It is quarter to seven pm as I write this post, I don’t know what is for dinner. At all. I thought we were having stuffed zucchini. But the zucchini I remembered as being in the fridge transformed into cucumbers. I don’t know how that happened. Really.
I am hungry. Laughing Cow + cranberry bread is not really enough to fuel me all day…even with a generous amount of coca cola and a caramel macchiatto.
But, instead of fixing a meal, I am here. Mostly because I can’t fathom what to make for dinner. I flipped through the cookbook on my desk. I seem to have few of the ingredients needed for any of the recipes and really, we all know what not having dinner ready by this hour means at this house: No recipe is going to save me from serving everyone what is known as “scrounging” at this house.
Yep. Every able bodied person old enough/young enough to run a microwave without assistance gets to figure out what they want for dinner and prepare it themselves. (This would be everyone in this house, save my mother who isn’t having an able-bodied day. I will fix something for her. (Oh, by the way, the limited posting of late has been related to the fact that my mother moved in to our home at the end of the year)
Going out seems too taxing and oh wait, taxes mean we don’t have the money anyway. Well, taxes and other things mean we have no money. Chicago is expensive. Moving to Chicago is expensive. That sort of thing.
I could use a recipe in this book though. We have the ingredients. Some in our family might even enjoy it…mostly the part of the family not here for dinner tonight. On the other hand, they may look at it suspiciously. They often do if they see some new food and evidence of a retro cookbook. They also are highly reluctant to eat anything with either “mock” or “casserole” in the name. This recipe contains both.
If you can sell your family on it though…nice budget dinner and you likely have all the ingredients.
Mock Lasagne Casserole
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon each garlic salt, pepper, and dried basil leaves, crushed
1 7-oz package macaroni-cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups cream-style cottage cheese
6 oz shredded process American Cheese (1 1/2 cups) (oh good grief, use cheddar)
Brown the meat; drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, garlic salt, pepper, basil and 1/2 cup water. Cover; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a 2-qt casserole, layer HALF each macaroni, cottage cheese, shredded cheeese, and meat sauce. Repeat. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
(Recipe from Good Food on a Budget, 1971)