Monday, November 22, 2010

I brag about my cooking

It`s true... I am often giving myself pats on the old back for my latest tasty creation. And it`s not like I do anything fancy, I just cook what I like. Apparently with just a dash of modesty. But cooking is something that makes me indescribably happy and I am so lucky to be afforded the time to do what I love, leisurely, in my home, for my family.

But Noah is my biggest critic.

Now not all of my creations are home runs. In fact the other night I made a turkey meatloaf that was dry as could be! Noah would not touch it (Jeff said it was good, but he says that no matter what. That`s a good husband). However, last night I made a sort of ratatouille/lasagna dish that was AMAZING (clearly it only had a dash of modesty) and Noah again refused to touch it.

If only I could parent as well as I can cook.

Part of me does take it personally since I put so much of MYSELF and love into my cooking, but then again... he is two... he knows not what he does. So needless to say we had a stand off at dinner time; Noah gagging whenever I uttered the words `take a bite`, Jeff in the corner saying `Maybe he is just not hungry` and me saying `Oh he KNOWS what he is doing...`.

All of the sudden I have a two year old who is aware of his own personal wants/desires but is not yet capable of communicating exactly what he wants 100% of the time. Tantrums are frequent. He is a loud screamer. I am learning patience... but honestly most of the time am clueless as to WHAT TO DO with my two year old HUMAN (remember when he was just a little baby, and was seemingly perfect? Perfection is so UN-human).

Noah needs to discover his own `cooking`... something he loves and can loose himself in. Something he can do and be oh so proud of himself for doing. As his parent I need to help him discover all the joys and wonders and marvelous things there are in his world... things that are much more fun than tantrums. We will get there, I know, and until then I have my kitchen to retreat to, to cook away the day.

(But he WILL eat the leftovers tonight if it kills me!)

How to make your own Tasty Ratatouille Lasagna

1 yellow squash, sliced in 1/2 then diced
1 zucchini, sliced in 1/2 then diced
1 egg plant, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pint mushrooms, quartered
1 onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can tomato sauce
No bake lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Feta cheese, crumbled
Parmesan cheese, grated

Saute the veggies in some olive oil with the spices and garlic for about 10 minutes or until they are somewhat soft. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, ladle about 1/4 of the chunky sauce into a casserole dish. Layer uncooked noodles (I only used three). Ladle on more sauce, then add a thick layer of mozzarella and sprinkle feta and parmesan. Layer noodles. Repeat with more sauce and cheese but end with the last of the sauce. I only had 2 layers of noodles because I wanted the chunky sauce to be the star. And it twas.  

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