Monday, August 31, 2009

What is the...

Wow. So it turns out my blog audience likes cooking posts! Well, you are in luck... Autumn just happens to be my favorite time of year to cook! You will be getting more of those-I promise.

Today, however, is "random question from Emily's life" day.

What is the funniest award you've ever been given?
Well, that would also be the most ironic award I've also been given: "The Best Reason to Break the Word of Wisdom" award. (for my performance of the song "Taylor, the Latte Boy" at a stake talent show) I certainly didn't get any stake callings that year...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ratatouille

I made a night of it. I wanted to try it. I wanted to see if I could make a bunch of garden vegetables (taunting me on my counter) into a colorful, delicious culinary creation that even a cartoon rat could make. I wanted to see if I could make one that tasted like the one my imagination conjured up. I did my research beforehand. Ratatouille is apparently any dish that contains some sort of combination of eggplant, squash and tomato sauce, usually in the form of a stew, many of which did not look appetizing at all. Did you know, I cook mostly by picture rather than recipe? Anyway, I found a couple recipes much closer to the cartoon version (which was actually created by a real chef for the movie-but his recipe was way too involved of a process and still not exactly what I was looking for). I used a few of the suggestions from other blogging cooks and then did pretty much whatever I wanted. I made my own ratatouille recipe-because, hey, "anyone can cook" and because "in order to be great, you must be fearless!" I'll put my best estimation of what I did in a recipe format at the bottom if you want to try it.

I served it over couscous and topped it off with another new discovery (homemade ricotta cheese-which is super easy). It turned out to be delicious, if I do say so myself. My invited guest agreed and was impressed. He may have been just a little biased though--or maybe he knows the secret (if you flatter the cook, they cook for you more).

We then settled into the couch to watch a good Disney flick, "Ratatouille". Here's to you Remy for inspiring me to create!

Ratatouille
1 clove garlic
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
olive oil
1 red pepper
4 oz can tomato paste
1/4 C water 
3 tomatoes (chopped)
1 thin eggplant
1 smallish zucchini (I had to use a monster one, but recommend smaller for a uniform size)
1 yellow crookneck squash
fresh thyme and oregano (if you can keep your herbs alive-I am pitiful at this)
salt and pepper

Roast red pepper halves under broiler or on grill and then let sit in a closed ziploc bag for 10 minutes (or buy them pre-roasted).  Then, remove skin and chop. Saute garlic and onion in a little olive oil in a small pan until soft and fragrant. Add roasted red pepper pieces, tomato paste and water. Cook until heated through. Spread on bottom of oval baking dish. Cut squashes, eggplant, and tomatoes in thin slices (using a mandolin slicer if you are lucky enough to own one). Arrange them, alternating colors, overlapping but laying down so faces of the slices are partially visible. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min. Voila!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Omi




Meet the most adorable 2 yr old niece a girl could have...Naomi

She could charm the hardest of hearts with a glance, smile or her cute little voice saying words way too big for someone her size.

She spent the evening at my house tonight. How delightful! We made dinner (with a fun mexican flair), went up and down the stairs, hugged bears, smelled all the candles, played ring-around-the-rosie, danced, wrapped ourselves up in all of the scarves we could find (aunt emily needs to get some real toys apparently), and gave lots of hugs (my favorite part).

Every lull in the conversation and she would brighten up her face and say "Hi guys!".
video
Once during the night, she asked me to open my mouth so I did and made a snarl noise. She giggled and then began looking very closely inside. I asked her what she was looking for. She replied "the tiger...that's inside your mouth!"

I can never get over how enchanting that girl is. Her mom is so much better at capturing it in photographs than I, plus I always forget to take very many, so I had to steal a couple of her pics. I will miss her when she goes back to Hawaii.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Opera


So the next step from musical is....opera! I'm going to be in an opera next week. It happened quite randomly, actually. A woman (the leading lady in the opera) from the ward that meets right before mine came to our ward choir practice and tried to recruit a few of us to participate in the chorus of Utah and Idaho Performing Arts Company's production of "Dido and Aeneas". I had never been in an opera before...but it sounded like fun and hey, if my dad could do it, so could I. Plus, I like trying new things! It has been an interesting experience so far. I love that I get to dress up as a witch and cackle (opertically, of course). I also get to be a sailor's wench and a woman of the court. Hopefully it will all be ready by next Friday when we perform. I'd be thrilled to have anyone come and see it.
We are performing in a small community theater in Midvale (695 West Center St.). General Admission tickets are $10 Adults and $8 for Seniors/chilren/military/students. Just email unipac150@gmail.com to reserve your tickets with your name, how many tickets and what day (Aug 14 or 15th). It is in English, but as with any opera, I would recommend reading the story beforehand. It is pretty short, although we still fit in a love story, plotting witches, monster's head, sailor's dance, and a tragic death.