Friday, September 25, 2015

Eggplant Rollatini


Eggplant Flower 
The eggplant is from the Solanceae family of plants, meaning it is related to Tomatoes and Potatoes as well as Tobacco and the group of flowering plants known as the Nightshades. Fun fact: Technically it is a berry, because the fruit contains so many small, soft seeds. Those seeds tend to have a very bitter taste which is because, as a relative of tobacco, they contain small amounts of nicotine. But don't worry, the nicotine content of 20 lbs of eggplants is about the same as that of one cigarette.
Eggplants in our Garden


We've grown 3 types of eggplants this year, Italian Black Beauty, Patio Baby, and Japanese Ichiban Eggplants. And lucky for us we've had a bumper crop. They are a family favorite veggie and so very versatile. My introduction to eggplant was my Mom's Eggplant Parmesan. She makes a great tasty, hearty, never bitter, Eggplant Parmesan...Kishore loved it the minute he tried it. He was surprised it was eggplant because he was use to the smaller egg shaped Indian eggplants.


I like to try to use as much of our garden produce in a single meal as possible, and Eggplant Rollatini seemed the way to go. It used Eggplant, Garlic, Swiss Chard, Basil, Tomatoes,  Marjoram, and Oregano. The herby cheese and chard mix is stuffed in grilled eggplant, then baked in a tasty marinara sauce and topped with some toasted mozzarella. This tasty Eggplant Rollatini is a great hearty meal as we transition from Summer to Autumn.

Here is my recipe for Eggplant Rollatini with Swiss Chard stuffing:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from September 15th - September 22th, this time travels with the letter "D".

"D" is for Deira, Dubai, UAE. 

Specifically the Covered Dubai Spice Souk or the Old Souk, which is a traditional market located in an area of Dubai called Deira - Al Ras. You can get to it via Wooden Water Taxi (Abra) on Dubai Creek, Stop 20, Deira Old Souq. As you get closer to the cooler, darkened, wooden carved entrance the mixed warm enticing aromas of fragrances and spices hits you. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you are greeted to piles of dried spices, herbs,  fruits, flowers, and resins; and eager shop owners encouraging you to check out their many wares. 
Store stalls in the Spice Souk sell a wide variety of fragrances, resins, and spices used in Arabic and South Asian food; from Frankincense and Shisha to Salab and Lemon Omani. In addition to herbs and spices; household goods such as textiles, incense, rugs and handicrafts are also sold. In recent years, the number of stores trading spices in the Souk have been reduced due to larger supermarkets.

Overall we had a wonderful time exploring the Souk and came home with a great experience and some lovely spices and  resins. I would highly recommend going to visit if you have the chance.

Two things to be aware of:
  • Most of the trading occurs through bargaining. Be prepared and don't feel bad about doing it, the only things I would not suggest bargaining about are food and religious materials. For example you know something is worth $5, but the shopkeeper wants $10, you say you'll pay $3. When he says no, you ask him how much...
    • He says, "Lowest, $7."  You say, "No, $4." 
    • He says, "No, $7. I have children to feed."  You say, "Never mind I'm leaving."
    • He says, "Ok, ok how about $6?"  You say, "$5 and we have a deal." 
    • He says, "Ok, $5?"  You say, "Thank you." (Making sure to take only that much cash to pay!)
  • Know your spices and know your prices!!! One lady thought she was getting a great deal buying a special 'exotic variety of Filipino Saffron' called "Kasubha", in reality she was about to buy a load of fake saffron called safflower. It looks similar when dry in the package, but smells and tastes different and doesn't cost anywhere near the price of real Saffron. In the US, 6 oz of Kasha costs $24; while Real Saffron costs $45 for 1/2 oz!!!

Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates





















You can read more about our trip here: Our Travels - Dubai.

For more Letter "D" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "E"!

TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Sunday, September 13, 2015

3 year Blog Anniversary!!!

September is my 3 year Blog Anniversary!!! 


I know most bloggers celebrate their first but I didn't feel comfortable doing that. Besides I read the statistics, most blogs don't last past the 1-2 year mark so I was afraid of celebrating too soon.

Besides 3 is suppose to be a magic number...
To quote Schoolhouse Rock...
"Yes it is, it's a magic number. Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number. 
The past and the present and the future,
Faith and hope and charity, The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three. That's a magic number."

 In the last few years I've learned a lot of things, and connected with some really interesting people. The blogosphere can be uplifting and cruel at the same time. I have met some lovely and interesting people, and others whose goal in life is to bully and troll; no different then the real world. 
I want to sincerely thank all those Readers, Commenters, and Sharers, who have encouraged me via their visits, likes, comments, shares, etc.

And to keep in the spirit of three I wanted to list 3 things the past, the present, and the future:

1. What I've learned - 
  • Blogging has made it abundantly clear that I do not fit into any one prescribed box. I have a wide array of ever growing interests; I am not only one thing and my blog reflects that. I hope that I can encourage more people to look outside these boxes, and experiment and try new things. 
2. Where I am now - 
  • I'm having fun sharing gardening tips, recipes, how-to's, and travel stories and photos. I have big plans to revamp the blog but I've been implementing them slowly. Next month, I will start a monthly linkup which I hope you all will join. 
3. Where the future takes us -
  • Hopefully it will take us full steam ahead! But regarding specifics I leave you with the words of George Harrison, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." And I'm truly looking forward to the adventure!

Thanks Again Everyone and I'm looking forward to celebrating more anniversaries down the line! :)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In My Kitchen - September 2015


It's time for another round of the very cool monthly happening called "In My Kitchen" run by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I can't believe it's already been over a year since joining in the fun!

So here we go....

This Month in my Kitchen...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...