Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday's Recipe - Eggplant Scallopini

I love pasta, and Eggplant Scallopini is one of my favorite sauces for spaghetti. This recipe makes 8-10 servings and freezes well. Plan to spend at least ten minutes chopping vegetables beforehand. Actual cooking time is about 45 minutes, and remember to begin heating water for pasta after the addition of Marsala and parsley.

Eggplant Scallopini

1 large onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) tomato puree
1 cup Marsala (I prefer Taylor New York)
2 tablespoons parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil and margarine in a large pot over medium to medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, and bay leaf; saute 5 minutes. Add eggplant. Stir and cover; reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, black pepper, and puree. Mix well and cover; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Marsala and parsley. Stir and cover; simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Parmesan cheese just before serving. Serve over pasta.

Come to the table hungry and leave full! Enjoy!!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With a Kick!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday's Recipe - Chicken Marsala

This week's recipe is a little more complicated than last week's, but still fairly simple. Be sure to have everything ready before you begin cooking. I also recommend using chicken breast tenderloins rather than halves as they cook faster and make for easy portion control. One boneless skinless chicken breast half equals 3-4 tenderloins.

Chicken Marsala

8-10 chicken breast tenderloins
about 1 cup of flour, in a large plastic storage bag
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 pound of sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine (I prefer Taylor New York)
1/2 cup chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Place tenderloins in the bag of flour to coat. Shake off excess flour and place chicken in pan. Cover. Cook, turning once to brown both sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add margarine and mushrooms. Saute for one minute. Stir in Marsala and chicken broth. Cook until liquid is reduced by one half, about 5 minutes. Place the chicken on top of the mushroom mixture to heat through.
To serve, place chicken on plate and top with the mushroom sauce.


Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With a Kick!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Won! I Won!

I'm very excited to say I won Kerri Nelson's The Book Boost blog "Journey to the Call" commenter contest! She offered a HUGE prize pack with lots of resources I can't wait to use. She included three of her published stories, a book on writing query and cover letters, an online workshop, a critique of my query and 1st three chapters, a month of mentorship, and help forming a writing plan. Thank you, Kerri!!! Scroll to the bottom of this page to find the link to The Book Boost.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With a Kick!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday's Recipe - Black Bean Dip

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, so I thought I would share some of my favorites as a hefty push over the middle of the week hump. Today's recipe is Black Bean Dip. I also use the black bean filling for burritos and taco salad. Yummy with a fresh fruit salad! And, no, this is not a typo--two (2) main ingredients!

Black Bean Dip

29-ounce can of black beans
16-ounce jar of salsa (I use a pint jar of home-canned salsa)

In a strainer, drain the black beans, rinse with cold water, and drain again. In a saucepan, mix black beans and salsa. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 20-25 minutes. Stir often.
For black bean dip, pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with grated cheddar or colby-jack cheese. Bake at 350˚F until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
For burritos, spoon filling onto a warm tortilla. Top with your choice of grated cheese, lettuce, chopped tomato, guacamole, and sour cream. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and roll in from the side.
For taco salad, spoon filling into a tortilla bowl. Top with your choice of grated cheese, lettuce, chopped tomato, guacamole, and sour cream.

Let me know how you like it!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With a Kick!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Update on March

Without those goals I set in January, I never would've written as much as I did in March. Last night I ended with 31,114 words for the month. Whew! And I finished a manuscript!!! Those monthly goals have made a tremendous difference in my output and motivation. The journey toward acquiring an agent and getting published seems shorter. Although I received a rejection on the partial I had out to an agent, I'm ready to query others and will stay hopeful. Off to write!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With a Kick!