Tuesday, May 31, 2011

eggplant/aubergine with cheeses

tonight we celebrated Jim's birthday by having a few friends here for dinner.  here's what i fixed ... and i gotta say it  was pretty damn fabulous!  there's no real recipe, just revisions to a couple that sounded good.  for about 8 healthy servings i started with 3 medium eggplants, sliced across in 1/2 inch disks, dipped in egg beat up with a little with milk, then breaded with seasoned breadcrumbs (salt, pepper, Pensey's Greek seasoning), baked for 20 min. each side at 350.  while they are baking, saute a chopped medium onion (Vidallia or Walla Walla), lots of chopped garlic, lots of sliced mushrooms (prob. at least a pound), dried basil from last summer's garden, more Pensey's Greek seasoning.  at the end, add 2 or 3 TBLS balsamic vinegar, mix it up and set aside.  now the cheese... about 8oz mozzarella sliced thin, a few slices of something interesting from the refrig (English cheddar with garlic and herbs, in this case), a lump of good Greek feta and about a cup of shredded parmesan.  you will need tomato sauce, which could be made from scratch (i wonder where that "from scratch" came from)... but i prefer to open a jar of my dear friend Paul's sauce..
which is as good as mine and lots easier!

when the eggplant is finished baking and the sautéed onions and mushrooms are ready, the layering begins with some tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish, then eggplant slices (some of which can be cut up to fit in the spaces that are empty), then the onion/mushrooms, mozzarella, crumbled feta, "other cheese",  parmesan, layer of tomato sauce, more parmesan and topped with any breadcrumbs left over from the first step up at the beginning.

this is  how it looks ...  side view ... after all the layering.  bake uncovered in 350 oven for 30 to 40 minutes til it's bubbly and smells delicious.  we had a green salad, fresh spring asparagus and warmed many grain bread  .....   and carrot cake and ice cream.  i had put 2/3 of the cake in the frig after we had a piece friday night  of the 1/3 that Meika ended up stealing from the table and finishing off (see last "bad dog" post).  and, by the way, she had no ill effects from eating all that cake!

this is how it looked before baking. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

bad dog!

picture of a bad dog......

this very bad dog just groaned and gave out a huge burp... then closed her eyes hoping i'd think she is asleep.  she reverted way back to puppy behavior, quite unbefitting her almost 11 years.  while we sat in the TV room enjoying a piece of Jim's birthday cake and a glass of Marsala, bad dog Meika took 1/3 of a sheet cake off a plate on the kitchen table and had eaten most of it when i found her with the remains on the floor.  she looked not the least bit ashamed, just annoyed that i took it away from her.  sure do hope carrot cake isn't "bad" for dogs.  it was made-from-scratch cake which i very hardly ever make ever since i discovered that cake from a box seems just as good to those who eat it.  and many don't seem able to tell the difference.  thankfully, the other 2/3 of the cake is still in the cake pan waiting til monday when we have a few friends over for a birthday dinner for Jim.

we've been home 2 weeks and today i finished unpacking, finished folding a mountain of clean laundry, shuffled more of the photos we had on display at Pop's memorial service, and wondered again if i'll ever get this disarray into reasonable order again....  and if i'll ever again feel like i've gotten enough sleep.

Monday, May 23, 2011

in general

the morning after the memorial service for my dad... all of us tired, contemplative, glad to be together!  Chris and Alex half collapsed on the kitchen counter.  Chris with an aching back from Alex trying the way-back  to a time when his dad could give him piggy-back rides.  not so much any more.

 Nancy, my step-sister from Pittsburg, was here for a short visit for the memorial... wish she could have stayed longer.  so glad she was here!

 and the dogs.. lurking under the kitchen table, always the opportunists waiting for the kids to drop a tidbit of a treat.  they do pretty well with enduring the chaos of having lots of people in and out here (and Tiki from the north competing for her share of the attention and tidbits).  they did get lots of treats!
 Zylie having a game of World of Goo on my iPad.  i'm pretty sure she does way better at it than i do.
and then there's my wonderful grandboy, Alex.  he is quite proud that he is (at 10 years old) taller than his gramma.  gotta say tho that it isn't the accomplishment he thinks it is... i think i'm growing shorter almost as fast as he is growing taller.  well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but i've been asked lately if i'm getting shorter.  and indeed, i am.  also, Alex has some tall genes from his mom's side, certainly not from his dad's genes.

if any fiber friends have noticed that snappy new shirt i'm wearing... yes, it does have a pic of a drop spindle on it and "SPINNERS" logo.  Kate found a website promoting a minor league baseball team in Lowell, Mass called "Spinners", so we became fans and have the shirts to prove it.  never in my wildest dreams did i ever see myself as a baseball fan in any way, shape, or form.... but just couldn't stand for this shirt to not be mine!  and if you want to be a "Spinner" too... go here.

and now i'm going back to trying to catch up on sleep and enjoy the quiet here in my queendom.  maybe tomorrow i'll go to the plant nursery, stock up on veg and flower plants and play in the dirt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RedTail Hawk chicks

i've been watching the raptor cam on a building in Portland.  3 of the 4 eggs hatched while i was gone and watching those chicks makes me giggle!  they are getting their big bird feathers and keep flapping their wings and trying to walk around the nest... and are so awkward it's comical!  it's so obvious when they are waiting for a meal to be delivered.  they can't settle down.. keep moving around the nest, flapping wings and waiting.  when the meal arrives, the parent has been "preparing" it for them by pulling off ... um, whatever it takes to make it easy for them, then starts feeding them bits.  usually there is one that can't wait to be fed and starts helping itself... awkwardly.  they are so damn cute and funny!  nice way to get the a.m. started for me.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sailboats in Hania harbor, Crete

photo 3.JPG by twistinsandy
photo 3.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.
sailboats in Hania harbor. this one is for Larry!!

Hania harbor horse and buggy

photo 2.JPG by twistinsandy
photo 2.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.
me and my new friend, the horse and buggy guy at the harbor in Hania. had a good day of wandering in Hania and doing a bit of retail therapy. i am beginning to really enjoy the bus rides in Crete.. since i. finally managed an appreciation for their skill (and attitude, which is the whole. secret to driving in Crete).these guys are driving buses on roads that are about the width of a bus...and it is two way traffic. you gotta have attitude! serious attitude!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Vamos .. Agroulida house

photo 2.JPG by twistinsandy
photo 2.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.
patio in front of our house. we have 2nd floor apt. Pam and Larry had the one below us... they left this a.m. to go back to Turkey for a few weeks and to look for a place to rent next year. i'm thinking it would be good to go back to the south part of Turkey to visit them next year.

we have not had ideal spring here on Fantasy Island.... a bit of everything including horendous sustained winds from the south... Egypt, which bring warmth, dust and sand with them. no fun being outside during those.

Jim and Larry walked the infamous Samaria Gorge yesterday, which took hours and really tuckered out their leg muscles.. lots of very steep downhill on rocks. awww - poor guys...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Vamos... sheep

photo 3.JPG by twistinsandy
photo 3.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.
and back end of the sheep going home!

photo 1.JPG

photo 1.JPG by twistinsandy
photo 1.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.

in front of our house, the sheep being herded home at the end of the day.