Monthly Archives: April 2012

Spaghetti with Spicy Eggplant

So I have been trying to think of a food that I only ate as a kid that would take me flyin down memory lane, and it’s lead me to think of a lot of other things from my childhood that shaped me. I moved around a little as a child, so my influences are eclectic at best.

I spent most of my childhood indoors watching t.v and reading (I did not play outside or climb trees), so I think T.V is the most important aspect to examine.

  • SHOWS I ASSUMED WERE CANADIAN (BECAUSE I LIVED IN MICHIGAN)
  1. ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?- This actually is a Canadian t.v show (Thanks again, Michigan) that I enjoyed for a bit. I remember it was kind of like Goosebumps. Actually I don’t really remember much, but WHATEVER. Here’s Ryan Gosling on it.
  2. AROUND THE TWIST- I couldn’t remember the name of this show for the life of me, but I guess googling the only part of any episode I remember guy uses magic remote to win spaghetti eating contest actually came up with the answer: Around the Twist. I thought it was Canadian, but it is Australian. Why was it playing in Michigan? I will never know.

  • ACTUAL AMERICAN TELEVISION 
  1. POWER RANGERS- I loved the Power Rangers. I made sure I came home every day in time to watch my line-up of 4 1/2 hrs of television- IT WAS NO JOKE. No one disturbed me during this time, it was just me, my family’s tacky 90’s couch with velvet pillows, and a glass of extra salty buttermilk (I’m as clueless on that one as you are). The most concerning aspect of this memory is not that I liked a violent children’s t.v show, that I watered down my buttermilk and put alarming amounts of salt in it, or that I used to watch 4 1/2 hours of television a day as a 6 year old, but that I would pretend I was Divatox. As I watched Power Rangers I literally would take on the role of Divatox in my mind and  I would become her. I would drink my buttermilk like she would have, I would practice the Divatox laugh, I felt evil, and I enjoyed it as a natural part of my day. At the time it was a lot of fun and my family never really questioned me, bless them. I guess it was just the actress in me.
  2. BARNEY- No explanation needed. This show was amazing. I even remember a poignant moment in first grade when I got the “troublemaker/bad ass” of the class to admit to me that Barney was cool and that we both had a mutual love for the music bro! To prove that this kid was indeed the “troublemaker/badass” I’ll have you know that he killed some of our class butterflies and always made people cry. What a troublemaker and badass. The one aspect of Barney that comes back to haunt me is that (I think) I recognize when current actors were  kids on Barney. IMDB doesn’t back me up on this but I swear Tina Majorino was on Barney. Apparently Selena and Demi were on Barney though??

So all I can really glean from this analysis is that I liked salty buttermilk and spaghetti? So I’ll skip the buttermilk for now and make a grown up version of Around the Twist spaghetti: Spaghetti with Spicy Eggplant.

Serves 6

  • 2 medium eggplants, with skins, 1 in cubes
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 c diced fresh tomatoes
  • 10 canned piquillo peppers OR 3 roasted bell beppers (skins and seeds removed, cut in 1/2″ strips)
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 2 c Salsa Rossa* OR canned tomato sauce
  • 1 c fresh basil leaves, cut in strips
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • shaved Parmigiano
  1. Cover eggplant with salt so it can dehydrate, leave in a colander for an hour
  2. When dehydrated, heat 1/4 c olive oil in skillet and crisp eggplant pieces, one layer at a time, one side at a time. They should be crispy and delectable.
  3. In wide pot, heat 1/4 c olive oil, add diced tomates and peppers, cook on high, stirring 3 min. Lower heat, add garlic, cook 2 min. Add eggplant, Salsa Rossa, cook, stir gently, add basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley.
  4. In a large pot, boil pasta till done. Reserve some water just in case it’s needed later. Add pasta to the sauce and add water if too dry. Top with shaved Parmigiano.

*Salsa Rossa

  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb very ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt/pepper

You have to make this ahead of time if you want to use it. (Use it, it’s so much better!)

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet, add tomates, garlic, red pepper flakes, saute until tomatoes are soft.
  2. Stir in basil, add salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Puree or leave chunky.
This recipe is from Best of the Best Vol 11 and more specifically Cristina’s Tuscan Table– Cristina Ceccatelli Cook
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GRADUATION

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As graduation nears I find myself feeling a tumult of emotions:

  • Elation- Finally I will have a summer free of classes, free in the truest sense. FREE! My current denial of grad school also has given me a peace of mind I have never known before.
  • Weariness- Knowing I must find a job of some sort. Knowing that the search will be long and hard and imagining the amount of positive thinking and effort I will need to put in will be enormous.
  • Hope- That I am finally going to be an adult. Not just a kid pretending to be an adult whose parents’ still pay for everything, but an adult who will finally be able to be proud of her possessions and accomplishments because she did them all by herself (well, with a little help, just a little).
  • Sadness- That I will be leaving my friends. My best friends that I have made over these 4 amazing years. My roommates are amazing and I know that I won’t have times like these again! These will be the years that we will always miss. We might move away and be unable to see one another for years! It will be very strange.
My good friend, KB, graduated a semester early. At the time, I didn’t even realize all these emotions would be running through me as my graduation approached. To me it was just a bummer that my friend was leaving before us (“You better come back for Little 5! PROMISE?!”) Now I feel her pain/joy. AND it was her birthday AND it was Christmas. WHAT A CLUSTERF***. So to celebrate her birthday/graduation/the holidays I made her these cupcakes. I have been too busy this semester and my cooking buddy, Kristy, also graduated early, so it’s tough to cook yourself and take the pictures. Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! I hope she enjoyed them!
MoMo


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