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March 2018



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Cogito Ergo Nom

Ratatouille and Banana Bread

I made the Ratatouille this morning. I love Ratatouille! It is mostly eggplant and zucchini and has no grains or dairy, and very little oil. But it tastes great. I can eat it for days.

The Banana Bread turned out OK. I left out the walnuts and it just isn't as good without the walnuts. It needs that little bit of crunch. Chocolate chips are OK but for me Banana Bread is best just with walnuts.

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 med eggplant, chopped
2 med zucchini, chopped
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

Sauté the onions in the olive oil.
Add the eggplant and zucchini and continue to cook stirring occasionally.
When the eggplant begins to soften, add the rest of the ingredients.
Cover and allow to simmer until all of the eggplant and zucchini is soft, 1-2 hours.
Serve hot or cold. Good with Parmesan cheese.

Easy One-Bowl Banana Bread
1/3 cup shortening (butter)
2/3 cup sugar (white or brown) (white gives more of the "candied" effect on the crust)
1 - 2 eggs
2 - 3 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour (any kind, white or whole wheat)
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and butter and flour one bread pan.
Blend shortening and sugar in the mixer, until creamy. Add eggs, bananas, and vanilla, and beat until homogeneous. Mix in the baking powder and flour until smooth (don't over mix, we aren't going for gluten here). Fold in the nuts and/or chocolate chips
Scrape into greased loaf pan. The batter is stiff. I spread it out and make a depression in the middle. Bake at 350°F for one hour, until the crust is brown and the loaf has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
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Mmmmm, love ratatouille. Do you salt and dewater your eggplants first or just toss them in?

Love some banana bread, too!
I don't think modern eggplants are as bitter as they old kind. I've never seen the point of the salt thing. I just chop them up and toss them into the pot.

This particular batch of eggplants were young, firm, and almost seedless. I think they were male although I didn't sex them when I bought them.

Can't wait to try the Ratatwo..Rattatwe...eggplant stew.

Never been able to spell that word! Since I anticipate having LOTS of zucchini, I am looking forward to it.
Interestingly enough, I kind of define the differences between my family and The Beloved's by our taste in quick breads. My family always had Boston Brown bread, very dark and spicy, lots of raisins, and cranberry-orange nut bread with tons of bright berries and heavy on the orange zest at holidays. In addition, my mom had lots of ways to enhance zucchini bread, with pumpkin, chocolate, even chili! Beloved's family had banana bread. Nothing wrong with it, but kind of...plain, mild, almost boring.......I like to think I bring a little 'zip' into their lives, just as my recipes bring a bit more zest to the table!

Re: Can't wait to try the Ratatwo..Rattatwe...eggplant stew.

I always get Google to spell it for me.

The only holiday bread I can remember is our Christmas Stollen a sweet yeast bread with dried fruit and almonds and a sugar glaze.

Banana bread is just what one does with old bananas to avoid wasting them.