Monday, June 24, 2013

eggplant lasagna




Finally, I'm back!  I hope you've missed me, or at least my recipes! :)  Although it's only been 4 weeks, it seems like I've been away forever.  So much has changed in my life in such a short span of time...and getting acclimated took a little longer than I imagined it would.  I still feel like a stranger in a brand new unfamiliar area, but getting better at finding my way around each day.  So many exciting new places to explore!

I've now temporarily settled in to a lovely town about 25 miles north west of Atlanta.  In some ways it's similar to where I lived in Northern Virginia, a short distance from D.C., and in other ways so very different.  My entire adult life's accumulation of furnishings are sandwiched like sardines into a 10x25 climate controlled storage unit, boxes stacked 10 feet high, literally, and it's absolutely impossible to find anything!

While I house hunt, and try to secure a new job position, I'm living temporarily, and quite comfortably with my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in their beautiful home - with a newly finished in-law suite, and all the amenities of home…including my son's surprise the night I arrived - the MLB Network channels, so I don't miss any of my beloved Washington National's games! :)  I'm even trying to convince my 4 year old grandson, Hudson, that the Nationals are a better team to root for than the Braves.  He's not quite convinced - yet! lol

I already look forward each morning to my sweet 18 month old granddaughter's voice yelling, "Nonna!" from the top of the stairs, if I'm not in her eyesight.  Watching Charlotte get all excited as I peep around the corner is such a special joy!






Now on to food.  Lasagna.  I think I can confidently say most of us love it!  Speaking for myself, I can't eat it too often for fear of gaining weight, so the next best thing…Eggplant Lasagna.  What if I told you that half of this entire recipe is only 315 calories!  Not only is it low in fat and calories, and high in protein and fiber,  but incredibly delicious as well.






This is the newest post in my favorite healthy entrĂ©e recipes.  It's fabulous, I create it all the time…and know you will adore it as much as me!  The secret to this healthy lasagna is the layers of pasta in regular lasagna are replaced by long, thin slices of eggplant.  The cheeses are non-fat, and it's meatless, so a great vegetarian option as well. Many varieties of eggplant and tomatoes are now making their way to our Farmer's Markets…so this dish is so delectably fresh right now!

Don't steer away from this recipe because it's healthy…the appetizing flavor is not sacrificed one bit!






If you're interested in other healthy savory dishes, check under the savory tab at the top of the page.  You will find them all listed under Healthy Recipes.

Until next time…save your calories for:  Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream…mangia! xox

Carol





Eggplant Lasagna
Servings (see Carol's notes)
Adapted from Harley Pasternak's 5-Factor Diet

Ingredients:

5 core ingredients:
2 small eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1/4" slices)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 pound tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
plus:
salt and fresh ground pepper
olive or canola oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
shavings of parmigiano reggiano for garnish (optional)
fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Create the Eggplant Lasagna:

1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, until soft and pliable.

2)  Coat a 8" x 12" or 9" x 13" glass baking dish with cooking spray and cover the bottom with eggplant slices. Ladle half of the tomato sauce over the eggplant and top with half of the tomato slices.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the dried basil, and 1 tablespoon of the italian seasoning, salt and ground pepper to taste. Spread half of the ricotta over the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with half the shredded mozzarella.  Repeat the layers, ending with mozzarella.

3)  Bake for 20 minutes.  Then place under the broiler until the cheese turns golden.

4)  Let it sit a room temperature for about 10 minutes to set up.  Cut into desired size portions.

Nutrition facts per serving, using recipe as written (2 servings - 1/2 of entire recipe!):  315 calories, 34 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat, 12 grams fiber.  Weight Watchers PP:  8.

Carol's notes:

The entire recipe is for 2 servings!, which are huge portions, so I prefer to portion the lasagna into 4 servings.  To achieve the extra thick portions in a couple of the photos, I slice one of the 4 portions in half and place on top of each other.

I don't peel my eggplant, especially when they are fresh, with tender skins; however, you can peel them if you prefer.

I like to slice my tomatoes ahead, and set them in a bowl with a paper towel to absorb any liquid.  This prevents the lasagna from getting watery.

I use a 15 ounce container of nonfat ricotta, and a 7 ounce package of nonfat mozzarella cheese (1-3/4 cups). This small addition will change up the nutrition facts slightly; however, I also divide the recipe into 4 servings, rather than 2.

