Remy’s Ratatouille Recipe (Ratatouille)

Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking Remy’s Ratatouille from one of my favorite Disney and Pixar films, Ratatouille!

This recipe is featured near the end of the film when Remy is preparing a meal for the food critic, Anton Ego. It is referred to briefly as a “peasant’s dish”, but Remy’s version ignores all labels and boils down to good food that comforts the soul.

Ratatouille is warm and comforting; the perfect main or side dish for a cool or cold day. The arrangement of vegetables within the baking dish is creative and fun to do, although give yourself enough time to mise en place before beginning! Anyone can cook, bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS

VEGETABLES

  • 2 eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 6-8 Roma tomatoes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced

SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped

HERB SAUCE

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately 1-mm rounds (I used a mandolin when possible), then set aside.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. 
  3. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft (about 10 minutes), then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated, then remove from heat, add the basil and stir again.
  5. Pre-heat the oven for 375 F.
  6. Arrange the sliced veggies in a repeating pattern (squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomato) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. To prepare the herb seasoning, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. 
  8. Brush the herb seasoning over the arranged vegetables.
  9. Cut a circle of parchment paper and place it over the vegetables in the pan, then bake for 40 minutes. 
  10. Remove the parchment paper, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
  11. Enjoy!

Disney Dreamlight Valley – Recipe Guides

If there’s one thing I do when I play a game (besides trying to relax and enjoy myself), it’s look up information. I get curious or stuck, and I find myself turning to the internet for answers. There are a lot of good guides out there that are super helpful, but what I don’t see are an abundance of simple and clean visual guides that lay out all the information in one place.

I’ve been playing Disney Dreamlight Valley and I cannot get enough! To be able to befriend my favorite Disney characters and design a village for them to live in fills me with immeasurable happiness! Definitely a favorite cozy game for anyone who loves Disney and life sims!

One of my favorite things to do in the game is cook with Remy, and there are a lot of recipes to discover! If you want to learn every existing recipe, I’ve created guides to help!

These visual or infographic guides are divided into Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts and then organized alphabetically by the name of the dish.

Please let me know if you would like me to work on a guides for anything else within Disney Dreamlight Valley or if there are any games you would like to see visual information or guides for in the future! I love helping people, discussing games and organizing information!

Linguini’s Potato and Leek Soup Recipe (Ratatouille)

Welcome back friends! This week we are cooking Linguini’s soup from one of my favorite Disney and Pixar films, Ratatouille!

This is referred to as Linguini’s soup by the staff at Gusteau’s restaurant, but we all know Linguini made a mess of it and Remy couldn’t resist doctoring it up to make it more palatable before escaping from the kitchen.

It is never said what kind of soup this is, but judging by what Remy adds, we can conclude it is probably a variation of potato and leek soup! This soup is creamy and filling, the perfect cozy dinner on a cold night!

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 lb. of potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Chives, finely chopped, for serving 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, leeks, black pepper and salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves and thyme to the pot, then bring to a boil.
  4. Cover the soup and turn the heat down to medium / low. 
  5. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
  6. Remove from the heat, then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. 
  7. Add the heavy cream, place back on the heat and bring to a simmer. 
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper. 
  9. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and enjoy!

Resist Gossip

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Let’s be done with gossip. 

Gossip is not beneficial, it is not positive, it is not kind; it’s damaging, it’s negative, it’s hateful.

There are members of my extended family (and I know it doesn’t stop there) who treat gossiping with all the seriousness of their life’s purpose and it is beyond disturbing. My hands are not clean either, I’ve gossiped and it is thrilling when you’re right in the middle of gleaning and spreading all the juicy details, but it’s bad behavior and a bad habit. Bad habits are best dropped before becoming bad character.

I love my daughter and I do not want her growing up judging or disparaging others.  One of my resolutions is to stop gossiping and I invite anyone who’s reading this to join me. 

It’s time to stop; resist gossip.

I created this sticker, that can be purchased here and used as a reminder!

How to Dry Mint Leaves for Tea

Welcome back friends! Let’s get cozy and have a cup of tea! 

I am fortunate enough to own a spearmint plant that has flourished in its container and I want to show you how to harvest, dry and brew your own spearmint tea!

Beyond being a warm and comforting beverage, spearmint tea has numerous proven and/or potential health benefits, including:

  • Fighting bacterial infections. 
  • Relieving digestive upsets.
  • High in antioxidants.
  • May aid in balancing hormones.
  • May lower blood pressure.
  • May lower blood sugar.
  • May help reduce stress.
  • May help relieving arthritis pain.
  • May improve memory function.
INGREDIENTS
  • Mint leaves
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Trim the mint back, then pluck the best leaves from the stems. If you do not want or need to trim the mint back, you could also pluck the best leaves directly from the plant.
  2. Wash the leaves thoroughly with fresh water, then place them in a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
  3. Line a baking sheet with with a baking mat or parchment paper and spread the mint leaves on the prepared baking sheet. Be careful not to crowd them.
  4. Turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting (for many this will be 170F). 
  5. Place the mint leaves in the oven and bake them until dry. This could only take 10 to 15 minutes, but it varies by oven strength so keep an eye on them! They will be curled and make a dry rustling sound when nudged with a utensil.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. You can store the leaves in an airtight container or brew some tea right away!
  8. Use an infuser and keep the leaves whole or grind them up. If you do grind them up, smaller pieces will make their way out of the infuser and float around in your tea. This isn’t a bad thing, just personal preference!
  9. Enjoy!

Travel Mug Cozy – Crochet Pattern

Welcome back friends! Do you crochet? I dabbled in crochet off and on for a few years, always fascinated, but never fully catching on. I kept at it, and suddenly, it clicked! I feel calm and cozy when I’m crocheting, and fiercely proud whenever I complete a project.

