Ratatouille and a trip to Disneyland Paris

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I love the movie Ratatouille. That little rat is too cute and it brings back great memories of when my husband and I were in Paris. It is his favourite city although I find it too big and too busy! Still, I remember the Seine, the Notre Dame, the Musée D’Orsay to see my husbamd’s ancestors paintings and seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. It dazzled us with flickering blue lights.
Really beautiful.

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But I confess that when my husband said that he wanted to go to Disneyland, I was far from enthusiastic. I like, ok love, my princess movies but I just have to look at some of those rides and I feel queasy. In short, going to an amusement park with me is like going to your favourite restaurant on your birthday
with someone who is vegan and on a diet. Yeah…sounds riveting. Still, my husband insisted and I decided I had to be brave!
In the end, I had a wonderful time! Ok..basically the rides for very young children were suitable for me, but who cares? We had fun and I attacked a few gift shops.There was a new Ratatouille ride and it was brilliant. I bought a souvenir of that ride that now hangs in my kitchen.

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Today I decided to make ratatouille and it was easy. Here is the original recipe, but since I used a bigger baking pan, I had to increase the quantities. My ingredient adjustments are noted. My advice is have extra veggie slices ready just in case!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 teaspoons fresh thyme
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 (8 ounce, 225 g) zucchini [1 1/2]
2 eggplants  (Total 340g) [2 1/2]
2 tomatoes(12 ounces,340 g total) [3]
1/2 cup(1 1/2 oz, 45 g) freshly grated Parmesan, Comté or Emmental cheese

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally,for about 8 minutes, until it starts to wilt. Add the garlic and a teaspoon of the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the onion is soft and transluscent, about 2 minutes more. Spread the onion mixture in a shallow 3 to 4 quart baking dish.(The wider the dish, the better. The width allows the vegetables to bake rather than steam, which concentrates their flavour.)

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2. Preheat oven to 375°(190°)
3.Trim away the ends of the zucchini and eggplant and cut them into 1/4 inch slices. Cut out the stems of tomatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick.
4. Arrange the vegetables in an overlapping, concentric pattern, alternating the slices of eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini, fitting all the vegetables tightly in the dish.

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5.Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teasooons of thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

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Remove the foil, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for 20 – 30 minutes more, until the vegetables are completely cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature the same day you make  it.

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I had fun making this. Arranging the slices in a pattern was fun and the result is impressive.
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Enjoy!xxxx Natascha

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