Life Tastes So Good

Exploring life one taste at a time.

Ratatouille.

You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work,

and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from.

Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true – anyone can cook…

but only the fearless can be great. – Ratatouille, Disney Movie

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titilerata

rata

This week had been a gloomy rainy week here in Texas. We stayed inside all weekend and watched wonderful Disney movies including Ratatouille. If you have never seen the movie Ratatouille I seriously recommend it! It has a wonderful message for kiddos and grown ups alike. This film inspired my next recipe and I hope you get to watch the movie perhaps while making this meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

precooked

 

 

Ratatouille recipe

½ Of a medium sized yellow onion (diced)
1 eggplant
2 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 Yellow squash (2 if they are on the smaller side)
4 tomatoes (If you can find large ones use 2)
1 can of tomato puree
2 garlic cloves (I put mine in a garlic press, but you can finely chop them as well)
Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat oven at 375°F

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, or round, whatever you have will work, you just might end up with extra. Also add 2 table spoons of olive oil to the tomato puree, add garlic stir until it is all incorporated together.

Carefully slice all the veggies into very thin slices, “rings” per say.
On top of the tomato sauce, at a slight angle start stacking veggies in dish. (as pictured above.)
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them. Lightly coat top of veggies with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment, try to cut it as close as the shape of the dish.

Bake for approximately 45 to a hour, until veggies are tender. Take caution not to over cook or plating will be difficult.

(For vegan/vegetarian version just disregard the next recipe.)

Meat Sauce Topping

½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup cubed Egg Plant
¼ Cup Diced yellow onion
3 Tbs. of Herbs De Providence
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Can (10.75 oz) Tomato Puree
1 Lb of Ground beef met

In a medium sized pot, cook meant on med-high until well done, Drain excess oil.
Return ground meat to pot and add onion and egg plant, garlic, herbs, and salt allow to cook for another 10 minutes or until onions are tender stirring occasionally.

Lower the heat to a simmer (you can typically use the lowest heat setting for this) and add in the tomato puree to meat. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes and a very low heat setting.

Remove from heat, and spoon desired portion on to Ratatouille (or pasta).

Top dish with shredded mozzerella and enjoy!

 

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Asian Glazed Drumsticks

“We  keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re  curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt  Disney

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I started blogging to push me out of my comfort zone with cooking. I needed to try new things, explore and fail some. However, I haven’t tried anything too adventurous just yet. I decided to make something I normally wouldn’t make for dinner. I stink at making Asian food. I’ve tried and failed. Over and over. When I saw this recipe on Skinny Taste it seemed simple enough. I actually pulled this one off! Ha! I added broccoli and shredded carrots to it as well. Modifications have been made to the recipe. I hope y’all enjoy as much as we did.

ASIANGLAZEDDRUMSTICKS

Ingredients:

8 medium chicken drumsticks (No Skin)

Olive Oil

1 cup water

1 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce, or more, some like it hot!

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp sugar

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 tbsp chopped chives

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 cup of Broccoli florets

1/2 cup shredded carrots

What To Do:

In a large sauce pan heat up a enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of pan. Brown chicken for about 5 minutes about half cooked. Stir in all the ingredients excluding the broccoli and carrots . Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes on low. Once the 20 minutes has passed add in the broccoli and carrots and turn the heat up to high and allow the sauce to reduce for about 8-10 minutes , until it becomes thick. Watch out not to burn the glaze, stir often. Once it’s thick enough for your liking Serve over a bed of white jasmine rice for a full meal.

Print the Recipe Here

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

PBCC Cookies Flat out

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I have to admit, I’m not perfect. No really, I know it’s a big shocker. I saw these cookies online and thought I can make that! Well I thought I could. I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque cause these cookies we’re not my best. I liked the flavor but the texture was crunchy and unusual. My husband didn’t mind the texture, considering he sat and ate three. I think I may try this again but perhaps make them into bars instead. Either way it was a learning experience. Oh and my kids liked the “cookies” as well.

Flourless PBCookies with CC

Find the recipe here.

Flourless PBCC Cookies

PBCC Cookies flat

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Coconut Dream Cake

“My  policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.”
— Boris  Johnson

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coconut dream cake 5 2013

As Memorial Day typically signifies the first day of summer I felt like making something that felt, smelt and tasted like summer. This recipe came out great and was very easy to whip up. This was my first time baking with coconut extract but, it will not be the last I am sure of it! A big slice of this cake pairs amazingly with a hot cup of coffee and a good book, or a good TV show, like my current addiction, True Blood. All of my favorite things.

Coconut Dream Cake

Print Recipe Here

16 Servings
Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling

Ingredients

5 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flaked coconut, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

FROSTING:

2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup butter, softened
4-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
 

Crack and place eggs whites in a bowl and set out to allow them to become room temperature, roughly 30-45 minutes.  Meanwhile, In another large bowl, beat the sugar, softened butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each time. Add in extracts.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly add cream of tartar and egg white mixture to batter.

Pour batter into two 9 inch greased pans. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Make sure to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth. Place one of the 9 inch cake rounds onto desired plate, frost top of cake round, if you wish you can sprinkle toasted coconut shreds on top of frosting. Place second cake round on top of the first cake round. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Adapted from Taste of Home, Incredible Coconut Cake
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Never Have I Ever.

Tip of the Day: Don’t let your toddlers play with your ipad without a case. It never ends well. Ask my poor ipad and his hurt screen. Yup.

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Let’s be honest here, none of us have tried all foods ever made. Just isn’t going to happen. I mean you can visit many countries and try many foods but I doubt anyone in a life time can eat every kind of every food that has ever existed. With that in mind, when I married my husband we had what you could call a culture shock. My family is Mexican and Puerto Rican therefore I was raised on mostly Hispanic based foods. His family is more of a traditional American meal kind of family, nothing wrong with it, I just never had experience with it. Before my husband and I lived together I had never had a meatloaf, and honestly thought the idea of eating mean in the shape of a loaf of bread sounded weird as heck. In the essence of trying to be a good wife I decided to start cooking some meals I had never made before. Ever. Including my latest encounter with Brussels Sprouts.  I had never even noticed these little green dudes at the store before last week. I’ve heard of them but never took interest into eating them. The looked funny, why would I? Much to my surprise I enjoyed them quite a bit. They can be a tad bitter tasting but the recipe I used seemed to take the bitter taste out. I hope y’all enjoy learning about new foods as much as I do, even if its a very common food to some, to me its completely foreign (don’t worry I will post all my new food adventures as I have them).

Caramelized Onions & Bacon Brussels Sprouts

4 Slices of think cut bacon

1/4 cup of butter

1 medium onion chopped

1 teaspoon of packed brown sugar

1 1/2 Lbs of Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and halved lengthwise

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy, once fully cooked set side to cool. When cool chop bacon coarsely.

In same skillet, with the bacon grease, add the butter and add the onions and sugar. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are tender.

While the onions are caramelizing, place the Brussels sprouts in saucepan, add enough water to cover all the Brussels sprouts. Bring water to a boil, cover the boiling water with a tight lid and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, typically about 10 minutes..

Once Brussels sprouts are tender drain excess water and add Brussels sprouts to the caramelized onions, stir until all the Brussels sprouts are well incorporated into the onions. Keep heat on medium to low and continue to stir. Add the chopped bacon and remove pan from heat. Stir to insure bacon is mixed in with all the Brussels sprouts. Serve enjoy!

Adapted from: Land O’Lakes Caramelized Onion Bacon Brussels Sprouts.

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