Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Easter Dinner Food Failures

Every year we have the discussion "where are we having Easter this year?" Truth be told, I do enjoy cooking, and I spend half the year cutting out new recipes, but when it comes time to determining where we will have a dinner, I always vote for someone else's house. Why? Cause I hate cleaning. It takes much longer to clean than to cook. And it's not just that it takes time to dust, etc. - it's that we always run out of time and stuff everything into a box. And we have boxes throughout the house that were stuffed for the sole purpose of having people over to eat.

So when I mentioned to sister-in-law Mary that I hate to clean, she said "we don't care how your house looks." Ha! This, coming from the cleanest person I know. Then she started to tell me about her bad shoulder and how her physical therapist said she should not use her arm for anything other than physical therapy. And then she volunteered to host Easter dinner. "Mary," I said "how can I possibly say ok after hearing about aIl your shoulder problems?" And she said "well I'll get help." Feeling like a heel, I said oh, we'll do it at our (dirty) house.

And I decided to do something untraditional this year. Every Easter it's the same thing - David decides to cook a meat that he puts great effort into, and it is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER done when it's supposed to be done. It's either done 45 minutes early or it's raw when all the sides are ready. So I said ok, this year I'm going to make something that we put in the oven, and we take it out when it's hot, and there's no fuss.

So the day before, I made 2 lasagnas. I thought that was a lot for 9 people, but everyone I asked said oh, you better make 2. So we are now eating lasagna for lunch and dinner every day because there was a whole one left.

I know they say you should let lasagna sit when you take it out of the oven, but I never got that, because when food sits, it gets cold. So you either have liquidy lasagna, or you have cold lasagna. This time we had the liquidy lasagna.

But my real effort was in my dessert. I had my Taste of Home Magazine, which I love, and there was a picture of these beautiful cheesecake balls. I won't duplicate the recipe here, because I will spare you the grief I experienced. In short, you bake a cheesecake, with no crust. You freeze it overnight. The next day, you let it sit out for an hour. Then you roll the cheesecake into one inch balls, and dip them in graham cracker crumbs. Well, the damn thing wouldn't roll into balls. So I decided squares would do. After I got bored cutting squares, I tossed half the cheesecake. David walked into the kitchen and said his usual "I don't know why you always try to do this kind of thing." I had to agree with him this time. So then you freeze the cheesecake balls (squares) for an hour. Then you take them out, melt white chocolate, and dip the balls (squares) into the melted chocolate. You then dip it in toppings of your choice - chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc. I forgot how much I hate working with melted chocolate. It only stays the right temperature for a few minutes. Kind of like the lasagna! So I dipped a few and gave up. The results are pictured above.

Never again.


Anonymous said...

Little tip on the lasagna. Don't boil your noodles, put them in the pan dry and layer like normal. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil and bake at 350 for 1.5 hours then let it sit covered for 30 min. out of the oven.

It turns out great and you don't have runny lasagna cause the noodles suck up the extra moisture. Just don't take off the tin foil until ready to eat.

I read this in a cookbook from Dom Delouise and have never had it fail.

JessInFocus said...

Oh how I missed you Bonnie! I see so much of myself in you. The most horritying thing of having my house on the market is decluttering. Ugh! And we have those boxes too! LOL

Delaney had a great tip. My mom never cooks her noodles first.

I always try to do a desert recipe that we have never had before and it is always ultra complicated! My husband says the same thing.

Sharon said...

You do seem to have a problem with shoulders and elbows. Read the paragraph you wrote about Mary. You did the same thing with Ellen! Good thing I am there to catch these things for you!

BONNIE K said...

Fixed! And would you believe I was trying to be extra careful cause I know I have this problem?

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

lol. I hate cooking more than cleaning. Actually, I hate cooking more than just about anything. We would have been a good match to put together a dinner.

Mich said...

We have the same problem with meat being done too early or too late. I hate that stress the most -- the stress of hoping everything will come together (hot and not runny) at the precise moment. Never happens.

Jeanie said...

I think this was the first year everything came out on time -- and that was an accident, given that I put the potatoes in so late I had to take them out, nuke them, then remembered I didn't add the flour, so they only had about a third the time in the oven. What is it with holiday dinners? There's always something that doesn't work.

Well, I'm going to have to try the lasagna tip. That's about the only pasta I don't make. I know that dessert sounded like a pain and probably was, but I do think the picture of the results was pretty good looking!

Bella Rum said...

I love lasagna and would be happy to eat it at any temperature.

The Last Post said...

I am with you, I find cooking quite relaxing but hate the cleaning. I would love a dishwasher but cannot fit one in my kitchen. I like the look of your cheesecake balls (or squares) I may have a go at those.

Hope you had a good Easter.