Friday, November 16, 2018

Regaining Civility: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using: gracious ~ unfounded ~ relax ~ comfortable ~ necessary
They were submitted by Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo.

Leave it to Jenn, in this time of national anger and division, to gift me with words like gracious, relax, and comfortable. I can always count on Jenn, via her blog and her FB page, to remind me to release my fingernails from digging into my palms, climb down off the ledge and return to a place where my blood pressure is at a level consistent with maintaining life. I hope I can do these words justice.

Just 10 days ago I published a post called World Kindness Election Day, in which I started this conversation. I'll continue it here today in a different context, relating it to sports, not to repeat myself but because this is something that cannot be said enough times or in enough ways.

World Kindness Election Day, a discussion about kindness on the day of midterm elections | Graphic property of | #kindness #politics

Manners are dead. A thing of the past. It's a big piece of what is wrong with us as Americans. We are not polite to each other. Bullying, bigotry, we see that taking center stage in our daily lives. On a local level, I have recently been the target of road rage, forced to feel in jeopardy, as though I could not go home because I did not want to lead someone honking her brains out and giving me the finger and calling me "f***ng c**t" at the top of her lungs out the window of her car for miles and miles to my house. What did I do to her? I have absolutely no idea. Nor does College Boy who was in the car with me. 

We have rejected the idea of being polite to each other and many of us are completely out of control, not just those who send bombs through the mail and shoot up grocery stores and temples, but some who, when we perceive ourselves to have been wronged, founded or unfounded, act out with anger, vitriol and violence.

I think lessons can be learned from sports, both juvenile and professional. I love when I watch football and a member of the opposing team helps up a player who's been tackled. Or in baseball when the player who's made it to a base smiles and speaks briefly with the player guarding that base. In both situations it is clear that although opponents on the field, they are not enemies. I cannot stress enough that it is possible to be opponents but not enemies. In all sectors of life.

But for me the biggest lesson comes at the end of a game when we often see the teams line up and acknowledge each other. Be it high fives or handshakes or just saying "good game", it doesn't matter how, but they look each other in the face and interact in some way. They "leave it on the field". What we learn in these moments are the yin and yang of being gracious. Not just how to lose with grace, a difficult lesson especially for children, but how to win with humility as well.

This is why it matters: Regaining our civility will not be a sweeping reform at this point, it will be a matter of small steps. It is important for those of us dismayed at the current climate in our society to stop waiting for this to happen from the top down. It is a time to be proactive, to make an individual effort, set a better tone in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. If we want to be comfortable in our lives, be able to relax in an environment in which we are free to express who we are as individuals, it is necessary, it is incumbent upon us all, to regain some basic level of decorum. Celebrate each others' triumphs, lament each others' setbacks. If we go back to being gracious, in both our victories and our defeats, we've taken that first step.

Live inclusion, not exclusion. 

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting, a moist orange and apple cider cake topped with an apple cider butter cream frosting. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bake #cake

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

1 box orange deluxe cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp orange zest

1 stick butter, softened
OPT: 1 TBSP orange liqueur
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
up to 1/2 cup apple cider

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 cake pan.
*Mix together the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, 1 cup apple cider and the orange zest. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 - 28 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Beat the butter with the orange liqueur (if using) until smooth. Slowly at first, beat in the powdered sugar and nutmeg. Two tablespoons at a time, beat in the apple cider until the frosting is of spreadable consistency, then spread onto the cooled cake.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Clean Out Your Fridge Day Poetry

It's that time once again,
poetry day on this blog.
Our group talks themes,
like smog, frog or hot dog.

We suggested and laughed,
weird holidays on the way.
This time, chose tomorrow's
Clean Out Your Fridge Day!

Clean Out Your Fridge Day, monthly poetry group poems based on a theme | Graphic property of #humor

Clean Out Your Fridge Day

There's kids starving in Europe,
my mama would say.
But if I eat my beans
I help them in some way?

You're lucky, she'd explain,
for no meal have you yearned.
And let nothing go to waste,
it's a lesson well learned.

My clan, we all love
"clean out the freezer" night.
Little lasagna, stroganoff, chili,
all find something just right.

But "clean out the fridge day"
is met with such scorn.
"What concoction this time?
Rather starve", they all mourn.

