Eggplant Enchiladas, Birdeye

Tuesday, January 29, 2013



Norris and Mary Anne Cruthirds, she was Cross County's 2012
Volunteer of the Year!!  I was proud to introduce her at the
annual chamber banquet.  Mary Anne was my right arm
when I wanted to start the Bill Thomas Memorial Golf
Tournament...she was the golf brains and I did the fundraising...
she's such a hard worker, generous with her time and is a
great volunteer leader.  She loves Cross County...
Congratulations Mary Anne!!!

Martino introduced the Cross County Citizen of the Year
after me, it was Richard Hartness, who did a great job
of organizing the Historical Society's 150th birthday
week for Cross County...it was a great turn out
 at the banquet! And the featured speaker was
 hilarious, it was Walt Coleman, he's an NFL
referee...he had us laughing all night long! :)
 Monday, January 28, 2013

Did anyone see Saturday Night Live with Adam Levine?  Oh lord, I was cracking up with the opening skit and then Adam with Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld.  Hahahaha!

Okay, well here's another Terry Conlan recipe from his first cookbook Lean Star Cuisine, Regional Lowfat Cookery from Lake Austin Spa Resort.

I made this with my substitutions and black beans, it was great and freezes well.  So here goes...and for the record I've been serving a ton of recipes out of Lidia Bastianich's Italian American Kitchen cookbook that I've had for years.  I want to get less Mexican and more Italian.  We'll see how it goes, it's only been a month.  But I think you'll get lots of compliments on this recipe or at least a "Gracias".

Eggplant Enchiladas with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Vegetable Cooking Spray (I actually used a little olive oil too, I know, I'm bad..)
1 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. chicken broth (I just warmed up the tortillas in the microwave so I didn't use this)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce (I forgot this)
6 C. peeled cubed eggplant (I large will do)
1 C. chopped green pepper (I used a poblano)
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms (I used drained canned, yes, I know it's not the same as fresh but it worked anyway)
2 T. chopped toasted almonds (definitely don't skip this...it's the secret ingredient in there, seriously! I toasted the almonds for 4 minutes on 450)
1 t. black pepper, I forgot this
1 C. grated low fat Monterrey Jack cheese (I used a cup of regular Colby jack)
1 T. minced parsley (I used cilantro)
12 whole wheat flour tortillas (I used corn, I've had this recipe both ways and they're good regardless)

Saute onion and garlic cook 5 minutes and then stir in eggplant, green pepper, mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook 10-12 minutes until eggplant is soft.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients but just 1/2 C. cheese (but the tortillas).

Simmer a small amount of the stock and dip tortillas in individually to each side to soften (I microwaved 3-4 corn tortillas on damp paper towels).  Place a small portion of the eggplant mix and roll tightly.  Pour part of the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa in a 8 X 11 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, then add the enchiladas.  Top with remaining salsa then the cheese and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

I served with black beans, a little chopped green onions, avocado slices and cilantro for garnish.  Yum I am telling you.  Now the salsa, you've seen it on this blog but here it comes again:

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa (with my substitutions)

2 tomatoes, charred (I only had one so I added a drained can of diced tomatoes into the blender and didn't char in the oven)
1 small onion, thickly sliced and charred
1 serrano pepper, halved, seeded and charred (I skipped this and it was fine)
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded (I didn't have this and used a poblano...and since I added the can of diced, it was still a red sauce, in the past just using 2 tomatoes and a poblano will produce a green salsa which is fine but it's a rough green, just saying)
3 cloves garlic (I used roasted garlic cloves from a hummus I made earlier in the week)
2 T. cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime (I used a whole lime)
1 t. ground cumin (this is key)

To char, add fresh tomatoes, onion, serrano and bell pepper on a non-stick baking sheet and broil on 500 degrees about 10 minutes (you'll smell them when's it's getting time to take them outta there).

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used a blender) and process till smooth.  Yield: 1 Cup

Enchiladas and salsa:  Per 12 servings: 168 calories, 5.4 grams fat (but I added regular cheese and an avocado slice, which is good for the heart but not so much the waist, so I'd up the ante if you're counting calories)
After church Sunday, Kara and I threw a birthday party
for Harmon and Jeanie, the kids put a million candles on
the Strawberry cake Chloe and I made...

I got August in this photo and look at crazy Stella....:)

There were about 20 candles on that cake....

