Ratatouille

I have been busy making some new dishes.  What I haven’t been busy doing is posting them on here.  Well, that is changing today.

Right now, as I type, I am eating left over Ratatouille that I made the other night.  It was (and still is) delicious.  This was the first time we had ever had this French dish.  My husband and I loved it, one of the girls liked it and the other….well, she is not a fan of eggplant, so she ate it, but I think she would be happy if I never made it again.  That isn’t going to happen though.  I loved it.

So, here is my version of

Ratatouille

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • salt to taste
  • fresh basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 or 2 T. dried bell pepper
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. (175º C.). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with 1 T. olive oil.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Sauté garlic and onion until lightly browned.  Mix in fresh herbs.  Just use as much or as little as you want.  Yes, it’s vague.  I know, but it’s a personal taste thing.  Add eggplant and dried bell pepper.  Sauté until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt to taste.
  3. Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.  Spread zucchini in an even layer over top.  Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese.  Continue layering in this fashion, with mushrooms and then tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes.


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Angel Chicken Pasta

This recipe is so incredibly easy, but tastes elegant enough to impress company.  I found it on AllRecipes.  Here is the link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Angel-Chicken-Pasta/Detail.aspx

The original recipe says to use 6 chicken breasts for 6 servings, but we can’t eat that much.  I figure 1/2 a breast per person.  That said, I’m putting the recipe down as the original one appears.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 C. butter

1 (.7 oz.) package dry Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 C. white wine

1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed golden mushroom soup

4 oz. cream cheese with chives

1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325º F. (165º C.)

2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Stir in dressing mix.  Blend in wine and soup.  Mix in cream cheese and stir until smooth.  Heat through, but do not boil.  Arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Pour sauce over.

3. Bake for 60 minutes.

4. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked angel hair pasta.

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Guide to Baking/Cooking At High Altitudes

For those of you not familiar with Flagstaff, we sit in the mountains of northern Arizona at an elevation of 7000 ft. (about 2300 m.) above sea level.  This can make for some interesting baking (and cooking to a lesser extent) experiences.

The atmosphere is thinner here so the pressure is lower and there is less oxygen.  Water boils at a lower temperature. Roughly, the temperature at which water will boil drops just under 1º F per 550 ft.  At sea level it boils at 212º F, so  at 7000 ft. it boils at approximately 200º F.  This means that food takes longer to cook. For cooking all that is usually required is a longer cooking time.

Baking is something entirely different.  Due to the decreased air pressure breads rise more rapidly, then fall and bake into a dense loaf of disappointment.  When baking quick breads or muffins, simply decrease the leavening agent by 25%.  When baking yeast breads there may be more fine tuning involved.  I have had to play with decreasing the yeast, sugar or both.  Other variables come into play as well, such as what type of flour you are using. Here is a comprehensive guide to high altitude baking/cooking published by Pillsbury. It is the best guide I’ve ever run across.  http://www.pillsbury.com/Recipes/High-Altitude-Guide

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Some stitching

Here are some of my cross stitchings.

My first cross stitch ever

Posted in Crafts, Cross Stitching | 3 Comments

Jacob’s Ladder

I made this quilt for my oldest daughter.  It took me 3 years to complete because I hand quilted it and wouldn’t work on it in the summer.  It was just too hot on my lap.  

Posted in Quilts

Signs in Flagstaff, AZ

If you haven’t already figured it out, I have a thing for signs.  But only for unusual signs or old ones on the sides of buildings.  Your run-of-the-mill sign doesn’t make the cut.  Here are a few from my town.

Posted in Signs | 1 Comment

Crepes for breakfast

I found such a good (and easy) crepe recipe.  I found it on the top 10 list for 2010 on AllRecipes.com.  It was submitted by JennyC819.  If you want to go there then click here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basic-Crepes/Detail.aspx or you can just read on.

Basic Crepes

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 2 Tbl. butter, melted

Mix flour and salt in mixing bowl.  Whisk eggs, add milk and water.  Gradually add wet ingredients to flour (I use an electric hand mixer) until combined.  Add butter and beat until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled frying pan (I like my 10″ Calphalon non stick pan) over medium high heat.  Pour batter onto hot pan, tilting the pan with a circular motion so the batter coats the surface evenly.

Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the edges start lifting off the pan and it no longer sticks when the pan is lightly jiggled from side to side.  Flip it over and cook the other side for just 10 seconds or so.  Overcooking can cause it to become rubbery.

Serve hot with whatever filling you desire.

We filled our breakfast crepes with slightly sweetened sliced strawberries and blueberries and then topped with whipped cream.

 

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