Is It Really Only Tuesday? PLUS Easy Lasagna & Hamburger Stroganoff

Is It Really Only Tuesday? PLUS Easy Lasagna & Hamburger Stroganoff


A recycled blog is just the thing for a… gulp… Tuesday! First published at One Generation To Another, February 12, 2008.

I’m not a fan of Tuesdays…never have been…never will be. To me Tuesdays are like having something wedged between two teeth. It serves no purpose and is exceedingly annoying. Tuesdays are too far away from the coming weekend to start getting excited, and they’re too far removed from the past weekend to provide comfort. The effects of the “weekend massage” (you know, the restful, change of pace from the work week feeling you get) have worn off and you can feel your muscles tensing. Let’s just say I lack motivation on Tuesdays and no where is that more apparent than when I think about cooking dinner. Frankly, I think the world should go out to dinner on Tuesdays…let someone else worry about this often thankless mundane chore! (BTW…this is usually the only day of the week when you’ll hear me make a comment like that. For the most part I thoroughly enjoy cooking!) But Tuesdays…well, they suck the life right out of me. Even pleasurable tasks can be overwhelming.

Having said all that, let’s make the assumption that logistically speaking, not everyone can go out to dinner on Tuesdays…think of the lines…think of the shortages of chicken fajitas! Then, accept the fact that people still need to eat whether you feel like cooking or not and chances are your family is in the same Tuesday funk you’re in, and could benefit from a plate of comfort food. Let’s also assume you only order pizza on Friday nights…not sure if it’s a local or national ordinance; at the very least I consider it a moral imperative! So, the enigma…how do you get a soothing meal prepared for your family with little effort? Answer…fast foods. I don’t mean burgers ‘n fries from the golden arches, but rather foods that don’t take long to prepare, but are satisfying and become “welcomed friends” to the entire family. These are the foods you can make every week and no one complains!

I think that through divine intervention or sheer happenstance, everyone stumbles upon that one meal they can make with their eyes closed, yet appreciated by the whole family. THESE RECIPES ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD! The meals won’t win any prizes for the most creative use of an artichoke or couscous, and they certainly won’t impress anyone with a sophisticated palate, BUT, for the average family, they are delicious, satisfying and comforting. (Okay, they are not JUST Tuesday meals…good is good anytime…but they are life savers when you’re lacking drive and inspiration.)

My mom was, actually still is, a wonderful cook. Her recipes ranged from the painfully simple…like her tuna variation of S.O.S. (A colorful military abbreviation for Sh*t On a Shingle…or for the civilian, chipped beef on toast!) to elaborate gourmet meals. (See my Sweater Flambe blog for her wonderful Beef Bourguignonne recipe.) But, with the exception of Saturday nights, when dinner was usually sandwiches and/or canned soup, she made a warm meal every night. Some dishes took her all day to prepare…like her killer spaghetti sauce…to dinners with prep times of less than half an hour. (BTW…not everyone’s idea of “easy” is the same. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? We’re talking about surviving Tuesdays…so if it works for you and easy means heating up a pot pie…great!) One of my favorite “quick” recipes Mom made was Easy Lasagna. She could throw it together at any time during the day, and pop it in the oven half an hour before dinner. She found the recipe in a magazine around 1956 and it’s been a favorite with our family since then!

MOM’S EASY LASAGNA

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups uncooked medium noodles
1 cup cream style cottage cheese
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Directions

In a heavy skillet, brown ground beef along with chopped onions. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, garlic salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook the noodles. Drain. Combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream. Spread half the noodles in an 11 x 7 x 1 1/2" baking dish. Top with a little meat sauce, cover with cheese mixture. Add remaining noodles and remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serves 6.

I stumbled upon my “golden recipe” early in my married life. It came from a Betty Crocker cookbook. It was quick, easy and enjoyed by everyone in the family. Like all easy recipes, if time permits, you can muck about with them to enhance them…I know my daughter has made some changes to this “basic” recipe…but left as is, they stand on their own. While my kids were growing up, we usually had this dinner once a week. I never heard, “Oh no, not again!” I would say that makes it rather priceless!

HAMBURGER STROGANOFF

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt or 1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups hot cooked noodles
Snipped parsley (or dried)

Directions

In large skillet, cook and stir ground beef and onion in butter until onion is tender. Stir in flour, salt, garlic salt, pepper and mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in soup; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with snipped parsley. Serves 4 – 6.

So, there you have it…my answer to Tuesdays! No, I have no secret formula for abolishing Tuesdays altogether, not sure I’d want that responsibility anyway. Think of the global cost of switching over to a 6 day a week calendar, and I’m sure there would be some serious Biblical implications, too! (Wonder what God actually created on that first Tuesday. I’m guessing it was something simple!) Anyway…Tuesdays are here to stay! So, hunker in, batten down the hatches, circle the wagons, and get ready to take on 52 Tuesdays a year. A tried and true recipe just might make them a little more palatable! (BTW…As Tim was proofing this his comment was, “I thought everyone had trouble with Wednesdays. That’s why they’re referred to as “The hump.” My reply, “One man’s Tuesday is another man’s Wednesday!” Personally, the optimist in me feels good about Wednesdays…they have a round, cheery feeling…and it is permissible, without being delusional, to start thinking about the weekend. But, hey, it doesn’t matter if our challenging day is a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, they’re weekly, and survival is the key!)

