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Baba Ganush and Ellie's Brown Ale

Posted Nov 29 2010 12:00am
    I can't believe the long holiday weekend is over!  I had an extremely difficult time rolling out of bed this morning for work and could have used my Mom's sneaky tactics for getting me up.  When Sister and I lived at home, our Mom would walk up the stairs, turn on our lights, and say "morning glories", "up and at 'em", "rise and shine" in a high-pitched, chipper voice.  We would jump out of bed to stop the early morning madness.  Some mornings we would do a lap around our bedrooms so Mom would think we were getting ready for school and then crawl back into bed for a few more minutes in Sleepytown....let's just say Char wasn't so chipper the second time around ;)
    So, I've been craving Middle Eastern food ever since we went to Naji's Pita Gourmet on Saturday....and that's what I'm whompin' up tonight.  I bought vegetarian grape leaves, Jou-Jou's pitas, and ajvar but I wanted to make two other favorites to go along with our meal....baba ganush and tabouli .  Nope, I'm not making up these words.  Baba ganush is basically like hummus but instead of chickpeas you use roasted eggplant, and tabouli is a wheat salad with parsley.....both are equally scrumptious and easy to make.

Baba G:
1 large eggplant
1 tablespoon Vegenaise (mayo substitute)
garlic powder
lemon juice

First, wash the eggplant and pierce with a fork.  Heat the oven to 450 degrees and roast until the eggplant is almost collapsed and very soft.  After it has cooled, scoop out and mash everything but the skin (toss it) and combine all the other ingredients.  Done.  Open a bag of pita chips and dig in!

Bulgar wheat (I actually bought Near East comes with a spice pack for extra flavor)
1 roma tomato
1 bundle of fresh parsley
1 small red onion
1 cucumber
Feta cheese (optional)
Lemon and lime juice

Follow the directions on the Tabouli label (basically you dump the box of wheat and spices in a bowl, pour in one cup of boiling water, and refrigerate for 30 minutes). Chop tomato/parsley/onion/cucumber and add to tabouli after 30 minutes. Drown the concoction with lemon and lime juice.  I would normally add crumbled feta but I forgot to swing by Publix on my way home today. Salt/pepper and refrigerate for another 30 mins before serving.
    Forrest was feeling a little home sick while eating all the international food so he decided to wash down the unfamiliar meal with an Avery Ellie's Brown Ale....

    The Avery Brewery is located in Boulder, Colorado and this beer is named after their beloved chocolate lab, Ellie....isn't that just precious.  It's pour is a dark body with a khaki foam and has a 5.5% abv.  This brew goes down the pipe tasting like dry chocolate cookies, plums, and raisins. Saturday night I was forced to drink one of these beers (I was fresh out of Michelobs) and it was rough.  Forrest gives the Ellie's Brown Ale 7.5 out of 10 and I give it a 0 out of 10...but I love Michelob so what do I know.
    As you can see from yesterday's post, Forrest has been growing a woolly bear beard for over a month and finally shaved it completely off this morning.  Because he knows that I hate a mustache/goatee/half-stache/etc, he decided to carve a design in his face last night before completely saying goodbye.  So, for your Monday humor..... we went to Red Elephant last night and despite my pleads, Forrest sported this facial creation to dinner....

    Ummmm...yeahhhhhh....all I can say is that I'm thrilled this Fu Manchu is gone!
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