They dread it, they fight it,
"I have to work late."
"But you never know,
I could make something great."

Got some lettuce, a lemon,
and there's a few eggs.
Oooh, a chicken,
forget it, seems it's got green legs. 

There's a carrot, some ketchup
a beet and milk's fine,
a Brussels sprout, grape jelly,
dinner will be divine.

With my head in the fridge 
and still no dinner plan, 
I finish taking stock
with mustard and bran.

Wait, who could that be
ringing my front door bell?
"Pizza's here" in perfect unison
those damn traitors yell.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Now you know in each post,
a new recipe I add.
Was going to use those leftovers,
but that'd be . . . well, bad.

So today I'm sharing cookies,
all ingredients fresh bought.
You'll appreciate it more,
at least that what I thought.

Mint and Raspberry Pinwheels, these cookies are as flavorful as they are beautiful. Perfect for holidays but a favorite treat for any day. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bake #cookies

Mint and Raspberry Pinwheels

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Out with the Fuzzy
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Clean that Fridge
Diane of On the Border shares Clean!

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Mint and Raspberry Pinwheels

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP baking cocoa

1 tsp raspberry extract
2 drops red food coloring
1 TBSP flour
chocolate sprinkles 

1/2 tsp mint extract
2 drops green food coloring
1 TBSP flour
multicolored sprinkles

*Cream together the butter, margarine and sugar, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in 3 cups of flour, baking powder and salt.
*Divide dough in half. To one half, add the baking cocoa, then split into two fairly equal pieces.
*Split the other half into two fairly equal pieces. To one, add the raspberry extract, red food coloring and 1 TBSP flour. To the other, add the mint extract, green food coloring annd the other TBSP flour.
*Roll out each of the 4 dough segments separately between 2 pieces of wax paper to about 9 X 11 inches.
*Carefully flip the raspberry layer on top of one of the chocolate layers and the mint layer on top of the other chocolate layer. Lay them flat in the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
*Using the wax paper to help you, roll up using the long side until you have 2 tube shaped rounds, one chocolate an raspberry, the other chocolate and mint.
*Roll the raspberry dough round in chocolate sprinkles and the mint dough round in multicolored sprinkles. 
*Wrap each round in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put parchment paper onto baking sheets.
*Slice rolls into about 1/4 inch slices. Bake for 11 - 12 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thanksgiving Croquettes: Family Gathering Blog With Friends

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Each month a group  of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about this partnership is that it’s not bloggers with similar interests or strengths but a diverse group coming up with a variety of posts. In any given month we may have a recipe, sewing tutorial, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.

Blog With Friends, a monthly project based blogging collaboration | | #MyGraphics

This month's theme is Family Gathering.

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Family Gathering | Featured on

I made Thanksgiving Croquettes:

Use holiday leftovers or start from scratch, Thanksgiving Croquettes are an easy and delicious lunch or dinner incorporating all of the flavors of the holiday. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #holiday #dinner
Thanksgiving Croquettes

I know, you expected the recipe of a dish I serve on Thanksgiving. Not today. Mostly because of what I explained in my last blog post Sweet Red Hot Pretzel Snacks: Secret Subject Swap (you read it, didn't you?). Just in case you didn't, I'll give you the Cliffs Notes (pay attention, there'll be a test). 

As family gatherings go, Thanksgiving is a favorite. It's a day for family, friends and food. But for the list maker, shopper, sous chef, cook and baker (all the same person, btw), it's a lot of work. My favorite time of Thanksgiving day is when the turkey's in the oven and it's too early to be prepping the side dishes, my respite in the day. We have a fire in the fireplace and sit together with cocktails and snacks, talking and laughing and partially watching football. It's the part of the day when I'm engaged more as a family member than as the chef. 

Since I've already posted so many favorite recipes from this holiday over the years and even done a round up of Thirty Thanksgiving Recipes, I'm going to share a recipe today from another favorite time associated with the celebration. Leftovers.

The weekend after Thanksgiving we have leftovers. It's a more casual day than the holiday itself and so much less work for me. Part of the fun, the challenge of this particular family gathering is reinventing the leftovers into something new. After much thought I've decided that this year I'll be making Thanksgiving Croquettes. Although it's an easy dinner, calling for precooked leftovers, you can easily adapt it for other times of the year, just "doctor up" a box stuffing mix and use chicken instead of turkey. The directions are in the recipe below.

