Cooking for Billie Joe Armstrong

There's Billie Joe at center stage, probably not thinking about lasagna. Rolling Stone reported that they like to have a shot of tequila before each show. This shot is from the Spectrum in Philadelphia in 2009 and I can attest to the fact that Green Day puts on a totally cool show.

Tonight I’m cooking for Billie Joe Armstrong. Well, not really, but my daughter is a huge Green Day fan and apparently their frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, said in an interview once that his favorite meal was Vegetable Lasagna. Now, it’s quite possible that it was just the first thing that came into his head, or it was the last thing he ate, or it was some private joke that we’ll never get, or maybe he actually really does like Vegetable Lasagna.

When I make lasagna, I don’t really think too hard about what’s going in it, and that is the essence of “cooking on the fly”. I was at the grocery store the other day and there was that scent in the air of snow heading our way (and we did get 4 inches last night) and I just felt in the mood for a lasagna. It needs to bake for a while, so it warms up the kitchen and the house has that amazing smell of toasted cheese and it just makes me feel happy. Food should always make you feel happy — but I mean really happy, like it fills your soul and your stomach and it sparks great conversations and the people you love think that you are amazing for making this delicious thing with seemingly little effort.

So, I bought a package of lasagna noodles and picked up some ricotta cheese and a couple of bags of shredded cheese, because, really, there’s nothing wrong with making life just a little bit easier sometimes. Then I swung by the salad bar and threw some fresh spinach leaves and grated carrot into a container. Don’t underestimate the salad bar — sometimes you just don’t need a big amount of stuff from the produce section, and the salad bar has exactly the amount you need for just a couple of bucks. People think that’s a waste of money, when you could buy a bunch of spinach and another bunch of carrots for a couple of bucks, but if you never get around to using that stuff up in another dish, then it rots and that is truly a waste.

I knew that at home I had a couple of bell peppers and some mushrooms and a can of roasted tomatoes and a few other odds and ends. And that’s really all there is to a lasagna. I’ll post pictures and a proper recipe tomorrow! Thanks for reading.

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4 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Cooking for Billie Joe Armstrong

  1. Really looking forward to this blog, Kristen. Congratulations and much success!

  2. Priscilla Elfrey

    Fun to read. Here’s another: packaged gnochi sauteed in a small amount of olive oil in large pan (so they are browned in a single layer), then kept warm in the oven with your plates while you saute in that pan what ever you want to add (chopped onions celery and pepper, favorite herbs, protein –beans, chicken sausage, leftover–and mushrooms, tomatoes-maybe fresh spinach). In 10 minutes or so- you should be able to fold in the crispy golden-brown gnochi and serve. immediately.
    M

  3. Kelly

    I just want to share what I learned about cooking rice from my Puerto Rican mother- in-law. You see, my husband said my rice was sticky. I always remember the rice that my mom made was sticky and I thought that is the way rice is supposed to be, sticky. But my mother-in-law’s rice was firm. She has shared many cooking tips with me in the last almost 20 years. The most important thing was that she made her rice by measuring equal parts rice and water. I use a rice cooker and I like to add a little salt, olive oil and garlic powder to the rice before cooking.

    • Thanks for the tip, Kelly — I rinse my rice really really well in a colander before cooking in order to reduce the starch (and stickiness), but I am definitely going to try the 1:1 ratio and see how that goes. I don’t have a rice cooker, although I’ve often wanted one — just no room, though, in the kitchen of a 150-year-old house!

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