Tag Archives: lasagna

Better call in Kevorkian

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Well it finally happened. As much as I had hoped and prayed we could go through the whole winter without it happening, it did. It first took hold of mi papa over the weekend and unfortunately, it’s now grabbed mi mama by its grasps and all hell has broken loose. What is it, you may be asking? Well, mi amigos, it seems mi mama has come down with a nasty cold. And by nasty, I mean, when she gets sick, things turn nasty.

We tried to keep this from happening, we really did. When mi papa first began displaying signs and symptoms of his sickness, we tried to quarantine him to the bedroom and attempted to keep him as far away from mi mama as possible. The haz-mat suits were donned and the house was sanitized on an hourly basis. I made chicken soup and slipped Nyquil and Vitamin C tablets under the door to his room. And yet despite all these efforts, she still awoke this morning with the dreaded illness no one (especially me) wanted her to come down with. It’s not that I really mind sick people. Heck, they make the best laps to sit on due to their maintaining the same position for hours and sometimes days at a time. I don’t even mind the coughing and hocking of mucous so much either. What I do mind, though, is the constant whining and complaining and the complete lack of usefulness that generally seems to occur when some people are sick. And by some people, I specifically mean mi mama. Talk about drama.

You would think she’s on her death bed the way she moans and groans and refuses to do anything other than lie on the couch watching reruns of Project Runway and Jersey Shore. All household chores cease to get done, there are used tissues and snot rags laying all around the house and dirty soup dishes in the sink. She wears the same crusty sweats and slippers for days at a time, and I’m pretty certain neither bathing of the body nor washing of the hair takes place during this week of fun either. Basically our home completely shuts down for the week and mi papa and I spend as much time as possible out “running errands” and “taking care of important business,” until things return back to normal and she starts to resemble a human being again.

We’re currently in Day 1, so wish us some luck. And please do yourself and everyone you know a favor and stay as far away from our home as possible. Unless of course, you like watching crappy reality television with a stinky she-devil. Then by all means, come on over and take her off our hands for awhile… but be careful, she bites.

So anyway, not to change the subject (because I’m sure you really want to keep hearing about snot and phlegm), I would like to share with you a recipe I made last week, back before all this chaos began. I promise it has nothing to do with bodily fluids or sicknesses and everything to do with delicious sauces and cheeses and butternut squashes all brought together in a decadent and totally delicoso vegetarian lasagna. Seriously, this might be my best main dish recipe to date. Just ask mi abuela 🙂

Alright mis compadres, that’s all I’ve got for now. I just heard mi mama making some noise from beneath her blanket on the couch, and I’m going to try to find a place to hide before she grabs ahold of me to cuddle with her.

Maybe if I stay really still and keep my eyes closed, she’ll think I’m a plant.

Introducing: Lambi the guest blogger

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Oh man do I have a busy weekend planned. Unfortunately this does not allow me much time to blog, so I have asked my good friend, Lambi, to write up a guest post for me so you all will not have to go TeenyLittleSuperChef-less for very long. Lambi is also a culinary genius, so please, be nice to her. She’s also a total babe with the most gorgeous wool coat I’ve ever laid eyes on. Enjoy!

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Hey all you foodies! I’m Lambi and I would like to thank Juan Carlos for inviting me as his guest bleeter blogger.

Whie I, as you may have guessed, am mostly into tender seedlings leafy acreage morsels, my family often include healthy, home-grown, organic meat (shudder) in their meals, none of which (thankfully) are from my side of the pasture. In any case, the recipe I would like to share is yummy, sans meat.

Our farm is a crazy busy wonderful place at harvest time. While I am stuffing myself luxuriating in the fresh mud green grasses that the latest rain has brought, it is also time to bring in the buckets of fresh produce we have so carefully tended throughout the summer. Onions, tomatoes, celery, eggplant, oregano, basil and garlic… oh yes, did I mention I’m a garlic maven… indeed I am with 16 varieties already planted for spring– but I digress. With all this bounty it’s time to gulp down savor fresh, safe, organically grown fall flavors. I do make my regular contributions to the health of our garden compost pile, which is then turned into the soil in the fall and spring to make healthy garden crops. I do believe in giving what I can for the cause as do my pasture mates.

I hope you will enjoy this Eggplant Lasagna. While it’s not a quick recipe, you’ll have buckets bowls of sauce to freeze or can, and enjoy as a quick flavorful sauce for pasta. You should also have plenty of Lasagna left to put a bit in the freezer as well, unless you happen to be sharing your meals as I do, in a trough, with other more aggressive diners.

Eggplant Lasagna

Marinara Sauce

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic (I use one that has a little kick to it from Indonesia)

3 tbsp olive oil

12 firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup chopped green onion and some of the tops

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp crushed anise or fennel seed

1 tbsp crushed oregano leaves

3/4 tsp rosemary leaves

1 tsp paprika

1 3/4 cups or half a bottle of dry red wine (can substitute grape juice)

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Directions:

1) Cook onion and garlic in oil until softened and translucent.

 2) Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pan with the onions and garlic. Bring mixture to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove cover and simmer until reduced to approximately 8 cups. (I usually double this recipe to have enough to put in the freezer or can.

Lasagna Ingredients

(If you prefer the sauce thick, add 8 oz tomato paste to your sauce before proceeding)

8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

15 oz nonfat cottage or ricotta cheese

8 oz nonfat yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 eggs + 1 tbsp water, mix together in small bowl

1 whole medium eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

whole wheat bread crumbs, enough to use for breading eggplant

Directions:

1) Salt the eggplant and allow 10 minutes for the salt to draw the moisture out. Pour off the liquid, dip the eggplant in the egg mixture then coat with bread crumbs.

2) Fry in a very small amount of oil. (Eggplant will tend to soak up oil. The bread crumbs will keep the eggplant from doing this so much.) Turn as soon as one side is brown.

3) Place half the eggplant in a 13×9″ pan or casserole dish. Top with half the sauce and half the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.

4) Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly.

Enjoy!

Hmmm, just writing about all this is making me hungry… oh wait, I think I hear the dinner bell… uhhh yeah I think I have to go now. It looks like everyone else is heading for the barn….. WAIT FOR ME!!!!!!