foodie wednesday: date night {guest post}

Hello Lifestyle Maven Readers, Julie from Julip Made here. I adore Cailen and constantly find myself adding her recipes to my "to make" list. I am delighted to be guest posting for her while she is off marrying the love of her life! In the spirit of romance and in honor of the lovebirds, I've created a cozy, romantic meal for two.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

This is the type of meal you want to eat curled up in front of the fire with a bottle of Brunello and candles.  Also, boys, don't forget the fresh flowers... they NEVER get old!

Recipe here.


  • 1 lb. Italian sausages, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 medium eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 1/3 cup red cooking wine
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • **SECRET INGREDIENT** Dash of maple syrup
  1. Saute the sausage with a dash of olive oil in a french oven over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add some more olive oil and saute the onions for a few minutes then add the eggplant.  The onion should be translucent and the eggplant should be just starting to brown on the edges.  
  3. Throw in the garlic and saute until fragrant (approximately 30 seconds).  Add the red wine and turn up the heat, reducing most of the liquid.
  4. Add the canned tomato, bay leaf,salt and pepper, and the dash of maple syrup.  This is the secret ingredient as it will cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Once sauce has thickened, mix in with pasta and sprinkle Parmesan on top.  Enjoy!
Recipe here.

I hope you enjoy this meal and if you want more recipes stop by!  Cailen, I wish you and Craig all the best in your new life together filled with love, laughter, and lots of romantic meals like this one.