Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roasted Eggplant Caviar Dip

When you need to dip into veggies. 
When you have a lot of appetizers, other than a veggie tray, veggies tend to get lost at times. I know that whenever we have friends over, veggies are an after thought to the meal. A vegetarian friend brought this Roasted Eggplant Caviar Dip to my house one time and now it is a frequent visitor. It is a sneaky way to get people to eat eggplant, as it doesn't taste like most eggplant dishes too. Eaten on a crispy bread is a great way to enjoy it. 

Roasted Eggplant Caviar Dip
1 large globe eggplant
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 shallots
Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Toasted bread for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Peel the eggplant and cut into even sized cubes. Drizzle the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Put the eggplant in the dish, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Then toss with more olive oil. Place about 3 Tablespoons over water in the dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until very soft.
Even the oven is roasting away the eggplant, peel and dice the shallots very fine. Place shallots, minced garlic in with 3 Tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar into a food processor or blender (or a bowl for a chunkier texture). Let sit for about 10 minutes (or until your eggplant is done if you are quick).

Once the eggplant is done, add eggplant to the shallot and garlic mixture, mashing with a fork, and let it cool to room temperature. Using a food processor or blender for finer texture pulse in the chopped cilantro, adding balsamic vinegar to help with smoothness. Adjust the seasoning. Add additional olive oil and balsamic to taste. Serve on grilled bread. Or use that chip and dip that doesn't do much and let your guest spread to their desired taste.

Adopted from Group Recipes

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Black and White Mocha Cookies

Everything drink should be a cookie.
First things, first. I have to confess I don't coffee. It it just a taste I dislike. Simple as that. I didn't even have a taste, however these cookies were approved by coffee loving friends. When I moved to Utah, I met 2 girls that have become good friends. We often go to coffee and they always get mochas. Thus the black and white mocha cookies.

On a side note. The blog as been silent because I got a full time job. I am the Marketing and Production Coordinator for a small firm that sells benefits to credit unions. The job is great, the adjustment back to full time employment has been tricky to find balance. Now that it has been a month on the job, thing are flowing a bit better.

Black and White Mocha Cookies 
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar                                                                                 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar                                                             
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon warm water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a large bowl, cream butter with granulated and brown sugars until fluffy and well combined. In a small mug, dissolve coffee in water. Add dissolved coffee to creamed mixture, mix well. Then add in egg, melted chocolate and vanilla, blend until combined. 
In medium size bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture (dough will be sticky). Shape into two rolls (like refrigerated store cookie dough) about 2 inch diameters. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place apart on ungreased baking sheets, or silpmat lined cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. 
In a microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate 20 seconds at a time, until chocolate is smooth and melted. Dip each cooled cookie halfway; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper to harden.

Slight change from Best of Country Cookies