Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuscan Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

 So, here it is just as I promised, my recipe for....

 Tuscan Eggplant Lasagna

by

"Mama JP" 

 

 Ingredients for the Sauce

2 cans of plum tomatoes

1 medium eggplant cut into cubes

2 sliced onions

4 tbsp. freshly chopped garlic

1 handful of fresh basil torn into pieces

 8 tbsp. sauteing olive oil for the onions and eggplant

1 tsp. grated nutmeg 

1tbsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. white sugar

1 tbsp. butter

salt and pepper to taste


 Ingredients for Layering Lasagna

1 lb. mini penne pasta cooked to al dente

Your freshly made Tuscan sauce

Diced, fresh mozzarella and freshly grated asiago or 

pecorino /romano cheeses 

 

1 ladle full of cooked pasta water


The Cooking Process


You'll need 2 pots~one for the sauce and one to cook the pasta in,

 one large saute pan to cook the onions and then eggplant in and one medium baking dish.

1- Start by sauteing your sliced onions in about 3 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add more oil and lower heat if neccessary. Cook until tender.

2- Heat your sauce pot and add 1 tbsp. olive oil, add  the chopped garlic. Lightly brown then quickly add the sauteed onions, 2 cans of tomatoes and remaining ingredients.

 

3- Using your saute pan, add the remaining oil and brown the eggplant until tender but not over cooked. Add more oil as necessary. Remove from the oil and set aside.

4-Fill your other pot with water, add salt and 1 tbsp. of oil. When water boils add the pasta and cook 'til al dente.

5- Drain pasta (saving one ladle of the water in a small bowl)

6- Return pasta to pot, add the water and coat with a bit of the sauce and set aside...do not continue cooking.

7- Pre-heat oven to 350


Layering the Lasagna

1- Coat the bottom of your baking dish with some of your sauce.
2- Add a layer of pasta and coat with some sauce.
3- Add some eggplant and the two cheeses.
4- REPEAT the above with an additional one or two layers.

Note: You should have enough sauce remaining to serve on the side.
5- Bake @ 350 for 25 to 30 minutes

6- Let it cool and then

 "Mangia!"

Enjoy and be sure to let me know how it was!!!

A "Tuscan" Inspired Dinner

~A Tuscan Evening~

Last night's dinner inspired my post for today.....it started with my afternoon fixation with "The Chew," an eggplant lasagna, hunger pains, and what to cook for dinner. So, it was  off to the market I ran!
Since, I didn't pay much attention to the details of the recipe I created one of my own... a little of this and a bit of that and voila...
 w/ Tuscan Eggplant Lasagna

 I received five stars and a lot of appreciation from my 100%  Italian, better half....a real pat on the back to know that my lessons learned from my own "Italian raised" (not born) background
were worth the effort.
The recipe is pretty easy, with a sauce that doesn't take hours to simmer and is absolutely "Delish!"
  Good ingredients are key to my recipe which "I PROMISE" to share....just be patient, follow this post and it will soon appear!!! :)

The recipe is here! 

The Table Decor
I had a "quake," aka "a brain jolt," to set a dinner themed table and my rooster plate was the start to igniting my theme. So, while the eggplant was cooking, I decided and to snap some good pics for this "Tuscan Themed Post."

 Then out came my dishes to add to the setting with some accents of flowers that just make me smile! 

The Centerpiece

  Quick!!!....I had to make a centerpiece! So, I grabbed my new little, "Goodwill" find, the aged, verdigris milk can ( $2.99 I must boast!) my burgandy floral, serving plate, another woven placemat, some candles  and  luckily, some flowers ( a gift from my "Tanya" (TYVM...I love you!) to complete my design.
My "Honey's" Surprise!
 So, home came my man and  he walked in the door, his face filled with pleasure, then he questioned..."What for?" and "What did I forget, now?"...............
"Nothing, Honey....,just a nice little dish, just a little somethin' special for my hardworking and very hungry guy!!!"
xoxoxo mwah!
Best Wishes for a Wonderful Day!
JP

joining the party on:
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Garden Photos and Today

