Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just what I wanted

I have been craving an eggplant casserole for weeks but I haven't found a recipe that sounded good. So I took parts of a couple of different recipes and combined them to make up this recipe! It is almost like a lasagna, except you use slices of eggplant instead of the pasta.


1/2 of an onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of celery, diced
couple pats of butter (or you could use extra virgin olive oil)
2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes (I used one that had garlic and onions and the other was fire roasted tomatoes)
2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
couple shakes of dried oregano
couple shakes of dried basil

1 large eggplant, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
1 egg, beaten
bread crumbs
oil for frying

1 container of Ricotta cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Heat a pan with butter, once melted add the onions and celery. Saute until soft, then add the garlic, cook for a few minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Simmer this for apx 25 minutes (this can simmer while you get the eggplant ready).

Heat vegetable oil for frying. I sliced the eggplant in about 1/2 inch slices. Dip each slice in the egg, then the bread crumbs. Fry until the slices are slightly browned then place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Continue to cook until done.

Combine the ricotta cheese and the mozzarella in a bowl, set aside.

Add a thin layer of the tomato sauce in a 8x12 pan. Add a layer of the fried eggplant slices, then add a spoonful of the cheese mixture across the eggplant. After you add the cheese then add a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce across the top. Repeat for a second layer. I ended up having more cheese on my second level because I didn't add enough of the first layer. Once you have the layers done, add extra mozzarella cheese to the top, to make sure it is very cheesy!

Cover the eggplant and cook for 30 minutes in an oven heated to 375 degrees. After 30 minutes, take off the cover and cook for another 15 or so minutes.

What did I expect?

For whatever reason we waited until today to call around for reservations for tomorrow night (New Year's Eve). The first six restaurants were either fully booked or they had a fix price menu that was more expensive than we wanted to pay (one place wanted $125 per person for dinner.... uhhhhh... seriously???). Talk about getting a little stressed out, I thought we might be eating at McDonald's for our New Year's Eve dinner. :) However, after calling another 5 restaurants I found two reservations that would work for us..... a Mexican food place and an American food restaurant. We decided to go with the American restaurant because the 8pm reservation time worked out better for us and for the other 4 people we are going with. After dinner, we are heading to a bar downtown that some friends rented out part of it for all of the friends. This will be nice because we will have dedicated waitresses and places to sit. Normally if you go downtown then you can expect to wait in lines, stand way to close to total strangers, and have drinks spilled all over you. Of course I will have my camera so I will be documenting our night. I may or may not leave out embarrassing pictures that I take (or have taken of me),,, we'll see :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We had a really nice Christmas Eve and day. We had my dad over for dinner and opening gifts on Christmas Eve. We did the typical turkey dinner with stuffing, green bean casserole, twice baked potatoes, rolls and cranberry jell stuff. I thought the turkey was a little dry, but over all it turned out really good! My dad bought Taylor and Chewie some squeaky stuffed animal toys for their presents. Taylor really loves her toy and played with it for most of the night. Chewie on the other hand is afraid of the toy. Every time Taylor starts to play with it, our big dog goes running and won't come back until we promise him that we put the toy away. We'll see if he warms up to the toy! :)

We went over to Jim's parents house on Christmas day. We enjoyed opening gifts, dinner and good company while we were over there. Of course there is so much build up to Christmas that the actual day seems to fly right on by!!

What happened 3 days ago??????????????

My Mutha had a birthday!!!!!!!!!!! I am a bad daughter and didn't post a birthday message on her birthday! Bad, bad, bad daughter. So before any more time passes, we must all clear our throats, take a deep breath and sing....

Happy Birthday to you,,,, Happy Birthday to you,,,,,, Happy Birthday dear Mummmmmmyyyyy,,,, Happy Birthday to yoooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Lights

We headed out last night to check out the Christmas lights around town. We started by driving around some neighborhoods, then we ended up on a street that is famous for their Christmas lights. Close to downtown a little block goes all out for Christmas. The light display is fantastic and always draws a crowd. There were so many creative ideas like the motorcycle decorated in lights or the old stove that has a little town living inside of the oven :)

This light display used a toilet.... so you just know I badgered Jim to pretend to sit on it. It was a little tricky because there were plenty of families walking down the street. He didn't want to do it, so I decided that I would be in the picture instead of taking it.

Me pretending to go #2 in the outdoor toilet Christmas decorations. :) So wrong... yet so funny

N e w * Y o r k
Mummy and I in front of the Rockefeller center waiting to ice skate!
I haven't ice skated in YEAR's but it didn't take long to feel comfortable.

Empire State Building

St. Patricks Cathedral
I would have loved to have set up in the church with my tripod, but I didn't have it with me. And I don't think I would have used it in the church. So many beautiful features.

We stopped by the Today show on our last day in Monday. We were able to get pretty darn close. Queen Latifa was on the show that day along with Janice Dickerson (who stayed inside). Ann Curry and Al Roker came along the crowd to say hi to all of the people waiting outside. Everybody was so nice!!
While waiting at the Today show I took a picture with the police horsey
Ann Curry at the Today show
They had TV's around the show so we could see when we would be on TV, and I'm pretty sure mummy is in the background, to the right of the green sign. I was in another picture, but you could only see my arm sticking out of the crowd with a camera :)