Eggplant and Garlic Toast Dinner

Stuffed Eggplant with Garlic Toast.jpg

My friend Renae came over for dinner on a night that her family was out of town. Since we both like eggplant and a lot of people don’t, it seemed like the perfect choice for dinner. This meal was mostly make ahead. I made the eggplant in the morning and put it in the refrigerator. Before dinner I baked the eggplant and the garlic toasts.

Note: We each had 2 halves of a stuffed eggplant. Only 1 is in the photo.

Cheesy Vegetable-Stuffed Eggplant – I used Cheddar instead of Jack cheese and Asiago instead of Parmesan. I did not use thyme.

Garlic Toasts – with homemade french bread, olive oil and garlic powder baked at  375 degrees until browned and crispy (about 10 minutes)

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Polenta Gingerbread Man

Polenta Gingerbread Man

I made this adorable Polenta Man meal for my friend Mark. He had an awesome smile when he opened the lid to reveal this meal.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Gingerbread Man – polenta made with broth and cornmeal (stir 1/2 cup cornmeal into 1 cup of vegetable broth, heat at medium-low heat while stirring, when it becomes a ball and is somewhat firm, remove from heat and spread onto a plate at the desired thickness for your cookie cutter. When cool, cut with a cookie cutter), Mouth – radish cut with a mini bento face cutter, Eyes and buttons – spinach cut with a mini bento face cutter, Scarf – green bell pepper, Spanish Garbanzo Beans

Top Right: Gingerbread Men – cucumber cut with a cookie cutter, carrots

Bottom Right: Gingerbread Men – apples dipped in water with lemon to prevent browning, cinnamon details (sprinkle cinnamon on a plate, dip end of a round end toothpick in water then in cinnamon, dab cinnamon covered toothpick on apple)

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Gingerbread Repository

Over the years, I have developed a love for making Gingerbread Creations. When people ask to see my gingerbread, I have shown them various blog posts but it is convenient to have all of my gingerbread in one place. I will update this post whenever I create new gingerbread.

Gingerbread Village with Swans and Bridge

Gingerbread Village – 2019

Christmas Train Gingerbread

Santa Train and Depot 2018

Small Blue Gingerbread House on Cake Stand

Little Blue Gingerbread House 2018

Row Houses at Christmas Gingerbread

Row Houses 2017

3d-star-gingerbread-deco

3D Star and Tree Gingerbread 2016

Gingerbread Bakery Front

Tudor Bakery 2015

A-frame Gingerbread House Candy Cane Roof Front

A-Frame 2014

Others

  • I offered some assistance and facilitated the making while other people made the following gingerbread.

Three Little Pigs Gingerbread

Three Little Pigs 2018

GingerbreadHouseStreamFountain

House Along Stream with Fountain 2017

Winter Scene Gingerbread House Front

Sugar and Spice 2015

Necco Gingerbread House Front

Traditional House 2015

Gingerbread House Another View

Candy Cane House 2014

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Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Village Front

This is the 3rd year in a row that I entered a gingerbread house in Sweet Creations at the Eastman Museum. I planned for this to be a miniature village and easy to transport but it got a little big. It consumed me during the month of October since I work full-time and was due just after Halloween. I enjoyed learning several new techniques – Fondant Swans, Lighting, Stained Glass Isomalt windows.

Gingerbread Recipe: I used this recipe.

Royal Icing Recipe: I love using this recipe which uses Meringue Powder. It hardens fast and in works very well.

Front of Village lights

Tudor 1:

  • Roof – Frosted Shredded Wheat
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Siding – Flooded Icing
  • Windows – Gold quality gelatin sheets (attached with hot homemade sugar only caramel)
  • Trim – Licorice Tires (pull apart)
  • Blue Birds – Wilton Sprinkles
  • Chimney – Stone Candy
  • Walkway – Choco Stones
Colonial
  • Roof – Black Jack gum
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Siding – Clove gum
  • Windows – Gold quality gelatin sheets (attached with hot homemade sugar only caramel)
  • Trim – Fondant
  • Walkway – Choco Stones

Tudor 2

  • Roof – Pecans
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Siding – Flooded Icing
  • Windows – Gold quality gelatin sheets (attached with hot homemade sugar only caramel)
  • Trim – Sour Streamers
  • Chimney – Stone Candy
  • Decorations – Holly Sprinkles
  • Walkway – Choco Stones

Eastman Village Swan Side

Tree Corner of Gingerbread Village

Brick Buildings Side of Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Church Back with Lights

Church

  • Roof – Pepitas
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Siding – Choco Rocks
  • Windows – Isomalt with Stained Glass. I followed this tutorial.
  • Tower – Grey Sanding Sugar, Ice Cream Cone covered with Pepitas

Front Side Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Village Roof

Gingerbread Village Christmas Tree

Village Christmas Tree

  • Tree – Ice Cream Cone covered with Royal Icing
  • Garland – Red Shoestring Licorice
  • Decorations – Snowflake Sprinkles

Street Lights

  • Pole – Pasta Straws covered with Royal Icing and Gold Sanding Sugar
  • Base – Gumball, center drilled with Dremel Tool
  • Light Cover – Fondant

Landscaping

  • Mini bushes – Royal Icing
  • Wreaths – Royal Icing with Sprinkles
  • Plain Tree – Ice Cream Cone Tree Covered with Royal Icing
  • Fence – Dots
  • Awning – Candy Cane top
  • Road – Crushed Candy Canes

