Foods you love that are just too much trouble to make.

I love pierogies. I cheat like a mother …
1 covered casserole dish, like a French White
1 batch mashed potatoes, at least 3 pounds of potatoes worth
1 batch lasagne noodles, cooked most of the way
1 bag shredded cabbage for cole slaw, dump into the pot of boiling water and scoop out and drain then pat dry
couple pounds of onions, sauteed in butter til almost carmelized

lots of butter melted and mixed with dried garlic granules and fresh or dried parsley
bottom layer brush the casserole with a schmear of the butter, then lay on a single layer of noodles
next, a layer of potatoes, then a layer of cabbage, drizzle with some butter, layer of onion
next, layer of noodles, potatoes, cabbage, butter, onion
repeat til you get to the top layer of potatoes drizzle with the last of the butter. Cover and bake til all toasty and warm, maybe 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Tastes pretty much the same, dead easy [friends call it polish lasagne =)]
Unless you make all the assorted sauces for the lasagne, it is dead easy.

I like to make manti, any sort of little dumpling, actually though I can and have made the assorted different types of wrappers, I just buy wonton wrappers and go to town. They come in round or square, and assorted sizes. These are giant manti, cooked in shakshuka, instead of in broth. Makes for a good hearty winter breakfast. I cheat and make raw manti recipe meatballs and freeze them. All I need is a package of wonton skins and a smidge of time and I have ‘instant’ manti =)

Yes. I love baked lasagne, with nice italian sausage and too much cheese, lightly browned on top. Same with real Mac and Cheese, oven baked.

Oh Gawd, my grandmother made the best Pierogi.

My mom used to make a roast and then pour an egg batter into the hot dripping pan. Ta Da. Pretty scrumptious as I recall – we called it Yorkshire Pudding, and it seemed very easy indeed. Were we misinformed?

Nope, that’s largely it! I usually do several in separate tins so they’re finishing while I make the gravy in the tin with the meat drippings (and the roast rests), but conceptually, yep, your mother was on the money.

Now, see, I’m an Englishman. I’ve no real cultural heritage where either of these dishes are concerned, but they both seem to go very well whenever I do them. I’m not blowing my own trumpet, I promise, I simply mean I thought these were easy crowd-pleasers. Chicken in buttermilk, into seasoned flour, into 175°C oil, keep an eye on the colour. Always seems to work!

Pizza too: my kids are always disappointed with pizza if I’ve not made it.

Maybe I have an unusual talent for them I never realised, or maybe you’re just unlucky; I seriously thought they were both just really simple.

churros… ive used a box mix and by hand …… mine always look like over fried spaghetti never like the cool ones on the carts or lunch counters …… and they never taste as good ……

Roast chestnuts. Individually scoring each tiny little nut, then carefully peeling the skin off once roasted, often spiking the inside of my fingernail when doing so, all for about a teaspoon’s worth of actual food … yeah, they’re tasty and all, but way too fiddly.

Also dumplings, or pirogi, or really anything where something has to be wrapped up into little individual packages.

Lasagne, on the other hand, I make all the time. But lasagne doesn’t involve delicate precise movements, which are my personal bugbear (waves Klutz flag)

See, if you make it like I do: some homemade sauce leftover from yesterday’s meal, 3 layers of boiled lasagna, and a filling made of ricotta and beaten egg with some mozzarella – then yeah, not too big of a deal.

Now, if its 5 layers, with assorted meats in-between, and the sauce is a homemade Bescamel whipped up just for this dish, and the sauce is stirred together just before … now you see how its a hassle.

There’s lots of entries on this list that require making the wrapper. I suppose if I hand rolled the lasagna pasta just before, then that’d be even more annoyingly time consuming.

As much as I like making a fruitcake for family and friends, I’m pretty glad that I only do it a few times in winter and forget the idea for the rest of the year.

Assorted meats, not so much, but I do certainly make a bechamel whenever I need a bechamel. The meaty layers are all the same ragu; we tend to make about a gallon at a time and freeze it in portions, so there’s always some ready to go pretty quickly. That said, I have certainly made it from scratch when the freezer was bare, but while it’s obviously more time consuming, it’s not at all complicated.

See, I have no trouble making lasagna from scratch, the whole song and dance. No shortcuts: The Bolognese, the bechamel, the noodles, all homemade. My recipe is a traditional one that doesn’t add much cheese – just Parmigiano Reggiano shredded over the top. But I do it in stages, make the Bolognese on one day, the noodle dough the next, then finally the bechamel on the day of noodle-rolling/assembly. I make 4 batches at a time (some divided in 2) and freeze them. That’s a year’s worth of lasagna for me with plenty to share.

