Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I can’t believe I waited so long to share this recipe. Matt and I love these eggplant pizzas so they get made quite often in our apartment. Aside from being out-of-this-world delicious, they are perfect for vegetarian nights, quick weeknights and carb-free nights.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Carb-free pizza, you ask? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Slices of melt-in-your-mouth roasted eggplant serve as both the base and the topping for these individual pizzas. The first time I came across this idea I was extremely skeptical. I am a pizza fiend and seriously doubted that anything could compare to chewy, crispy pizza dough. Well, my friends, I am here to let you know that I doubt no more!

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

These easy eggplant pizzas are so darn tasty that I don’t even miss the pizza crust for one second. Did I mention the ease of this meal? That is the second reason these bad boys are made so often in our place.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thinly slice an eggplant. Drizzle with olive oil and season it up. I like to do a mix of salt, pepper, dried oregano and garlic powder to really take-home those Italian pizza flavors. Roast in the oven until tender, about ten minutes, then pull out of the oven. Top each roasted slice with tomato sauce and shredded cheese, usually mozzarella or whatever well-melting cheese you have on hand.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I recently used Gruyere and oh-my-heavens! I’ll just leave it at that. Anyways, through the topped eggplant slices back into the oven for another minute or two so the cheese melts and voila! Dinner is served.

Mini Eggplant Pizzas  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Eggplant Pizzas
 
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced (about ¼” thick)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt, pepper, dried oregano & garlic powder for sprinkling
  • ½ cup tomato sauce, more or less depending on quantity of eggplant slices
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, more or less depending on quantity of eggplant slices
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Place the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to very lightly coat. Spread the slices out so they are evenly spaced with none touching. Sprinkle the seasonings over the top.
  3. Roast until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your slices.
  4. Carefully pull the pan out of the oven. Use a spoon to top each eggplant slice with tomato sauce then top each with shredded cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese melts, about 1-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

 

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes & One Year Blogiversary!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today is an amazing day. It is Lemon & Mocha’s one year blogiversary! What is a blogiversary you ask? A blog anniversary, of course! It has been one year since I wrote my first ever post on this site.

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

For years I would hungrily read others’ food blogs eager to start my own and was always delighted when there would be some epic and exciting blogiversary post. I couldn’t wait to one day have my own blogiversary and here we are, how crazy is that?

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

I cannot say enough to thank my family, friends, blog readers and hungry web browsers who have encouraged and supported me throughout this past year. For anyone who has ever shared Lemon & Mocha with a friend, made one of my recipes, liked a Facebook post, or simply let me know the photos made them hungry, I love you!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every single comment and e-mail is sure to make my day and brings even more joy to something I already love doing so much.

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Deserving of a very special thank you is Matt who has been by my side for every photo shoot, gorge session, kitchen melt-down (yes, there were quite a few of those), WordPress update and post edit. The amount of love and time he has put into Lemon & Mocha simply because he knows how much it means to me is remarkable; I am forever grateful and blessed!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Here at Lemon & Mocha we are celebrating with something very exciting- this unbelievable recipe for rainbow inside-out faux Hostess hi-hat cupcakes. Whew, that was a mouthful, but the name says it all! Oh baby, these are out of this world! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, as well as previous posts on my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and chocolate ganache. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Rainbow Inside-Out Faux Hostess Hi-Hat Cupcakes & One Year Blogiversary!
 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 24 chocolate cupcakes, chilled in the fridge
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2¼ sticks)
  • 4½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2¼ cups marshmallow creme (Fluff)
  • 4½ tablespoons heavy cream
  • Food coloring, if desired
  • 1 batch chocolate ganache, still warm and in the saucepan
Directions
  1. Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, marshmallow creme, and heavy cream with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. Start slowly to make sure you don't coat your kitchen with powdered sugar then increase the speed to medium or medium-high. Continue to beat until the mixture is fluffy.
  2. If planning to make the cupcakes rainbow colored, divide the filling into 4 separate bowls. Dye each bowl of frosting a different color. I did green, blue, yellow and purple. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip with 1 color of frosting. To frost the cupcakes I piped a circle rim around the edge of the cupcake then loosely filled in a thin layer so the top surface was covered. I then piped around in a circle slowly bringing the swirl inwards as it got higher and brought it to a point. After frosting place the cupcakes in the freezer and chill until the frosting is hardened. Continue with each color of frosting.
  3. Working with 2 cupcakes at a time, take the cupcakes out of the freezer. Tilt the saucepan with the ganache and dip the frosting portion of the cupcake into the ganache. Make sure the frosting is completely coated. Place the ganache-topped cupcakes in the fridge to chill then repeat with 2 more cupcakes. Keep chilled in the fridge until serving.

Frosting from The Curvy Carrot.

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

This cauliflower… I’m getting weak in the knees. Who thought I would ever be exclaiming such things about some cauliflower?

