A colorful dinner (and dessert)

Last night, I had a creativity spazz while thinking about what to make for dinner – I decided to make the fanned ratatouille dish from the movie Ratatouille!

I imagined it would be a complicated recipe, but there was practically nothing so simple and so colorful as this vibrant vegetable dish.

  

I used the recipe from smitten kitchen but adjusted it a little because I forgot to buy the yellow squash so I used cucumber instead, and I served it with quinoa as we didn’t have any couscous.

I ended up with a little much vegetable slices, so I really crammed them in there xD I had a bit of trouble with the huge pepper being much bigger than the slices but that just adds more texture and uniqueness to the dish – it’s a work of art.

One thing I do suggest is being not too generous with the spices – they taste good with the tomato sauce, but if you add too much onto the vegetables then the whole dish tastes too spicy and you can’t distinguish the softened vegetable flavours that well anymore. Also, next time I would use more tomato sauce – instead of just one cup, then the whole +/- 350ml can of tomato puree for example. I just loved the way the veggies tasted with it and with so many veggies in the ratatouille I made, the ratio just didn’t taste balanced enough.

The second recipe (dessert!) is one of my own creations. I’ve perfected the perfect plain muffin recipe already, so I wanted to try adding more flavours to it. So tonight, I made blue berry muffins!

I didn’t really plan the dinner to be such a colorful mix – it just so happens the blue is one of the only colors missing from the ratatouille xD. It looked well on the table. Too bad we were so hungry I forgot to take a picture of it xP

  

With the normal muffin recipe I usually end up with eight muffins. Since I added a bunch of berries and extra ingredients to this one, I ended up with almost a full batch. Maybe with one more beaten egg yolk in the batter, it would be just right for a full dozen.

They didn’t puff up as much as the plain ones do, but that’s probably just because the berries weigh the dough down some. (Again an extra egg yolk may fix this, or a bit more of baking powder).

Anyways, these tasted delicious 🙂

– 2 cups flour

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1 flat tsp baking soda

– 1 (more generous) tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp lemon rind

– 1 (or 2) eggs, separated

– 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending how sweet you like your muffins)

– 1 cup milk (I always use goat)

– 1/4 cup oil (I used omega-3 oil)

– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

– juice from 1/2 lemon

– 1 cup frozen wild berries (or to your taste)

– broken bits of half an 85% Lindt chocolate bar

Mix the dry (first five) ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat the egg white(s) until stiff peaks begin to form, then beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is creamy and stiff-ish. Beat in the egg yolks and then mix in the milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and oil. Add the dry mix to this wet mix and combine until smooth. Run warm water over the berries to melt the ice, let drain, and add into the mixture. Add the  chocolate bits and spoon the batter into prepared paper muffin cups until they are full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. (I start preheating the oven once the egg whites are beaten so it heats up just in time and saves electricity.)

Some people may not like the dark chocolate, but I find it taste exquisite with the berries and lemon juice, adding a balance of sweet, bitter, and sour flavors for the ultimate taste experience, and something like a piece of art for the eyes as well ;D

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