To easily spread the nonfat ricotta, for lack of a better description - I "plop" spoonfuls on top of the tomatoes, then "smush" them down with the back of the spoon.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

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80 comments:

  1. Your lasagna looks absolutely mouthwatering, I could eat this every night for dinner! (P.S. Glad you are doing well, I've missed your posts! :))

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    1. Laura, it's so delicious, and I know how you like to eat healthy! This is perfect! Thanks for the well wishes! xox

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  2. mmm... I love to make eggplant lasagna too! So yummy and healthy! Your version looks delicious!!! :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I'm confident you will love this healthy version!!! :)

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  3. I love eggplant parmesan and this is even better. What a great recipe. I can't wait to try it.

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    1. If you like eggplant parm, and are looking for a healthier version, you will love this, Vicki! You'll never miss the bread crumbs and frying…so much easier to make too!!

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  4. Carol, I've been wondering where you've been! I've missed you and your lovely posts. It's good to hear you're settling into your temporary digs. I hope you find both a house and a new job soon! Lasagna is one of my favourite foods to cook and eat. I usually make a ridiculously giant pan and end up eating it all week long. Swapping out the noodles for a vegetable makes this a much healthier and lighter dish. This looks delicious!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Nancy! I'm settling in more each day, and actually just had my first interview, after years and years! lol Hope you get a chance to try this version of lasagna…you'll love it!

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  5. This looks amazing Carol. I adore eggplants, but I never really realised that an eggplant lasagne would have less calories than a normal one (silly, now that I think of it!). Trying this recipe very soon. Gorgeous pictures xx

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    1. Laura, thank you so much for your sweet comment! As long as you're not breading and frying the eggplant, and not using all the pasta…this is a delicious alternative! I eat it all the time, both when I'm watching my calories, and when I'm not! BTW, I've got to go pin some deliciousness from your blog, especially the raspberry cheesecake…looks incredible!

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  6. Your lasagne looks delicious and healthy too - what could be better! I have only just started following your blog recently and I really enjoy your recipes and your photos are beautiful.

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    1. I'm so happy you found my blog! Thank you for the sweet comment! I'll have to stop by yours, too! Love your blog name!

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  7. I've missed you!!! Such a gorgeous, yummy lasagna...maybe I can convert the hubby to an eggplant fan???? Or just eat it all myself :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Liz! So appreciated! Definitely try to convert your husband…if it doesn't work, you can have it all for yourself! ;)

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  8. Jeannette JordanJune 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    I missed your blog, but this one makes up for it. I love the idea of making something healthy and low in calories that actually taste good. I'm off to the farmers' market Saturday. Enjoy your move!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeannette…and for taking the time to write a comment! Enjoy the farmer's market…I look forward to them every Saturday morning!

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  9. yum, i love eggplant anything! this sounds delicious! hope the house and job hunting go well!

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    1. Thanks so much, Marissa…and a sincere congratulations to you on your beautiful wedding! I so enjoyed following you through all the steps! Wishing you much happiness!!

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  10. Carol, I made this recipe when you first shared it with me, and I love it! As delicious and healthy as it is, your photos are as satisfying as anything you whip up in your kitchen! Delicious!

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Jeannie! It's such a delicious, satisfying recipe…and you can eat so much of it! ;} Happy 4th! xox

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  11. My love of eggplant and pasta makes this recipe look especially enticing (it looks too delish to be healthy!).

    Congrats on completing phase 1 of the move - the arrival. In a few months from now everything will have, or will be, falling into place. :)

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    1. Thank you, Val! You're so sweet, and I appreciate all your kind words during these last few months! xox

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  12. Your son and his family must be so happy to have you living with them - especially if you are cooking wonderful food like this!! Glad to see you back on your blog!

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    1. Thanks so much, Martha! Actually, I think I'm the lucky one! :}

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  13. Glad you are back but well worth the wait! This speaks to all my senses. Looks amazing, makes my mouth water & is the healthy dish that I want to bake. It won't be long until this is being served at my kitchen table!

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  14. What a perfect lasagna! It's my all-time favorite kind of comfort food!

