. A little odd, but it’s what he likes.
Wasabi peas, Radishes, Owl House Red Wine
For the Eggplant Parmesan I followed THIS recipe, which was actually very simple, and the dish came out great! I started frying the eggplant and making the sauce. Then I just layered the eggplant in the baking dish with the sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, and fresh basil. Once I had about four layers I popped it in the oven at 350* for 30 minutes. While that was baking away and filling my parents house with the smell of Italy, I made the salad.
Romain and butter lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and celery
After our salad we dove into the Eggplant and ate it with a side of spaghetti noodles and crusty Italian bread. Just how my dad likes it. I was really impressed with the dish, but frustrated that a few piece of my eggplant tasting spongy. I think I know why this happened, and hopefully can fix it in the future. But no one else seemed to mind, and my dad couldn’t have been happier.
And what would a nice meal like this be with out wine? We had our meal with two extremely incredible wines. These were both given to me as gifts at my store, and I have been waiting for the right time to open them. There was no better night than last night.
Do I need to say more? 1er Cru Meursault and A Chianti Classico Riserva. Incredible in EVERY. SINGLE. WAY! I’m a huge fan of Grivault’s wines, and this particular Burgundy was unlike anything else I’ve ever had.
Today I’ve been in the kitchen all day making the dishes for Kelly’s Party tonight. I can’t post them yet because it is a surprise, but they look and taste great! I just hope everyone else thinks so too. I already had to run back to the store today since I over salted one of the dishes, and had to start all over. It will be my first time making food for a large number of people.
Now I have to do the not so fun part: clean up the kitchen, get ready, and start setting up for the party in this hot humid heat. But I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end!
Question: What is your favorite dish to cook from scratch? Have you ever had a disaster in the kitchen when cooking a meal for a large amount of people?