Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Costco Inspiration...

A few days ago at Costco I saw this wonderful little bag filled with four beautiful, small eggplants. I picked up a package... I was inspired to look for and try a new eggplant recipe. This ended up being a VERY good idea!

I really enjoy using "epicurious" site to find new recipes or ideas to try when I have one specific ingredient that I want to build a dish around. I typed in "eggplant" and waited to see what I'd find. Lots of options popped up, but one in particular caught my eye. I knew I would have to make it! Eggplant and Smoked Gouda Open Faced Grilled Sandwiches... I clicked on it... I knew I was going to try it and when I saw the ingredients and read the instructions... oooohhhhh.... it HAD to be good! It's basically bruschetta with grilled eggplant and yummy cheese melted on top! WOW!

So this is how it turned out...

...DELICIOUS! We all enjoyed it! A wonderfully light, scrumptious dinner! I can hardly wait to make them again! :)

Thank you Costco, for providing the inspiration...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Delightful Summer...

A delightful summer... SALAD!!!! 


It was the perfect way to end a hot day! I found this recipe in the August 2011 Cooking Light and I did make a couple of substitutions/additions. You can find the recipe on my recipe page (click here!). 

The salad is called, Herbed Shrimp and White Bean Salad. Don't like shrimp? Substitute chicken breast strips! Lazy?! Get the chicken breast strips from Costco and just flavor them up a little with some lemon pepper and a little kosher salt before proceeding with the rest of the recipe! Easy AND delicious! 

I like having a bottle of roasted red bell peppers in the fridge. This came in handy because I didn't have to roast the red bell pepper... no heating up the oven! I just pulled some of those handy strips out of the bottle, drained them, and chopped! Wah lah! 

Arugula not your thing? Substitute baby spinach or your favorite lettuce! I LOVE baby spinach so that was our green of choice. I find shrimp's always yummy with spinach! I have a Thai shrimp curry dish I like to make that has baby spinach... ooohhh I digress. (I'll add that recipe later!) 

Ooops... Just remembered, I did heat up the oven... but briefly so that I could toast the pine nuts for 5 minutes. I would definitely not skip this step, it adds a lovely dimension to the nuts! They were the perfect addition!

Whenever I'm cooking something I always look in the fridge to see if I can use up anything. Well, today I had some corn on the cob from Costco. I grabbed one of those fresh ears and cut off the kernels and added that to the salad! YUUUMMMMYYY! I will keep that as one of the ingredients for sure! It added a nice little sweetness.... mmmmm... summmmeerrr!

The herbs are a very integral part of the flavor of this salad, definitely don't skip them! The red onion... FABULOUS! These bright tastes remind me of the flavor profile of a nice Thai salad. In fact, next time I make it I may chop a few mint leaves along with the other herbs... Oh yeah... that would be gooooood! 

A perfect way to end a delightful summer day... 
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