March 21st, 2016
It has been a while since I have posted a recipe for Meatless Monday. This is a “global movement, created in 2003 by Sid Lerner in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health”. It is a way to eat just one day a week free of meat….go vegetarian for just that one day will help in our overall health. For more information, and recipes, as well, please visit http://www.meatlessmonday.com.
I had a couple of good size eggplants and decided that today, being Monday, I would use them to make Eggplant Parm. I have made this dish so many times, and every time I either add something or delete something. I always make recipes my own. So should you, it is fun to experiment.
2 medium to large eggplants
Oil for frying
Italian Breadcrumbs (If manking it gluten free, please make sure you buy some of the many available breadcrumbs that are gluten free.)
Spaghetti Sauce (I tried Mia’s Kitchen Bistro Marinara from Safeway and it is all natural and gluten free, made in Sonoma, California.)
Mozzarella Cheese (I used the already shredded cheese, but you can shred your own if you are eating gluten free. Make sure to read the labels.
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese. I grated it myself, which is great if you are eating gluten free. The packaged cheeses already grated might have an additive that contains gluten.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Slightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Put about a cup of the spaghetti sauce and spread.
Cut the eggplant in round slices. I do not peel the eggplant. I think the skin looks great and it is where your vitamins are, as well.
In a shallow bowl cracked the eggs and mix. In a plate put the Italian breadcrumbs.
In a large frying pan put enough vegetable oil in order to fry the eggplant. It does not have to be too deep.
Dip the eggplants in the eggs and then dip in the Italian breadcrumbs.
Fry them until lightly brown. I usually get them out and let them sit on paper towels, but you can just transfer them directly to the prepared baking dish, as well.
Arrange them on the baking dish as you wish. You will be making two layers.
Spread spaghetti sauce on them and also half of the mozzarella. Repeat the process and at this point you will also sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle some Basil for color too. Then to the oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes or so until they look like this…….
This dish has so much color….it should also be the center of attention on your plate. A green salad or green veggie is all you need.
For dessert, well, it is that time of the year when you just have to think that summer is around the corner but if you feel like living dangerously, well, go ahead and maybe go visit Edie Bees on Second Street in Lewes, Delaware, and grab something sweet and sinfully delish.
September 18th, 2015
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” booker t. washington
With that quote I begin my post by reminding you that Delaware is a Small Wonder with a Big Heart. Fundraising events happen all year round, but it seems that as the Second Season takes hold of all of us living in Southern Delaware, we set records for fundraising. It is incredible the amount of money raised to help others.
I got an invite to a Kick Off Party for the Southern Delaware Wine, Food and Music Festival which will take place on Saturday, October 17th (noon until 4:30 p.m.) at Independence Hall located at 23767 Samuel Adams Circle in Millsboro, Delawared. Even though the address is Millsboro, it is, actually, closer to the beaches.
The Kick Off Party took place at (a)Muse on Baltimore Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, on Thursday, 9/17. My friend, Susan DiMondi came with me to see what all the commotion was all about.
Let me tell you a little about What is Going On…
This event is being billed as the “ultimate wine, food and music event on DelMarVa”. It will be hosted by former Bad Company bassist, now food, wine and music aficionado, Paul Cullen. It will be a fun and refined afternoon of food, beer and wine samplings and pairings, cooking demos, and a great musical line-up.
This is a benefit for Rotary’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Lewes-Rehoboth Meals on Wheels.
This is an inaugural SoDelFest. The culinary Theater will host the chef showcases/demos, where you will find Neil Fuentes, The Singing Chef and Food Rewrapped Champion and 5 of our top local chefs including: Hari Cameron, Lion Gardner, Doug Ruley, Ronnie Burkle and Sean Correa.
The festival will also offer wine and food pairings with 13 local restaurants including; Abbot’s Grille, Bluecoast, Seafood Grill, Bramble and Brine, Cultured Pearl, Grandpa 9Mac), JD Shuckers, Lupo’s Italian Kitchen, Michy’s Relaxed Dining, Nage, Palate, Semra’s, Summerhouse and Touch of Italy.
You will be able to experience the Man Cave….don’t worry we are all welcome for cocktails, a raw bar and Cigars! Join Rob Bagle from Bramble & Brine and representatives from Wigle Whiskey, Dad’s Hat, Benromach Scotch, George’s Bloody Mary Mix (a new local favorite from Berline, Maryland) and 16 Mile Brewery. There may just be oyster shooters there!
