by Paula George
June 26, 2006
As Independence Day approaches, many thoughts and memories travel through my
mind and heart.
Thoughts of the freedoms, others have sacrificed home and lives for bringing us
to this point in time.
Families divided, others brought closer as they faced enemies seeking to destroy
Goodbyes said as loved ones shipped to foreign lands, never to return, yet;
giving their lives to protect their homeland.
Unfortunate the divisions in our own homeland, families divided, others
reunited...infiltrated within by...
Outsiders...taking advantage of our freedoms and government, unwilling to accept
our land according to the laws it was founded upon.
Only taking of the opportunities...unwilling to become an intricate part of the
Independence we have because of lives sacrificed.
Reflections still remain that I have the opportunity to live in "freedom" and I
am a "citizen" of the "Land of Independence".
Refections of those who serve in our military forces...those near and
far...those past and present...those willing to sacrifice home and family to
protect our freedom and homeland..."Reflecting Independence".
Make sure you use the Panko bread crumbs because they help the Eggplant crisp up without conventional frying and baking. Also, for the love of God use homemade sauce ! Preferably a light marinara. Somewhere in Heaven my Grandmother is raising her eyebrow, but try it. It works.
Eggplant Parmigiana (Slow Cooker)
• 2 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" coins
• 2 eggs, lightly whisked
• 1 c. panko bread crumbs
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
• 2 c. marinara
• 12 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
• Fresh basil, for garnish
• kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place eggplant on paper-towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle each piece with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry.
2. Spread about a third of the sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker. Whisk together panko bread crumbs, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Dip each piece of eggplant in eggs then dredge in bread crumbs. Lay an even layer of slices into the slow cooker. Top with more sauce and mozzarella. Repeat layers 2 more times. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.
4. Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with basil.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lg. can whole tomatoes
1 lg, can crushed tomatoes (I use Tuterrosso)
5 tblsps. tomato paste
2 lg. onions chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 or 3 hot sausage so
1 boneless pork chop
5 dried bay leaves
about 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
3/4 cup white wine I use Pino Grigio)
First I put my tomatoes through a food mill, the whole tomatoes, not the crushed tomatoes
Then I brown the pork chop and sausages in a little hot oil. Remove to plate. Add hamburg, brown and remove to plate.. I add a little water to the pan, scraping up all the goodness in the pan to add to my sauce later.
In heated Dutch oven, add the 1/4 cup olive oil and add chopped onions, cook until golden brown, about 8 or 9 minutes, then add minced garlic and cook another minute or two. Add bay leaves, oregano, and white wine and simmer until wine evaporates. Add all tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved. Add the meat and the liquid from the pan that you cooked the meat in. Simmer partially covered for 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. Add a little hot water if it simmers down too much. I like it a little thinner if I add it to a pasta dish that I bake, otherwise I like it a little thicker. When it is finished, I add 1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmagianno Reggiano cheese.
SLOW COOKER GREEK-STYLE GREEN BEANS AND CHICKEN THIGHS
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
14 ounces water
2 teaspoons Chicken Base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add 6 ounces of baby spinach and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the spinach is wilted to your liking, about a minute or two. Remove the spinach from the skillet to a plate and reserve until ready to mix with the orzo.
Increase the heat to mid-high and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add 1 cup orzo pasta and stir until lightly browned. Add 14 ounces of water and 2 teaspoons chicken base and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the orzo is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
When the orzo is done add the spinach and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mix well. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The Parmesan will add some saltiness to the dish, so be sure to give it a taste to ensure you don't add too much salt!