Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Scribblings

St. Monica by Gozzoli
After a couple of really warm days, I was happily surprised to wake up this morning to feel a cool breeze coming through the open window. What a great way to start out this feast day of St. Monica. Since Joshua started his pathway to The Church 8 years ago, I knew there must be someone praying for me specifically. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I first read of St. Monica. I have entrusted my prayers to her intercession on numerous occasions~ especially for my family. Tomorrow is the feast day of her son, St. Augustine, who happens to be Joshua's patron saint. Because it will be Sunday, St. Augustine won't be celebrated in Mass, but we'll be doing a little something special before driving Joshua back up to Mt. Angel Seminary to start school.

Since it was so hot (100 degrees) yesterday, I took some time in the late afternoon to spend some time in the backyard. Normally this view would frustrate me as we need to do so much back there, but- whether from the heat or not- I decided to just enjoy the breeze and being in God's nature. It was definitely a much more relaxing time!

I had found a recipe for eggplant "bacon" and decided to try it last night for eggplant "BLT's". After his first taste, Josh said it tasted like crispy...marinated eggplant. We all agreed it was delicious but no way could ever replace bacon in our house. It was low sodium despite how much salt is in the recipe. Since you rinse the salt plus only use a bit of marinade on each slice, it is a good recipe for folks needing to watch their sodium intake. With all that in mind, I am sharing the recipe because it was a really good way to cook eggplant!

Eggplant Bacon recipe~adapted from The Spirited Spoon
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (I used red wine, but balsamic or apple cider would work too)
  • 3 tbsp liquid aminos (I get mine in bulk at Winco)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus more for brushing)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8  tsp chili powder
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Remove the stem of the eggplant and quarter it lengthwise, making 4 even long, thin sections.
  3. Slice each piece of the eggplant lengthwise into thin strips. 
  4. Arrange eggplant strips in a single layer on a paper towel and generously sprinkle with 2 tbsp salt. Allow this to sit for at least 30 minutes. During this time the eggplant will start to bead up with water.
  5. After 30 minutes, rinse off the eggplant strips to remove the salt added in the previous step and allow the strips to dry on new paper towels.
  6. Brush each strip with olive oil, and arrange in a single layer on a well-greased pan.
  7. Cook eggplant strips for 14 minutes, flipping half way through.
  8. Remove the strips from the oven and let cool. Reduce the heat to 350F. 
  9. Combine vinegar, maple syrup, liquid aminos, olive oil, liquid smoke, salt, paprika, black pepper and chili powder in a small bowl.
  10. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and place a baking rack over it. (The foil is optional, but it certainly makes for an easier clean up).
  11. Dip each strip of eggplant in the marinade and place strips in a single layer on the baking rack.
  12. Bake at 350F for about 14 minutes, or until the strips are nice and crispy.(Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your strips)
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before using. 
Enjoy your Saturday & do something that you enjoy as you prepare for Sunday and the joys that day brings!!

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