30 wines will be offered by Teller Wines and the distributors for pairing and additional tastes. Dogfish Head and Mispillion Breweries will be pouring their fall favorites at the bar!
There will be 2 special wine education seminars in the Wine University; Mike Zygmonski (Level II Sommelier, Sodel Concepts) will present a blind tasting and John McDonald (Wine Columnist, Cape Gazette) will present Wine 101 for anyone who wants to learn about the art of Wine Tasting.
General Admission tickets are $75 and there is a VIP upgrade that includes two special tastings at 95+ point wines and exclusive cheeses and a seat on-stage during one of the chef showcases. The press is invited at no charge with advance notice. Please visit http://www.sodelfest.com
Presenting Sponsor: Ocean Atlantic Companies
Major Sponsors: Schell Brothers, Sysco, SoDel Concepts, Coastal Style
Sponsors: Good Clean Fun Life, Sposato Family Vineyards, Active Adult Realty
Event Chair is Stacy LaMotta
Event Coordinator is Carlene Roche
Volunteer Coordinator is Meg Gardner
Arriving at (a)Muse Susan and I were invited to taste some of the wines offered by Sposato. For 6 years the Sposato Family researched, studied and visited South America. In 2012 the family purchased their farm in the heart of Argentina’s wine country, Mendoza.
Based on their 23 years of experience in working with land, soil irrigation and plants, by running their top rated landscape company, Sposato Landscape Co., they saw this as a great opportunity to further their experience in the agriculture industry. The farm was purchased as virgin ground. A new irrigation system, electric and other improvements have been installed with more to come.
The farm is 250 acreas located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, 3,000 ft. above sea level. Sposato Family Vineyard has some of the best and most popular wineries in Argentina as neighbors. The farm is located between two notable wineries, Bodega Septima and Vina Cobos by Paul Hobbs with more just around the corner.
We tasted 2015 Chardonnay. This fruit focused Chardonnay has an attractive color with aromas of tropical fruit, apples and peaches. Also a 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, from their prize winning high elevation vineyards has aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit, herbs, species and orange blossom notes that are persistent through the finish. The 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has intense red with blue shades. Another one was their 2013 Reserve Malbec…intense violet color, typical of Argentine Malbec. And the 2014 Malbec had deep purple color, with high intensity of black fruits, raspberries and violets. Please note that you can get the wines in the Rehoboth Beach and Lewes area.
A presentation was given by all of those that are involved and making sure that this will be an unforgettable event.
Stacy LaMotta, Event Chair
Paul Culen, Host
Lion & Meghan Gardner, Blue Moon
Hari Cameron, (a)Amuse
Paul Cullen entertained us while we tasted delicious offerings by Blue Moon, Nage, and (a)Muse.
So what are you waiting for? Call your friends, pass the word, share in social media and get ready to have some fun!!
January 26th, 2015
The aroma of Indian food; coriander, curries, dry red chillies, turmeric, fennel….sooo good. Only a few Indian restaurants in Delaware and one of them, Flavor of India, is located at 348 North Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Tel. 302-677-0121. Website? http://www.flavorofindiade.com. It is in the same building with a separate entrance from the Motel 8. Believe me, the restaurant is really good.
They are open 7 days a week. Dine in or take out.
Stopped to pick up some take-out and gave Tony the news that my husband, John, had passed away on August 31, 2013. He was truly shocked and could not believe it. John and I enjoyed eating at Flavor of India and also enjoyed talking to Tony.
I picked up Lamb Saagwala, which had lamb pieces and fresh spinach cooked in an Indian spicy herbal sauce. I also picked up some Lamb Pasanda, an authentic dish from northern India. In northern India the curries are thick and the gravies are very creamy. The basmati rice is awesome with a rich aroma…..you cannot find that rice in Rehoboth Beach…Flavor of India have their own connections.
In the past when dining in I have ordered the pappadom, which is like a flat bread. Sauces are brought to the table for dipping. You can also eat it by itself.
And dishes like the Goat Masala, which my husband loved. Most of the goat dishes have a bone.
And, Lamb Zafrani…one of my favorites.
I took home for dessert Gajar Halwa, which is mainly made with carrots….sweet and very interesting taste. Have had it before and still like it. Served warm.
The sense of taste is so acute and amazing….trying the foods from northern India with so many different spices, each hitting at the right time. So, if you have a craving for Indian food, or just want something different, go and visit Tony at Flavor of India. I keep telling him they should open a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.
Note: Flavor of India continues to receive awards for being a true representation of Indian food with great service, delicious food, and reasonable prices. They are also aware of customers with gluten free allergies.
