The Best Eggplant Dish I’ve Ever Made

Those may or may not have been Nick’s words.  Either way, he liked it!  Which is a far cry from the time I asked him to grab eggplant, pasta sauce, cheese, and bread crumbs (for eggplant parmesan) from the store, and he conveniently forgot to get the eggplant.

Sunday morning was our weekly-ish pilgrimage to Costco.  We live 2 minutes from the store, but must be gluttons for punishment.  We always go on the weekend.  When we’re hungry.  Without a list.

We headed to Costco with 3 things on our mental list: eggs, a chicken, and broccoli.  That’s it.  We only have to feed ourselves for a few days this week, so the list was light.

Naturally we walked away with: eggs, a chicken, broccoli, raspberries, avocados, snapea crisps, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes and eggplant.

Don’t. Go. To. Costco. Hungry.

But this leads me to today’s post.  The tomatoes and eggplant.  It just sounded good.  Which is totally random.  But trust me, it’s probably the “meatiest” vegetarian dish I’ve ever made.  We ate it as a veggie side, but it would also be good as a sauce.

Here goes!


2lbs tomatoes (I like the campari)
4 medium sized eggplants (Costco sells a bag with 4, that’s what I used)
5 garlic gloves, crushed
1/2 cup diced onions
3 Tbs olive oil
5 or so leaves of basil

1.  Dice the eggplants (0.5-1″ cubes), salt (1-2Tbs) and let sit in a colander for at least 1 hr (fill a slightly smaller bowl with water or cans or anything heavy, and put it over the eggplant to help get even more liquid out)
2.  Dice the tomatoes and scoop out as much of the “guts” as you can, lightly salt (1tsp) and let sit in a colanger to drain
3.  When you’re ready to make the dish, rinse the eggplant well.  Then pat/squash dry with paper towels.  4.  Combine tomatoes, eggplant, garlic and 2 tbs of oil.  Layout on a jelly roll pan.  Bake at 375 for 40 min.  Toss half way through.
5.  Saute onions and remaining olive oil.  Combine with roasted tomato/eggplant.
6.  Serve with thinly sliced basil as garnish


It’s decidedly less exciting than 30.  There’s no bigger fuss than going from a -9 to a -0!

But it’s still fun because it’s the number of flavors at Baskin and Robbins – literally the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the number 31.

It’s been a crazy year to say the least, but I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1. If you can spend 5+ weeks traveling in Asia with your hubs and return home still enjoying each others company, you chose your partner well.

2.  Read the dimension description before buying something on Amazon.  I have bought 3 different items on amazon and they all showed up much bigger than I realized they would be.  Or, maybe amazon should force people to hold a dollar bill or a yard stick in all the pictures to show scale.  Or maybe I should read things more carefully.

3.  You can never have too many stamps.

4.  Don’t underestimate the power of a starbucks card and a hand written note.

5.  If you wait too long to wash your (black) car, and then you wash it, you won’t be able to find it in a parking lot (true story).  Moral of the story?  Never wash your car.  Ever.

6.  Gymnastics at 30 is just as much fun as gymnastics at 6.  But the soreness factor increases with age.

7.  Flying business class is amazing.

8.  I still like gluten.  And that’s fine.  I especially like it in bread, pasta and cake form.

9.  Max out the memory on your computer/laptop.  Just do it.  You’ll regret it if you don’t.

10.  You can get awesome bonuses with credit cards (just remember to pay them off on time – the bonus isn’t worth it if you carry a balance).

11.  Sometimes 2 pieces of cake sounds like a good idea.  Sometimes it isn’t.  For me, it usually isn’t.

I came home to a red velvet cake, 1 day early.  Nick said it was for the surprise factor.  No one expects cake the day BEFORE their birthday.  He got me.  And yes, it was delicious.  I may have had 2 slices :)


So…..when I was little, I wanted to be Mary Lou Retton, the famous Olympic gymnast (yeah, I probably just dated myself).  I took gymnastics for a few years, but switched to ballet before 2nd grade.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker casually mentioned she was taking an “Acro” class in town.  Intrigued, I had her explain a bit more.  As far as I can tell, acro is the floor portion of gymnastics.  No beams, bars or vaults.  Just tumbling and stretching.

