Today I'm feeling miserable. I've been fighting a cold all week, taking all the necessary steps to no avail. I polished off the honey bear with my daily doses of lemon/ginger/hot water concoctions and drank all the orange juice my body could handle. Yesterday I was in need of a pick-me-up on such a cold grey day so I dragged myself to the grocery store and got the necessary autumn veggies for ratatouille. In the last few years, ratatouille has become a staple for this time of year - it has joined the ranks of chili and roast beef in my book of comfort foods.
Ratatouille is an easy casserole dinner, and also very pretty.
Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Red Pepper, Onion, Garlic

So, after a brief nap I began chopping the red pepper, yellow squash, zucchini and aubergine (I can never remember the English word for aubergine...) at my coffee table while I remained on the couch, under a blanket watching my current distraction, Drop Dead Diva. After the chopping was complete I had  no choice but to move my work to the kitchen.
I covered the bottom of a casserole dish with tomato puré and mixed in a few drops of olive oil. Then I sprinkled sliced onion and garlic evenly over the sauce. After that, it's just a matter of placing the veggies in a colourful rows over the sauce. The pictures explain that part better.
I baked it at 375 F for about half an hour and served it over brown rice with goat cheese. The amount of slices you get with one of each vegetable is enough for two small casseroles so I made a second one to freeze for a later date.
Slice all the veggies
Arrange slices over tomato puré, olive oil, onions and garlic
Bake 30-40 minutes and serve over rice with goat cheese

Since I was clearly in a fall mood and seeking comfort foods, I also whipped up an apple crisp. It's super easy: slice up six apples and place slices at the bottom of a dish and pour a quarter of a cup of orange juice over them. In a bowl mix a cup of sugar, three quarters of a cup of flour, one teaspoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of nutmeg and a half cup of butter and blend together (it's easier to do it with your hands - make sure they're clean!). Place the mixture over the apples and bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes. The top will get nice and golden as the juices seep up through the mixture. It's da bomb.

Clearly, this meal did not cure my cold but it warmed me up and tasted extra awesome on that cold day.

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