Spicy Sweet-And-Sour Eggplant

I had these beauties ripening in my garden! Fairy Tale Eggplant:

IMG_3866

They look like beautiful purple earrings dripping down from the plant. I also had Japanese Eggplant ready to go. They make a lovely mix:

IMG_3868

When the garden begins to do its thing late July and into August, my favorite FAVORITE recipes are:

However, those two recipes require tomatoes, and mine are juuuuuuust beginning. So, we’ll wait. In the meantime, I can do:

Spicy Sweet-And-Sour Eggplant (from Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook)

Ingredients:

One large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
One medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
One medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
One large eggplant, stemmed and cut into one-half-inch dice (I used my four little eggplants)
Two cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Two teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Two cups pineapple chunks, or one 20-ounce can, drained
One batch Pineapple Sweet-And-Sour Sauce (below)

Sweet-And-Sour Sauce:

One and one-half cups unsweetened pineapple juice
One-quarter cup apple cider vinegar
One-quarter cup low-sodium soy sauce
One clove garlic, peeled and minced
One-quarter cup plus two tablespoons brown rice syrup. more to taste
Two tablespoons arrowroot powder, dissolved in four tablespoons cold water

Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, and brown rice syrup in a saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil, and whisk in the arrowroot mixture. Cook until thickened, about one minute. 

Instructions:

1. Place the onion, red and green peppers, and eggplant in a large skillet and sauté (in a few tablespoons of water) over medium-high heat for eight or nine minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

IMG_3870

2. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, pineapple…

IMG_3871

…and Sweet-And-Sour Sauce and cook for five minutes. IMG_3874

Sweet, sour and spicy!

“Let’s Get Pickled” Cucumber Relish

I am sure I mentioned my “Wine and Whine” crew before. It’s just a few of us, and we get together about once a month to drink wine and…well…you get it, right?

One of the Whiners just moved, and the rest of us Whiners are traipsing over there tonight to check out the new digs! Whiners never arrive empty handed. That’s just how we are! (Note: Whiners often bring wine, notably because wine never goes to waste in our presence, but we don’t limit ourselves.)

Since I am having a plentiful cucumber crop this summer so far, and since the rabbits only ate my chard and green beans, I decided to direct my efforts toward pickle relish.

IMG_3789

Continue reading

How To Hang A Framed Photograph Collage

Back in the meditation room…

I wanted a collection of framed pictures on one wall.

Everyone knows you can’t just nail nails in random spots and expect to achieve a good result. You need a plan! There’s NO WAY you can sit down and meditate in a room where pictures hang askew! Things need to be as neat and square as possible. (If you don’t require things being neat and square as I do, you probably don’t need to meditate.)

Here’s what you do:

1. Decide the general area you’d like your picture collage to hang around in. I wanted mine to fill (generally) a large rectangle above my sofa. I taped together newspaper in the shape of the rectangle. You may also use craft paper.

IMG_3637

Continue reading