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  15. Glad to hear you are settled and it's true so much to explore when you moved to a new place (not to mention all the shopping places to discover). Hope you are doing well. :) Eggplant lasagna is naturally my first pick than traditional one just because I love eggplant very much. Bringing home cook meal to the table always bring you comfort no matter where you live. :) Beautiful dish!

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    1. You are such a sweetie, Nami! I've so enjoyed your adventures in Japan over the past couple weeks! Thanks for all the gorgeous photos, and a beautiful view of your family history! xox

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  16. Gorgeous lasagna and I am so glad you are back! I totally missed your incredible recipes!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Jocelyn!!

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  17. Welcome back! I love your eggplant lasagne-I have to try this one soon ;-). Your recipes always make me hungry!

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  18. I´m one of those crazy ones who doesn´t mind moving at all. A new place, a new neighbourhood, it´s all exciting! And eggplant anything tops my list, always. It looks sensational Carol! And I can imagine how much you´re enjoying your grandchildren all day long.

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    1. You're not crazy, Paula! :} It is exciting…until I peek into my storage unit and know I'm only half there! LOL I'm enjoying my grandchildren so much, getting to know the area, and I think I've even found my favorite spot I may plant myself! Thanks so much!! xox

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  19. We are both in the same boat. My family and I moved in with my parents while we wait to finally move into our new home. Having stuff in storage is so unsettling! My 3-year old is loving living with her Nonna and Nonna is already sad at the thought of us leaving in a couple of days. Enjoy the time with your family. I am loving your healthy take on lasagna!

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    1. I hope everything is going well with you, Lisa! You absolutely do know what it's like! So happy you have the new home ready to move in soon…and I can just imagine how your mother feels! Thanks so much for your kind comment! xox

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  20. Yummy yummy yummy gonna give this one a try!!! It's pretty and also looks tasty!!! From Puerto Rico, thanks for sharing!!!

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    1. So happy to have you as a new blog follower from Puerto Rico, Diana! This is a wonderful recipe, hope you have a chance to try it! One of my daughter's best friends from college is from PR, and my daughter has visited a couple times! :}

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  21. Welcome back!! It sounds like all is going well and I'm so happy for you! What a joy it must be to be near your grandkids. Your lasagna looks incredible! I'm a HUGE eggplant lover and I regularly crave it. The problem is my hubby won't eat it (at all - even if he's tricked and doesn't know a dish has eggplant, lol!), but I think I might cut this recipe in half and give it a go...more for me! :)

    Gorgeous photos as always!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Faith! So sppreciated! Yes, definitely cut this in half for yourself…well worth it! xox

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  22. Welcome back to blogland! Moving can be so exhilarating and so stressful at the same time. I've moved three times in the past couple of years and every move makes me reevaluate my life, my stuff, my past, my future---sheesh! it's exhausting! I'm amazed you had time to make this beautiful lasagna. I've been planning to make a mushroom lasagna for a while now, and this one is tempting me to get to it. Lovely!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sue! It sounds like you can TOTALLY relate! …and you said it so well, about reevaluation! Oh please make the mushroom lasagna…that sounds outstanding! Thanks for stopping by! xox

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  23. I did miss you Carol and this looks just wonderful! Lasagna is something I too love but don't make often because I can't stop eating it. What a great alternative!

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    1. Thank you so much, Chris! I can't stop eating the real thing either, that's why I also seldom make it…but indulge with this all the time!!

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  24. Congratulations on your move! Being close to your grandchildren while they are young enough to appreciate it is wonderful! Your Eggplant Lasagna looks delicious and I plan on trying it this week. Because we are carb conscious at my house, I have several versions of no pasta lasagna. I make it with eggplant, or zucchini, or even thinly sliced tofu subbing for the pasta. Lasagna is such a favorite I can never have enough recipes!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Wendy! All your variations sound lovely, I'm confident you will enjoy this one immensely too! Thanks so much for stopping by! xox

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  25. You're back!!! Yay :) I have missed you and your recipes, and wow, this lasagna is just stunning! I love it!

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    1. You're a sweetheart, Ashley! Thanks so much for your comment! Your enthusiasm makes me smile!!! :)

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  26. Hi I just found your blog via Pinterest. I am also from Atlanta so I had to drop in! Your photography is beautiful I can't wait to get see more!