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

There are several things that this dish has going for it. One is that the cauliflower is roasted in the oven. Almost every vegetable on the planet automatically tastes amazing when you oven roast it. See proof here, here and here. Then there is the inclusion of lemon, which always brightens up a dish.

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, there is the Parmesan. This recipe doesn’t call for a lot of cheese, but the nutty and melty Parmesan topping adds just the right balance to the roasted cauliflower.

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did I mention that you get to put this right in the oven then forget about it? Always a bonus in my book. So make this cauliflower tonight, but make sure you invite me for dinner.

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into small & medium sized florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Spread the cauliflower florets in the prepared roasting pan then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Top with the garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, making sure to stir 1-2 times during cooking.
  4. Remove from the oven and place in a serving dish. Immediately top with the Parmesan and chives.

Recipe from The Food Network.

New England Classic Quesadilla

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m going to jump right to the point here with this post. It is the last post in my apple series and I wanted a recipe that would blow your socks off. My alma mater, Boston College, has some unbelievable sandwiches. They spark constant debates, long lines and even extensive blog posts.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, there is no denying that the New England Classic Panini is among the top contributions to society that this New England college has ever shared. Turkey breast, slices of Granny Smith apple, creamy honey mustard and sharp cheddar cheese come together in sandwich perfection. The sandwich is pressed until the cheese is gooey, which is of course the best way cheese can be consumed.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boston College’s version, and the reason it is so remarkable, is the special cranberry-apple bread they serve it on. I do not have their amazing bread so instead of trying to completely replicate the New England Classic I decided to make my own spin on it. This quesadilla brought me right back to the dining hall and I was so absorbed in how delicious it tasted I devoured it with unusual speed.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

The crispy fried tortilla envelopes the turkey, apple, honey mustard and cheddar cheese perfectly. Tartness from the Granny Smith, saltiness from the cheddar and creaminess from the honey mustard come together in sweet lip-smackin’ harmony. If you really want to get fancy with it you could grab some cranberry sauce for dipping. Okay fellow Eagles, it’s your turn:  what do you crave the most from BC dining?

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

New England Classic Quesadilla
 
Yield: 1 quesadilla
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard, plus more if desired
  • ⅓ cup shredded yellow extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices deli turkey
  • ¼ Granny Smith Apple, peeled & thinly sliced
Directions
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat.
  2. Spread the honey mustard all over one side of the tortilla then place in the skillet, honey mustard side up. Evenly sprinkle the cheese all over the honey mustard so it’s completely covering the tortilla. Place a lid or splatter screen over the skillet to help the cheese melt.
  3. Once the cheese is melted evenly place the turkey slices so they are covering the whole tortilla. Evenly place the apple slices on one half of the tortilla. Carefully use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high to crisp the exterior of the quesadilla. Watch carefully, this should only take a minute or two. Once browned, flip the quesadilla to crisp up the other side. When the quesadilla is browned on both sides remove from the heat. Let sit for a minute or two then cut into sections before serving.
Notes
To make your own honey mustard mix together 1 tablespoon honey, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard. Adjust honey-mayo-mustard ratio according to taste.

Baked Apple Chips

Baked Apple Chips  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s apple time again! After Tuesday’s slightly involved, albeit delicious and deceptively easy, dish I wanted to share something that required minimal effort and ingredients. I’m talking three ingredients and three steps. Boom! How exciting is that? We could all use a few more minimal effort recipes in our lives.

Baked Apple Chips  |  Lemon & Mocha

Homemade apple chips are a great on-the-go snack. They are also enjoyable on top of salads, in spiced sweet potato and apple soup, and by themselves for Netflix marathons. Thin apple slices are lightly coated with spiced sugar then left to bake in the oven. Staying in the oven for so long on a low temperature takes a lot of the moisture out of them leaving you with a nice crunchy chip-like texture. But, they still have the taste of apple. Thus apple chips. You probably got that by now, but I figured I would point it out anyways.

Baked Apple Chips  |  Lemon & Mocha

They are quite addictive. However, I must share one warning with all you soon-to-be-apple-chip-makers:  they sit in the oven for a long, long time. This is not a make it in 20 minutes kind of snack. We’re talking almost 2 hours in the oven. So just make sure you read the recipe thoroughly, all four lines of it, long before you plan to actual create this treat so you aren’t disappointed or late for your Netflix marathon.

Baked Apple Chips  |  Lemon & Mocha

Baked Apple Chips
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Pink Lady apples
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut each apple in half (make one cut through the apple halfway between the bottom and the stem, do not cut from the stem downward). Thinly slice the apple using a mandolin. You can core the apple, but then you won’t get the pretty stars in the middle.
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bag. Add the apple slices and shake until they are completely coated. You may have to open the bag up to separate some of the slices. Lay the apple slices evenly on the prepared baking sheet then bake for one hour.
  4. Remove from the oven, flip over, then bake for another hour. When the second hour is up, remove the pan from the oven then carefully move the apple chips to a cooling rack. The apple slices will continue to fully crisp while they are cooling.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.