Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Never Make Just One Lasagna

I have a Kitchen Tart Golden Rule...Never make just one lasagna.

I recently offered to make a lasagna for one of my kid's teachers for her to feed to her family for dinner one night.  As I was preparing to make it I looked at our menu for the week and realized that we would not need a lasagna for ourselves that week, and for a brief moment I considered making only one lasagna...then I remembered the Kitchen Tart Golden Rule.

I will be sharing my lasagna recipe in a few days, but in the meantime ponder this...

Top 10 Reasons to Make Two

10. Making lasagna is not hard, but it is messy.  Once you are stuck in the dish hell that is cleaning up from lasagna, you may as well have something extra to show for it.  Hey, make three if you are feeling ambitious.

9.  It is so easy once you are making one to make two.  In fact, the way I make lasagna it is actually easier to make two than it is to make one.  I say this because my lasagna uses sour cream and cottage cheese instead of ricotta, and if you make the mixture for two you don't have to measure, you just dump the whole container in the bowl.  Brilliant.

8.  There is room in your freezer.  If there isn't room in your freezer take something out...look, now there is room in your freezer.

7.  Lasagna tastes as good from the freezer as it does fresh.  I dare you to try and tell the difference.  (That is not an invitation to dinner, make your own lasagnas you free loader).

6.  Using that much cheese helps support the economy of the great state of Wisconsin.  Go, Packers!

5.  You may not want lasagna tonight, but you probably don't want to cook one night next month so now you don't have to.

4.  If you freeze it in a disposable pan and use paper plates to eat it you will literally have no dishes to do that night...look away environmentalists.  Look.  Away.

3.  There is always a friend in need who could use a lasagna, and they don't care that it came from your freezer.  Someone you know has probably moved today, had a baby today, or is just having a hard day today.  Think about how happy you would be if someone just showed up on your doorstep with a lasagna.  (Hint, hint...Kitchen Tarts need food too).

2.  Rao's Marinara Sauce may be on sale at your market.  (If you don't understand this one, put down your phone or your computer mouse, go to your grocery store and buy a jar of it right now...ask for a plastic spoon in the deli department and crack that puppy open.  Spoon it into your mouth and then write me an email and thank me for introducing you to heaven.)

1.  Lasagna is comfort food, it always has been and it always will be.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Roads End Sloppy Joe's

The legend tells us that this recipe was used to save my Grandmother when she was entertaining at her home on Roads End in Maine.  She was hosting a large number of guests for a party and had made a big batch of her famous fish chowder the day before.  My Grandmother was born and raised in Maine, fish chowder was right in her wheel house...so...when she opened the lid of the pot before reheating it that morning for the crew and it gave a big bubble, she knew that it had turned.  But you don't grow up in Maine during the Great Depression without knowing a thing or two about how to fix a meal to feed many with what you have.  So she decided to make Sloppy Joe's, or as she called affectionately called them Osie Dosies.

Simple enough, right?  Well...not so much...

You see, it was during a meat shortage and people were limited to a pound of meat a person.  So, once again being a resourceful woman, she gathered all of the younger house guests and sent them one at a time to collect the meat until she had enough to make a batch to feed the masses.  My father was one of the errand boys and assures me that the story was not as amusing then as it is now ;)

In my grandmother's notes on the recipe she has it multiplied out to feed as many as 100, so needless to say, this recipe doubles, triples, quadruples and more with ease.

Roads End Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 8 oz. can tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. chili powder

Brown hamburger in heavy skillet.  Drain the fat.

Add onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  If your skillet is very full cook slightly longer.

Serves: 6

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hot Artichoke Dip

This photo is just the artichoke hearts, it will look different
when cooked...more like a creamy cloud of delish.

This dip is so easy and so tasty that you will bring it to every holiday party.  Every one.

Serve this
with crackers.  Ususally I am a Ritz girl, but here Town House are best.

Enough said.

Hot Artichoke Dip

2 cans of medium or large artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
6-8 dashes of Tabasco

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Put into an oven safe dish (I like a deep souffle dish) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve with crackers.