Check out my Facebook page!!

Hey everyone!! I just wanted to let you all know that I created a Facebook page for this here blog. Yep, that’s right. Just did it today so bear with me! I’ll be putting up more pictures as time goes on. But please head over, check it out, like me and I hope I get your thumbs up.

Click here! <—————–

And thanks to everyone who reads my blog. Whether it’s one person or thousands who visit my blog (who knows!), I’m just happy to have my own online personal “cookbook” (as I call it). And I hope it’s a “cookbook” you can reference and like looking at!!!

-Jenny

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

pasta salad 3This is a copycat recipe. And it’s all in the name of saving money! There’s this fancy grocery store/market around the corner from me and they sell the inspiration for this sun dried tomato pasta salad. We had it from their salad bar before and it’s delicious. But the catch? I think they want my firstborn child to pay for it! It’s so incredibly expensive! For a large container, it’s like almost $20! It’s really tasty, but not $20 tasty! So I wrote down all the ingredients that were in it, (lo & behold, I had a lot of them in my fridge/pantry already) and gave it a whirl. Bingo! It’s pretty close. And it didn’t cost me $20 to make a cup of pasta salad. And it’s now my husband’s favorite pasta salad. Can’t beat that!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad (this will serve a crowd)

  • 1 lb. penne rigate pasta
  • 1, 8 ounce jar sun dried tomato pesto (Classico is my fav)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c. kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 c. crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 c. pepperoncinis, chopped
  • 1/2 c. cubed/chunked mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. mayo (optional)*

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool. When pasta is cool, add to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir together and drizzle with a little more olive oil if pasta has become dry.

*Of course I had to add mayo into this. It adds a tad bit of creaminess but if you prefer, leave it out. I’ve done it both ways and they’re both delicious in my opinion.

pasta salad 2pasta saladpasta salad 4Serve this at your next BBQ. Steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs….. it goes with just about anything.

 

Chinese Eggplant & Ground Pork

pork & eggplant 2So maybe you’ve had a similar type dish at a Chinese restaurant? Well, no need to go out now when you can make it at home!

I love cooking Asian style at home because I think you can get really great authentic flavors. And this recipe is very flavorful and super easy to make. Plus, it’s a little different than your typical teriyaki chicken. If you’re not a pork person, feel free to substitute the pork with ground chicken.

Chinese Eggplant & Ground Pork

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 Chinese eggplants, halved & then cut into half moons
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha
  • 1/2 c. hoisin sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • dash of salt
  • pinch of dried crushed red peppers
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat and add canola oil. Add in the ground pork making sure to break it up as you cook it. Let pork cook for a few minutes, and then add in the onions. Once pork is almost cooked through, add the eggplant. While that cooks, mix together the garlic through the crushed red peppers in a separate bowl. When the pork is cooked (no longer pink) add in the sauce and stir together to combine. Let cook for a few more minutes to absorb the saucy goodness. Turn off heat and add in the green onions and drizzle the sesame oil. Stir and then serve immediately.

chinese eggplant 2chinese eggplantpork & eggplant 3pork & eggplantI like this served along side some rice while my husband likes this served on TOP of his rice. This would also be great in a lettuce wrap. Enjoy your homemade take out!

P.S. Sorry for missing pics of the actual cooking process. Must’ve been very hungry and slightly delirious. But at least you know what a Chinese eggplant looks like!