So to the subject of this blog post....this is the cut up, peeled
eggplant with mushrooms and peppers
The recipe calls for dipping flour tortillas in chicken broth but
I always microwave 3-4 on damp paper towels

Oh boy, delicious I tell ya!

Junior Music Club, Wynne

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013


I got the youtube video of Chloe playing at Friday's Junior Music Club on here.  I thought ya'll would enjoy it!!

Petition to widen Hwy 163, East Arkansas

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just thought I'd share the petition that Martin and I started last Thursday to widen Hwy 163 from Levesque to Jonesboro (and back south on Hwy 64B to Wynne):

http://www.change.org/petitions/arkansas-state-highway-and-transportation-department-add-a-shoulder-to-hwy-163-at-levesque-ark-to-hwy-1-in-jonesboro?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_after_sign

Change.org asks for your address but don't be alarmed, you can unclick to not have any emails sent to you and they don't share your email or address btw.

The petition has very interesting comments and stories of near accidents, I think you'll find it meaningful.  Please be a supporter even if you don't leave a comment! :)

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup, Birdeye

Sunday, January 20, 2013

This picture doesn't do the recipe justice...it's so stinking
delicious and great as a left over soup that I'm enjoying tonight...

CoCo had a piano recital Friday after school...this is everyone
at Junior Music Club that had a Christmas present for the
gift exchange...they tried to count say 3 times and with all
the parents being out to lunch and everyone on their phones
they couldn't get the count after so many times so they had to line
everyone up on stage...cracks me up!!  Chloe played Rudolf the red
nosed reindeer and did a marvelous job...She's standing near the
grand piano...(they did delay the Christmas Junior Music
Recital because of a death in the family)

Thankfully people like Maggie Miller, a dear friend that's come
over since 4 years old..yes, pre kindergarten, came over
last night...they had a great time talking ALL NIGHT long
then sleeping in but we all went to church!  

And after church you gotta do some XBOX Just Dance 3...:)
Sunday, January 20, 2013

A giant shout out to my Memphis friend Kim Harwood (who traveled and helped show Tu Jague back in the day) who gave me this great roasted vegetable soup recipe on Wednesday.  Yep Kim, I was headed to the store and picked up a squash and bunch of kale and got this on the stove for a soup and sandwich Wednesday and it was perfection.  I love the heartiness of the soup and I didn't have a sandwich with my soup.  Here's out it goes from Simply Recipes on the web.

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

"A hearty winter soup recipe with kale, white beans and roasted carrots, butternut squash, tomatoes, onions and garlic"

3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered (I used the bunny ones already small and peeled about 1 cup)
2 large tomatoes quartered (I used cherry tomatoes left whole)
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces (I used a whole squash)
6 garlic cloves
1 T. olive oil
6 C or more vegetable broth (I used 5 C. chicken stock)
4 C finely chopped kale (I used 2 bunches, stems removed and chopping thin is key)
3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used 1 t. dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 can Great Northern Beans, drained (I think you can use chick peas, corn or even kidney beans)

(A tip, I realized a little late to cook the Kale while roasting the vegetables so it cuts your total time in the kitchen in half)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush rimmed baking sheet with olive oil (I sprayed with Pam to reduce calories).  Add all vegetables and drizzle with olive oil season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Roast about 45 minutes.  (I was in a hurry, so I roasted at 450 and had the carrots and squash in small enough pieces to cook faster)  Cool.

Cut squash and carrots into 1/2 inch pieces.  Peel garlic and place in food processor with the tomatoes and onions and process till smooth (I used a blender).  Pour 1/2 c. broth on baking sheet and transfer both broth and vegetable spray into a large pot adding the kale and 5 C. broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.  (Here is where I had the kale already going and added the food processor and sheet drippings at the end of cooking the kale)

Add the carrots, beans and squash and simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors adding more broth to thin soup if necessary and season with salt and pepper.  Discard bay leaf.  Can be made a day ahead and serves 6.  (because I used the whole squash and two bunches kale, I think it serves 8-10 and was EXCELLENT as leftover soup on Friday night....:))

I love this easy and low fat soup.  Can I say again how great Kale is for you?  Tell me what you think...

Victoria Collier Art Show, Wynne

Monday, January 14, 2013

The invitation...



I had some technical difficulties with my camera,
thankfully this one turned out of the upstairs 


Here's Tori talking with high school classmate
Keri Cook House.. a lot of her fellow
classmates rolled out to her show
I love this one....(I think it was sold)


This is one of Victoria's daughter Bella...
I love her fingers...:)


Another shot from upstairs...blurry I know...

