Mom Confession: I Hate the Word Casserole

A friend of mine recently had a baby with complications, so I've set a goal for myself to make a meal for the family every week on Sunday night. If I double the recipe it's a good opportunity for me to make us a meal for the week, as well. And that's just what you do, right? Fix everything and comfort people with food or at least take one daily worry off of their plate.

Comfort food is an interesting concept. I'm from a family that uses food as a way of showing that they love you or like you, celebrating, nurturing... But never comforting. Plus, I'm having trouble figuring out what to make. I've already made my go-to baked penne and just find lasagna to be overwhelming unless I have a good amount of time, which never seems to happen. It's weird, but when crisis or stress hit, I tend to move in the other direction and not really eat. But, I've been a well trained American and know that comfort food means casseroles, which I have never made... Until now.

I consulted my friends at Food Network for some help. While I usually lean on Giada, Ina, or Tyler, there is only one person who truly embodies comfort food. Paula Deen, ya'll! She usually drives me crazy and I find her recipes to be the exact opposite of what I like to eat and cook, but if I'm going down the casserole road, I'm going all out. I found a recipe for Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole, but swapped the shrimp for chicken, added more vegetables, and cut some of the butter and cheese. And it still came out incredibly cheesy. That Paula doesn't mess with the cheese or butter.

So, here I am making casseroles. Check me out. ME MAKING A CASSEROLE! I better get used to it, right?!?! It's like part of the job description for Moms, I guess. Which is probably why I've always resisted it, that and the fact that I hate the word casserole. So, I'm replacing the word "casserole" with "bake." Can anyone recommend a good "bake" I make in the next few months?


Windtraveler said...
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Windtraveler said...

(sorry, deleted the first post due to pathetic misspelling of "hear")seriously...what IS a casserole anyway? i always hear this word but i cannot picture a damned casserole for the life of me!!

Elizabeth said...

Amazingly, for being a HUGE fan of casseroles (my fake band name is the 9X13s) I DON'T have any go-to recipes. Check out epicurious.com, though. They have some good recipes for what I would call "classy" casseroles--using ingredients a step-up from the norm. That being said I used to make this for the roommates and it was always a big hit.