My Life in Pictures

hundreds of pictures, millions of words, countless memories

Day 112

Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant (1 pound or a little more)
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • salt
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
  • chopped fresh parsley

Revisions: I used this recipe as more of a guideline for making this dish. I’m not sure exactly how much oil I used. I just kind of eyeballed the amount. I also used the entire red pepper.

Directions:

Peel and cut the onion into fairly thick slices. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy skillet and saute the onion (I also sauteed one clove of garlic that I had on hand with the onion). With a vegetable peeler, partially peel the eggplant and cut into even-sized chunks, about 3/4-inch each. Cut the zucchini into 3/4-inch pieces as well and toss these vegetables in with the onions and garlic and saute together, stirring frequently. As they brown and the pan gets dry, pour in more olive oil and add the red bell pepper, cut into pieces of the same size. Salt everything and let cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the skillet, cooking slowly another 10-15 minutes, covered, until everything is tender and intermingled. Taste and add salt if needed. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top.

I also added black pepper and parmesan cheese to the serving on my plate.

Note: the ingredients listed above are in amounts that produce about 3-4 servings.

Variations: you can include mushrooms (whole or quartered), adding them when you put in the red pepper. You can also leave out the pepper, but since I like red peppers, I left it in for it’s color and sweetness.

I’ve read that ratatouille goes really well with eggs (omelet or poached), so I might try that with some of the leftovers. All in all, a success the first time around.

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Day 111

Day 110

Day 109

Day 108

My view of the solar eclipse the evening of May 20th.

Day 107

Double Dipped Spicy Chicken with Tangy Goat Cheese and Dill Potato Salad

Double Dipped Spicy Chicken
Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins (I just used 2 pounds of tenderloins)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat.

Set out 3 bowls or disposable pie tins. Mix flour with paprika, poultry seasoning, cayenne, and allspice. Divide seasoned flour between 2 containers. Pour buttermilk into the third container. Line up containers as such: flour, buttermilk, and then flour.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat chicken pieces in flour, then buttermilk, then a second coating of flour.

Cook chicken about 6 minutes on each side, until deep golden brown and firm. Drain chicken on paper bags or plate lined with a paper towel. Good either hot or cooled for a picnic.

Tangy Goat Cheese and Dill Potato Salad
Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds diced Yukon gold potatoes
  • Salt
  • 1/4  cup white wine or 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2  cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1  cup yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • 1  lemon, juiced
  • 1/4  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1/4  cup finely chopped dill
  • 4  scallions, finely chopped, whites and greens
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  dill pickles, chopped
  • 4  radishes, thinly sliced

(I didn’t use either the dill pickles or the radishes in this batch)

Directions:

Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

When the potatoes are cooked, return them to the hot pot and douse with a splash of wine or a couple tablespoons of white wine vinegar.

In a bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, yogurt, creme fraiche or sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Toss the potatoes, dill and scallions in the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Garnish the salad with chopped pickles and thinly sliced radishes and serve.

Day 106

Day 105

One of the items on my Death Notes is to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I just finished reading The Hobbit for the first time, but I was not completely new to the story. Aside from growing up watching the cartoon movie (which reverberated in my head throughout most of the novel), Mr. Spargur, a teacher of mine, read it to our class in the 4th grade. I remember that towards the end of the book, he ordered us all personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut and got each of us our favorite candy bar. In addition to being an elementary school teacher, he was also a conductor during the summer months on the 1880 Train that runs through the Black Hills. He is definitely one of my most memorable and favorite teachers growing up.

Day 104

Day 103

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