Fondant Snowman

Snowman

  • Body, Hat, Eyes, Buttons – Fondant
  • Nose – Wilton Snowman Decorating Sprinkle Kit
  • Arms – Red Shoestring Licorice

Gingerbread Graveyard

Graveyard

  • Angel Statue – Gingerbread cut with a cookie cutter
  • Angel Statue Base – Caramel squares attached with Royal Icing, covered with Royal Icing and silver sprinkles
  • Wreaths – Fondant with Heart Sprinkles

Gingerbread Village with Swans and Bridge

Bridge: Gingerbread, inner curve piece baked on foil, sanding sugar (fine – inner piece and large – outer pieces)

Pond: Large and Fine Blue Sanding Sugar

Swans: Fondant, Black Paste Food Coloring, Swan Wings Mold (smaller wings)

Gingerbread Grocery Store

Food Store

  • Roof – Green Sanding Sugar
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Sign – Fondant, Royal Icing Lettering
  • Siding – Brick imprint with icing mortar
  • Awning – Sour Streamers
  • Windows – Gold Quality Gelatin Sheets (attached with hot homemade sugar only caramel)
  • Decorations – Holly Sprinkles, round balls
  • Bananas – Runts in Caramel
  • Pumpkin Candy

Back Gingerbread Houses Village

Flowers in Florist Gingergread Window

Flower Shop

  • Roof – Green Sanding Sugar
  • Door – Fondant
  • Doorknob – Silver Dragee
  • Sign – Fondant, Royal Icing Lettering
  • Siding – Brick imprint with icing mortar
  • Awning – Sour Streamers
  • Windows – Gold Quality Gelatin Sheets (attached with hot homemade sugar only caramel)
  • Decorations – Holly Sprinkles, round balls
  • Calla Lilies – Fondant, Sprinkles, Spaghetti – on top of caramel

Gingerbread dough and template

Brick Cutter Gingerbread

Baked Gingerbread Pieces

Icing Flooded Tudor Gingerbread pieces

Decorated Gingerbread House Pieces

lights on gingerbread board

Lighting

My friend Angie’s man did the lighting for me. I bought a 12 V Power Adapter and Pre-Wired LED Lights in Warm White. He heat shrunk and soldered in parallel and hot glued into place. He drilled a hole in the board for the power cord. I glued small wooden cubes on the bottom of the board to raise the board a little. I covered with foil before adding my gingerbread.

Making Stained Glass Windows Church Gingerbread

I am glad that I once again made gingerbread for the Eastman Museum. It pushed me to learn new skills and it was enjoyable to visit the show many times with my family and friends.

 

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2019 Gingerbread Sweet Creations

Gingerbread Village Lights

For the 3rd year in a row, I made gingerbread for the Eastman Museum’s Sweet Creations gingerbread show. I enjoy seeing the variety. Here is a sampling of some of the creations that were memorable to me.

My Gingerbread Table .jpg

Jolly Java Sweet Creations.jpg

gingerbread waterfalls

Gingerbread Doors

Gingerbread Trees in Greenhouse

Gingerbread Elephants and Trees

Neutral Gingerbread House

Gingerbread Village Parade

Gingerbread Penguins

Gingerbread Santa in Hot-tub

Fairy Gingerbread

 

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Rose Ravioli Dinner

Rose Ravioli Dinner Table

I made this Rose themed meal for my parents and friend Renae’s family the weekend they went to my parent’s Lake House. Renae’s daughters were very helpful with making enough cute ravioli for 7 people.

Rose Ravioli – I found these directions for beautiful rose shaped ravioli. I used this pasta recipe and filled them with a combination of ricotta, Parmesan, basil and oregano. I topped the roses with cut tomato and served with a choice of roasted sugar snap peas or asparagus.

Green Salad

Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts

Rose Ravioli

Making Rose Ravioli

Rose Ravioli with Photo.jpg

Rose Apple Dessert

My critique of the meal:

Making these with Renae’s daughters was a special experience. The ravioli looked beautiful and tasted great. This was my second time making the Apple Rose Tarts. They are easy, impressive, and delicious.

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Dia de los Muertos Meal

dia de los muertos table

Awhile ago, I hosted a Day of the Dead themed taco meal for my friend Renae, her family, and my friend Mark. It was mostly a gluten free and vegan meal. This was actually my first time making this theme! Renae or her husband suggested it.

Table setting

  • Placemats – I made placemats with themed wrapping paper and clear contact paper. I found the wrapping paper at TJ Maxx. It had a 1 inch square grid on the back. The finished placemats were 11 x 17 inch.
  • Napkin Rings – Tissue paper flowers tied with a thin wire made into a ring
  • Lazy Susan – 21 inch

Menu

tortilla soup

skull tortilla chips

Cut a Skull Tortilla Chip

Skull Tortilla Chips – Cut corn tortillas with a skull cookie cutter, cut out eyes with a tiny flower cookie cutter and nose with an upside down heart cookie cutter. Brush both sides of the skulls with olive oil, place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

Taco Fixings on Lazy Susan

tacos on plate.jpg

Vegan Gluten Free Skull Brownies

My critique of the meal:

The Lazy Susan made this type of meal much easier for my guests. Horchata was new to all of us. We were not huge fans but it was good to try something different. I designed the Skull Tortilla Chips and they were a huge hit! Everyone enjoyed the Chipotle Lentil Taco Protein. The brownies did not turn out as cute as the original but I did use gluten free brownies. Overall, the meal was a success!

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