Boy was it bright up there!!

This is one from the lobby...I like that this shot has part of
Victoria's portrait of her Great Dane Josie  (Libby is
standing next to it).  She was a really special dog.
Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Cross County Arts Council had a wonderful turn out for Victoria Collier Icke's art show at Jackie's newly renovated law office in Downtown Wynne this past Thursday evening.  The collection will be on display for a month, feel free to go by and take a look.  There's a list with prices on the pieces for sale.  About 3/4 of the collection is upstairs so don't neglect to get up there.  I believe she sold 4 pieces, she is really talented!! :)

Gingery Creamed Kale and Cabbage, Birdeye

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yes, it's that delicious I'm telling you....deliciousness!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thank goodness for recipes on the web.  I found this one at Food&Wine by Marcus Samuelson, one of my favorite Food Network Chopped judges.  This recipe is so stinking easy and delicious that everyone should and must try it.  I just bought some kale and cabbage yesterday and couldn't believe the prices, 76 cents for one bunch of Kale and 50 cents for a green cabbage.  Kale is so good for you!  It has tons and tons of vitamins, see here: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

So here's this super easy recipe by Marcus Samuelson

Gingery Creamed Kale and Cabbage

"To balance the heartier dishes on his menu, Marcus Sameulsson stirred ginger and tumeric into this vegetable side dish to give it a kick, then added cream and buttermilk to smooth and soften the spicy flavors.  This easy recipe can be made well ahead of time and would be fantastic with any kind of feast-including Thanksgiving."

Salt
3 lbs. kale, tough stems discarded
1/4 c. plus 2 T vegetable oil, I used 3 T olive oil, duh!! :)
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb. green cabbage, coarsely shredded
1-1/2 T. finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 t. turmeric, I think a tablespoon would work
2 C. heavy cream, I used 2 cups 2% duh!
1 C. buttermilk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt.  Add kale, cook till tender about 6 minutes, drain, cool and coarsely chop.
In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onion of medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the cabbage, ginger and turmeric and season with salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until the cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Add the cream, cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until the cream (or milk) has thickened.  Stir in the kale and season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times.  Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk.  Bring to a simmer and serve (I let it get to hot and it curdled but it was still delicious.  So don't walk away at the end of the dish).

Make ahead:  The kale can be refrigerated overnight.  Reheat it gently and stir in the buttermilk shortly before serving.

RIP Zipper...somehow he got out with the dogs
unattended for an hour and was found
dead in the yard Friday when we got back
from my step-mother's funeral in Blackburn,OK.
Chloe cried big time all the way home from Searcy
when we got the dreaded call....
It's been a very, very tough week.  We don't
know if it was an owl, big tomcat we saw in
the yard or our beloved dogs....he will be missed.
oh the tears dang it :(.....I missed my favorite
race in all the land, the 8 mile hill and dale because
I couldn't leave Chloe alone...and I missed our
annual Smith Staycation that night at Alexis' house....
I peeled myself out of bed Sunday for church,
I'm so glad I went but I was not short of tears...
This is super easy and low fat the way I made it.  And for the record, it reheats beautifully and tastes great.  I don't blog much about my love of leftovers, this one is a great example of reheating vegetables! :)

My 2012 lists...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The beauty of Chloe and Zoe is they always pick up where
they leave off... both 6th graders and have been BFF's for
 a long time...

Thank goodness Vandy beat the NC State Wolfpack...
what's a wolfpack anyway?

Oh the Vanderbilt group and kiddos....since we've been following
Vanderbilt post season they're 2-1

Jackie got us tickets to the tailgate but didn't tell
CoCo and I what time it started (which was 8) so
I let the crew sleep in while I went on a run and we
didn't show up for the $30 charge per person until
10 am....gotta love it when the game started at 11..:)
January 1, 2013...yes 2013!!!!!!

We had a great time with Harmon and Jeanie and Martin and Kara today enjoying my annual Hopping John and watching football.  Because of Joy, we added cabbage for "fortune".  I found a recipe for kale and cabbage and it was mighty fine! I'll share the recipe soon.

I've been jotting down things that have happened this year that are hilarious, sad and just amazing.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing my lists!  What's on your list?  I know I've left something out...

