Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homestyle Ratatouille

This is for TeamPhotoblog Challenge #4.

Let me start by saying this: If you're expecting a ratatouille that looks like the final dish Remy makes in the film of the same name, you're going to be disappointed. This is a homestyle version of the recipe where the vegetables are cubed instead of sliced.

This dish is for the vegetable lover as it incorporates ten different vegetables (if you count different colored peppers as different vegetables...which I do).

What you'll need:

A stock pot to cook it all in
A skillet to brown the vegetables in
1 green pepper: cubed
1 red pepper: cubed
1 yellow pepper: cubed
1 orange pepper: cubed
1 medium sized eggplant: cubed (for this recipe, I used a larger Japanese eggplant)
3 cloves of garlic: diced
2 onions: sliced into thin rings (I used sweet onions, but red or white are just as good)
2 green zucchini: cubed
2 yellow squash: cubed
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
4 roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil

Begin by chopping up the vegetables. It's a long, arduous task that requires good knife skills (and a good knife. I like using a Santakou for this).

Take the stock pot and put 1 & 1/2 tablespooons of oil in it. Heat over medium-low heat.

Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

As that's going, take the skillet and heat 1 & 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until browned.Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch (peppers, eggplant) at a time, adding 1 & 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the stock pot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the stock pot.

Cook for another 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf, plate, and enjoy.

A nice twist to this dish is to cut up and fry polenta. Then serve the homestyle ratatouille on top. Another way is to cut up and bake some french bread, then serve on top. In any way, this is a delicious recipe that's easy to make and healthy too.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Missing the Green

I grow grapes on the side of my house. I really miss the green and am excited to get back to gardening.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Laying in Wait

I'm a fan of Sopheava, so when she asked for people to participate in her Photo Challenge, I decided to join in.

So, here is my first entry.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Face Plant

This is sadly how I feel about many of my classes lately. Really good setup. Everything looks like it's working, and then they take the tests....Oy.

Life Alert

While Albert Haynesworth is totally worthless, this is also how I feel about my staff meeting today.

We gathered, as we always do, in the auditorium of my building. Unsure of what we would be discussing, we waited, graded, and talked to each other. This would be the last moment of positivity for me.

We had five kids who graduated last year speak to the staff about how the International Baccalaureate program made their lives better and college easier. While it was great to hear they're saving money and are ahead in classes, the problem was in the delivery.

1. It felt like a giant commercial. "Here's why IB is great. We should all love it." All it was missing was white tigers and fireworks.
2. What about the teachers who don't have IB? Are we to feel horrible because our students aren't doing the same thing?
3. One of the students completely ripped AP (Advanced Placement). I understand that my school no longer teaches AP, but it was uncalled for, and angered me as I had done some AP classes. Her words ("AP is useless compared to IB") were born of ignorance, but she was praised as though her words were gospel.

The rest of the meeting was a midyear check up that ended with us being told to buck up and chill out from our stress. In all, it felt like the Haynesworth gif above:

Tons of promise that ended with nothing more than disappointment.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Broken Wings

This is my son's reaction after finding out our plane was delayed...again. (Note the sweet Hartford Whalers hat.)


Hello there, dear reader.

Happy New Year.

I'm going to try and write more this year. That was the first resolution I made. I love writing, but it has been hard trying to find time with two children and my career. That will change.

The second resolution, however, will seem strange when compared to most resolutions made:

I'm going to be more selfish.

You aren't reading that wrong. I'm going to be more about myself and less about other people.

Now this leads to the question a few people have already asked me: "Why? That's horrible."

I have worked very hard for other people the last few years, and, honestly, I have been burned a great deal for it. People I have considered friends have taken my good faith and left. Others that I have moved Heaven and Earth for never said, "Thank you," or showed gratuity. As one of my neighbors put it: "People use you, and you let them."

Well, I resolve to not let that happen anymore. I'm tired of people using me. I'm tired of people telling me that my feelings don't matter. If it means that I'm alone, then so be it.

At this point, other than family, there are only two people I will go above and beyond my means for. Those two know who they are because I consider one family and the other my best friend. Everyone else just has to hope I'm in a good mood and not busy.

I hope, dear reader, that you have a fantastic 2011.