Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Welcome to the World: Lazy Perogie Casserole and Links

It's official! Vegetables: A Love Story has officially launched out into the Universe! And while there hasn't been as much drama as William Shatner shooting off into space, things here have been very busy and I'm overjoyed to say that this second book baby has been received with glowing reviews. It's even number two on the McNally Robinson Best Seller list! Woo hoo! My online book launch party is happening tomorrow October 21st at 7 pm. Here is the link to register. While we can't do in-person events due to covid, this is the next best thing. I hope to see you there! Dixon is going to make a cameo, and the chat with Jenn is sure to be entertaining. I'll read some stories and answer your questions. Please join us! 

I've listed below some of the media highlights so far, which have really touched my heart. And thank you to everyone who has bought the book, recommended the book to their friends, and left me just the sweetest messages and emails. I'm so thrilled that you have welcomed Vegetables: A Love Story into your hearts and kitchens.

I did a radio interview with CBC Saskatoon Morning, and they turned it into a web story about Dixon and I!  

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix was one of the first interviews I did. Thanks for the thoughtful questions, Jocelyn. 

This huge spread in the National Post made me so happy. Thanks for the feature, Laura!

Eat North shared my recipe for Hearty Kale and Sausage soup. It's a keeper!

Being mentioned as one of the fabulous fall cookbooks in the Globe and Mail was a real treat. Thank you,  Julie! 

This radio interview with John Gormley was super fun!

I don't usually get up at 5 am, but for CTV Morning Live, this was totally worth it! 

More media stuff is in the pipeline, and I'll be sure to post it here. 

Today I'm sharing one of my all-time favourite recipes from the new cookbook, and from life, to be honest. This lazy perogie casserole is just so so so good - perfect for the cozy winter summers that are coming our way fast. Carbs on carbs on carbs! 

I feel like there should be a warning attached to this recipe: Caution! This is one buttery decadent casserole that is so darn good, but if you’re afraid of carbs or pools of melted butter, then maybe flip the page. If you’re still with me, hello! I have a real treat for you perogie-loving people! My mom has been making this casserole for ages, and every time she would serve it, my heart would skip a beat. (Note to self: maybe it was all of that butter.) This recipe has everything you love about perogies, made in a fraction of the time. Dixon is in love with this casserole, too. He said the only thing that would make it better is a garnish of chopped bacon. Is he my kindred spirit, or what?!

Lazy Perogie Casserole 

9–12 lasagna noodles
3 cups extra-old cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups warm mashed potatoes (see note)
1 container (16 oz/ 500 g) creamed cottage cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 green onions, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp chopped chives, for garnish

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Depending on the shape and size of your casserole dish, you may use fewer than 12 noodles. A 9- × 13-inch baking dish, for example, will use fewer noodles than the deep 3-quart dish in the photo. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water according to the package directions. Rinse under cool water and drain.
2. Stir 2 cups of the cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes. In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, egg, green onions, salt, and pepper.
3. In the same pot you cooked the noodles in, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. 
4. Spread about 1 cup of the cottage cheese mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 4 noodles, then half the mashed potatoes. Add another layer of the cottage cheese mixture, 4 noodles, and the rest of the potatoes. Finish with the last of the cottage cheese mixture and noodles.
5. Pour the hot buttery onions over the noodles. Scatter the remaining cheddar cheese on top and bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden and gooey and the edges of the casserole are bubbly, about 30–35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving. There will be butter lingering on top, but it will eventually be absorbed by the casserole. Like I said, there will be pools of butter! Garnish with chopped chives. Serves 6-8. 
Recipe from Vegetables: A Love Story by Renée Kohlman (TouchWood Editions, 2021).  

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