Start by gathering your ingredients:

Use holiday leftovers or start from scratch, Thanksgiving Croquettes are an easy and delicious lunch or dinner incorporating all of the flavors of the holiday. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #holiday #dinner

Mix, form balls and refrigerate. I actually do this the day before so all I have to do the next day is saute the croquettes.

Use holiday leftovers or start from scratch, Thanksgiving Croquettes are an easy and delicious lunch or dinner incorporating all of the flavors of the holiday. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #holiday #dinner

Cook in a saute pan:

Use holiday leftovers or start from scratch, Thanksgiving Croquettes are an easy and delicious lunch or dinner incorporating all of the flavors of the holiday. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #holiday #dinner

And serve. Easy peasy. Perfect for enjoying some family time the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Use holiday leftovers or start from scratch, Thanksgiving Croquettes are an easy and delicious lunch or dinner incorporating all of the flavors of the holiday. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #holiday #dinner

As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!

Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares her recipe for Turkey Soup.
 Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Family Gathering | Turkey Soup by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares how to make a DIY Kids’ Travel Pillow.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Family Gathering | DIY Kids' Travel Pillow by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Grateful Hearts, scrapbook layouts and cards for expressing gratitude.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Family Gathering | Grateful Hearts by Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments | Featured on

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Advice for my Daughter (and you) About Family Gatherings.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Family Gathering | Advice for my Daughter (and you) About Family Gatherings by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles| Featured on

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Thanksgiving Croquettes        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 12 - 14):
2 - 2 1/2 cups leftover stuffing (see note below if you don't have enough leftover stuffing), cold
2 eggs
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups leftover cooked turkey (can substitute chicken), cold
1/4 cup corn niblets
1/4 cup whole cranberry sauce OR 3 TBSP jellied cranberry sauce mashed plus 2 TBSP cranraisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds

vegetable oil

*NOTE: if you don't have enough leftover stuffing, make a box of stuffing mix using chicken broth instead of water and adding in shredded carrot and chopped green onion.
*Chop the leftover turkey into small pieces.
*Mix together the stuffing, eggs, turkey, corn, cranberry sauce and almonds. Using your hands, roll into about 2 - 3 inch balls and place in fridge for an hour (or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to a day).
*Heat 2 TBSP of vegetable oil and 1 TBSP butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat until hot. Add 5 stuffing balls and immediately press down with a spatula to form a patty. Cook for 5 - 8 minutes.
*Gently flip over and cook the other side about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Keep warm while cooking the remaining croquettes. You may need to add more vegetable oil and butter between batches.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sweet Red Hot Pretzel Snacks: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 9 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish and how do you make it?
It was submitted by: Rena of The Blogging 911.

"She cheated", you're thinking. "She chooses who gets what prompt and she chose this one, fits right into how she blogs".

Well, you'd be wrong. The way I assign prompts is way more involved than just choosing whatever I want. If you want to know how it's done, I'll be happy to let you know but I don't think I'll bore everyone with the whole routine here. 

And, honestly, this is a tough prompt for me. I've been blogging for more than a few years at this point. All of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes have pretty much been posted at this point. I've even done a recipe round up, Thirty Thanksgiving Recipes from Start to Leftovers. If you're looking for new holiday recipes to try, check out that one, bet you find something you like.

So coming up with a favorite Thanksgiving dish for this seemingly made-to-order (pun intended) subject and have it be something new for my readers really made me sit down and give it some thought. And as I worked it through in my mind, I came up with both a favorite recipe for today, and one for Monday's Blog With Friends post as well. Holiday recipes that are and yet are not Thanksgiving foods. Let me step back a minute and tell you about where I'm coming at this from. 

Quite simply, I'm coming at this from the point of view of the shopper, prepper (yes, I know that's not a word, sue me) and chef. Truth is, a lot of Thanksgiving is work. Don't get me wrong, I love the holiday, we light a fire in the fireplace, have cocktails and leisurely graze on snacks in the afternoon, then the piece-de-resistance, the big Thanksgiving dinner (and dessert, don't forget dessert) in the evening. Before all that I've made lists and shopped and prepped the food and, of course, cooked it all. 

