Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Lasagna - It's a Recipe-Ish People

I am fascinated by Beyonce.  I love her almost as much as I love JLo.  I would love to hang out and go clubbing with the two of them.  I bet they would like that too. 

We probably would coordinate outfits and put together an awesome dance routine for when our favorite song comes on...not that I've thought about it.

I am just overjoyed at the thought that Beyonce is reproducing with Jay Z.  I love him also and the two of them creating a little rapping/singing/dancing baby is pretty fun.

I figured she might need a little help with her domestic life though since she's been touring and promoting things since she was about 16.  She probably hasn't spent a lot of hours trying to debate what to prepare for herself for dinner, and she probably won't in the future, but I could be wrong.

Just in case she is looking for an easy recipe, I wrote her one. 

Well, sort of.  It's just a recipe-ish. She will be forced to guess periodically, which is what I think makes it more fun and/or confusing.  Let's go.

Dear B,

I really like calling you B so I hope that's OK with you.  It makes me feel closer to you, and to Jay-Z, whom I have heard call you that when he was accepting a music award several years ago. I saw on Twitter that some people refer to you as Bey.  I'm not sure I agree with that.  Are they pronouncing that like "bay?"  Dislike. 

Anyway, we have a LOT to discuss.  First, congratulations on your pregnancy!  Very exciting!  I love the way you announced it too.  I mean, the way you dropped the mic, took off the jacket, and rubbed your belly after performing, spectacular. 

I almost did the same thing with my first pregnancy.  I was at work though instead of in a theatre filled with thousands of people.  Oh, and I had just finished running a staff meeting instead of performing a hit from my new album.  I guess my jacket also had zero sequins.  I was so boring. 

I was reading in my InStyle magazine, which has you on the cover, that you took a nine month hiatus from work to just travel with your husband and "be a wife."  It sounds like you spent a lot of  time on a yacht in the Bahamas and France, which is funny because I just spent Labor Day weekend on a speedboat with seven kids and my husband on the Brazos River in Waco, TX where I could just "be a wife." 

It's almost like we are living parallel lives.

I am NOT pregnant though.

One of the things that struck me while reading the article on you, other than the fact that I really love you, is that you mentioned next time you take a break from work you would like to be home more and learn to cook.  Well, I bet you take some time off work when you have that superstar baby, despite the fact that you state in your Girls Run The World Song that we can birth the babies then get back to business, we'll see how that goes for about you make a lasagna? 

I made this lasagna on Monday and I've been eating it for the last three days straight.  It's that good. 

Well, I also made it and it's got to be eaten.

A lasagna is also a lot of food and though our lives might be extraordinarily similar, eating the food until it's all gone is sort of a budgetary necessity around here.  Do you worry about stuff like that?

There's nothing wrong with lasagna for two meals a day for three days straight.  Well, sort of, but us normal people try to ignore it.

Let's get going!

First, you must understand that this is cheater's lasagna.  As in taking short cuts, not as in a lasagna that should be served only to people that are not faithful.  I think you and J are both non cheaters since I know Oprah is a big fan of Jay Z, as am I (holla! - yes I realize I can't pull that off,) and you.  Oprah would totally be disappointed if you cheated, that alone should keep you faithful.

Here's what you need:

3/4 pound ground beef (organic, you don't want your baby to have two heads)
3/4 pound spicy Italian sausage (unless you are having bad heartburn or are nursing and you are convinced your baby won't stop crying because of the spicy food you ate, despite the fact that it probably isn't true.  Playing mental games with yourself is part of being a new mom. Congrats again!)

box of oven ready lasagna noodles

8 cups spaghetti sauce (I like things saucy, and I am fairly confident that you do too from observing your life, but if I'm wrong then cut this back to 6.  Any variety will do.  Or you can make your own which isn't that difficult but people will feel amazed by you, which is fun.)

one medium (size of a tennis ball) onion chopped

5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups ricotta

2 eggs beaten (also organic or your baby's eyelashes fall out)

3/4 cup shaved Parmesan (I still have a secret affinity for the Kraft grated Parmesan so feel free to use it if you like it.  It's cool to not use the fancy stuff all the time, I promise.  I know what cool is.)

fresh basil chopped (some?  a tablespoon?  two?)

oregano (dried or fresh, again a few tablespoons.)

any other Italian herb that speaks to you

minced garlic

salt and pepper

Fist, you should thank me for not making you boil lasagna noodles.  It really isn't complicated, but it's simply annoying and that alone is enough to make me immediately abandon this task. 

Get out a pan of some sort, like a skillet and put some olive oil in it.  Turn the heat to medium-high and put the onion and all the meat in there.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, but DO NOT let my Mom see you do this or you will be assaulted with her view of everyone using too much salt in food, which is really not fun. 

Throw in some minced garlic too if you can.  I have no recommendation on the amount, maybe a spoonful?

Break up the meat as it browns and stir in the onion to cook properly.  Wait, do you know what cooking it properly means for this?  The onion should get soft and the meat shouldn't be red or pink anymore. 

Now call J into the kitchen and attempt to sing a little bit of that song Bonnie and Clyde the two of you did together back in 2003.  I run to that song and I'd like to think you could somehow incorporate me in to the song because it's a jam. 