January 14th, 2015
From the Delaware Tourism Office comes great news for those of us that have the ability to pass on information about our small state. Sought after by many as a place for retirement, for fun, and for relaxation, the Delaware Tourism Office is really campaigning so that when it comes to your vacation choices…..Delaware is It!!
It is the first time in the state history, that the Delaware Tourism Office has created a brand identity, a tagline and even television commercials designed to increase national awareness of Delaware as a desirable place to vacation. Many of us know that already, now we want you to check it out.
It is called the “Endless Discoveries” brand campaign. It aims to boost visitation and tourism revenue in Delaware by creating an image in consumers’ minds of the state as a destination that will surpass any preconceptions.
The Director of the Delaware Tourism Office states: “The challenge has always been to show others that Delaware is far more than just a place they pass through on I-95”. That, I have heard….receiving a call saying “We are on 95 going to such and such place…passing through Delaware….and, are you close by?”
I found this interesting…The brand campaign messages were specifically designed to resonate with female consumers, who have been shown to statistically more likely to take the lead in vacation planning decisions. The campaign is expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people in 16 East Coast states.
The new logo above shown, along with the words Endless Discoveries is hoping to spark the travelers’ curiosity and make them want to learn more……The Director of the Delaware Tourism Office, Linda Parkowski, goes on to state “The next step was to create words and images that fit that concept, and give travelers a sense that Delaware has treasures waiting to be found.” Some of us have found those already!!
To learn more, and to begin your journey, please visit http://www.visitdelaware.com.
NOTE: To see the 60-second Endless Discoveries commercial, visit the DTO YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msCpCkUemoA.
Please also note that the information for this post was taken from the Delaware Toursim new brand campaign: “Endless Discoveries”
November 3rd, 2014
I have tons of cookbooks. Not enough years to read them. Some I like better than others. This Meatless Monday recipe is not my own, but I treat it like it is. It was Giada’s mother’s recipe. It is good; perfect for company. A little tricky getting out of the loaf pan, though.
Veggie Loaf gives you an opportunity to leave meats on the side. Just by itself, it is plenty. Serve it with a fruit salad would be my choice.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped (finely, please)
1 shredded carrot
1 celery stalk, sliced (thinly, please)
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 15 ounce canned cooked lentils, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup canned corn
1/3 cup chopped basil leaves (If not available use basil paste by the vegetables in the grocery store. Use about 2 tablespoons.)
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. freshly black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, sliced (You can use smaller tomatoes, as well.)
1 box (pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)
8 fresh basil leaves (Use basil paste, if fresh basil leaves are unavailable.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Make the sauce first and just put it aside. In a blender or food processor chopped the ingredients. Do not puree, you want them a little coarse. I used a blender.
Proceed with the loaf:
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, carrot, onion, celery….cook for about 5 minutes or so stirring frequently. Put in a large bowl to cool.
In the same skillet, cook spinach until it wilts, which does not take long. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze the excess liquid. On a cutting board coarsely chop it. Add to the onion mixture.
Add the lentils, brown rice, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, the corn, basil, eggs, egg white, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of the sauce to the already cooled veggie mixture.
Fill the loaf pan with this mixture. Arrange the tomatoes in a couple of rows, depending on their size, covering the mixture.
Sprinkle the remining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Bake until loaf is heated through and the topping has melted and starts to brown. It might take 35 minutes or a bit more. Let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Slicing this loaf is tricky. Do so while the loaf is still in the pan. Do not attempt to take it out. Otherwise, you will have to do some rearranging.
I think 1 inch slices will be a good portion. Arrange on plates and top with sauce. Enjoy your Meatless…..whatever day you want it to be.
Note: This recipe was gluten free. Please check the labels for canned goods, grate your own mozzarella cheese or read the label on the bag. If using basil paste instead of fresh basil, Gourmet Garden, Basil Paste is gluten free and usually available by the produce in the local grocery stores.
September 14th, 2014
On a day like today, I was walking the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The Boardwalk is an award winning one. Walking right along the Atlantic Ocean. It was somewhat cool, it was already fall. Some were on the beach, playing. Kids never get cold; they just run around loving a day at the beach.
Then, at the water’s edge there were a group of people, mingling along with others trying to feel how cold the water was. The group attracted my attention. And, I took my camera out.
I started to get closer. The family was Amish. The Amish community closest to us is in the Dover area, or Kent County, about 40 minutes north of Rehoboth Beach. I got a little closer still. There were 2 other people taking photos, but I think they were just taking in the scenery.
