Bon Appetite!

Bonjour! It has been too long since I’ve posted. I’ll blame that on papers, homework, and children in general (but absolutely worth becoming a teacher someday). Summer break has finally come! A glorious week of sleeping in, getting sun kissed, laughing with friends, Netflix, and naps. And trying some new recipes, of course!

Since I last made Ratatouille, I’ve decided to experiment. I’ve combined two new recipes– a simple Allrecipes.com and a Parisian Chef’s version– into a sort of American-French hybrid. The sauce and flavor turned out amazing! So if you are looking for a relatively simple version of Ratatouille with authentic French flair, then you’ve come to the right place.

And did I mention that it’s Paleo/GAPS friendly?

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Disney’s Ratatouille Recipe– http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/?mxt=t06rda

Cooking with Kurt- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56d1J_oCl04

How to chop eggplant (because let’s be real, chopping veggies can be confusing) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaX8MDsJkc

INGREDIENTS

Veggies:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatos, thinly sliced

Spices/Oil: 

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic OR small handful of fresh basil, chopped (I’ve been having trouble with garlic lately, but found basil to be a delicious alternative)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil  (1 at beginning, 3 tbl at end- or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste

PREP-45 min
Cook- 45 min
Ready In 1 h 30 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 

DIRECTIONS

PART ONE: Preparing the sauce

  1. Chop 2 carrots and cook in a large pan with oil.
  2. Meanwhile: Optional- for a nice smoky flavor, turn the red and yellow peppers over the stove until they are crispy on the outside (see youtube video above). Then set peppers aside to cool.
  3. While the carrots are cooking and peppers are cooling, begin to chop the other ingredients: onion, tomato, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. You want THIN slices.
  4. Once carrots are looking tender, you’ll want to add the chopped red and yellow pepper to the pan. If you have smoked the peppers, removed the charred outer layer before chopping. Let the carrots and pepper sizzle together for several minutes or until softened.
  5. Next, toss in the onion. Stir and let sizzle for a couple minutes.
  6. Now add your tomato paste, basil/garlic, water, salt &pepper, and extra olive oil. You want a sauce that is thick and creamy but not chunky or watery. (See pictures below..my sauce right before I added a couple tbl of water)
  7. Once everything has simmered for 5-10 minutes and the vegetables look tender, set aside to cool. (If you want to speed up this process, pour into a bowl and cool for 5-10 minutes in the fridge/freezer.)

PART TWO: Preparing the pan & creaming the sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil the bottom of a 10×10 pan.
  2. Make sure the rest of your vegetables are sliced and ready to go: the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomato.
  3. Now that your sauce has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy. It should have a sweet and slightly smoky/spicy flavor…yum! I think it’s the sauce that really makes or breaks Ratatouille.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan, spread evenly. Dash on a bit of salt and red pepper.
  5. Now you can begin making your rainbow. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  7. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30- 45 minutes. This will be even faster in a toaster oven.
  8. If you’re able to eat dairy, serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

BON APPETITE!

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Ratatouille-2007-Movie-HD-Free-Download

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Apple of My Eye

Apples + cinnamon + white cheddar cheese + eggs = a unique & delicious omelet.

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It’s finally that time of year…sun hat weather! Whether the sun has lasted long enough to walk to the mailbox or visit La Conner’s famous tulip fields, I’ve savored every second.

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Mom and me

If you’re ever in La Conner looking for such fresh food & a charming atmosphere, check out Seeds! http://www.seedsbistro.com/

And La Conner’s best kept secret:

http://www.calicocupboardcafe.com/la-conner/

Later this week, my friend Stephanie and I explored Olympia’s Nisqually National Wildlife park. We followed a boardwalk through the woods and wetlands. Bunnies often darted under bushes and we even spotted a nest. Stephanie is building a portfolio for her photography, so I got to “model” for her under a huge tree. We also wandered by a rustic white barn with nesting swallows.

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But Darby’s Cafe, our dinner destination of choice, is where this blog is really going. I’ve rarely been able to eat out, so I was stoked to be ordering a unique omelet and a mimosa!              ~  darbyscafe.com

Now I’m trying their Apple of My Eye omelet in my own kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 tbl butter or coconut oil (I do love butter for omelets)
  • Handful of white graded cheddar cheese (amount to taste)
  • 1/4 apple in very thin slices
  • 3 eggs
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat pan on low.
  2. Slice about 1/4 of an apple into thin slivers. Cook these pieces in butter with a touch of cinnamon for about 30 seconds. They will soften quickly, but shouldn’t be mushy. Put to the side.
  3. Whip 3 eggs until well mixed. Pan should be buttery for eggs before pouring. I like at least 1 tbl, but it shouldn’t be pooling or that will be a greasy omelet! Pour on eggs.
  4. Wait until surface is bubbling slightly and with gentle prodding of spatula, underside is toasty golden. It shouldn’t be sticking before you try to flip it!
  5. Grate white cheddar cheese to taste. I like a small handful amount to sprinkle.
  6. Flip that omelet! I’ve found that tilting the right side of the pan down and nudging my spatula under the omelet’s right side gives it good momentum.
  7. Cook other side for a minute or until toasty golden. While waiting, I’d recommend sprinkling your cheese on half of the top, so it melts by the time both sides are cooked.
  8. Then add your apple slices! (In this picture I sprinkled my cheese after the omelet was off the pan, so it took longer to melt.)
  9. Fold and sprinkle salt & cinnamon on top (to taste, but don’t need much!)
  10. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS (in photos)

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