Tuesday, October 9, 2012

64 degrees

It was 64 degrees in the house this morning when we woke up. I thought that (like seriously) never happened in Nashville. Last year at this time, it was still in the mid to high 80's. I remember my friend Shana and I walking to get popsicles at the Vanderbilt Farmer's Market. Last October, Vance and I spent his birthday weekend (October 18th) at the pool! The past week has brought wonderful cool weather and the leaves have started turning more rapidly. It's fall.
Vance's parents were here for a few days and we certainly did a lot of eating! In addition to some of Vance's favorites like shrimp 'n cheddar grits, we had Mexican Dip while the Steelers played on Saturday, Edly's Barbecue last night and a very easy and delicious chicken and eggplant rollatini.
This dish is great for serving vegetarians and meat-eaters. Some pieces are rolled
chicken and others are eggplant.
Via Skinny Taste blog, this recipe is a great make-ahead dish. The ingredient amounts below definitely feed about 5 to 6 adults. I made the dish in the photo (above) and another small dish of just eggplant.
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut longways and pounded until about 1/3 inch thick
1 medium eggplant
3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
5 eggs, beaten with a little water
10 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
About 12 or so ounces fat free ricotta cheese
6 oz fresh mozzarella 
olive oil non-stick spray 
1 jar (about 2 to 2.5 cups vodka sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightlyspray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Slice top and bottom off eggplant to clean it up. Slice eggplant lengthwise into thin (1/4 inch) strips. You want long, even, thin slices of eggplant as you will be rolling the eggplant. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese in one bowl or plate and the egg mixture in another bowl.
Shred or finely chop 1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese and combine with remaining grated cheese, spinach (make sure you squeeze it dry), and ricotta cheese. Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken and with the eggplant strips. When finished, lightly spray with olive oil. Bake the dish for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with sauce and assemble mozzarella on top. Bake for about another 5 minutes until cheese is bubbling. Enjoy!
Tonight we enjoyed a quick pumpkin sauce on cheese ravioli.
 In a large sautee pan or Dutch Oven, sauté about 3 garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a half of medium white onion, diced. Next add spices: 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Sauté until fragrant. Pour in 1/2 cup dry white wine. Allow to cook and bring to light boil. Mix in 15 oz packed pumpkin, 1 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth, stir until hot, add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Season with S&P. Over simple cheese ravioli, pour the sauce and top with toasted walnuts and Parmesan cheese - so yum. This sauce would be delicious over plain pasta as well. 

My few weeks at home have been nice, but they are about to come to a close. Monday, I head up to PA for a week of recruiting and then off to Minneapolis for a few days. Apparently in Minneapolis, it is almost winter. This is stressful! Night all.


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