Garden Photos and Today

Today was a good day....accomplished a lot more spring cleanup in our yard and gardens. It was more backbreaking work and we still have a lot of ground to cover, but as you will see, in my posts to follow, it will all be worth it for, yet another. enjoyable warm season in our little piece of "heaven on earth!"
Took some pics to work on improving my "photography skills" and thought I'd share them here. Just an assortment of landscape garden shots that are kind of cute....hope you like them!
                                      
Tomorrow is another day, it's supposed to rain,,,,thank GOD , we need it! It will be a sleep late, brunch for two, morning and a shop for groceries, clean and cook kind of day. I'm sure a little time will be spent admiring my "treasures'" from my "Goodwill" shopping spree that I sneaked in, after dinner tonight! I'm already having a "mind freak," just thinking about the prices I paid for them and the "glam" and "glitz" they'll soon be adorned with. More collections to be added for your temptations ;)
Til next time..........I hope you enjoyed today's little post...keep me in your favorites and look out for "Goodwill Hunting!" my next post on my treasure finds!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Shabby Glam" and "Designer Glitz" and my Tag Sale Finds


JP designs
"Shabby Glam" & "Designer Glitz" 

Well, here is my latest attempt to captivate you with my blog! ;)

So, here it goes!!! 

Right now, I am stressing a bit, no...... a lot, over what to do first. Should I edit my page and background to make it related more to JP designs or should I just continue to write my latest entry? Hmmmm....well, I'm choosing to begin here...

 I am, currently, in the process of re-vamping my Etsy store
( http://www.etsy.com/shop/JPdesignedcreations?ref=si_shop )
 with a new banner to reflect my latest collection of vintage finds.
I have a new one in the works, new business cards, tags and more promotional materials to design. Then there's finishing touches to my items that need to be professionally shot. (I'm not happy with my photo talents, yet, and I'm hoping to get some good tips to improving mine, soon!)

 So, the tag sales have begun and my garage is filling up again. I'm supposed to be getting rid of stuff in the event that we can, finally, sell our house and move to "greener pastures" ......Myrtle Beach to be precise :)

 "SNEAK PEEKS"  
 things that you can, soon, purchase!





 ~And a few that I am anxious to "Glam" or "Glitz"~
 


"TAG SALE FINDS"
My first find of the day was the great little, vintage, vanity bench. It's a great one that someone attempted to make look shabby chic, but I think it needs some updating. So, should I update it to my version of 
"Shabby Glam" 
 with a nicer, floral fabric, better padding, a nice distressing and finish it with some great button details? Should I paint it white or green? I'm leaning towards a soft, garden green! Or...should I make it
 "Designer Glitz" 
with a black finish, a great, red floral fabric, a short, leopard ruffle and of course some buttons, pins, pearls or gems? The problem is...I love both, but which would be a more popular choice, for selling purposes, for a bedroom or dressing room decor?
 Here's my second find and I love it!!! I am, definitely, going to do a great white distress and turn this into a mirror. The frame is so beautiful with it's detail and thickness and you'd never guess that it's........
plastic!!! And you'll never know that when it's done ;)
 And, my last buy of the day was this 1930's or early 40's, huge, wood framed, oil painting.
And I mean a huge, 42" x 29 1/2"!!!  
  I will be definitely making this one into a memo board. Any takers for the signed oil on canvas??? And now, another decision to make...black frame or white....floral...solid damask or printed script, fabric backing? Decisions...Decisions...Decisions!!!

Well, my blogging for the day must come to an end...I've got cleaning and laundry and banking to do... a shower to take, dinner to prep and Christian's first tee ball practice @ 6! Tomorrow is another day to continue my list of never ending" to-do's"....sounds familiar, right? So, 'til next time, good luck to you and your lists, I'll be working mine and please, come back again!!!

<3 Janet