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Caponata is a fantastic recipe combining sweet and sour flavors that compliment each other so well.  My mother use to make this years ago, usually in the summer, and we would eat it in crusty Italian bread at the beach.  It can also be served warm as a side dish or even over a pound of pasta with Parmesan cheese.  It keeps well refrigerated for up to a week, if it lasts that long!  A word about eggplant:  even though eggplant is not suppose to have a sex you will find the eggplants with what looks like a “dot” on the end as opposed to the “slit” will have much less seeds and will not be as bitter.


1 medium eggplant, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 to 4 Tablespoons golden raisins
1/4-cup pine nuts, toasted
3 to 4 Tablespoons honey
1/4-cup red wine vinegar
2-teaspoons dried oregano
or Italian seasonings
2-Tablespoons capers, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat approximately 1/4-cup olive oil in sauté pan; add onion, eggplant, celery, and red pepper. Sauté until slightly wilted, add tomatoes, garlic and continue to cook about 5 minutes.  Add raisins, pine nuts honey, capers, oregano and vinegar. Cook about 5 more minutes stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  That’s it! 

Uncle Thomas
and Toby
in the garden

These two recipes make good use of frozen spinach and would be perfect to accompany Super Bowl watching or any other TV snacking.  Both can be made ahead and reheated.


1-unbaked pie shell
3-beaten eggs
2-Cups half and half
2-Cups shredded Gruyere, Swiss or white cheddar cheese
1-package dry vegetable soup mix (Knorr)
1-10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into an unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 375º for 45-50 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.


2-10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained
2-Cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1-Cup finely chopped onion
1/2-Cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3-Cup melted butter
1-1/2-teaspoons dried thyme
1-clove minced garlic
Dipping Sauce:
1 jar of Honey-Mustard, warmed in Microwave

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Shape into 1 inch balls and place on shallow baking pans.  Bake in 300º oven for about 30 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned.  Let stand on the baking pans for a few minutes, serve warm with dipping sauce of honey mustard.
Makes about 5 dozen.