Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hot Dish vs. Casserole

That's a healthy dose of hotdish sauce on her face. I decided it was time for my kids to be indoctrinated into Minnesota's Hotdish Club, or Casserole Club as they'd probably call it in most other places. I'm not a hotdish kind of cook for the most part. I like to cook on top of the stove and not in the oven. I enjoy a good saute here and there, a piping hot pan of risotto steaming atop the cooktop, and a simmering pot of soup. That's my cooking style.

Lately though, I've been peering through my Grandma's church cook book and beginning to wonder if those church basement cooks really had a good thing going. They may not be fancy or use trendy ingredients, but boy, are they easy, fast, and make the house smell good in a hurry. As I wrote out my grocery list last week, I chose three recipes that I thought would be a good introduction for my kids to the joys of hotdish. They love goulash when Ron's mom serves it, can dig a tater-tot hotdish here and there, and Gus even ate a mushroom in lasagna the other night. They're learning to eat mixed foods (most little kids like their food separated from the other food on the plate.)

I chose Spaghetti Bake, A Chicken/Rice/Creamy/Waterchestnut one, and a Taco Casserole. I bought the ingredients for all and figured that I would save myself some pre-dinner labor if I could prepare these earlier, then get one in the oven an hour before dinner. Today I made the first two, serving one for lunch and placing the other in the freezer for later.

Louise's face above tells you how they liked it. Love at first warm noodly bite. Give those church basement mamas a high FIVE! (Don't worry, Stef, I still prefer the sautes, but for the cold months when Ron is working so much, this just may help me make it through the day!)

That's pineapple, not hotdish. A lazy Sunday... still in jammies at noon. All of us.

"You're right Mom, this is good." That's one happy customer.


noradawn said...

Very, very cute! Just a warning- I'm going to call you one of these days and ask for your favorite risotto recipe. I still haven't really tried my hand at one!

maynor family said...

do you get paid to do your blog? because you should! wow! there's some great stuff here. can't wait to catch up in person sometime this summer... :)

maynor family said...

I forgot to add that Katy's mom sent us wild rice and a regional hot-dishes of MN dish towel for Christmas- how a propos!
I will be back in mpls the last week of June. I can hardly believe how far my Italian has come, but there's still plenty to learn. I'm collecting recipes dictated and hand scratched on scraps of paper- I'll have plenty to share. We eat so differently now. Let's make a date for July.

Anonymous said...

Please show more pictures of Ron.