Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cooking is good for the soul(s)

I love to cook.  It started in high school.  French club, I think.  My school's French club hosted a "French cafe" each year but all it offered was croissants and other pastries.  When I became French club president, I reasoned "hey, it's either a cafe or it's not..." Therefore, I pulled out my mom's International cookbook, selected a savory crepe recipe, a quiche, a side dish (I can't really remember now but I think it was some preparation of green beans) and a dessert.  My club divided up into teams for cooking, loaded my parents' microwave into my '74 Volkswagen and set up a real cafe in the courtyard.  We sold lunch plates and made a killing.  

Here I am a "few" years later and I've been cooking ever since.  I enjoy it.  I like it for many's therapeutic for me, I like to take care of others through food and I really, really like to try to  impress my husband.  And then there's our daughter, who I want to feed healthily and have her develop a sophisticated palate.  We're well on the way with that, thank God.

Unfortunately, one of our friends was recently found to have cancer.  She is young and healthy, has a beautiful one year old baby and a husband who loves her.  She's been started on chemo right away and is on medical leave.  She is in good hands... 

I wanted to prepare something that they could keep in the freezer and just pop in the oven on those days when she doesn't feel well and her husband doesn't want to fool with the kitchen. I decided to go with The Pioneer Woman's lasagna rolls. I really love her site and so many of her recipes are just awesome.  I made enough for 4 meals for our friends and one for us. I had leftover filling and a little bit of sauce, so I stuffed some shells for our dinner.

So, on to the lasagna...

Getting all the ingredients ready to rock & roll
I am an herb-chopping machine

This is about 2 lbs of hamburger and chopped onion
The sauce is simmering away.  Smells divine!
Since these are rolled, you must cook them first
Spread the ricotta/parmesan mixture on the noodle
Roll 'em up!
Four rolls will fit in a standard size loaf pan
Look at all these...from ONE recipe!
Everything is better with cheese on top
Using up the leftover filling & sauce for our dinner
Stuffed shells ready for the oven
Call me an old Southern girl but food is what I do when someone has a problem.  Making these dishes was fun for me and I felt really happy about the possibility that these lasagnas might make life a little easier for our friends as they go through this tough time.  Food is more than fuel for the body. That's what I think anyway. 

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