Cook with Diana

For my first recipe, we are going to do EGGPLANT. This is one of my favorite dishes to do. For starters you will need:

Eggplant—about 3-4—this will depend on the number of guest over for dinner.

Eggs –start with about 4 eggs to scramble for the egg batter; this will also depend on the amount of eggplant slices that you will be using.

Bread Crumbs—you can use the plain bread crumbs or season bread crumbs. Later I'll tell you some of my favorite seasonings to add to the bread crumbs.

Spaghetti Sauce—again it will be up to you which type of spaghetti sauce you want to use; I prefer the make my own meat sauce and at the end of the recipe I'll share a few of my ingredients that I add to make the spaghetti sauce even more delicious.

Vegetable Oil

Ricotta cheese-- you will probably need about 3-4 bottles; again it all depends on how much eggplant lasagna you will be making.

Mozzarella Cheese—about 4 bags

The first thing you want to do is on low heat simmer you choice of spaghetti sauce. This is your chance to add your favorite seasonings. I personally like to add some garlic salt, oregano, some Italian seasoning and some Ricotta cheese; the cheese helps to make the sauce creamer; especially for this dish. Again, it's all up to you; straight from the bottle is just as fine.

While the sauce is simmering up; crack the eggs in a bowl for your batter and in another bowel pour enough bread crumbs to cover the eggplant slices. Again, here for the bread crumbs, I like to add some seasonings in addition to some Parmesan fresh or powder cheese.

Then you will begin slicing the eggplants. During this time, you will want to begin warming up the frying pan; pouring in the vegetable oil just enough to fry up the eggplants slices. For slicing the eggplants, I prefer the eggplant slices thin but not paper thin or thick; this again is your chose but thin eggplant slices are better.

After slicing the eggplants dip each eggplant slice into the egg batter then into the bread crumb bowl; here you will want a cookie sheet to place all the cut up eggplant slices. Once you sliced the amount you want, check the oil temperature. Now this is important, the oil has to be hot enough to give the eggplant a quick golden brown; if the oil is not hot enough the eggplant will become rubbery and if the oil pan is too hot, you will burn the eggplant slices.

Once you know that the oil pan is just right, begin placing the eggplant slices into the frying pan; here you want to fry each side until golden brown, once they are golden brown remove from oil and placed them on top of a paper towel, resting them on a cookie sheet. This will allow for any extra oil to be absorbed by the paper towel.

After you have fried up all the eggplant slices; turn the oven on to 350 F-degrees, and then take a 9 x 13 non-stick baking pan. You will start by pouring some of the spaghetti sauce that has been simmering. Make sure you put a thin layer of the spaghetti sauce. Then start with your first layer of eggplant slices-this should take about 6-8 slices.

After you have layered the eggplant slices, you will apply a layer of Ricotta chess-enough to cover the eggplant layer, then a little more of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat the process, you will probably get about 3-4 layers; this will depend on the cut of the eggplant slices. Your last layer should be the spaghetti sauce.

Once you are finishing layering the eggplant slices, cover the top of the eggplant with sprinkle Mozzarella cheese, place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes; until cheese has melted and has a touch of golden brown. Once the oven time is up, let the eggplant rest for about 5-10 minutes; then serve.

While letting the Eggplant rest, toss up a nice salad and definitely some garlic bread (and for the adults a great glass of red wine).

For my next recipe, we are going to do BEEF KEBABS. This is one of my other favorite dishes to do because the whole family can join in and its fun too.

For starters you will need:

Meat-this is the fun part because you don't have to use meat; you can choose Chicken/ Tuna/ Shrimp/ Sausages/ Salmon.

Peppers—you need Red/Orange/Red/ Yellow and Greens

Onions- White and Red

For Kebabs remember you can add more vegetables like
Mushrooms/ Carrots/ Cucumbers/ Zucchinis, the list goes on and on.

When it comes to the meat; I love to use either a Skirt Steak or London Broil.

For Skirt Steaks Kebabs, I like to loop the steak in between layers of onions and peppers.

For London Broil; I like to cut them into cubes; and in between the cubes stack them up with the peppers and onions.

Once you have decided which meat you will use; the next step is to marinate the meat. For this recipe I will be using London Broil cubes. Once I have cut them into cubes, I will season them with garlic salt, steak seasoning and then placed them in a bag and pour in some Italian dressing.

While the meat is marinating in the sauce, I first start up the B-B-Q grill to make sure the coals have time to get nice and hot. While the grill is heating up, I will begin cutting cut up the onions, peppers, vegetables. Remember there is no one way to make Kebabs, so put on your thinking cap and let your imagination roll.

Once you have cubed your meat and vegetables onto the Skewer; melt some butter and sprinkle in some salt and pepper and a touch of the steak seasoning. Remember, depending on the type of meat you will be cooking; will determine your seasonings.

Once the grill is nice and hot, place the Kebabs on the grill and keep rolling them every 3-5 minutes until the meat is cooked. Every time you roll the Kebabs, brush on the melted butter.

Once the Kebabs are dozen; you can enjoy them just by themselves or serve it up with some potato salad/Cole-slaw, the possibilities are endless….Enjoy

My next recipe is one that my dad and I just happen to think about when we were thinking of different ways to make piggy's-in-a blanket, that when we had the idea of making: Stuff Italian Roll.

You will need the following:

Sausages-you can choose mild/sweet/hot- it's your choice

Onions--this time sweet onions

Bell Peppers- Green/Red/Yellow/ Orange

Spaghetti Sauce

Cresent Roll-Ups

For this recipe you will need two frying pans; one will be for cooking the sausages and the other one will be for cooking the pepper and onions.

While cooking the peppers and onions, start simmering the spaghetti sauce. Personally, I like to add garlic salt, oregano, Italian seasonings and sometimes Parmesan cheese to my spaghetti sauce.

The first pan should be on medium heat as it will be used to cook the sausages;


Instead of oil, you will be using butter and as the sausages are cooking you'll add butter. While the sausages are cooking, in the other frying pan, pour in the cut pieces of onions and peppers. The goal is for the onions to get to a golden brown.

Once the peppers and onions are cooked, take them off the stove and let them rest. Now let's finish with the Italian sausages. Once the sausages are cooked, removed them from the pan….DO NOT TOSS THE BUTTER OIL of the PAN where THE SASUAGES WERE COOKED!!!!!.

Cut the sausages links into pieces; once you have cut up all the sausages links, place them back into their frying pan, make sure the heat is between low and medium.

After the peppers, onions and sausages are cooked, take them off the stove and let them rest. In the meantime, roll out the crescent rolls; flatten them with a rolling pin. For this part, you will probably need about 2 cans.

Once the crescent rolls are flatten, place a layer of the sausage in the center and then put onions and peppers on top of it. Here, you have the choice of adding some of the spaghetti sauce. Personally, I prefer to use the spaghetti sauce as a dipping sauce.

Then place another layer on top of the crescent role and pinch the edges with your fingers or fork to seal the ends and put the crescent roll into a non-stick pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until crescent turns into a nice golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Again, you can just eat it by itself, or add a salad.

Either way, you are ready to start enjoying some delicious Stuff Italian Crescent roll. Remember, you don't have to use Italian sausages, you can also use, chicken, steaks, hot dogs, Kielbasas even shrimp and Salomon steak, Anything is possible….. ENJOY!!!!!!