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    1. How nice to meet you, Kelley! I just moved here a month ago from Virginia…and am starting to love it! Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello! Carol

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  27. Welcome back! Sounds like you are settling in nicely. Okay this lasagna sounds and looks amazing. Perfect for summer entertaining. Hope you have a great 4th of July holiday weekend!

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    1. Hi Lisa! Yes, the settling in gets better each day…already found areas I adore! The lasagna is absolutely perfect for summer entertaining, with fresh eggplant and tomatoes! My 4th was lovely…hope yours was as well! xox

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  28. What a drool-worthy comeback recipe!! Everything about this lasagna spells summer in the most delicious way :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Kiran!! Funny how hot dishes can still be perfect for summer, and this definitely is one of them!

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  29. Nice to see you back! Sounds like you're adjusting to the new area pretty nicely...at least, I love that you've your family as companies during all these changes! I can't wait to try this healthier lasagna! I love the traditional ones but afraid to make it for the same reason! Now, I can enjoy all the flavor without worrying the lasagna going straight to my behind! :P Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe. Take care and hope you'll find your dream house soon.

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    1. You are so sweet, Amy! Thank you so much for all your kind words, and for stopping by! xox

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  30. So happy to hear you're settling in & so happy you're back! I've missed seeing all your wonderful recipes! This lasagna looks incredible - great summer meal!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Meghan! In addition to blogging, I've also missed getting around to visit all my favorite bloggers, like Buttercream Blondie! :} Hope you're having a great summer! xox

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  31. So happy you're back, Carol, and with your family. I can only imagine the joy of hearing "Nonna" each morning. :) I'm sure your family is also enjoying wonderful dishes like this lasagna. We are never without eggplants around here and I've been craving pasta in a big way. Looks like this will have to be added to the menu very soon. :)

    Welcome back!!!

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    1. Jean, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, hearing "Nonna" and seeing the excitement on their little faces, is greater than I ever imagined! If you love eggplant, you're going to really like this recipe! Thanks for stopping by…and best thoughts going out to you and your husband! xox

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  32. I can't believe this recipe is healthy! It looks so delicious and so decadent! I love eggplant, and can't wait to try this. Good luck house hunting!

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    1. Hi Cate! Thanks so much for stopping by! I promise you, it's healthy…and delicious! :) You must give it a try! Thanks so much for the well wishes on the house hunting…I fell in love with only one so far, and it sold a day later. :(

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  33. This lasagna looks so yummy that I have to make it tonight (despite the heat outside!). Great work, Carol!

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    1. You are so kind, Emi! Thank you for your sweet comment! I hope you love it as much as I do!

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  34. I love eggplant, and I did make eggplant lasagna once. I wasn't really 100% happy with that recipe, so can't wait to try this one! Pinned!

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    1. Good morning, Julia! I hope when you give this recipe a try, you will like it better than your other! It's very healthy (and delish), so you can indulge without guilt! Enjoy!!! …and thanks so much for pinning!!!

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  35. These photos are out of this world awesome.

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    1. You just made my day, Val!!! Thank you so very much!!!

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  36. Hi Carol, hope you are loving your new life and getting more settled in. This lasagna looks wonderful, I love eggplant parmesan so I'm sure I would love this recipe too. Great job on your photos of lasagna, it's a hard dish to photograph.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Suzanne! Still trying to get settled, a bit more time than I ever expected! :} Working lots of hours too, so should be on a better schedule soon. The recipe is great, and thank you so much for the compliment on the photos…you're so right…it was hard to photograph! xox

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  37. I adore lasagna! I would also get quite chubby if I ate it as often as I would like to. This is a wonderful healthy alternative that looks just as--if not more!--appetizing than its unhealthy counterpart. Thank you! And good luck with the move!

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    1. Hello Mary Frances! Thank you for your kind words and lovely comment! So appreciated!!!

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  38. Oh this is right up my ally! I love making lasagna and hubby loves eggplant. Yum!

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    1. Thanks so much, Marina! This is such a lovely, simple recipe…I'm sure you'll enjoy!!!

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  39. I have a garden full of eggplant shoo this recipe came in handy. I put home made pesto in the ricotta for extra flavor. Thank you for the recipe. I am sure I'll be making this again.

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    1. So happy you enjoyed, Jennifer! The pesto in the ricotta sounds delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol