Tag Archives: Italian

Anytime I can incorporate my lil’ monkey into helping with a recipe I jump at the chance. I loved that this bread incorporated dyed eggs, because it gave me an excuse to dye eggs with my daughter. We are running off to St. Louis for Easter to visit family, so no long post with this pretty loaf of bread. Just the point to remember to spend time with your loved ones and do something special. Dying Easter eggs was always a special memory of mine when I was little and I loved sharing it with my daughter now. Happy Easter!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Italian Easter Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c.all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2/3 c. milk
2 T. butter
2 eggs 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
2 T. butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk

GUIDANCE
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.

Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Mix powdered sugar with milk and pour over warmed bread and ENJOY!









eggplant4

Beauty is all around us. Sometimes I think that I often see more beauty in the fall because it is my favorite season. The temperatures are epic, the leaves are gorgeous, and I can wear boots and sweaters all day, every day. Unfortunately, fall in North Dakota gets cut short sometimes. I could literally live in the autumnal season year round, is there a place like that that exists?

I think this concept is fitting to focus on today because it is COLD here in North Dakota today. Winter has definitely arrived on our doorstep (unannounced as usual) as I saw snowflakes fall to the ground this morning.

Beauty came to mind with this recipe because I pondered for many days about what to make with these beautiful Japanese eggplants that my mother in-law grew in her garden and gifted to me. The punch of purple was so vibrant, especially paired with my favorite Jadeite dishes. I wanted to make something that was equally as beautiful on the plate.

The only thing that I have ever heard of involving eggplant was eggplant parmesan. This eggplant recipe incorporates some elements of Italian cuisine, but harnesses the simple beauty of the eggplant. The recipe reminds me of fried green tomatoes, which is ironic because Japanese eggplant resides in the same family of the tomato because it is in that group of produce that is prepared as a vegetable, but actually is a fruit.

In the end, these crispy slices of eggplant turned out really beautiful. The grape seed oil added a unique flavor and the panko added just the right amount of crunch. Marinara and basil finish off the dish to conceptualize the true picture of beauty.

It is said that food is the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes. I would have to disagree with this quote because I see so much more beauty in the world that can truly satisfy the soul in different ways. Learning to be more mindful in your every day endeavors can help uncover beauty in places you would never expect. What beauty did you see today?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Fried Japanese Eggplant 

INGREDIENTS
4 Japanese Eggplant
½ c. grape seed oil
2 eggs
1/4 c. flour
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Marinara
Parmesan cheese 
Basil to garnish

GUIDANCE
Slice the eggplant into 1/8 inch slices. Prepare plates for batter by beating eggs on one plate, flour on one plate, and panko on the last plate. Heat grape seed oil over medium heat. Test heat by dropping batter into oil, when it bubbles to the top, oil is ready. Fry eggplant medallions for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer eggplant medallions to a plate with paper towels to drain excess oil. Top each eggplant slice with marinara and garnish with basil.

eggplant5

eggplant6

eggplant8

eggplant9

eggplant11

eggplant13

eggplant14

eggplant15

eggplant3