Then I stood pretty close, but giving them their privacy. Standing at the water’s edge, watching the waves roll in. A serenity of sorts. A penny for their thoughts. It is one of my favorite photos.
Have a great day!!
August 27th, 2014
The tomatoes are at the height of the season, the peaches are still sweet….this is pretty much a raw salad. Bursting with flavor, it has everything to offer for a perfect end of the summer 2014 meal.
When I made this salad I used gluten free bread. The recipe, actually calls for white bread with crusts removed. Your choice.
TOMATO, PEACH, CORN, AND FETA SALAD
2 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut or torn into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
2 ears fresh corn, shucked
4 ripe tomatoes, a variety of colors….or plain red will do. About 2 lbs.
4 large peaches (about 2 lbs. too)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallots (I used red onion.)
3/4 cups of sheep’s milk feta, crumbled
Pulse the bread in a blender or food processor until the bread breaks down into coarse crumbs.
In a medium skillet, over medium heat, warm 1/2 cup of oil. Once warm, add breadcrumbs and gently toast until golden and crispy. Transfer crumbs to a plate line with paper towels. Season with salt.
Using a sharp knife, slice corn kernels off the cob.
Cut tomatoes and peaches, preferably into wedges. Place in large bowl with onion slivers and corn kernels. Season with salt, optional.
Add the Feta cheese.
Add 6 tablespoons of oil and toss to combine. And then, sprinkle your favorite white balsamic vinegar. My choice was Cranberry Pear White Balsamic from the new store in Downtown Rehoboth Beach….The Olive Orchard.
Distribute salad among plates, then scatter breadcrumbs on top…..serve and enjoy!!
August 25th, 2014
My husband, John Merryman, III’s testimony before passing away last August 31st was that during over the 3 decades in Bethany Beach, Delaware, he had developed more than enough houses to know the business. He referred to Jeff Burton of Lane Builders as a consummate professional, easy to deal with and someone he was happy to be doing business with.
John and Jeff designed The Tidewater, a home that was to be built on Parkwood Street in Bethany Beach. The lots in Bethany are usually long and narrow, so a special house with plenty of bedrooms for a family and friends was born.
This house was within walking distance to the Town of Bethany; its beaches, boardwalk, shops and restaurants. It was located in a quiet street in Bethany. Instead of coming through the front door all wet, you could come from under the house and leave your beach belongings there.
Jeff Burton is the Managing Partner and President of Lane Builders, LLC, located at 1009 Kings Highway, Lewes, Delaware. Tel. 302-645-5555. Website? http://www.lanebuilders.com. You can also find Lane Builders on Facebook.
Upon John’s passing, we called Jeff and we also called the buyer who was from Northern Virginia. I cannot imagine their thoughts in having to then deal with the widow. Having been assured that the building was going to go as planned, they were confident in our ability to carry it through.
I am writing this post, which by the way, is very personal, since the year anniversary of John’s passing is around the corner. I wanted to tell you the kind of builder Jeff was for us. The first thing he said without hesitation was “I will make this process as easy as I can for you.” And, he did.
Jeff Burton taking care of last minute details.
Spiritually, John was guiding me through this process. I believe that.
The house turned out to be so nice. I met the owners on the day of the settlement when we were checking the house.
The floors were hand-scraped wood flooring, the tones of the house were soothing, lots of gray, white and blue on the walls and countertops.
The family is going to love having all those bedrooms and bathrooms. A spacious laundry room…a must!
I know that when the owners come up the stairs they will certainly enjoy the smooth flowing of their beach house. They are already enjoying it, along with everything Bethany Beach has to offer.
This family had been coming to Bethany for many years. They told me they were waiting for the right house….The Tidewater is going to be a place for rest and relaxation. Bethany Beach is a family resort. It is also known as The Quiet Resort.
Jeff Burton surprised me on that day. The Tidewater is going to be always The Tidewater; in memory of John. A home design that was their first one to be considered a preplanned home, custom built on your lot. You can see a more detailed description of this house if you click on http://www.lanebuilders.com.
I will probably not have any contact with the new owners. Our business is finished. But, this house will always hold a special place in my heart. John would have been so proud.
My testimony? I can’t say enough about Jeff Burton, his building partner, Keith Hastings, and their staff at Lane Builders. If you are planning on building or remodeling at the Delaware Beaches, please give them a call. You will not be disappointed.
Have a great day!