I totally can't say "it's a jam."  Are you able to say things like that since you are a) a superstar, b) African-American, and c) married to a rapper?  I bet you can. 

After the meat is done you can drain off the fat, or you can leave it in like I do because I'm a little lazy when I cook.  I also end up dumping all the meat in the sink if I try to drain off the fat, so what's the point? 

Now stir in the sauce and remove it from the heat.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, herbs, eggs, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

Take a 9x13 pan and put a cup or so of meat mixture on the bottom.  I can't really give you a specific amount.  Just enough to coat the bottom, but not so much that it's a solid meat layer.  There should be spots with just a little sauce.  Did that explanation clear everything up for you? 

Part of your life as a new mom is going to be living in a constant state of loose information that you will have to decipher and just sort of go with your gut for what is best, making this lasagna is exactly like that.

Actually, making this lasagna is nothing like having your kid.  Don't say that to moms or you might get knifed. The lasagna won't keep you up all night, well, unless you used the spicy sausage and you have horrible heartburn, but that's still totally different. You will not feel an immense and profound, all-consuming love for this lasagna that will simultaneously torment, bore, and delight you beyond your wild imagination. 

I mean it might, but I doubt it and there is probably something wrong with you if it does.  Probably.

Now, as you hum All The Single Ladies and dream of a day that you could be "up in the club, doin' your own little thing," add a layer of noodles and a tear for your youth being left behind you.

I'm totally joking B, becoming a Mom doesn't completely rob you of your youth... just your independence and your normal vagina and your ability to not pee your pants during your concerts and your inability to discuss poop without feeling nauseous and the perkiness and/or size of your breasts.  


I assume you can afford to buy most of that back, but you won't be the same EVER.  Soon you'll have people at the grocery store asking you if you've lost your mucous plug or if you've thought of what you are doing with your placenta and you'll wonder what sort of freaky club you are joining in becoming a Mother. 

It is sort of freaky, but that's sort of amusing too, right?  I mean, the words mucous plug are just foul and hilarious at the same time. 

I think this is a good time to go back to the next step in our lasagna.

Now spread some of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then another layer of meat, then a layer of cheese, then another layer of noodles.  Do this three times.  Amounts?  Please B, this is a recipe-ish, I'm not going to take away your creative rights.  Just do whatever feels right.

When you reach the top layer of cheese throw some Parmesan on top and cover the dish with foil. 

Put it in the oven for 30 minutes and then remove the foil.  Continue cooking the lasagna for another 15 minutes or so, or until it gets all bubbly and melted into a cheesy mush.

I think traditionally everyone serves this with a salad and garlic bread.  I think that's great for the first night.  It's classic and always delicious.

If you want to slum it with the ordinary folks you'll eat it by itself for lunch the next day while you try to figure out what you are going to do to the baby's nursery, because this is your first baby and you'll care about that or how you are going to afford the stroller you have been coveting. 

When you eat it for dinner the next night try to saute some spinach with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and put that under the lasagna.  All of a sudden it tastes like a veggie lasagna and it isn't as painful to eat again.

Lunch the third day is going to be more rough.  Serve it with a side of chocolate to help it go down.

After that you should accept defeat and throw any leftovers away or serve with shots of vodka for dinner so no one notices they've been eating it for three days. 

Finally B, when you actually have the baby there will be a whole new onslaught of advice and judgement and scary moments of doubt and sleep deprivation and lots of tearful moments wondering how the hell you just had a person come out of you that you want to do anything and everything for. and run away from at the same time.


It's actually pretty amazing if you can stand your ground and trust that you really will know what's best for your baby.  Say lots of prayers and dig deep on your faith that it's going to be OK...and that it's also perfectly OK to run away every now and then, you'll probably even eventually want to come back.

If you don't come back though it will be an awesome storm of publicity and very entertaining/sad for me and the general public at large. 

I'm pretty sure you and Jay Z can handle a baby though.  It probably will just be so excited that you guys are their parents that it will do whatever you want. 

It's going to be great.

Linking up to Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading Party.  Check it out HERE.


Emmy said...

Girl you did it again!! Hilarious!! I was laughing out loud through the whole thing! Awesome!!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I seriously don't know how you manage to make a recipe so funny, but you do! I totally think you could turn this idea into a really awesome recipe book:)

jodi said...

I've been quietly trolling your blog for quite some time now, but I can remain quiet no longer. You, Leslie, are freakin funn-ay.

Amanda I said...

I actually howled, out loud, at "normal vagina". Thank you!!!

Kimberly said...

Love it. Definitely one of your best. The words "mucus plug" make me giggle. And gag. And giggle more. They shouldn't have ever given me a mommy license.

I still haven't figured out a spill- or burn-proof way of draining ground beef. If you ever master that one, let me know.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I laughed the whole way through! It was hilarious. Except for the part about the possibility of too much salt. Can't happen.

Shell said...

Oh, how these crack me up!

evie @ brown paper packages said...

That. Was. Hilarious. I almost peed myself about her peeing herself on stage. Totally going over to the follower button now...still laughing...

Meredith L. said...

Not to brag or anything, but Beyonce and I are totally pregnancy buddies. You know how we gals like to sync up and all.

mama_pez said...

Love it! :)

ps - to drain the meat, I cheat and use a colander.