Right before Thanksgiving, our Governor’s orders halted indoor dining at restaurants (among other things) in an effort to manage the rising COVID-19 rates and protect our healthcare workers.
We are grateful for our continued employment and order take-out rather frequently. My recent favorites are P.J. Murphy’s bakery in St. Paul for croissants, doughnuts, and breads (the new owners have stepped up the bread game), Everest on Grand for delicious Nepalese food that’s really really spicy (if you want it that way), and Regina’s Candies for dark chocolate covered pretzels.
Lasagna is a food I could eat every night for dinner.
There’s Fancy Lasagna and there’s Midwest Mom Lasagna. Sometimes you want Midwest Mom Lasagna.
Fancy lasagna may involve parboiling noodles, bechamel with a touch of nutmeg, and homemade bolognese.
An online search for authentic Italian lasagna brought me to a recipe involving all of these things plus steps for making my own pasta sheets. “The ONLY lasagna recipe you will ever need!” it boasted. “Yeah, I’m not doing any of those things,” I thought.
Midwest Mom Lasagna might still involve par-boiling noodles, but definitely no bechamel. Most of us grew up eating lasagnas with cottage cheese (or possibly ricotta) layered around hamburger tomato sauce. It’s the stuff that many of us grew-up on. It reminds us of mom. . . or a nice mom who served it.
Last summer the only thing I cooked was bruschetta.
I made bruschetta a lot. Every week. This summer I’m still making a lot of bruschetta. But I’m also making gochujang-butter shrimp. The sauce is inspired by the delicious gochujang-butter chicken wings a restaurant called Rabbit Hole used to serve in Midtown Global Market years ago before closing.
This gochujang butter sauce is composed of only two ingredients – a gochujang squeezy sauce and butter. I could be your Asian Sandra Lee.
I make meatloaf for the promise of a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day. Thick slices on squishy sandwich bread with mayo. . . good mayo.
My mom always made the meatloaf recipe from the back of the Quaker Oats box, baking it in a rectangular meatloaf pan. Quaker’s recipe is different now, but back then it was really simple: Ground beef, tomato juice, oats, egg, onion, salt and pepper. She topped it with slices of bacon and a glaze of ketchup and brown sugar.
My meatloaf includes a lot more things and I never measure. I freeform the meatloaf on a sheetpan so that the top has more surface area to brown.
I wrote this simple recipe for Simple Sautéed Cabbage With Balsamic Vinegar nine years ago!
There’s not much to the post, the recipe details are sparse, and the photo is just ok. Yet, it remains one of the most popular posts to this day.
Especially during the pandemic, people are gravitating towards this cabbage post.
Here’s my even more streamlined version of this recipe. Of course you can still add miso and the hot peppers, if you have them. A simple sauté brings out the natural sweetness in the cabbage.