Monday, October 26, 2015

Passed Out On a Sunday - Cheatin' Eggplant Parm

I just inadvertently erased two whole paragraphs, damn damn DAMN! All about Chelsea suffering from terrible itching throughout the night, and me up with her trying to make her comfortable. Bottom line, I woke up later than I would have liked, in pain, in minor panic, and not able to do much of anything. So no shopping trip to the garden center, and certainly no planting.

Cooking? Well now that's a possibility, but even that is a stretch.  As you may have seen at the end of yesterday's post, I picked up the new Pioneer Woman cookbook that I had been waiting for, mostly patiently, to show up at BJ's. I definitely want to take my time going through all of her recipes, and who knows what will pique my interest?  I also have a couple of projects buzzing around like bees in my head.  Bees ... I need even more flowers to attract bees to the garden.

I'm definitely going to make my knockwurst lentil soup. And cheatin' eggplant parm.  Beyond that, I couldn't say. Well, maybe I could - squash casserole.  Crockpot spareribs. Oxtails? Paella?

The cheatin' eggplant parm gets its name because I bypassed the most labor intensive part of the process, the eggplant itself. No peeling, slicing, salting, rinsing, breading, or frying.  I buy a nice big box of good quality breaded eggplant slices - I think it's Michelangelo brand, available in BJ's - and I bake about 18 of the best-sized pieces in the convection oven at 400 degrees, after spraying the pan and the top side of the eggplant with a no-stick olive oil, until the slices are done and brown.

Layer the eggplant with sauce (and I use Hunt's, which is cheap and perfect for this dish) and a couple of cheeses - I had grated Romano, shredded mozzarella, and thinly sliced provolone - and bake until the cheese is melted.  Seriously, this is college dorm cooking, as good and easy today as it was 40 years ago.

Can anyone explain to me why I am having a panic attack? Damn thing snuck up on me while I was working on the squash casserole - squash soufflé, really, since we're down south and all. Why now, why me?

It was a good day, although not totally what I expected it to be. I got things done, not just cooking. I caught up on last night's Doctor Who (excellent!) and even had Breakfast with Baker. James finished filling in all the dirt, and also power-washed the house, so everything is ready for me to start planting. Before planting, however, I have to go through paperwork, both for state and for federal disability benefits. After much thought, I have decided to appeal the decision of the state, so there are some forms to deal with for that. Then I have extensive forms to fill out for Social Security. Huh. Maybe that explains the panic attack.

The squash soufflé came out pretty darn delicious. Recipe and commentary tomorrow. Oh, and there is a cruise or three in our future. Things are looking up. I ate the squash for dinner and it stayed down. Booyah!

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