Grilled Spiced Eggplant with Minted Yogurt Stacks



So it happens sometimes...you spend the time and energy trying a new recipe and you just don’t love it.  Oh well.  It’s not that this recipe was bad....there just wasn’t anything super compelling about it and to be honest I kind of felt like I was eating a vegetarian Gyro without the onions, tomato & pita (which I kind of missed....so maybe fold these stacks up and throw them in a pita!).

The eggplant cooked up nicely though and made delicious quesadillas for my leftover day (combined with sauteed mushrooms, onions and canned artichoke hearts).  The minted yogurt was a nice twist on Tzatziki but would fare better as a sauce than a substantial filling.

Pork & Noodle Soup with Shrimp

Christian cooked the Pork Noodle Soup with Shrimp (recipe below) tonight since work ran a bit late for me.  That’s another fabulous thing about having a menu posted on the fridge...if I’m not around Christian can dive right in and at least start cooking for us!

Christian’s a good cook, but can get a bit flustered at times so the fact that he told me that this was an easy recipe means it really is easy which makes it perfect for weeknights.  And we both think that it turned out a restaurant quality soup...so much so that we had a hard time restraining ourselves and saving enough for our leftovers night!
Balsamic Chicken, Polenta & Rapini

I stumbled upon this Balsamic chicken recipe (Giada’s) when making a spread for my best friend’s bachelorette party, but it was so yummy that I have a hard time keeping it to chicken drummett appetizers as it calls for and instead have started making it as a regular chicken dinner with either full-size drumsticks or chicken breasts.

When it comes to the polenta, Giada’s cheesy polenta is the absolute best, but if you’re trying to be healthy I would suggest you simply make it according to the directions on your polenta package and add a touch of cream/cheese/butter to taste along with some fresh herbs. Lastly, Rapini (or broccoli raab) is our favorite vegetable lately...we usually roast it at high heat with grape tomatoes and olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper for about 15 minutes...nutty, a bit crunchy and so delicious!    
Tunisian Spiced Lamb with Chard

One word...DELICIOUS!  And honestly, really easy as well.  This is a great weeknight meal and I think it may be the best Chard that we’ve ever made...the shallots, dates and toasted pine nuts just compliment the chard so perfectly that I was actually sad when we we’re out.  I seriously would encourage you to double the chard part of the recipe...it’s that good.
Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash & Shrimp
This is a recipe I stumbled upon because I had a Kabocha squash lying around the house from a recent farmers’ market trip...so I turned to the trusty google and found this FABULOUS and EASY recipe on Epicurean.com.  My husband loves Thai food and he thought that this was restaurant quality...we’ll definitely be making this one again, yum! http://www.epicurean.com/featured/thai-red-curry-with-kabocha-squash.html  
Gnocchi with Radicchio, Pancetta, Pine Nuts & Rosemary
I love making gnocchi...especially on a cloudy Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine in hand, fun and relaxing.  The one trick is that you really do need a potato ricer to get the gnocchi to be the right consistency.  I’ve tried other methods and shortcuts before, but finally had to give in and get a potato ricer and it’s worth it (great for uber-creamy mashed potatoes as well!).  This flavors in this recipe from the December 2010 Bon Appéitt are divine...but I don’t know how you go wrong with pancetta and rosemary.