Matchy Matchy

When I was little my mom used to dress me and my sister in matchy-matchy sweater sets. We wore¬†color-coordinated sweater sets like they we’re going outta style (which they were ūüėČ ).

¬†My mom would be proud of me this evening… I managed to match my dinner.

Eggplant + Eggplant-Colored Skirt

Apparently Sadie was extra-excited about the eggplant matching my skirt and was determined to be a part of every picture I took with the veggie.

"Let Me In!"

I used the perfectly purple eggplant to create a yummy (and cheesy!) dinner of eggplant medallions for me and Ryan to enjoy with a side of roasted veggies.

Eggplant Medallions

Dinner

My Plate

¬†Easy peasy! Just how I like it. ūüėČ

Check It Out!

At work today my coworkers and I were having fun playing with the search engine WolframAlpha. We discovered that if you type in your name it will tell you when your name was most popular, how many people are living with your name, etc.

Here are the stats on my name:

  • Most popular in 1969
  • 1 in 2,088 people are named Julie
  • 474,675 people currently living are named Julie
  • 52 is the most common age of a person named Julie

The site will also provide nutritional stats for food, including obscure searches like “one Starburst” (which has 20 calories, FYI), or “10 peanut M&Ms” (103 calories).

It’s oddly entertaining!

If you check out the site, feel free to share stats about your name or other fun finds! ūüėÄ

Noodle Bowl + Top Baby Names

Only one noodle bowl for lunch this week? What is up with me!?

At least I got it it in before the week was over!

Veggies + Cheese + Noodles

Today’s pasta surprise contained:

  • Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles
  • Roased eggplant
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Steamed cauliflower
  • 1 oz. Brie cheese
  • One Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese wedge

Noodle Bowl

Close Up

It was a cheesy veggie delight!

I have never tried Brie cheese in a pasta dish and it really stood out against the veggies and the noodles. Brie is the BEST!

Also, thank you to those of your who let me know that the “coating” (as I called it) on the outside of Brie cheese is known as the rind when I mentioned it the other day. Apparently I’m quite French since I like it eat the rind like they do. ; )

Oui, oui!

50% Off Starbucks Frappuccinos from 3 – 5 p.m. Through May 16

You read it right! Sweet deal, huh? Hooray for Frappuccino Happy Hour! Click here for more information (or if you don’t believe me).

Top Baby Names

According to a new article released by the Associated Press, Isabella and Jacob are the top baby names of 2009. (Twilight, anyone!?)

Here are the top 10 boy and girl names of 2009:

(Courtesy of the Dept. of Social Security)

What are your favorite boy and girl names from the top 10?

From the top 10, I’d have to say my favorites are Jacob and Emma. So original! ūüėČ

Eggplant Medallions

Even though I completely adore the eggplant lasagna I’ve featured on this blog several times, I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a little longer to make than I’d like most days. I guess I’m a 20 minutes or less kinda girl!

That particular recipe was calling to me after work today but I was feeling a little too lazy to follow through and make it. Instead, I sliced up the eggplant, salted it and let it lay out over the sink to remove the bitter flavor while I headed out to JoAnn’s to pick up some craft supplies to make our save the dates this weekend.

Salted Eggplant

When I returned, I popped the eggplant into the oven and let them roast at 415 degrees for approximately 10 Р15 minutes.

While the eggplant slices were roasting, I added oregano and basil to ricotta cheese to place on top of the eggplant.

Ricotta + Spices

Once the eggplant was¬†slightly browned,¬†I topped the slices (Let’s call them medallions¬†to sound fancy, shall we?)¬†with the ricotta mixture. I then added¬†grilled chicken,¬†pasta sauce and cheese on top of the ricotta¬†and baked the medallions¬†in the oven until the cheese was ooey gooey.

Eggplant + Chicken + Sauce + Cheese

Eggplant Slice

On the side I enjoyed a big helping of Monterey Pasta Company Rainbow Five Cheese Tortellini that the company kindly sent me to sample since I have an ongoing love affair with their ravioli.

Rainbow!

I don’t think I was the only one excited to try this in our household…

"Gimme, Gimme!"

I scooped a big serving of the pasta onto my plate with the cheesy eggplant slices.

Dinner is Served

My thoughts on the tortellini? It was nice and cheesy!  