Best
-Chloe asking for a tape recorder again from Santa Claus
-Our biking trip to Colorado this summer when we drove to Glennwood Springs, Co and rode our bikes to Aspen along the Rio Grande Trail for 4 days with only backpacks
-Teaching Chloe how to do a cartwheel...yep in 5th grade
-I learned how to swim total immersion style, not very well and in 4 lessons...
-I'm hooked on flea markets because of Joy Shepherd
-Chloe and I have fostered and found homes for 5 Birdeye Strays this year (Jimmy, Junior, Magic, Oreo and Tuesday) all thanks to PAWS of Marion http://www.pawsofmarion.blogspot.com/ who found them forever homes in the Northeast!  And now we have Second Chance ready for a home...
-Chloe helping Stella pee in a sonic cup while in the car when Kara ran into Wal-mart
-How wonderful all the local businesses are about supporting the Midsouth Kids Marathon and Kids Triathlon
-Watching Chopped or Restaurant Impossible with Chloe
-Seeing the garden grow every day...the kale, spinach and garlic are gettin ready this winter
-Kara and I competed in our first Cylcocross competitions...we carried a conversation for the first leg of both races!

Funniest
-I served a salad from my garden that really had turnip green leaves in it, no wonder it was so bitter!
-New York Times review of Guy Fieti's Times Square Restaurant, funniest.honest.direct.best.ever...
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?_r=0
-The Brooklyn cab driver that had to drive Jackie and I home after Mark Bechtel's wedding in May, poor thing
-Chloe's letter to Santa that read, "I have one question for you.  Are you real?  A few years ago I left you a letter and you wrote back and the penmanship was just like my dad's.  Anyways, I want an Iphone5 and a bike with a trailer on it so I can pull Biscuit and Gumball with me."
-Duck Dynasty.OMG.hilarious....and....you fill in the blank...

Worst
-Losing so many family members and friends: Wilma Tolle, Anne Quessenberry, Ann Matthews and Julia Gardner...and many other church family members
-I forgot to thank a friend's business in the local paper for helping with the kids marathon
-The Chew is the worst show on TV ever, I mean...ever.
-The Electronic Merchant company at work that keeps calling me back and won't leave me alone
-R Kelly's song Trapped in the Closet is the worst song ever written and worst music video ever made
-I killed a deer with my car
-My wedding rings got stolen
-Jackie's bike got stolen
-Chloe got bit by a brown recluse spider
-I think we're done for 2012

Unbelievable
-There was an earthquake in Birdeye on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 7:40 am...I couldn't believe the sound!
-Chloe asking,"How could there really be a Santa Claus?"
-The Arkansas Razorbacks were 4-8 in football after playing in the 2011 Cotton Bowl and 2010 Sugar Bowl
-What is Gangdum Style and who is that Korean guy?
-I just found out what Pop Culture means because of Jackie
-Jackie and I survived 2 triathlons, 2 cyclocross races, 1 half marathon, two 10 k's, 2 5k's and Chloe did 2 kids marathons, 1 triathlon and two 5K's!
-Chloe's letters from camp, 4 in a row begging me to come and get her because she couldn't eat or sleep without crying and when I picked her up she said it was the best week of her life!
-Doing research before taking Biscuit to Chloe's 6th grade science class, I found out that an unspayed female cat can produce 4,500,000 offspring...that's not a typo 4.5 million and a cat spay and a rabies shot is a mere $78
-Death of Whitney Houston at 49, yes, I love The Bodyguard.
-Hurricane Sandy's devastation, killing 253 people and costing 65 billion dollars in damage (or is this an estimate?)
-The 9/11 Memorial in NYC is well done and worth making a reservation to see

Things I'm thankful for:
-Our Health, something I don't want to take for granted
-I'm so thankful to have Jackie and Chloe
-Memaw and Grandad and MeMe and Matt
-Great friends who listen, encourage and are always there
-Our jobs, I'm so thankful to have a job I love
-A roof over our heads when others don't
-A great church, I was raised Baptist but the Wynne Presbyterian Church not only has welcomed me and watched over our gift of Chloe, but they do great things in the community like supporting the Good Shepherd Center and members of the congregation with deaths and births and we fed the Wynne High School football team before a game, that was amazing to feed 90 people in September!
-Ryan Lawson's restaurant recommendations in NYC, on my 4th trip to the city with his suggestions, he proved again that his palate is right on
-Laughter, it's a must and is healing
-Forgiveness, it's an amazing gift.  It is....

If I've left something out, please leave it on here! :)