Creamy Roasted Eggplant Linguine Recipe
(serves 2)

1 large Globe eggplant
120g linguine or pasta of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
2 anchovies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 roma tomato, seeds & core removed, diced
1/2 cup cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
grated roman cheese for garnish (optional)

First things first you will need to roast your eggplant. The easiest way to do this over a gas burner if you are lucky enough to have one. A little advice, though? Line the bottom of your stove with aluminum foil for an easy cleanup and turn your hood fan on! Turn the eggplant until charred on all sides. Alternatively this can be done on a barbecue or under the broiler. Remove to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Allow to cool and steam for at least 10 minutes. Remove and discard the skin and root end. Roughly chop into a small dice, this should basically just turn into pulp, if it isn’t very tender then you probably didn’t roast it enough. If there is any excess juice reserve it with the eggplant.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt and add your pasta. Meanwhile, in a small skillet add the tablespoon of oil, the chili flakes, anchovies and whole garlic cloves. bring the oil to medium low or until you see gently bubbles around the garlic and chili, stir regularly. Cook for 3 minutes when bubbling. Add the chopped eggplant and any juices and bring the heat up to medium. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Drain pasta when ready and reserve.

Remove garlic if desired. Add cream and bring to a simmer, simmer for 1 minute. Turn heat back to low and toss in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley and pasta and toss in a big bowl. Serve grated cheese on the side.

Weeknight Easy Rolls

No kneading, no rise time
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Makes 12 rolls
  • 1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce, 2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups bread flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
  • 2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as chives, sage or rosemary, optional
Preheat oven to 425F. Grease the cups of a muffin tray with standard-size cups. Stir together the yeast and water, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil and egg. Separately, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture a cup at a time until just mixed, adding a portion of the yeast-water mixture between additions.

Stir in herbs, if using. With two soup spoons, one to scoop and the other to scrape, fill the muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Best served hot but keep two to three days.

Soft Caramel Popcorn

3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I like to use salted butter since the rest of the popcorn is so sweet)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pop popcorn according to package directions and make sure you get rid of any unpopped kernels. Kim prefers the movie theater popcorn but it's good with really any kind of popcorn. This seems like a lot of popcorn but trust me it will get eaten! Place popcorn in a large bowl...larger than you think you will need.

In a large saucepan melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat and add the can of sweetened condensed milk. With the rubber spatula, stir constantly for 5 minutes scraping the sides and especially the bottom of the pan to
prevent any burning. The longer you cook it the firmer the caramel will be. I like mine a little on the soft side so I like to cook it shy of 5 minutes...around 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Pour caramel over popcorn and stir until coated. This will take a lot of stirring to get it all incorporated. It's great warm or at room temperature. Feel free to add in M&Ms, nuts, or drizzle it with chocolate. Enjoy! 

 Banana Chips

Use as many or as few bananas as you would like: I used about three.
1 or 2 lemons

Preheat oven (or toaster oven for small batches) to 175 - 200º F

-Slice bananas in thin slices no larger than 1/4 in.
-Place banana slices on a parchment lined baking sheet as close as possible without touching each other
-Squeeze or brush lemon juice on banana slices and place your baking sheet in the oven
-Bake the bananas for an 1hr - 1hr 45min, depending on your desired consistency
-After removing the bananas from the oven, let the chips cool on the baking sheet- they may be slightly gooey, but as they cool they will harden

For a more standard "banana chip" texture, you can coat the bananas in a sugar syrup (boiled sugar and water) or you can deep fry banana slices, which is another standard method of making banana chips.

*At this temperature the oven will act more as dehydrator than an oven, hence the long baking time. Depending on how thick you slice the bananas and how crispy you want the chips to be, your baking times may vary. I recommend taking out a few slices at intervals to test the consistency.

Sticky, Chewy Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line an 8 inch-by-8 inch baking pan with parchment that has been lightly buttered and set on a cooling rack.

Heat the cream, butter, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan until boiling. Doing this with a bowl in a microwave also works just fine. Remove from heat/microwave and set to the side.
In a medium/large saucepan with tall sides combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the sugar is dissolved. Keep cooking this syrup and swirl it occasionally, but don’t mix it! You run the risk of the crystals coming out of solution if you stir too much, or even at all. Do this until the syrup has taken on a light golden color. I describe it as ‘blonde’ for some reason.

Now stir in the cream mixture carefully. It’ll bubble up and splatter quite a bit, so use a long-handled spoon or wear oven mitts and long sleeves. That sugar is really hot and could actually burn you pretty badly. Keep stirring it and testing it with the cold water method mentioned above. When the caramel you drop into the bowl forms a chewy lump that yields to pressure, take the saucepan off the heat and pour everything into the lined baking pan. (Note: Resist the urge to scrap everything out of the saucepan. For some long-winded chemistry-related reasons, this does not bode well for your caramels, so don’t do it!)

Let the pan sit until the caramel has cooled completely and then cut them into pieces with a buttered knife and wrap in wax paper. Enjoy!