It’s that time of year for enjoying hot beverages! Let’s protect our hands from said beverages and add our own flair to the cups by crocheting our own cup cozy, or zarf!

SUPPLIES
  • Crochet hook (size 5.0mm)
  • Medium yarn (size 4)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Create a slip knot and then chain 30 stitches.
  2. Careful not to twist the chain, bring both ends together and slip stitch into the first chain stitch to join them into a circle.
  3. Chain 1 stitch and then loosely slip stitch into the back bump of each of the 30 chain stitches, then join with a final slip stitch.
  4. Chain 2, then turn the work around so you’ll be working around the outside of the circle. Double crochet in each of the 30 stitches around, then join with a slip stitch.
  5. Chain 2 and front post double crochet in a stitch and then double crochet in the next stitch. Continue alternating around the circle, then join with a final slip stitch.
  6. Chain 2 and double crochet in a stitch, then front post double crochet in the next stitch. Continue alternating around the circle, then join with a final slip stitch.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, four or five more times around and at the end of round 8 o 9, slip stitch to join.
  8. Chain 1 and loosely slip stitch in each of the 30 stitches around, join and tie off the yarn.
  9. Flip the cozy inside out and weave in the loose ends using your yarn needle.
  10. Flip the cozy right side out and you’re done! Enjoy!

*This pattern will fit a Starbucks reusable travel cup. Before getting too far into this project, I recommend slipping the joined chain onto the cup you are making the cozy for. If it doesn’t fit well, adjust how many chain stitches there are up or down to fit.

Homemade Comforting Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Welcome back friends! Who would like some warm and comforting, homemade cinnamon rolls on one (or more) of these cold winter mornings? Maybe at a table with some coffee or tea and a good book? Or maybe a good movie or show? I know I do, so let’s bake some!

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of salted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

FILLING

  • 1 cup of brown sugar, packed 
  • 1/2 cup of salted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of heavy cream, divided

TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup of salted butter, softened 
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour the warm milk into a large bowl and sprinkle it with the yeast.
  2. Add the butter, eggs and sugar, then mix until well combined.
  3. Add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, then mix until well combined.
  4. Scrape the dough off the beater blade and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  5. Spray another large bowl with cooking spray and use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place in the greased bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes to an hour).
  7. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of heavy cream; mixing it until well combined, then set it aside.
  8. Once the dough has risen, sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour, and turn the dough onto the mat. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour.
  9. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about 24” x 15” rectangle (though it does not have to be exact).
  10. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the filling over the whole dough rectangle.
  11. Starting at the long end, roll the dough up tightly.
  12. Cut the roll into 12 slices and place in a greased 9×13” baking pan.
  13. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.
  14. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  15. Warm the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream until the chill is off, then pour if over the risen rolls, allow it to soak in and around.
  16. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until gold brown and the center rolls are cooked through. Time will vary so keep an eye on them! If they are getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil.
  17. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese and butter, blending well.
  18. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, then beat until combined.
  19. Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.

*To save time in the mornings, you can also prepare the dough the night before. Make the dough and proceed to the second rise when the rolls are in the pan. Once risen, cover them up again and put them in the refrigerator until morning. In the morning, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes before baking.

Happy New Year 2023!

Happy New Year Friends! I wish you all the best and sincerely hope all your hopes and dreams for 2023 will come to fruition. These last few years have been rocky, to say the least, but its a time for fresh starts and new beginnings, so let’s make the most of it!

I believe in making resolutions; they give you the focus to complete certain tasks. Resolutions can be made any time of the year, and should be in some cases, but it’s traditional to make them for the fresh start of a new year and it’s all in good fun!

I’ve set 12 resolutions for 2023, check them out!

  1. Expand my garden.
  2. Go greener.
  3. Organize the whole house.
  4. Play and complete 12 video games.
  5. Read and complete 12 books.
  6. Re-carpet the living room.
  7. Re-floor the main areas of the house.
  8. Resist gossip.
  9. Send anniversary and birthday cards out on time.
  10. Set aside 1 hour a day to work on my dreams.
  11. Set aside times of the day for intentional screen-time.
  12. Take Zoey to Disneyland.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

Welcome back friends! Who wants some warm and comforting hot cocoa on a cold winter morning or evening? Maybe with some homemade marshmallows and a good book or movie? I know I do, so let’s make some mix!

HOT COCOA MIX
  • 3/4 cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry nonfat or whole milk powder
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Whisk together the cocoa powder, milk powder, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl, then add the white chocolate chips and stir again to evenly distribute them.
  2. Add the mixture to a food processor and pulse until everything is finely ground and smooth.
  3. This dry cocoa mix can be store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  4. To make hot cocoa, put 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup of hot milk (whichever milk you prefer).
  5. Top with whipped cream or miniature marshmallows, if desired and enjoy!

Homemade Peasant Bread Recipe

Welcome back friends! Who wants some fresh, oven baked peasant bread to enjoy on one (or more) of these beautiful autumn mornings? Or afternoons? Or evenings? Honestly, anytime is the right time for freshly baked bread!

So let’s bake!

HOMEMADE PEASANT BREAD
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 2 cups of lukewarm water
  • Butter, for greasing
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast, then add the warm water and stir until well combined.
  2. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
  3. Grease two bread pans with the butter, then set them aside.
  4. When ready, remove the cover from the bowl and using two forks gently pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl, then use the two forks again to split it in half down the middle.
  5. Transfer each half of the dough into a greased bread pan.
  6. Cover each pan and allow the dough to rise again for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  8. Transfer your baking vessels to the oven and allow them to bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden all around.
  9. Allow to cool in the baking pan for at least 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  10. Enjoy!