Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dining In

These days I'm dining in.

I have three good reasons for dining in:

1) No one is available (or can afford) to dine out with me (I don't like to dine alone)

2) The food at the restaurants that I've dined at, isn't as good as my own cooking

3) It is too expensive to dine out

I've always like cooking. I'm not a gourmet cook. I don't cook fish, most meats or any exotic food. I'm a comfort food cook.

At one time of my life I used to like cooking for company but I have lost interest in that over the years. Occasionally I'll have a friend over for a meal, but nothing like pot luck for multiple folks. That's not my style.

One of my all time favorite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan. I always ordered this out because I didn't think I could cook it. Another favorite of mine is French fried potatoes. I don't deep fat fry food in my house because I don't want that greasy smell permeating my curtains and the upholstery of my living room furniture.

Because of the difficulty of finding a friend to dine out with me, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Guess what? I can do it! I now have a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan that is better than any I've ever had at a restaurant. I also have a wonderfully delicious recipe for oven baked potatoes that is so much tastier and healthier than anything that I can buy at a restaurant.

Tomorrow I'll post the recipes of my Eggplant Parmesan and Oven Baked Potatoes.

Now my only goal is to master preparing Chicken Quesadillas as good as the one I have at the Brickside Grill in Eagleview, PA. I've had Chicken Quesadillas at other restaurants but they've all been cheesy messes. Only the Brickside Grill prepares this dish with pumpkin seed and fresh salsa. Other restaurants say they have "fresh salsa" but it's not the truly fresh salsa which is fresh tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno peppers and NO tomato sauce.

Another problem I have in dining out in this poor economy is that the restaurants I've been too have had a noticeable drop in quality of food. I think it's because they're cutting back on their supplies and don't the customers will notice. I've noticed and won't be back anytime soon.

Except for my weekly breakfast outing, I'll be dining in.....alone.


G said...

EGGPLANT, I love it, that looks sooo good. What is the sauce? Is it a type of spaghetti sauce from a jar? If so, is that important? Do you believe in plural marriage? LOL

G said...

I got so excied I didn't read all of your post. Can't wait to get the recipe tomarrow.

Ron said...


Thank you for the positive feedback. I love cooking and now sharing my recipes, which are mine by the way.


nitewrit said...


I was just wondering if you'd share your receipt for "French Friend Potatos". :)


Ron said...


You hit upon a key ingredient (for me anyway) of making a good Eggplant Parmesan, the tomato sauce. Actually, I don't use a sauce at all. It is so easy and yet (for me again) the best tasting tomato base for Eggplant Parmesan. I use two 28 oz. cans of Furman's Chunky Crushed Tomatoes with Basil, garlic and oregano. I spoon it straight out of the can on top of each individual precooked breaded eggplant slice.
I don't use any onions so no need to brown onions in olive oil then cook a tomato sauce. I love the taste right out of the can of chunky, crushed tomatoes. Using diced tomatoes or plum tomatoes doesn't give the same taste. I also find Furmano's has the exact taste I'm looking for. Of course I can only find Furmano's in one store. I'm out of luck if I can't find it.

I'm looking forward to posting the whole recipe tomorrow. It has taken me years to arrive at this point. I'm glad I discovered the "secret" before I kicked the bucket.


Ron said...

From my friend Carole in PA:

Funny how life works, Ron. I had decided to go to the brickside for a cheeseburger today (I have been going to another restaurant for lunch which is closer to my work and cheaper) and I opened up your blog to see your note about the Brickside. I took it with me and the manager hung it up in the kitchen!! He thought it was "Awesome"!

Luv Ya,


Ron said...


"French Friend Potatoes".....they are the best kind! Thanks for point that out to me.....I think.


G said...

The canned tomatoes sound brilliant. I was afraid a jar of spaghetti sauce woud be too salty. The eggpland would soak it right up, possibly making the eggplant soggy. Glenn will love your Potatoes.

Ron said...

The trick to Eggplant Parmesan is the crispy eggplant with the tomatoey taste of tomatoes, not soggy eggplant. I like eggplant just about anyway but I prefer the crispy eggplant. The like the contrast in textures.