I never have, nor ever will, be an endorser for religiously following celebrities. Sure, I am that average girl who enjoys reading the gossip mags at times, but I am not one to delve and follow their personal lives, or care much for them on an intimate level. I can’t bring myself to enjoy reaching about Khloe Kardashian’s latest butt job, or Lindsay Lohan’s latest stunt with rehab.
I am not, of course, judging anyone if they do, this is just my preference 🙂
But despite my nonchalant attitude towards their lives, I was genuinely shocked yesterday.
Shocked at not only the news, but my reaction to it.
For the first time, since Michael Jackson died, I was genuinely blindsided by a celebrity death. At the death of a celebrity whose personal life I had never actually read about in the media, on the off chance I was reading at all. Of course you already must all know who I am talking about – comedian extraordinaire, Robin Williams.
According to Buzzfeed, his death was not even accidental. It was a purposeful, intentional suicide via asphyxiation (choking). I was at the hairdressers actually, my hair all dressed up in foils, waiting for the colour to seep in, and on my phone, I saw it. I thought it was an ill-humoured, misdirected form of a twisted joke.
Robin Williams has died. For a minute, I just sat there and the knowledge seeped through. I had a slight deja vu to when Michael Jackson died. I had a sudden image of Genie in my head, morphing into Mrs Doubtfire, morphing into Alan Parrish. If ever Robin Williams was brought up in conversation, I would always eagerly nod my head and agree on how talented he is, but it wasn’t till I read about his death that it actually hit me.
He was one of the biggest parts of my childhood. As far as my favourite celebrities goes, he was always there, roaming and making my subconscious laugh. Even if I didn’t know it, didn’t even think of him.
Take Genie. Aladdin was my favourite Disney movie as a kid, maybe even now, and Genie – he was the best friend anyone could ever ask for. I wished upon countless stars as a kid, wishing to find me a Genie. Not for the wishes. For the amazing friendship that a Genie obviously brought.
I know, lines were written out, he must have done dozens of re-reads. But in my mind, I just see a goofy, caring and loveable big blue man trying to make the best of every situation.
Take Mrs Doubtfire. I have seen that film over 10 times, and I can tell you, it is never going to be less funny. If anything, seeing Robin Williams smash his face into a cake as to not be caught by the inspector lady is one of the best scenes in any movie. Ever. Robin Williams delivered a performance that was so fantastic, I still cry sometimes from laughter.
There is a tragic irony in wondering how a man who was always laughing, making others laugh to ward off pain and anger, had so much sadness pent up inside of him. Was he even ever truly smiling as his depression overwhelmed him? Or did he upside-down frown? A big difference I’d say.
An upside-down frown is a facade, one, I suppose, that only a true actor can maintain.
A smile is a sincere gesture.
A sincere gesture.
Robin Williams was indeed an incredible actor, because he certainly fooled me.
RIP Robin Williams. Your smile, your voice, your talent and more than anything, you will be missed. Even if I didn’t realise how much till now.
Does this get you thinking? How many other people have their smiles quavering? How many others are stifled under the pretence of happiness as expected of them, instead of expressing how they really feel and getting some help.
Maybe give everyone an extra hug today that you know. It might just help some people get back the bounce they need!!!
Or, you could take a step up and give them some lasagne. Which I always misspell as lasagna but it is ok, cause you know what I mean 😉
I put some photos above the break up the slightly darker tone of this post, but I didn’t even explain anything about it.
Surely the cheesy, warm photos can speak for themselves?
In this lasagne, I featured the use of three different products from Barilla. If you follow my instagram, you would have seen I generously received a hamper from them a few weeks back and plucked up my courage to make a savoury dish.
The products I used were the pre-cooked Lasagne sheets. Being pre-cooked, all I had to do was plop them into the lasagne pan and BAM! They also spread very nicely after being cooked, which was something my mum had to explain to me countless times would happen, but I didn’t believe her!
I also used a mixture of sauces to add a bit of Mediterranean richness. For the base sauce, I used a jar of Napoletana sauce, which was heavy and fresh and strong in its tomato flavour, but full of delicious garlic as well.
In it, I took a generous tablespoon of Pomoderi Secchi (Sundried tomato pesto) for a concentrated kick of sundried tomato flavour. It worked out really well and I suppose, was one of my first experiments ever in the savoury world!
I hope you enjoy my lasagne recipe everyone 😀
While I give measurements, it is a truly something you can make depending on how much sauce, how many veggies etc. you want!
Printable Recipe – Just click on this to download it 🙂
Roasted Vegetable Lasagne
Adapted from: BBC Good Food
- 1 large (or 2 medium) red capsicums
- 1/4 large pumpkin
- 2 zucchinis
- 150g mushrooms
- 1 small red onion
- Garlic powder
- 1 bottle Olive Oil
- 2 heaping tbs of mixed italian herbs (or separately, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
- 1 jar Barilla Napoletana Sauce
- 1 jar Barilla Pomoderi Secchi Pesto
- 1 packet Barilla pre-cooked lasagne sheets
- 1 packet shredded/grated mozzarella cheese (or mixed with parmesan)
- Cherry tomatoes (optional)
For the White Sauce:
- 85g butter
- 85g plain flour
- 750ml full cream milk (or you can swap three 100ml of this for cream for more indulgent results)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Deseed the capsicum/s, halve and julienne (cut into thin, short strips)
- Cut the zucchinis in a similar fashion, but make them a bit chunkier since they dry up on roasting.
- Dice the onion and cut up the pumpkin, to similar length and chunkiness of the zucchinis.
- Wash the mushrooms, remove their stem and slice thinly.
- After all the vegetables are prepared, bring out a baking tray.
- Place vegetables into the tray and then toss with olive oil (I used a little over 1/4 cup).
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 tbs generously of salt, sprinkle on some pepper and add 1 1/2 generous tbs of the mixed italian herbs.
- Add a pinch of garlic powder.
- Using your hands, massage the flavours into the vegetables and ensure everything is coated in the oil.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, or till lightly browned and very fragrant.
- Let cool while you prepare the lasagne’s other components.
- Reduce oven to 160 degrees C. Lightly oil a lasagne serving dish around 20x30cm.White Sauce:
- Melt the butter and mix in the plain flour. Cook for three minutes on medium heat.
- Slowly add in the milk and heat till boiling, continuously stirring.
- Put heat on low and cook till the sauce begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon (once my sauce boiled, it was thick enough so you might now have to wait).
- Season with a dash of pepper and a tsp of salt (or more if preferred).Assembly:
- Mix together the jar of napoletana sauce with a generous tablespoon of the sundried tomato pesto.
- In the tin, line it with a layer of lasagne sheets.
- Generously top with two or three spoonfuls of the tomato sauce and spread all over.
- Add a layer of vegetables on top, roughly half of all the roasted vegetables
- Dollop white sauce on top and spread as the final layer.
- Repeat: Lasagne sheets, sauce, vegetables, white sauce.
- Top with a final layer of lasagne sheets, and coat with remaining white sauce.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese generously as a final layer and top with the halved cherry tomatoes.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
- Devour 😀
- If you are reheating, always cover with aluminium foil so the top doesn’t burn
- You can use your own vegetables, as much sauce or as little as you desire – I personally would have loved to try some eggplant in this dish!
- Salt is a crucial component – I didn’t have enough so the white sauce portion was not as tasty as the rest of the lasagne so be careful!
- You can use a mix of cheeses and sauces depending on your preference
Till next time mes cheris!
Disclaimer: Go Bake Yourself was under no obligation to promote Barilla’s products via post or through any form of social networking. It was her own decision to do so and all opinions are honest and her own.