I’m Ready for War (Or the Wreckage of My Calabrian Pork Ribs)

Last night I made myself Spicy Calabrian Pork Ribs from this recipe I found in Bon Appetit. I had high hopes for the ribs, but I have to admit the flavors weren’t life changing.

That didn’t stop me from devouring the dish like a dinosaur, however.

I even got into the cold leftovers for lunch this afternoon.

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And I totally ate them standing up, just like this.

Why?

Because today is Tuesday. And Tuesday is the day to do battle.

I didn’t have time to sit around and have a leisurely lunch. I had to tackle things like a boss.

See, I recently listened to a sermon series Hank Fortener did on the origin of the days of the week, and in it Hank talks about how Tuesday was originally named for the ancient gods of war. The whole series is fascinating (you can find it here), and each talk ends with a guided meditation that is intended to invigorate you. The words that resonated with me in today’s meditation were these, “Thank you, God, for making me for this battle,” and I’m putting action behind the words.

I didn’t wake up looking for a fight because it’s Tuesday. I woke up knowing I needed to fight because the battle has been brought to me, and it’s my job to fight it. My health and my finances have suffered while I’ve been focused writing, so I’m taking action to ensure that I can continue writing with a clear mind that is not distracted by such things.

And even though my hallway looks like a hurricane hit it as I sort through my files, I’m doing the tough stuff necessary to make everything better.

I even have the words of Winston Churchill cheering me on.

It may be frightening my dog, but I have God — and the words of Winston Churchill — cheering me on. 

And even though my body aches, I’m heading out to a park to strengthen my posterior chain of muscles because that’s what I have to do to stop the pain in my back.

I was made for this battle, bitches.

I Order My Lasagna to Taste Like Stouffer’s (Or How to Make Stouffer’s Veggie Lasagna from Scratch)

Homemade Stouffer’s-Inspired Veggie Lasagna. The version featured here has an extra layer of Fontina on top, but it’s better with the breadcrumb topping. Trust Me.

I had some time on my hands, so I took the Myers Briggs test. It turns out I share personality traits with Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Darth Vader. No, really, that’s what the internet says. And the internet never lies.

So, apparently, I am an ENTJ, or a Fieldmarshal. Now before my friends and family die laughing at the absolute truth in this nomenclature (and clamor to remind me I was nicknamed Anakin in college), there are some redeeming aspects to being a bossy rebel like me. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Winston Churchill are/were also Fieldmarshals. According to the Myers Briggs Foundation, we only make up 1.8% of the population, which is probably a good thing considering when our personality goes wrong it leads to nation building through bloodshed and the occupation of the second moon of Endor. When it goes well, you get Microsoft and MacBooks. (I like MacBooks.)

Incidentally, the only personality type more rare than mine (in the US, anyway) is Ghandi’s: the INFJ, which makes up 1.5% of the population. (Curiously, some sites put Hitler and Osama Bin Laden in this classification as well. Other sites say Hitler was an ENTJ, but I say the INFJ’s can have him. I’d rather not add a perpetrator of horrific genocide to my already dubious personality classification.)

So, there you have it. I share a personality type with world leaders and titans of industry and I’m sitting on my couch watching The Empire Strikes Back and trying to figure out how to improve upon my veggie lasagna recipe. I am truly disappointing today.

See, I have attempted a few times to replicate Stouffer’s veggie lasagna in white sauce, and I have come pretty close, but I want to make it even better. Lord, I AM a bossy know-it-all perfectionist, and the only thing I have to boss around today is a bowl of chopped veggies. So Sad.

My version of the recipe is below. It still tastes good even if it isn’t perfect. If you have truly nailed it and want to weigh in, please share your recipe.

If you too want to be horrified by your personality type, you can take a version of the test here.

Stouffers-like Veggie Lasagna

2 C matchstick carrots
2 C broccoli florets
2 C frozen spinach, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion
5 C grated mozzarella (or Fontina)
1 C grated blend of parmesan and romano cheeses
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs

½ C flour
½ C butter
4 C whole milk
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg

1 C breadcrumbs
4-6 T butter (I like more butter, but this is a personal taste thing)

8-12 ounces lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until they are al dente. Drain and set aside. (I like to use Barilla wavy lasagne noodles because they don’t stick together as much as flat noodles.)

Place the frozen spinach in a colander and rinse with warm water to thaw it slightly. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and pat dry with paper towels. Place the spinach, carrots, onions, and broccoli in a bowl. Add eggs, mozzarella, parmesan, and garlic.

In a medium saucepan, heat ½ C butter until melted. Add flour to create a roux. Do not let it burn. Add milk, salt, and nutmeg and stir until thick, about five minutes.

Melt butter in a separate saucepan and pour over breadcrumbs. Stir to coat. (You may not need all of the butter.)

Pour a layer of white sauce into a 9×13” pan. Add a layer of lasagna noodles followed by the vegetable mixture. Repeat until you have used all of the ingredients. Pour breadcrumb/butter mixture over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10-20 minutes before serving.

(It is also good if made a day ahead. Plus it freezes well.)