Since the first class was free, and I’m always looking for a new work out, I took it for a spin last Wednesday.

We started out with some stretches and a few pushups/situps.  No biggy.

Then we quickly transitioned to left/right/middle splits……

Then it was onto handstands.

Then tuck and rolls.

Then handstands into tuck and rolls.

Then backward rolls.

Then cartwheels.

I’m totally serious…..

Then roundoffs.

Goodness.  It got serious real fast.

And then the couch announces, “Anyone practicing roundoff back-hand-springs, stay here.  Anyone practicing front-hand-springs, over there.”  I literally had no idea what to do.  I can’t do either……I had to ask, “so….which one is easier?”  Front-hand-springs it was!

To their credit, we moved slowly and used lots of soft cushions to land on.  I never landed on my feet, but that’s totally cool.  We even through in a few front tucks (I landed all on my rear).

Then it was the ab workout from hell.  2 days later, I still couldn’t situp without an assist.

I literally hurt from my nose to my toes.  The muscles in my neck were tight, my shoulders, abs, and legs were tired and I think my big toe got a little stubbed at some point.  As of Sunday night, I was close to 80%.

But it was super fun and I hope to be back soon! (Mom is still concerned I’ll get hurt :) )

Happy Monday!

Dear Sad, Sad A’s Fans,

I know you’re really upset that Yoenis Cespedes got traded to the Red Sox.  But let me tell you why I think it’s going to be just fine.

You see, I’m a Mariners fan.  And it’s tough to be a Mariner’s fan.

In 1998 we lost Randy Johnson.  Our 6’10″ pitcher who would go on to gain fame as a pigeon annihilation machine.

After the 1999 season we lost Griffey.  Griffey.  It’s not even fair how sad we were. And in 2000 we lost A-rod.  We were sad at the time, but in hindsight, it was probably for the best.

Then in 2001, we had the most glorious season.  116 mother effing wins.  116 (let’s ignore that it was Ichiro’s rookie season).

116 wins Did we win a world series.  Of course not, we’re Seattle.  But it was magical.  At the beginning of the season, I could barely name a single player (possibly because I wasn’t paying as much attention….but I digress).  By the end, I loved them all.  Next to 1995, it was probably one of the greatest Mariners seasons I had ever witnessed (which is totally sad that the 2 best seasons happened over a decade ago).

So what am I getting at?  We lost a few really good players.  Griffey, Randy and A-rod.  By all accounts, 2001 should have sucked.  But it didn’t.

So yeah, be upset you lost Cespedes.  But I think it means good things for your A’s.  And if the Mariner’s aren’t going to the World Series, you bet I’m rooting for the A’s.

Happy Friday!


Real quick

Because I’m still catching up from an awesome/fun/busy weekend!

Spent half of last week in Albuquerque.

Came home early because my madre was in town to visit and see Derek and Julianne Hough perform :)

We had some friends over for a fancy dinner (prime rib!), and cake.

Shot an awesome wedding in town.

Made bread so we could make french dip sandwiches with our leftover roast.

And took a lovely walk with nick, moch, and my mom.

This week should be far less exciting by comparison.  At least, I sure hope it is!

Happy Monday!

Postcards from Highway 1

We decided to take the long way back from San Luis Obispo a few weeks ago.  Normally not my style, but we were driving back on a Friday, which meant I still had the whole weekend to relax.  Here are a few of the highlights.

Elephant seals.  It’s like a zoo, only better.

The Mcway Waterfall at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  This was actually someone’s view.  From their home.  The owner, Helen Hooper Brown, was a shovel heiress.  Who knew?

2014-Hwy1-0009 2014-Hwy1-0019 And a stop at the Bixby Bridge.  Totally a thing.

2014-Hwy1-0031 And a very un-bryn-like impromptu stop at a random beach in Carmel.  I can be spontaneous when I want to be.

Cauliflower Breakfast Pizza

I made this “breakfast” pizza over the weekend – it’s really just a pizza with an egg on it :)   A few friends asked for the recipe so I thought I’d post it.

A word about cauliflower pizza – it’s kind of a little biatch.  Sometimes it works great and sometimes it’s a little soft.  But I’ve tried to optimize the recipe for best results, so here it goes!

