Monday, May 12, 2008

Lasagna, Mother's Day, and being a Stepmom

Today's post is not going to be about any one topic...but a myriad of topics. Cooking, Mother's Day, and today's dreary weather.

Saturday I had this urge to make Lasagna. One of "my meals" I have been making every now and then for years. Dear hubby thought that this weekend's lasagna was my best yet. Not sure what it was though to make THIS ONE the best ever. I did change a few things but nothing drastic. Like the brands I chose. My favorite way to make it is with my own homemade tomato sauce, but this time I used a local Italian brand from a jar.

One of my pet peeves, and I do not mean to offend anyone by this, is making lasagna without keeping it Italian. Now, I cannot be sure I've never tried lasagna made in what I call "American style" but I can be sure I absolutely LOVE lasagna made the Italian way. And what I mean by this is making it using ricotta cheese. Not cottage cheese. (To me it would be like trying to make tacos using soy sauce.)

I basically use your standard lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley mixed in. Sometimes I mix in a little bit of garlic. For the meat layer, instead of using hamburger I use Italian sausage. I prefer the sausage with a little "kick" but since my dear hubs grew up without spicy foods, I compromise and keep it mild. I also prefer to use regular lasagna noodles instead of the no boil type.

And it is pretty much too late to take a picture of my lasagna because it is almost gone. (Photo above is borrowed from Wikipedia.) On the side I made cut strips of zucchini sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with a smidge of vinegar. Gives it a nice carmelized flavor after awhile.

Instead of going out for Mother's Day, we chose to have leftover lasagna...which is always better the second day because all of the ingredients have had a chance to marinate together. De-li-zi-o-so! Didn't bother me a bit missing all of those crowded restaurants.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day! Anything I wanted to do, we did. So of course, we went shopping. I have always wanted to go to this big store that is really a warehouse. It is chock full of art, party, floral, craft, and fabric supplies. I mean you can get lost in this place. Must have spent two hours there. Crazy! But, it was my day... and I came home with some neat things for my home and for the antique biz. And one of my stepchildren surprised me with the most beautiful card. It is nice to know you are thought of. I know it can be confusing having a split family and all the drama that has come along with it. We have had our share of the drama (not their fault) and now that the kids are older, things have become less stressful, probably for everyone involved. The one thing I wish I had known about all this time was about having a BLOG. What a big help that would have been with other stepmoms out there to chat with.

The weather yesterday was nice, a little windy, but nice. Today, it is dreary and cold! I suppose these days need to happen in order to keep everything green! Normally I hate these days but today I thought it would be a great day to blog. So now I'm off to work on my Bella Blog. In the next day or so I hope to have photos of some of my old favorite dolls/toys I used to play with...stay tuned!


Michelle said...

Hi Jillian,

Happy Mother's Day from one step-mom to another! Your lasagna looks delicious..

I got my needlepoint today! It is beautiful and I'm so happy to have won your I have some inspiration for a new post..

Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.


Ms.Daisy said...

Hi, I was so taken with your sauteed zucchini when I visited last time, that I intend to try it myself! It was very delicious! Thanks for the great hospitality!



Natasha Burns said...

What a fun mother's day you had! LOL I learn something new every day! I have never heard of ricotta in lasagne before, hehehe and my family are Italian - we use bechamel sauce (home made of course, butter, flour and grated hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino). But mum makes it, I never attempt it, it's so hard and time consuming but it is so delicious and hearty - it's a complete meal isn't it!

Liz said...

Glad you had a good Mother's Day. I LOVE lasagne. :)

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I make my lasagna with ricotta and cottage cheese - I didn't know cottage cheese wasn't Italian! :o) I'm a step-mom, too, and I know the DRAMA all too well. But my step-children are sweet and precious, and time is a great healer, isn't it?

Oliver Rain said...

I'm inspired to make lasagna and that zucchini now. Sounds like a great way to spend mother's day.