I decided to deviate a bit from my usual geeky-type blogs and share with you one of my LEAST favorite activities, cooking.  Ugh.

Ask any of my family members and they will tell you: I CAN be a fairly competent cook, but I am not always successful at my culinary ventures. Usually this is due to my distractibility; a movie, a book, or anything shiny can mean the ruin of a perfectly good meal. This distraction leads to the charring of whatever is on the stove or in the oven. I have even been known to overcook things in the MICROWAVE. Seriously.  Needless to say, I have the attention span of a gnat on crack.  I have given up on regular oven timers to remind me when things are done, because, inevitably, something would lure me out of earshot of said timer and I would still  burn the food.  I now set the alarm on my cellphone, which I always have on me. This has led to a higher ratio of edible meals to meal attempts, thus boosting my confidence and compelling me to try things other than burgers and mac-n-cheese.

Tonight’s repast shall be lasagna with garlic bread and salad. Not Chef Boyardee, either, oh Ye of Little Faith.  I found a recipe online at Allrecipes.com, went to the grocery store and procured the necessary items.  Who knew there were so many kinds of cheese in lasagna?

The prep work went fairly well, though I did forget to drain the burger before I started adding it to the sauce.  I remembered after dumping half of it in, then started picking the rest out of the skillet with my spoon to avoid adding any further grease to the sauce in the pan.  I was proud of myself.  After the meat and sauce were thoroughly cooked, I started layering the noodles, sauce and cheese. Starting into the third layer, I realized that my pan was not going to be deep enough to accommodate the monster that the lasagna was becoming. I went ahead and finished the third layer, noting that it rose slightly above the edge of my pan. This was worrisome. I briefly considered trying to transfer the contents to a deeper pan, gave that up, then decided that a little hilljack ingenuity was in order. I set the baking dish on a cookie sheet and rigged an extended edge to the baking dish with tinfoil. Improvise, adapt and overcome – that’s me.  While rigging the tinfoil dam, I remembered that our neighbor had given me a nice, deep lasagna dish just last summer. I was kind of wishing I had remembered this earlier. Anywho, the lasagna monster is in the oven now. I have my cell phone here with me. Heh. We shall see how it turns out.

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Ok. I just checked on the lasagna and my tinfoil contrivance seems to be working – no overflow. The top layer of cheese was getting a bit dark, so I covered it with more tinfoil. The recipe did not tell me I needed to do this and there was still 15 minutes left of baking time.  I feel betrayed.  Although not technically burnt, it is a bit darker than other lasagna I have seen. If anyone says anything at dinner about it, they will be wearing it. Success is all about support.

I made an awesome salad with carrots, almond slices, bits of broccoli and cauliflower, and shredded cheese. I topped it with raspberry vinaigrette. The lasagna is done, so I made the garlic toast, which I did NOT burn, thank you very much. I wish the top layer of cheese hadn’t become so dark, but it tastes fine. My daughter even said that it tasted good. After watching me slave over the lasagna all evening, she was probably afraid to say anything else. Smart girl. The hubby has been drinking beer and watching the Packers on TV all evening. He said he wasn’t hungry.  He isn’t so smart.

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The Lasagna Monster.

It wasn’t really as dark as it looks in this picture.  Honest.

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