Pizza crust Ingredients (makes 2 large pizzas or 4 mini pizzas)

1 large head of cauliflower
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup shredded, low moisture, mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
2 eggs
2 large garlic cloves

1.  Put the cauliflower through a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater).  This should yield roughly 4 cups of  cauliflower bits.

2.  Divide the cauliflower into 2 microwaveable safe bowls.  Microwave the cauliflower bits for 8-10 minutes.  The longer the better.  Your goal is to remove the moisture.  I’ve also had really good luck baking the cauliflower on a jelly roll pan (I convect at 350, but others have baked at 350 and had good results).  Probably 15-20 minutes – just dry it out.  If you don’t do this, there is no chance your pizza will turn out….just saying.

3.  Drain and rinse the can of garbanzo beans and put it through the food processor.  Your goal is to get a mashed up ball of garbanzo beans – like a ball of garbanzo dough.

4.  Combine the garbanzo beans and cauliflower with the eggs, cheese and garlic.

Breakfast Pizza Ingredients (for 2)

Enough dough for 2 personal size pizzas, roughly 3/4-1 cup per pizza
Pizza sauce (I used TJs)
Italian Sausage (or breakfast sausage)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella (I go light on the cheese, totally up to you)
Italian seasoning (I have one that has some red pepper flakes)
2 eggs

1.  I use a baking steel, but I imagine a pizza stone will also work.  Put it on the top rack and preheat to 490-500F.

2.  Make 2 small crusts on a piece of parchment.  5-6″ in diameter.  I make them pretty thin – as thin as possible.

3.  Bake for 4-5 min – you want it to start turning golden.  Remove it from the oven and put it on a towel or a cooling rack

4.  Add the sauce, sausage and cheese

5.  Bake for an additional 4 min

6.  Add 1 egg to each pizza and bake for an additional 4 min.  It’ll run a little off the edge, you just want to be sure the yolk stays on the pizza.

7.  Remove from the oven and add the tomato, basil and avocado.


This week and last

Look at me, blogging for the 2nd week in a row!

I had a quick trip to Albuquerque last week and ate at my new favorite restaurant, Farm and Table.  It seems very Portland in a not-so-very Portland city.  They grow a large amount of the produce in a farm behind the restaurant.  But it was unclear where the chickens grew up.

The weekend was filled with tasty treats and wonderful house guests.  We tried putting mini reeses in toasted marshmallows.  The boys preferred this to nutella.  I still prefer nutella.

And of course we had to try the new ice cream sandwich shop that opened downtown.  Free ice cream sandwiches to celebrate their grand opening.

It was a bit overwhelming to decide between the 10+ cookie flavors and 10+ ice cream flavors.  But we managed ok :)

And now it’s off to another week in Albuquerque.  Although it will give me a chance to investigate the Essie Nail Polish machine at Oakland Airport.

Happy Monday!

Campfire goodness

I’ve raved about my nutella smores before.  Replace the chocolate bar with nutella and BAM, instant awesome.  Well, a few weeks ago, while helping break in some friends’ new fire pit, I discovered my new campfire favorite.

Marshmallow + nutella.  Just leave out the graham!  The marshmallow actually caves in a tiny bit after you remove it from the stick.  Add a little nutella and you have the best campfire dessert ever.  You’re welcome.

The littlest entrepreneuer

On Sunday, as we were walking home from Starbucks, this little girl perked up as we rounded the corner.  She was selling bracelets for $2 or $1 (slightly confusing, but I went with it).  She was spending the weekend at her Grandma’s and had made a TON of rainbow bracelets.  I guess I’ve grown a soft spot for entrepreneurs, having both married one and become one.  So I found a few I liked and asked Nick what he thought.  He looks at me and says, “well, will you wear it?”  The man had a point.  On one hand, I knew this handmade rainbow bracelet would not be making its way into my jewelry rotation.  On the other hand, this little girl had really poor market placement (VERY minimal foot traffic) and I didn’t want her to get discouraged.  And it was $1.  Obviously, I ended up with a bracelet.  And Nick had to pay, because I’d left my wallet at home :)   But serious kudos to this girl for being awesome on a Sunday morning.  I hope she sold out!