I don’t know why, but I was way more excited to eat the red and green tortellini pieces than the standard white pasta pieces. But then again this really shouldn’t surprise me since I always like to pick my favorite colors and flavors out of candy bags… and the chunks of cookie dough out of cookie dough ice cream… and the clams out of clam chowder…

What color candy was typically your favorite?

I always liked the reds and the oranges out of most candy assortments. Ryan is a yellow and green guy, so we’re an ideal candy match!

What to Choose…

This just in: Roasted eggplant in pasta is ah-maze-ing!

I love veggies that pick up the flavors of whatever you throw at them.

The roasted eggplant in my lunchtime noodle bowl really meshed with the cheesy flavors of the Parmesan and Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese.

Eggplant + Spinach + Noodles + Cheese

Parmesan Cheese

It was a cheesy, creamy noodle bowl with the added nutritional punch of eggplant and steamed spinach.

Lunch

I thought I might miss my beloved marinara sauce when I was throwing all the ingredients together, but the two cheeses were strong and definitely didn’t make me miss my favorite red sauce. I will surely be making this noodle bowl again in the future!

Snack Time

Snack time today was worthy of a mention.

Blueberry Bliss Luna Bar

Blueberry + Oats

The blueberry bliss Luna bar arrived in the goodie bag from Janetha yesterday and I knew it would make the perfect snack around 10:30 this morning.

Blueberry Bliss

The taste actually reminded me a lot of blueberry Nutri-Grain bars, but the texture was different. It was yummy!

Dinner Plans

Tonight I am meeting up with some of my girlfriends at Season’s 52, my favorite restaurant on the planet!

We’re celebrating my birthday since I haven’t seen any of them since I turned the big 2-5.

If it’s available online, I like to check out a restaurant’s menu ahead of time and have a few yummy dishes in mind before I arrive for a meal.

Several dishes are currently calling to me…

Of the following entrees, which would you choose?

  1. Caramelized Sea Scallops grilled and served with roasted asparagus and sundried tomato pearl pasta
  2. Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout with parsley new potatoes, fresh roasted vegetables and broiled lemon
  3. Spring Market Vegetable Plate with cranberry almond tabbouleh, fennel, plum tomatoes and grilled tofu
  4. Garlic Chicken Flatbread with balsamic red onions, roasted red peppers and Mozzarella cheese

I’m leaning toward the scallops at the moment…

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

I discovered eggplant last year, became obsessed with it for two months and then totally forgot about it.

Eggplant

The purple vegetable started callin’ my name again at the grocery store on Sunday, so I nabbed one to use in tonight’s roasted eggplant lasagna. (The recipe I followed calls this dish roasted eggplant Parmesan, but Ryan and I agreed that it tastes much more like lasagna.)

Fortunately a good portion of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time, so I prepped the majority of this dinner before I left for work this morning.

Prepped Dinner

The extra effort in the a.m. made dinner tonight super easy. While the roasted eggplant Parmesan baked, Ryan and I met with our future landlord down the street to officially sign our new lease!

We came home to an apartment that smelled delicious. 

Ready for Eatin'

Hot and Yummy

 When I followed the recipe (which you can find at the end of this post), I cut everything in half since Ryan and I were the only ones eating it. We split it right down the middle!

My Plate

 For dessert I enjoyed two fudgesicles.

Fudgesicle

 As I was snapping a photo, Sadie jumped in to try to get a lick.

Gimme, Gimme

 Instead she got a scolding. Dogs + Chocolate = BAD.

 

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
¬ĺ cup mozzarella (divided)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1¬Ĺ cups marinara sauce (divided)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 450¬įF. Trim stems and ends from eggplant and peel, leaving several 1-inch wide strips of peel intact. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into ¬Ĺ-inch thick slices and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under cool water, drain thoroughly and pat dry. Toss the slices in the olive oil and place on 2 baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool. Reduce oven heat to 350¬įF.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, ¬Ĺ cup mozzarella cheese, parsley and basil. In an 8 x 8 baking dish, spread ¬Ĺ cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the dish and spread ¬Ĺ cup of the cheese mixture on top; repeat, layering 2 more times. Top with remaining (1 cup) marinara sauce and sprinkle the remaining (¬ľ cup) mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350¬įF for 30 minutes; remove aluminum foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. Cool slightly and serve.

Here’s the part you can do ahead:

Cover the unbaked roasted eggplant Parmesan with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours. You may need to bake covered 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown.