Spicy Ratatouille

Filed Under (Supper) by Lisa on 29-05-2009

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Recently my boyfriend has been taking about egg plant quite a lot. Ever since he went out for a Greek dinner with his parents, and had mussaka for the first time. All his talk of egg plant inspired me to make something that I have been wanting to try for a while ratatouille (which also has egg plant in it). I searched the internet and found a recipe that seemed appealing at: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ratatouille/Detail.aspx
I modified the recipe as usual and it turned out really well. The only thing I got a little carried away with was the cayenne pepper. I was sprinkling away when I realized what spice I had in my hand. Opps. Despite this the ratatouille turned out very well. To tone down the spices with the left overs I made the ratatouille into a pasta casserole with a whole large container of low fat cottage cheese.

Here is the ratatouille recipe with my modifications.

Spicy Ratatouille

Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tsp dried parsley
A few shakes of dried basil
A few shakes of dried oregano
1 large egg plant cut into small pieces
Salt (desired amount)
Rosemary (desired amount)
Thyme (desired amount)
Black pepper (desired amount)
Cayenne pepper (desired amount, I would go easy on this)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup feta cheese
2 medium sized zucchini sliced
1 large onion
1 ½ -2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1 red pepper
1 can of diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish with olive oil. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic until lightly browned. Add the parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and egg plant. Cook until the egg plant is soft (about 10 minutes).

Place the egg plant mixture into your casserole dish in an even layer. Sprinkle with a few tbsp of parmesan cheese and feta cheese (and more of the same herbs if desired). Spread zucchini over top. Salt and sprinkle with more cheese (and herbs if desired). Continue layering like this with the rest of the vegetables (except add the tomatoes last).

(ratatouille before baking)

Bake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

(ratatouille after baking)

I served the ratatouille with some garlic bread, and spicy sausages. It can also be served with pasta or rice.

( ratatouille on warm garlic bread yummy:P )

(ratatouille pasta dish (with the leftovers)

Dessert Pizza Yummy

Filed Under (Pizza) by Lisa on 26-05-2009

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This evening I was in the mood for some dessert. I decided to use the pizza crust in the fridge and make a dessert pizza. Since our freezer is still packed with frozen pears I decided it should be a pear pizza. I followed this recipe from http://www.dairygoodness.ca/en/consumers/food/recipes/all/0800/864.htm?recipeid=864   
I only used the recipe for the topping. I didn’t change much except I used less brown sugar then the recipes called for.

Here is the recipe.

Lazy Pear Dessert Pizza

One container of pre-made pizza crust dough
About 1-1 ½ cups small pear pieces (fresh, frozen or canned)
About ½ tbsp melted olive oil margerine
¼ of brown sugar (not packed)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place prepared dough on a pizza pan. Spread evenly. Brush the dough with the melted margerine (just enough to cover the top). In a medium sized bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix well. Sprinkle evenly over crust ( I used half on the bottom and saved the rest for the top). Place pear pieces on the pizza. Sprinkle on the pecans. Dust with remaining brown sugar mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes (on until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean).
Serve warm.

The pizza turned out super yummy. I will be making this recipe again.

Banana Coconut Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 24-05-2009

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The other day I noticed that our bananas were getting fairly dark. Since there were still quite a few left just eating them plain was not really an option. Instead I decided to whip up some banana muffins.

The muffins turned out very well. They make a super sized medium muffin. The are fairly moist. The banana and coconut flavors go well together, and the chocolate chips take the muffins to a whole new level of yummy.

The recipe I used was one of my own with modifications ( here is the original) http://www.lisaopolis.com/?p=130 This is the resulting recipe that I came up with.

Banana Coconut Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose (white flour)

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp white vinegar

1/2 cup skim milk

¼ cup olive oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract (or the real thing)

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 medium sized bananas or about 1.5-2 cups banana pieces (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins. In a large bowl combine the flours baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add the coconut and chocolate chips and mix well. In a blender add the bananas, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake until slightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean (about 25-35 minutes).

Pear Spice Oh So Nice

Filed Under (Cakes) by Lisa on 14-05-2009

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Yesterday I was in the mood for dessert. However I didn’t want to have something that “unhealthy”. I decided to search for a pear recipe since we have a lot of pears in the freezer from the fall. I found a recipe for pear cake, and decided to give it a try. I morphed the recipe quite a bit. The original recipe can be found at: http://southernfood.about.com/od/pears/r/bl50221b.htm
Here is my version.

Pear Spice Cake

4 cups chopped pears
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup of chopped walnuts and pecans (mixed)
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp rum extract
¼ cup sultana raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. In a large bowl add the flour baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Add the nuts and raisins. and stir well. In a blender add the pears, eggs, oil, vanilla extract, rum extract milk, and brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Now add the pear mixture to the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased 9X13 cake pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a the top is golden and a tooth pick comes out clean.

The cake turned out super yummy. Its soft and moist with a little crunch. Best if served warm. 30 seconds in the microwave will achieve this once the cake has cooled.

A Feast For Mom

Filed Under (Pear Crisp, Uncategorized) by Lisa on 11-05-2009

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I hope all the mothers out there had a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday. I am not a mom, but I did do some things for my mom for Mother’s Day.

First I went out and bought some ingredients for a lovely lunch. I purchased some French bread (still warm), monetary jack cheese, onion sprouts, Tuscan ham and Cajun chicken (from the deli). I combined that with the mozzarella cheese, marble cheese, tomatoes and spinach and many other condiments already in the fridge and created a lovely feast for my mom’s lunch. She was delighted. My dad who ate lunch with her was equally pleased with the menu.

While my parents were having their lunch I whipped up a pear apple crisp. I used a recipe that I found at: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes for bourbon baked pear crisp. I altered the recipe as usual and made it my own. Here is my version.

Pear Crisp

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp brandy extract
¼ cup olive oil margarine
3 pounds of pears, peeled, cored and sliced
½ pure (no sugar added) apple juice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ cup raisons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine: flour, oats, brown sugar, ground almonds, baking soda, ½ tsp nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Mix well. Crumble in the margarine. Spread 1/3 of the mixture in a glass baking dish of your choice. (I used 9X11).
Save the rest for the topping. Combine the apple juice, pears, raisons, and ½ tsp nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the brandy extract and stir well. Spread the pear mixture over the crumb mixture in pan. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.

This recipe was a big hit at our house. Everyone enjoyed it. I served it with vanilla frozen yogurt. The only thing I would do differently when I made it again would be to add some salt to the recipe. I think this would make the flavors more bold.

After lunch I helped my mom with the dishes and we discussed dinner. We ended up making pizza together. I would have made it myself but I had a very sore ankle and foot so we did it together and it turned out super yummy.