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Posts from the ‘Food’ Category

Pita Bread Made with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

This post definitely falls into the “If I can do it, so can you” category.

Today I made something that seems kind of magical to me. Pita bread. Actually, baking in general, particularly if it’s bread, seems magical to me. I think it’s the yeast.

My mom recently made some pitas and ever since then I’ve thought that I should try it too. Especially since I recently learned about the wonders of baking with whole wheat pastry flour as opposed to whole wheat flour.

So I Googled a recipe and found this one. Of course, I substituted the all purpose flour with the whole wheat pastry flour, but other than that, I followed the instructions exactly. Here’s the result:

Home Made Pita Pockets

See? They have pockets and everything! And the texture is so much better than the whole wheat pitas I buy at the store.

I think I like this baking thing. What’s next?

Oven Fried Eggplant

What is it about this time of year that turns me into a domestic diva? Maybe because it’s finally cool enough to be able to turn the oven on? Whatever the reason, I have a sudden, uncontrollable urge to cook healthy, unprocessed stuff.

I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s in ages, but the last time I went they had frozen fried eggplant slices that I used to like to have in sandwiches and for eggplant parmesan. Lately, I’ve been craving them, so today I made a batch of oven fried eggplant, which serves the same purpose and is a lot healthier.

Granted, this isn’t any sort of cutting edge recipe. It’s more of an idea, I think. But wevs. Do with it what you will.

Behold, the ingredients:

Oven Fried Eggplant Ingredients

That’s it. Egg whites, eggplant, and bread crumbs. Of course, you’re also going to want to have some cooking spray and salt & pepper on hand.

Pre-heat your oven to 450.

I peeled the eggplant because sometimes the skin can be a little tough. But that’s up to you. After that, cut them into half-inch slices and dredge them in the egg whites and breadcrumbs.

Dredging the eggplant

Liberally spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay the slices on it. Salt and pepper to taste, then spray (again liberally–pretty much everything I do is liberal) the tops. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over, giving them one last spray for good measure. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Note: Another method (which is tastier, frankly) is to brush the cookie sheet with olive oil, then drizzle oil on the slices instead of using the cooking spray. Keep in mind that I wanted to keep mine as low-calorie as possible, so I used cooking spray instead.

This is what you end up with:

Oven Baked Eggplant


Let ‘em cool and then put them in a freezer bag and freeze for future use. Or, make yourself a vegetable sandwich or a a batch of eggplant parmesan as soon as they come out of the oven. This is my favorite eggplant parm recipe, which you should seriously consider making at your earliest convenience.

Make Cork Garden Markers

The other day I was looking at my DIY board on Pinterest and realized I’ve pinned some really cool projects. I’d like to tackle one each week, but I’m not sure I have time to commit fully to that. Nevertheless, I present this week’s project: make cork garden markers.

Picture of an oregano garden marker

Possibly the easiest project ever.

Pics of what you need to make cork garden markers

You’ll need: Bamboo skewers, corks, and a sharpie.

Write "Grapes" on cork with sharpie

Write the name of your plant on the cork with the sharpie. I kind of wish I would’ve used more decorative lettering but maybe I’ll do that next season.

push cork into skewer

Push the cork into the pointed end of the skewer. I was surprised at how secure it was–I was thinking I’d have to glue it in place but no.

finished marker

Here’s your finished garden marker!

grapes garden marker

Push your finished marker into the soil in front of your plant and voila! You are done.

Here’s another one:

Chives garden marker

As simple as they are, they look so much better than the plastic markers that come in plants or the seed packets. It adds a rustic touch to the garden that I love. This is one project I’m glad I completed because let’s face it, it’s just too easy not to.

Building a Redwood Planter Raised Bed 8×3′

After we got rid of the hot tub we were left with an 8 foot square gravel patch bordered in the ground with 2×6 pressure treated lumber. The idea has always been to use the area for one or more raised beds, and so we immediately set to work. Here’s what we ended up with, a nice solid redwood planter:

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CSA Box Challenge

Today our CSA box came. As you already know, that makes for a great day at Casa West, but now my challenge is to figure out what I’m gonna make with all the goodness. This is what I have to work with:

Picture of CSA Box ingredients

CSA box goodness: Garnet sweet potatoes, gravenstein apples, eureka lemon, shishito peppers, red plums, sweet peppers, zucchini, globe eggplant, bi-color corn, beets, and leaf lettuce. Not shown: cantaloupe. Read more

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Chili isn’t necessarily all that ground-breaking imagination-wise, but I created my own version of slow cooker turkey chili that Mick and I love. In the winter months I make this several times a month, and during the summer it’s a quick, easy meal that doesn’t require turning on the oven.

Picture of ingredients

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I Will Name Him George

Someday soon, perhaps tomorrow, I will pick this ripened tomato I grew my very own self. I will name him George.

And  I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and pat him and pet him and rub him and caress him and…

Then I will tell him to get in mah belly.

Recipe: Peach Crumble

Whenever I’m called upon to bring a dessert, fruit crumbles or cobblers are the first thing I think of. They’re quick, easy, and delicious, and I usually have all the ingredients I need to make one on hand.

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Chicken with Coconut Milk

I have long been a fan of Indian food and at some point I decided I wanted to try my hand at cooking it. This is the recipe book I bought:

Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India

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Farm Fresh to You – The Joy of a CSA Box

Biweekly Tuesday mornings are a little like Christmas at Casa West because that’s when our CSA (community supported agriculture) box arrives. Here’s what it contained this morning:

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