Eggplant Bacon, Tomato Pizza Rolls/Pizza, and Zucchini Patties…made with love by the Cookie Mama.

Hello all.  I hope everyone’s had a great September so far.  We have been busy busy busy.  The kids are into their second week of school, and so far everything is going well.  Getting up early for school has been a rough transition, but hopefully within a few more weeks we will be right back on schedule.  I have been busy in the kitchen too.  Our neighbors brought us more veggies…you know what that means!   It means that I can do a bit more experimenting, and indeed I have.  First, I mentioned in the last blog that I was making eggplant bacon.  Yep…bacon made from eggplant.  I got the recipe from one of my raw cookbooks titled “Everyday Raw,” by Matthew Kenney.  I’ve had the book for about a year, but have only used it a few times.  The issue with a lot of the raw recipes is that they are very time sensitive.  For example, to make one of my favorite raw recipes “not tuna pate,” I need to soak sunflower seeds and almonds for 6-12 hours respectively.  So if I want to have “not tuna pate” for lunch today, I better have started soaking the seeds and nuts yesterday.  Most often when I get a craving for my favorite raw recipes, I either don’t have enough time allotted for the recipe, or inevitably I am missing one or two ingredients.  This was totally the case with the eggplant bacon.  The recipe required a dried chipolte chile.  I never have those in my pantry, so I picked one up specifically. Additionally, to make a lot of raw recipes, you need a food dehydrator.  Fortunately I have one, so after I picked up the chile I had all the ingredients and all the equipment required.  I followed the recipe, and then put the eggplant in the dehydrator.  The result??  A mixed bag.  Ryan wouldn’t even try it of course.  Victoria and I thought it was “just okay.”  Dan really liked it, and said that “…it was very interesting…kind of like a vegetarian ‘slim Jim’.”  I really wanted to try this recipe as I am attempting to limit the amount of soy we consume.  There is very confusing and contradictory info out there about soy, so I decided to err in the way of caution and just try to limit the amount we consume.  That said, I did make two boxes of the “Morning Star Farms Veggie Strips” last night for dinner, and as of this morning it is totally gone.  We love that stuff…especially the kids.  Anyway, I am glad I tried the recipe.  Next time I may decrease the amount of dried chile I use, and add a bit more maple syrup.  Here is the link to the  recipe:http://blog.wewantraw.com/2009/10/06/raw-blt-recipe.aspx

In addition to experimenting with eggplant, I have utilized a TON of tomatoes in the last few days.  To be honest I cannot get enough of tomato and basil.  Throw in a bit of garlic and olive oil and I am in heaven!  For starters, I made tomato pizza rolls.  I read about these in the August issue of my Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I knew immediately upon seeing the picture of these tomato pizza rolls, that I had to make them.  I had a bit of trouble with the recipe though.  First, I think there was way too much moisture in the tomatoes.  I considered draining the excess liquid, but I am admitted “recipe follower”, and the recipe didn’t indicate to do so.  I really do need to recognize that for as long as I have been cooking, I have learned quite a few things.  I need to resist the urge to “follow the rules”, and instead “go with my gut.”  Anyway, the tomato mixture was too “liquidy,” and therefore my pizza rolls sort of fell apart and never baked up properly.  Next time I make these, I will definitely drain the excess liquid. I am happy to report, that despite the sloppy appearance, these tomato pizza rolls were DELICIOUS!!!!  We liked them so much in fact, that I used the same sort of tomato filling and made a pizza too!  I did cut a corner though.  I had been at Trader Joe’s and whilst shopping for cheese, I spied some garlic herb pizza dough.  (HA!  I used one of my favorite British words ever…whilst!!)  I’ve never tried TJ’s pizza dough before, but I’d heard it was pretty good.  I decided to pick it up, and save myself the trouble of making the dough from scratch.  The pizza dough was amazing.  To be fair, the recipe is great on its own, but the garlic herb pizza dough made it even better.  Here is a link to the recipe for the tomato pizza rolls: http://iheartthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/07/tomato-pizza-rolls.html In addition to using TJ’s pizza dough, I made a couple of substitutions.  I omitted the prosciutto as we are vegetarians.  Also, I didn’t have any lemons, so I omitted the lemon peel.  Lastly, I used regular tomatoes as I didn’t have cherry tomatoes.

My last culinary adventure for the week involved zucchini.  I love love love zucchini, and I cook with it often.  This week, I decided to make zucchini patties. I got this recipe from our friend Michelle Oke.  She was kind enough to share the recipe with me a number of years ago.  I love this recipe, but it had been a few years since I last made it. I decided to make these patties again, and I am super glad that I did…YUM!  I suppose you could serve these on a bun, but we ate them all by themselves.  You could dip them in ranch or sour cream, but honestly they are good all on their own.  Here is a recipe that is similar to the one that I used:  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1581304

The “Raptors” in a post-game huddle!

In addition to the “back to school” schedule we are trying to assimilate to, we are keeping  busy with all sorts of activities too.  Soccer is in full swing,  and Ryan had his first game last Monday.  They lost unfortunately, but played a great game.  They were down by three goals at one point, but battled back to tie the game.  Then with only a few minutes left in the match, the opposing team scored a lucky goal.  Ryan had a great game, and I am super excited to watch him play again on Saturday.  GO RAPTORS!!!!!!  Also, Victoria is eagerly anticipating her involvement with Student Council.  She had her first meeting yesterday, and literally bounced to the car with excitement and enthusiasm.  She gushed about the upcoming “spirit days” at school, and jotted down all her ideas for dance themes and activities to take to the next meeting!  She is a girl after my own heart.  In addition to all the school stuff, we have been bike riding a lot.  It is the first time in our little family’s history that all of us possess a bike that we actually know how to ride!  I love our rides together, and only wish we could have enjoyed more ride time earlier in the summer.  Oh well…next year right?

I hope you try the recipes, and like them as much as we did.  Take care and enjoy this beautiful weather!   Enjoy ♥

We pulled our bikes over to enjoy this lovely sunflower field for a few minutes.☺

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About THE cookie mama

I am not professionally trained in any way shape or form, BUT I come from a long line of really great cooks. I learned mostly by watching my parents and grandparents, and then replicating what they did. I love love love to cook and bake, and I love to share what I make with "my people."
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