A simple blog about food, cooking, family, friends and the fun of ultra running. From the eyes of Chef Bill Bailey.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What's up today bloggers!!!

My running has be a little more consistant, I plugged in 34 miles last week. I can't wait until all this snow melts.  I NEED TRAILS!!! 
My running plans this week is to run Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Sat & Sun I will be volunteering at the Green Jewel & the Shamrock. 
Snow On The Beach
I haven’t posted a blog since running The Myrtle Beach Marathon, but if you follow me on Facebook you know already the Marathon was canceled because of less than 3” of snow. I wasn’t very happy…Driving 600 miles with the family & dog, paying $400 + on a hotel room, getting up at 4:30 am, gearing up to find out they canceled the race at 10:30pm the night before. Way to go Myrtle Beach…I’m not blaming the race director; it was all caused by city officials. I could go into their five paragraph reasons why…But I just question their reasons with all the high tech weather equipment available. They could have called it off days earlier or rescheduled it for a later time in the day.
Jen’s brother, Jason & I still geared up, tied our laces and headed out for 26.2 miles. We started from our hotel (our hotel sat at mile 17 of the course) and ran the course backwards. It was a wet road with snow on the grass, and sand. Temps were in the high 30’s. We joked about only seeing 3-4 other runners, but there ended up being over 200 runners running the course, according to Myrtle Beach Sun Newspaper. Jason & I ended up with 22.4 miles once we got back to the hotel. We were happy with 22 miles. We packed up the family, ate lunch then headed back to Ohio.
Let’s get this dang snow out of here! I’m ready to hit the trails!!! Wild Bill & I tried to run the Buckeye Trail last Friday and it wasn’t pretty. Pine Lane was knee high with snow in some sections, the snow was still falling and the windy was whipping up. It was back to the streets on Sat. I ran the Shamrock course with Bob and Cindy. We’ll Cindy was in race day mode and was way ahead of me. Bob was on her heels and I was chugging along in the back.

Who said you have to add mushrooms to Chicken Marsala and a classic lasagna HAS to be layered in the order of pasta sheet, sauce, meat, cheese AND It MUST contain Ricotta…OK the Ricotta Cheese is a must but the way you bring it together is another story. Take Louisiana Gumbo, Hungarian Goulash, San Francisco Seafood Cioppino, or Jamaican Jerk. They are all classic dishes with ingredients and techniques that MUST BE FOLLOWED!!! Who said you can’t make changes to the recipe to create your own version? The FOOD COPS? I roll my eyes when I’m cooking and someone says, “Hey you don’t add that ingredient!” “When my granny makes it she adds…” “You’re not making it right.” 'SAYS WHO THE FOOD COPS!!!' Let me do my magic, let me create. That’s what I do… I cook and create. This is what I teach to others… Cook, Create and Make it your own.

March Is Nutrition Month
What a great way to start living a healthy life style. Forget about your new year’s resolution. March should be the month to start a new life. Start in the produce section of your grocery store. Instead of zipping past all the fresh colorful goodies to get to the ice cream section, stop and spend some time here. The ice cream section can wait it's frozen. Find a fruit or veggie you haven’t tried before. Don’t buy a lot of it, start with a small amount take it home and prep/cook it that day. Don’t let it sit around. You’ll find that there are some foods out there you’ll enjoy. 

What is ratatouille?

The word Ratatouille actually comes from the french term "touiller," which means to toss food.

Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Nice. It was originally a meal made by poor farmer's (in essence it started out life as a peasant dish), and was prepared in the summer with fresh summer vegetables.

The original and simplest form of Ratatouille used only courgettes (zucchini), tomatoes, green and red peppers (bell peppers), onions, and garlic.

Today aubergine (eggplant) is usually added to the list of ingredients.

There are numerous version of Ratatouille and this site will show the the best of the worlds versions of it to try at home.
Think of ratatouille as is more of a concept dish than a specific recipe. Similar to American "stew", it can take on a number of forms and is open to interpretation and experimentation. Let your tastes and preferences inspire you to create your own signature version of ratatouille!
Recipe for a simple ratatouille
• 1 medium sized onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 medium or large eggplant, diced
• 1 can stewed tomatoes
• 2 medium zucchini diced into large chunks
• add herbs as desired (try basil)
• olive oil (enough to sauté onion/garlic)
• salt and pepper to taste
• Sauté the onion and garlic until tender
• Add eggplant and tomatoes, bring to simmer
• Simmer, covered for 15 minutes
• Add zucchini
• Simmer for 10-15 more minutes until vegetables are suitably soft
• Remove from heat
• Stir in the herbs, season to taste
Ratatouille as prepared here is also relatively low-fat. The only fat comes from the olive oil. Omitting the olive oil creates a fat free dish.
This dish is also fairly low-sodium. Since the dish features delicious, fresh vegetables, cutting own on salt can be easy. The only thing to watch out for is the canned tomatoes. Make sure that you are using tomatoes that do not have added sodium, or simply use fresh tomatoes.

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