So what is one of my favorite recipes and why? It's the afternoon snacks. The part of the day when we're sitting in front of the fire with football on the TV. The turkey is in the oven but it's too early to start coordinating the rest of the dishes. We're all old enough to drink in my house so we are each sipping our cocktail of choice, snacks are set out around the room and on the kitchen counter so everyone is helping themselves to whatever they want. This is the time of the day that is a respite for me, a lull, a time when I can relax, join in, be part of the group.

And I love it! No, that's not the cocktail talking. Well, maybe partially, but even afterwards when I look back on the day, the family time, the success of the meal, this is the time of the day that makes me smile the most.

So the recipe I'm sharing today isn't technically a Thanksgiving recipe. I make it this time of year, but other times as well. My family happens to love hot and spicy food so this snack was developed with them in mind, and with love. The love of a family, a season, a thankful chef. 

Sweet Red Hot Pretzel Snacks are pretzels with a coating that’s spicy with a hint of sweet, simple to make and quick to disappear. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #snack

Sweet Red Hot Pretzel Snacks

BTW, on Monday my Blog With Friends group will be posting projects based on a theme. The theme this month is Family Gathering. I'll be sharing another recipe that, like today's sort of is and sort of is not a Thanksgiving recipe.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Sweet Red Hot Pretzel Snacks

Printable Recipe

1# bag of pretzels
8 oz Red Hots (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 TBSP butter
1/4 cup maple syrup

*Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Place the pretzels in a large bowl and set aside.
*In a saucepan, heat the red hots, butter and maple syrup over medium low heat, stirring, until the candy melts completely.
*Remove from heat and immediately pour over the pretzels. Mix well.
*Spread the pretzels out on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for one hour or until they harden. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

World Kindness Election Day

Today in the United States is midterm election day. Perhaps you already know that. I think if you live in this country and own a TV or have access to the internet or have a phone or drive down a street, it would be pretty hard not to know that there are elections going on. I'm not going to write about the election today, though. I posted a plea about voting back in May called Functional Democracy and I hope you read it. 

Today I want to call your attention to a holiday that's coming up next week. Tuesday is World Kindness Day. I not only want to talk about it because it's important, but because it's so much more important in this country and in this current political climate. There is, at this time in history, a sad juxtaposition between politics and kindness, so I've chosen today to talk about World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Election Day, a discussion about kindness on the day of midterm elections | Graphic property of | #kindness #politics

One of the things we seem to have lost track of in this country is that we live in a global society. We share this earth. When our actions as a country become narcissistic, that doesn't happen in a vacuum. What we do in terms of treaties, the environment, relationships with other countries, it all has a ripple effect, it all affects others not only in their relationships with us, but with each other as well. If we retreat from a circle of allies, that circle gets stronger, with us on the outside. That has long term and far reaching implications. I say this all to make the point that kindness matters on all levels, in our homes, communities, cities, states, country and globally. 

But let's start small. Because it really is that easy. If you show kindness on a local level, if we all do, it changes who we are, how we live, and how we're seen on a much larger level. What we do on a microscopic level can produce macroscopic results. That makes it a lot easier to think about, doesn't it? 

There are already so many suggestions out there. Kindness rocks (wrote about this too in my post from June of 2017 called Everybody Should Get Stoned). are a fun way to brighten someone's day. Or pay it forward by paying for a stranger's coffee, or really, just share a Thanksgiving treat with your neighbors. Even those with trump signs in their yard (sorry, couldn't help myself).

Gobble Gobble Turkey Treats, a fun no-bake snack perfect for any Thanksgiving dessert table. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #Thanksgiving

Gobble Gobble Turkey Treats
Gobble Gobble Turkey Treats, a fun no-bake snack perfect for any Thanksgiving dessert table. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #Thanksgiving

There are all kinds of ways to make the world a better place. For today, let's all be sure to vote. Votes matter, they are the mechanism for making our morals and values heard on a national level. And on the way home, why don't we each find some small kindness we can do in our communities? Because actions matter too, they are how we make our morals and values heard on a local level.