How do you “culinaryly” cope with Tuesdays? Do you have a “golden” recipe you’d like to share? Let’s face it, some weeks feel like every night is Tuesday! Best to be prepared with a collection of “simple” meals! Just one more little note on Tuesdays…I seldom make enough food for one meal. Anything that freezes well, I double. So, when even “Easy Lasagna” seems too draining on a Tuesday, just defrost a meal, and, well, everyone is feed, Easy Peasy!

Kimara

9 Comments

  1. What funny to read! For me, it is Thursdays. I hate Thursdays. DH works EMS any he works afternoons Thursdays, Frideays and Saturdays. While most families are looking forward to their families being together, that’s our crunch time.

    My quick but we love meal, made almost exclusively on Thursday because my husband thinks its gross are Grilled Cheese with Peanut Butter sandwiches. I started making these in college, cheap, fast, and yummy, what could be better.

    I had my fingers crossed the first time I made it for the crew. DH gagged, a little melodramatic, but the girls loved them. To make them, spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, then grill the sandwich like you normally do. We like them with smooth or crunchy peanut butter.

    Personally both of your easy recipes sound yummy and I will try them, but to me I wouldn’t call them easy! I’d call them company food hehe. Thanks for a fun read and the new recipes. Hope you are surving this Tuesday just fine!

  2. Great recipes! Tonight we’ll be having a Meatless lasagna made with cottage cheese and spinach. I don’t mind Tuesdays but your post made me giggle 🙂 You certainly have a way with words.
    Pop over to Rebel Blossom…I have a classic recipe posted…from Mrs.Beeton (1865):)
    xo

  3. Funny. I’m not a fan of Tuesday either. Never thought about why, but now I know. Makes perfect sense. My quick dinners are far quicker than yours. We love the sausages they make at Whole Foods. When I buy them I actually cook them right away, then freeze them individually, bun and all. When you want a fast meal, you grab 3 or four, and you the nuke them in the bun. Very easy. And I buy different kinds so everyone can pick what they want. Heat up some veggies, and I’m all set. Hope you survive this Tuesday. BTW, if it ever gets too bad, I suggest a nice hot cup of giner tea, laced with cinammon schapps hehe.

  4. If I had to pick my “bad” day of the week it would be Monday. I usually spend most of the day getting back into routine, stashing away the weekend, and in much need of rest by the time dinner rolls around. I use to have DH go through the fast food line, but we stopped doing that a couple years ago. So now, when I don’t feel or don’t have time to cook, we’ll have breakfast for dinner. Lots of time we have scramble eggs, but our favorite is pancakes. We LOVE pancakes around here. And what I’ve learned to do makes quick cooking fast. When I make pancakes like on Saturday morning, I always make too much, cook them, let them cool, then freeze them. When I want an ultra fast dinner, I take them out of the freezer and pop them in the toaster. I do the same with breakfast links. I fully cook them then just zap them in the microwave. Here is our favorite pancake recipe write now, but I have a million pancake recipes, my favorite is potato pancakes but I don’t find they reheat well.

    Oatmeal Pancakes
    1 1/2 cups oatmeal (don’t use instant)
    1 cup buttermilk (I usually put 1 teaspon of vinegar in milk and call it buttermilk)
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    optional – 1 cup fresh fruit, diced. (We like bananas and berries best)
    salad oil or butter

    1. Soak oatmeal in buttermilk for 30 minutes. Don’t rush this.

    2. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl.

    3. In another bowl, beat eggs, the 1 1/2 cups regular milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats mixture. Mix just enough to moisten dried ingredients. If adding fruit, fold it in now.

    4. Heat oil or butter on medium hot griddle. Cook by pouring 1/2 cups on griddle. Cook each side about 2 minutes.

    5. Pour batter in 1/2 cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and the edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Coat pan with more oil as needed to coat remaining pancakes.

    6. Eat now or freeze. To freeze, allow to cool to room temp, then stack with a piece of waxed paper between each pancake. Place all of them in a freezer ziplock and freeze. When you want a pancake, simply remove one and pop in the toaster.

  5. stroganoff is definitely one of my favorites on nights when time is short and the family needs a home-cooked meal. we love it.
    But your lasagna recipe sounds very good. i think i might try it tonight since i don’t know yet what to make for dinner and it’s that time of day to get busy!

  6. mmm, lasagna! my ultimate comfort food! i’ve saved your recipe.thank you!

  7. I am just howling! I LOVE S.O.S! My dad used to make it when I was a kid and it was just great! He worked KP in the Army Reserves and learned it there. I just can’t make it like he did. I need to go harass him until he makes me some! Chipped Beef on Toast sounds so snooty! Give me some S.O.S!

    I loved your comment about how Tuesdays were like something stuck between your teeth. hahahaha!

    We’re going to have Potato Soup tonight, I think. We have a quadrillion potatoes that need to get used up. We had another fabulously named meal for lunch today Tuna Surprise. The surprise? There’s no tuna! It’s macaroni, velveeta, parmesan, and browned ground beef. Cheesilicious 🙂

  8. Where did you get your calendar? Did you make it? I love it!

    1. For over 25 years I have been buying Lang Calendars. I bought a wooden frame that they slip into. This particular one is "Folk Art by David – 2010 Calendar". I went to the Lang site and they no longer carry it. You could probably still track one down… good luck!

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