Eggplant Meatballs

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I really need to find my camera charger for my Canon. The battery is totally dead. I know the charger is somewhere and actually . . . there’s TWO chargers somewhere but until I figure out where that is, my iPhone camera is going to have to suffice. It’s better than nothing and it’s better than some digital cameras, so that’s okay.

In all honesty, I didn’t cook this. My boyfriend did. He cooked it with me in the kitchen guiding him. We’ve decided he needs to learn to cook. So for the past two weeks we’ve been having cooking lessons. He’s been a great student. I’m no expert, but I’m better than nothing. He’s starting to get better than nothing, but we will see what happens if he has to cook for himself. We probably need more lessons.

I had chosen this recipe to make for January’s Pasta Please, hosted by Ren Behan: healthy pasta. I love meatballs of all types, whether meaty or vegetarian. These meatballs were in my most recent Food Network Magazine and were perfect for the challenge.

The original recipe called for white beans. I can’t eat most beans so was going to replace them with chickpeas (which I can eat.) Unfortunately, the leftover chickpeas I had were moldy. So we used shredded potato instead. These were great.

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Eggplant Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 small eggplant
1 large egg, beaten
2 small fingerling potatoes, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
8 oz pasta

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an eggplant on the sheet. Poke a few times with a fork. Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool, but leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop the meat of the eggplant out from the skin and place in a bowl.

3. Add the egg, potatoes, garlic, basil, onion, parmesan, and salt and pepper to the eggplant. Mix together with your hands. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.

4. Form balls in the size of golfballs out of the eggplant mixture. Place on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Also, in a small pan heat up the marinara sauce.

6. When the meatballs are done, mix together the meatballs, pasta, and sauce. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese on top.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

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I really am going to try to blog more. Life gets in the way and takes priority. But I’m trying!

This month We Should Cocoa and Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream joined forces and told me that I had to make chocolate ice cream. I conceded.

Though this ice cream was not what I had planned on making flavor wise, it evolved into something perfect. I am a lover of all things chocolate. I also am a lover of all things Nutella. I could eat Nutella on everything . . . So I try to avoid buying it. And get this? I made chocolate hazelnut ice cream without Nutella. Instead it was a chocolate ice cream with roasted hazelnuts in it.

The ice cream is divine! So creamy, delicious, and rich!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Ingredients
3 cups heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 cup roasted hazelnuts, crushed

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream with cocoa powder. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts in. Stir in the vanilla extract.

2. In a smaller mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and salt.

3. In another saucepan bring the remaining heavy cream to a simmer. Once hot, remove from heat and add 1 cup of the hot heavy cream to the egg mixture, making sure to whisk continuously so the eggs don’t cook. Add the egg mixture to the heavy cream mixture over low heat. Make sure to mix continuously. Once a custard forms and the mixture sticks to the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat.

4. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl.

5. Add the chocolate mixture to the custard. Mix together. Add the hazelnuts to the mixture.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for at least an hour, until chilled.

7. Prepare the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the instructions for your maker.

8. Put in a separate container and put in the freezer until solid.

* serves 1 quart
* I also shared this ice cream with Mix It Up Monday