Welcome to Herbs and Spice! Two things have always fascinated me: herbs and spices, and cooking. I'm always looking for new ways to use the herbs from my garden(and other people's), and forever trying and testing new recipes. So sharing my loves of all things garden and kitchen seemed to be the natural thing to do. I hope my blog will inspire you in your own garden or kitchen, so enjoy!
Good afternoon, blogger friends! I'm getting to my post rather late in the day because I had a doctor's appointment this morning; always fun.
I have been random snapping pictures with my phone, and sharing is always fun.
My little houseplants in my office window. The big one is actually a daylily, but it seems to love that spot, so I keep it there; the other one was a poor flamingo lily I "adopted" because it kept getting attacked and eaten by cats, lol. It's starting to revive with some TLC and put out new leaves.
Random picture of the kitchen from the office, including the "doggie couch".
Closeup of my kitchen island. Why? Because I can.
Most of my bookshelves and my china hutch in the office. I also have another bookshelf in the living room that's as crammed full as these are; and stacks of books on the floor in the bedroom. anyone think I need more bookshelves? LOL
My bee balm is in full bloom, and it's soooo pretty! I apologize for the large tree/weed thing at the bottom of the picture; I just can't seem to dig the darn thing out! every time I think I've got it all, it comes back!
My portulacas are pretty; does anyone know the variety on these? It's more similar to p.grandiflora and p.olaracea than the needle-leaved p.mundula. BUT, it was a transplant from another garden, and the owner had no clue. you can see my lemongrass underneath it to the right.
Anyway, I just thought I would share. I am headed out here soon to pick up some dried hibiscus flowers for jelly. This time I will take pictures of the process to share with all of you. I'm not sure what my fascination is with herb jellies; but I think the lemon balm jelly created a monster! LOL. And of course, as soon as payday hits, I am going to a blackberry farm to pick as many blackberries as I possibly can; it's the right time of year for blackberry jam and blackberry cobbler. And i'm about to get rather sidetracked here...are there any other southerners reading this that eat their cobbler with milk?I mentioned pouring milk on cobbler to another friend of mine, and she was appalled! I thought that's what you did with a bowl of cobbler...ok, sorry, I just had to get that out. So I'm going to pick blackberries, and maybe some blueberries, and make regular fruit jam. YUM! The recipe below for Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana Heros is from my recipe box on www.epicurious.com. We have made these a number of times; they're a nice grilling alternative to meat...sometimes it's nice to have something a little lighter in the summer. And with that, I am out for the day! Enjoy the rest of it, friends!
Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana Heros
For tomato sauce:
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For eggplant heros:
4 (6-inch) hero or hoagie rolls, split
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 (1-pound) eggplants
1/2 pound thinly sliced provolone or fresh mozzarella, divided
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
Make tomato sauce:
Purée tomatoes in a blender until very smooth. Heat oil in a 3-to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté onion and garlic with red pepper flakes until golden, about 4 minutes. Add tomato purée, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure .
Brush cut side of rolls with 1 tablespoon oil total.
Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of slices with remaining 3 tablespoons oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Oil grill rack, then grill eggplant (covered only if using a gas grill), loosening with a metal spatula and turning occasionally to avoid overbrowning, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Top eggplant (still on grill) evenly with half of sliced cheese, then grill, covered, until cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds. Transfer eggplant with spatula to a large tray.
Grill rolls (cut side only) until grill marks appear, about 1 minute, and transfer to tray.
Transfer grilled rolls to 4 plates and spoon about 3 tablespoons tomato sauce onto each bottom piece. Top with eggplant, making 2 layers. Add remaining sauce, then top with basil and remaining cheese and close sandwiches.