If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that Poria is home from his three week long business trip and I couldn’t be more excited to have him back! We took the day off yesterday from work to spend some time together and celebrate Eid with our families, too.
Strangely enough, I’m looking forward to this work week and am ready to tackle it head-on… so I hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday morning and this week treats you right!
Happy Friday everyone!
I woke up with butterflies this morning… Poria is finally arriving back home today!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
The Way Back
On the way back from our family beach vacation, the open roads of the Outer Banks presented a beautiful and scenic backdrop to our road trip home. I had to pull over (maybe more than a couple of times) to capture the beauty of the sand dunes, greenery and blue skies that seemed to stretch out endlessly into the distance.
Moussaka with the Girls
Last night, my cousins Auesta and Madina came over to cook me dinner and keep me company on an otherwise dreary Monday night, that they instead filled with good conversation, a good movie and an amazing moussaka recipe. Auesta had been wanting to try out and treat me to a Greek recipe that she was confident that I would love based solely on the ingredients… and she did not disappoint!
I followed along as she flew through the kitchen, cooking and whipping up a storm, and snapped a few photos; she shared the recipe with me so that I could list it out here for you all as well, so here it is!
For this recipe you’ll need:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 stick butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 onion
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
Start off by preheating the oven to 475 degrees and cutting the eggplant into half inch slices. Place the slices on a baking pan and brush with oil to avoid sticking, and season generously with salt and pepper. Stick the pan in the oven and let the eggplant bake for about 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, heat the butter in a saucepan over high heat and add the flour, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the milk while continuing to whisk the mixture to ensure that there are no lumps. Set the liquid in a bowl and allow the mixture to cool before adding the eggs and nutmeg and mixing into a custard.
In another deeper pan, add the oil over high heat and the onion once it has been finely chopped along with the garlic. Cook the onion and garlic until the onion begins to brown (4-5 minutes) and add the beef to the pan. Cook the beef for another 6-7 minutes and add in the chopped tomatoes and can of tomato sauce and season well with salt and pepper. Continue cooking the mixture for a few more minutes before bringing the pan to a low heat and placing a cover over top. Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and allow the beef to continue to simmer and cook slowly for another 20-30 minutes.
In a 13x9x2 casserole dish, measure out the bread crumbs and lie flat in the dish, using your hand to pat down the crumbs evenly. Place a layer of the baked eggplant slices over top of the bread crumbs, and then layer half of the meat mixture over top. Add another layer of eggplant slices and then the remaining half of the meat, and then carefully pour over the custard mixture as the top layer of the casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to your liking and stick the dish into the over for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Pair the prepared moussaka with a Greek salad and some fresh bread the way that Auesta did for us last night, and you have yourself a pretty amazing meal (Madina even made nutella filled strawberries for us for dessert)!
Hello Monday morning…
Hope you all have a beautiful start to your week.
Happy Friday everyone!
Hope you all have a beautiful weekend…