Ravioli is a group effort. I have a set of friends, 4 of us altogether. Everyone comes over with a bottle of their favorite wine and we spend the day making fillings, noodles and rolling them all out. I lay sheets over the beds so we can let most of them dry while we make a couple sauces, taste our success and finish our wine. Then we divvy up the spoils and everyone takes home their share. We usually end up with about 100 apiece.

But Baklava? I’m inviting CairoCarol over for dinner (lasagna, if she likes) to show me how it’s done!

Hot and sour soup. Takes a lot of time to prep, gotta squeeze ginger juice out of a clove, gotta use a slotted spoon or cheese grater for the egg drops, and so on.
Delicious but tedious.

I found that lasagna is MUCH easier to make if you don’t boil the noodles first. Just layer everything, then pour a pint or so of tomato juice over the whole thing, and bake for 30 extra minutes. The noodles are done.

I rarely make lasagna, as a single person, because I’d be eating it for a month. Whenever I have, I’ve frozen it in pieces.

My sister had her home kitchen certified for cooking food to be served to the public (she mostly plies her wares on weekends at various outdoor venues such as farmers markets and craft fairs). But she’ll also work up a quote for me if I want to have some goodies mailed to me. This past summer she sent me some peanut brittle, some cashew brittle and an 8” x 17” baking pan full of baklava. I honestly don’t know how she does it.

Your fire was too high, and, your fire was too high.

My gf makes an incredible roast chestnut and wild rice soup. Prepping the chestnuts is the absolute worst! Scoring (with a freaking chestnut knife that we actually have), roasting, peeling (getting chestnut she’ll under your fingernails), then tossing half the nutmeats because they’re rotten!

My cold spring rolls involve easily a dozen seperate little dishes; crab, several types of sprouts, fine Chinese noodles, minced seeded cucumber, minced mint, diced green onions, etc. Then rehydrating the wrappers one by one, filling, and rolling without tearing! But damn, they’re good…as an appetizer.

Actually I use the flat of my hand to spread the melted butter, I nuke butter in a pie plate, set the pastry dough on a towel with a slightly moist paper towel over them. I work on a slab of marble that I swiped from my mom [she was an antiques dealer. I still have 14 damned marble topped tables at the house to send to an auction house … sigh] with the butter to one side, and the assorted filling stuff mise en place next to it, and the baking tray prepped with a schmear of butter and drizzle of rose water to start with [o orange blossom water, depends on which I want to make]
Dip hand, schmear gently over the dough, transfer to baking tray, 3 layers filo, sprinkle of fillings, 3 more layers of filo, more filling, 3 layers of dough, more filling, top with final set of dough, make sure the sides are all tucked in, pick the tray up and give it a good thunk down to settle everything, bake then cut, drizzle with syrup, let cool. You can also make it by rolling the filling inside a sheet of dough and setting in the pan ‘stuffed shell’ style, bake and syrup.

I happen to like bstilla … though there is a midieval Persian recipe that is made using ‘shredded filo’ which is sort of like long sheets of shredded wheat, Kataifa is interesting. You layer kataifa with butter, safron, rose water, sugar, chopped nuts and then roast a duck, goose or chicken on a spit over it so the drippings cook along with the kataifa. I have made it a few times, but lacking the proper cooking hearth I cheated and did stuff like gently lay the disjointed poultry on the top to cook so the drippings get absorbed by the kataifa. I like it with a light sprinkle of cardamom and galengal, sometimes long pepper, grated fresh ginger, mainly to zip it up though the ginger helps cut the greasy aspect. I have served it with cut wedges of persian lime to squeeze over it.

[why yes, I keep kataifa and filo as well as puff pastry and standard pie crust in the freezer. I can make all of them from scratch, but the commercial products are just fine. I one made puff pastry at a camp site because the purchased stuff had been mishandled and was turning into a green fuzzy science project. Nothing like working butter and flour in 90 degree temps. I had my marble slab sitting on blocks of ice, and a cooler with a chunk of dry ice, and I kept a marble rolling pin in the chest with the dough.]

I agree - I make lasagna all the time. One thing that I discovered that makes it much easier is that I don’t cook the noodles before “construction”. I just layer them uncooked in the pan. They’ve always cooked to perfection in the oven.

Anything deep fried or pan fried like chicken - never comes out right and stinks up the house for days.

Bread - I use a bread machine

Boiled fudge frosting - boil it a second too long and it’s fudge instead of frosting

Pies - the crust alone frightens me (I have used refrigerated dough)

Anything that involves kneading and/or rolling out dough

I’ve never made the frosting, but fried chicken, bread, pies and general dough-based items are pretty standard in my kitchen. Bread is remarkably easy, it’s just a long process due to all the waiting. Basic shortcrust pastry is something which my 5 year old daughter makes* while I get the pie filling together: it really is not worth your fear!

*true story