 There's always more to say about kindness. Before you go, some other thoughts about World Kindness Day:

Dawn of Cognitive Script shares World Kindness and Elections
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Kindness Matters
Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo shares What We Need to Know When It Gets Bad: Kindness Keeps Us Here.
Diane of On the Border shares That's How You Were Designed.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Gobble Gobble Turkey Treats

6 Airhead Extremes multicolored candy strips
4 oz chocolate chips, chocolate bark or brown candy melts
10 marshmallows 
10 thin pretzel sticks
20 candy eyes
10 pepitas or sunflower seeds

*Cut each candy strip into 5 triangles. Set aside.
*Press a pretzel stick straight down into the back of one flat side each marshmallow. Some of the pretzel stick must still be above the marshmallow. This will be the top.
*Melt the chocolate chips, bark or candy melt until smooth when stirred. 
*Dip each marshmallow into the melted chocolate and place onto parchment paper.
*Just as the chocolate is about to set, place 2 candy eyes onto the side of each marshmallow. Below that, press a seed into each to resemble a beak.
*Using the tip of a knife, place a little melted chocolate onto 10 of the candy strips. Use that chocolate to stick a candy strip, wide side of the triangle at the top, onto each pretzel half.
*Last, for each turkey, add a little chocolate to the backs of 2 of the remaining candy strips. Attach them to each side of the candy strip already on the turkey. The short side should be flush with the top of the marshmallow and the long sides should be placed up the pretzel, touching each other. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup

I give up. Uncle. Waving the white flag. Throwing in the towel. She wins (damn you, Mother Nature).

With tears in my eyes and a heavy wool sweater on my shoulders, it's now about half way between Fall and Winter. Time to face it (me, not necessarily you), summer's not coming back. Not this week anyway. Or this month, or this year. {{sob}}.

We had our first snow this season in the middle of October, didn't exactly make me happy, but didn't deter me either. As mortified as I was that it came so early, I remained hopeful that warm weather could still break through. And it did. For a little while anyway. But now? Well, now it's November.

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup, inspired by a favorite dish this hearty soup is bursting with roasted vegetable flavors. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #soup

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup

As long as there's less than 6 inches of snow on my deck (thankfully there is and hopefully it remains that way) I'll still be using the grill every now and then. But winter foods are now officially in rotation.

And so, in the spirit of accepting my defeat with grace, I spent the day working on a new soup recipe. Because nothing says "warm you from the inside out" like a hot soup on a cold day. Serve with garlic bread or a crusty french loaf and dinner is served.

First snow of the season | Picture property of | #winter

Just for the fun of it (yeah I'm strange, I know, I have kids who tell me on a regular basis), I decided to try to take a favorite dish and interpret it into soup form. It was a challenge of sorts. Actually, the challenge was just deciding on a dish to work with. Since a lot of the heartier meals I make in the cold weather months tend to be Italian (and it's a favorite cuisine anyway), I finally settled on working with my Crispy Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe. By the way, if you haven't tried that one, you should. I bake the eggplant as opposed to sauteing it. I serve it with my Homemade Marinara, which is a delicious and really easy sauce that complements so many dishes. 

Seems I got a little sidetracked. That's OK, I've got an excuse, I'm old. Seems it's a reaction to having smart ass kids . . . but I might be getting off topic again . . .

Anyhooo, what I came up with, the recipe I'm sharing today, is Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup. It was really easy to make and I'm so glad I decided to roast the vegetables. They added a lot of depth to the flavor of this dish.

I'm going back to mourning the loss of summer, oh and checking out the current cost of plane tickets heading south. Meanwhile, you try out this recipe. Let me know what you think, is it reminiscent of Eggplant Parmesan?

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup        

Printable Recipe

4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
2 large eggplants, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 cups grape tomatoes
6 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP fresh parsley
1/2 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan 

*Place the eggplant slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Flip over onto fresh paper towels, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Blot the tops and chop the eggplant into about 1 inch pieces.
*Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover 2 baking sheets with tin foil. Place the onion and grape tomatoes onto one baking sheet. Sprinkle with the garlic, drizzle with 3 TBSP olive oil. Mix.
*Spray the other baking sheet with non-stick spray and spread the eggplant over the foil. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle both sheets of vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.
*While the vegetables are roasting, place the vegetable broth and Italian seasoning in a large pot on the stove to warm.
*Once the vegetables are done, set the eggplant aside. Place the remaining vegetables in a food processor and process until not quite smooth. Add to the pot and bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, adding the eggplant for the last minute.
*To serve, sprinkle with the fresh parsley and Parmesan.