Friday, March 13, 2009

Baked Ratatouille Boats
(from Taste of Home's Heathly Cooking magazine)
8 servings

2 cups cubed eggplant
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 medium green peppers
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
for topping
3 tablespoons panko (Japanese) bread crumbs (I used regular bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place eggplant and zucchini in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water; drain and pat dry. In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add eggplant mixture, tomatoes, pepper and remaining salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, cut green peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place about 3 tablespoons eggplant mixture in each pepper half; top with a piece of cheese and sprinkle with marjoram. Top with tomato sauce and remaining eggplant mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over peppers. Bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown. Enjoy!

Rainy Afternoon

For the past few days,
we've been enjoying the last hurrah
of wintry cold and wet weather.

Nothing is better when there's rain on the window pane
than a spirited game of monopoly! :-)

And, it's especially fun to use your little lego men
as your playing pieces. ;-)

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
6 servings

2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 cups oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine eggs, oil and brown sugar. Combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add to egg mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

Breakfast ~ the most important meal of the day! :-)

Show and Tell Friday

For Show and Tell Friday, hosted each week by Kelli, I would like to share the letters that my children brought home from the Space Exploration Day for Home School Students at the George Bush Library and Museum. While touring the library center they received a "personalized" ;-) letter from President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush answering a question that they chose to "ask" them. My son's was from President Bush and my daughter's was from the First Lady. I thought the letters were so nice.

Thank you for visiting the George Bush Presidential Library Center. We hope you enjoyed your day with us.

You ask, "Is there a quotation that best expresses your outlook on life?"

From an early age, I have enjoyed reading, and there are a number of favorite passages from the Bible and from writers such as Lincoln and Churchill that have given me great inspiration. but I think my favorite quotation is one I chose for the frontispiece of my autobiography, Looking Forward. The quotation is from Edward Everett Hale, Chaplain of the United States Senate and author of the book The Man Without a Country.

Look up, and not down;
Look out, and not in;
Look forward, not back;
And lend a hand.

That quotation captures the spirit of how I have tried to live my life, to be optimistic, to look for the best in people,and to do what I can to help others. Something of the same spirit led me to start the Points of Light initative when I was President, to encourage Americans to become involved in one on one voluntary efforts to improve our communities, to make community service central to their lives and work. I have often noted that any definition of a successful life must include serving others.

Again, thank you for spending time in our Library.

All the best,
George Bush

Thank you for visiting the George Bush Presidential Library Center. I hope you enjoyed every minute of your time here.

You asked which First Ladies I most admire. That's a hard question to answer, because I admire every woman who has accepted the great privilege, and responsibility, that comes along with that daunting title. But I will choose three: Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson and Laura Bush.

Patricia Nixon was a woman of enormous grace and quiet, unshakable dignity. She was kind and considerate to everyone she met, an excellent mother, and a strongly devoted wife to her husband, through good times and bad. I will always remember her presence and her air of serenity. And most people don't know how much Pat Nixon did to make the White House a more beautiful, gracious place for visitors and residents alike. She is also responsible for the White House being lit at night, a beautiful sight for visitors.

Lady Bird Johnson was a wonderful, funny, generous woman who personified Texas hospitality. She had a buoyant sense of humor, and she too was a loving wife and mother. As First Lady, Lady Bird chose a cause that is very dear to my heart, the beautification of America, and I can never see flowers growing along a highway without thinking fondly of her.

Laura Bush is a strong and intelligent woman who I am proud to have as a daughter-in-law and First Lady. Her calmness and composure after September 11, 2001, brought comfort to the nation as it dealt with this great tragedy. As an advocate of literacy myself, I am happy that Laura chose reading as one of her major causes, in addition to women's health, and preserving our nation's cultural and natural heritage. She also has become a wonderful ambassador abroad for her husband and our country.

All First Ladies have brought something special to the role. For me, I know one thing for sure: I had the best job in America. Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.

Barbara Bush