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  • Melissa Orquiza

Baked Polenta Bolognese, Cats vs Christmas Trees & Cat Jingle Bells

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Baked Polenta Bolognese. Totally easy, with a slow cooker polenta (no stirring!) you'll feel like you're not cooking.


Baked Polenta Bolognese, Cats, Christmas & Cat Jingle Bells

As a big dog person, I am constantly baffled by our cat's behavior... most especially since I have to live with him since my husband and daughter are cat people. Playing with the cables in my office while I'm working at night? Sure. Attacking my hair while I sleep? Ok. Attacking my feet while I'm talking on the phone, catching up with old friends? Um.. ok. Jumping on the kitchen counter while I'm cooking? NO!

Because the holiday season is upon us, here is a compilation of cats doing their thing with Christmas trees. I have ceased trying to understand their motivations for anything! Here's some cat, weirdo zen to brighten your day.

Cats vs Christmas Trees! (A Compilation)

And finally, I debated a few times whether or not to even add this. Yes. Apparently there are people in the world dedicating whole albums to cats singing Christmas songs! Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! I hope this brightened your day! Have a wonderful week! Here's to more laughter... and enjoying the silly world of cats.

Baked Polenta with Meat Sauce

Make the bolognese and polenta ahead of time. Proportion a ton of cheese to top your baking dish before you put in oven. Life has no real recipe so feel free to make it your own. ENJOY!

Bolognese from Risotto all Bolognese

by Biba Caggiano from Trattoria Cooking, More than 200 Authentic Recipes from Italy’s Family Style Restaurants

From Trattoria Lo Sterlino, the author’s favorite restaurant where she and her husband would dine when they first started dating, near the University of Bologna.

Bolognese Meat Sauce

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium size onion, finely minced

1 small carrot, finely minced

1 small stalk celery, finely minced

2 oz. pancetta, finely chopped

1 pound ground veal (I used ground beef.)

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups canned imported Italina tomatoes with their juice, put through a strainer or a food mill to remove the seeds

1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade

2 Tablespoons milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prepare the Bolognese sauce, heat the butter and oil in a medium-size skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring until the vegetables are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and veal and cook, stirring to break up the meat with a large spoon, until the meat loses its raw cold, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is almost all reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, and milk, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat about 1 hour, stirring a few times. When done the sauce should have a medium-thick consistency. If too dry, add a bit more broth. Keep warm.


(from “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann)

This polenta is so simple, it frees up your time to do other things. You’re welcome!

7 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups coarse- ground yellow polenta

1 1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taster

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan or Italian fontina cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)

1. Whisk the water, polenta, and salt together in the slow cooker for a few seconds. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes to 1 hour to heat the water.

2. Stir again, cover, turn the cooker to LOW, and cook for about 5 hours, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon. The polenta will thicken quite quickly after 2 hours, sort of expand magically in the cooker, and look done, but it will need the extra time to cook all the grains evenly. At 5 hours, taste and make sure the desired consistency has been reached and all the grains are tender. The longer the polenta cooks, the creamier it will become. When done, it will be smooth, very thick (yet pourable), and a wooden spoon will stand up by itself without falling over (the true test). The polenta will be fine on LOW for an additional hour, if necessary. Add a bit more hot water if it gets too stiff. Stir before serving.

3. To serve as a mound of soft polenta, portion out with an oversized spoon onto plates or into shallow soup bowls. Top each serving with a pat of the butter and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately.

*Both can be down ahead of time. Spoon polenta in a baking dish, wait to set at room temp or in refrigerator. Top with Bolognese and tons of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees or so until crusty and brown. Enjoy. You food prepped ahead of time with almost no work!

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