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A Donna Reed Meal 1.14 That Damn Donna Reed

I made you dinner.” “Excuse me?” “Steak, green beans, mashed potatoes --” “Wait, you made me dinner?” “That's right.” “You made me dinner.” “And dessert.” ….. “Oh, that's right. So...what's for dessert?” “Lime Fantasy Supreme.” “Which is?” “Green Jell-o and Cool Whip!” “You are insane.” “Oh, no, I forgot to make the rolls.” “What?” “I was going to make rolls.”

“Well, that's OK.” “I can't believe I forgot them.” “What are you doing?” “I'll make 'em now.” “Hold on, it's -- come on, we really don't need rolls.” “Donna Reed would have never forgotten the rolls. They're gonna make me turn in my pearls.”


For the lime fantasy supreme:

  • 1 box of lime Jello

  • 1 cup of Cool Whip

For the rolls:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast

  • ½ cup of hot water

  • 1 ½ cups of milk, warmed

  • 1 stick of butter, softened

  • ½ cup of granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ½ tsps salt

  • 6 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted

  • Coarse Salt

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 2 large russet potatoes

  • ½ stick of butter, softened

  • ⅓ cup of heavy cream

  • ¼ cup of parmesan cheese

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • ½ tsp of garlic powder

For the steak*

  • 1 lb ribeye steak

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 2 tbsp of canola oil

  • 4 tbsps of butter, softened

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 bunches of fresh rosemary

For the green beans:

  • 1 lb fresh green beans

  • 2 tbsps of olive oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • Salt

  • Pepper


For the lime fantasy supreme:

  1. Prepare the Jello per the box’s instructions. Allow to chill for at least 4 hours to set.

  2. Once the Jello has set, remove from the fridge and cut into cubes.

  3. In a martini glass or your choice of stemware, Layer a few cubes of the Jello at the base.

  4. Add about ¼ cup of Cool Whip in dollops over the Jellow.

  5. Repeat the Jello and Cool Whip layers.

For the rolls:

  1. Add the yeast to the hot water and stir until yeast is dissolved.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the warmed milk, butter sugar, eggs, and salt until smooth.

  3. Add in 3 cups of the flour and mix until combined. If you have a dough hook, use this attachment. If you don’t, use your beaters until the dough becomes too thick and you can mix by hand.

  4. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a ball of dough forms.

  5. On a lightly floured surface, knead the ball of dough for about 5 minutes.

  6. Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise to double in size for 1 hour.

  7. After the dough has risen, punch down with your fist.

  8. Separate the dough evenly into 24 pieces and using floured hands, roll into small balls.

  9. Place the rolls on 2 lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes. The rolls should double in size again.

  10. While the rolls are resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  11. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  12. After taking the rolls out of the oven, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle coarse salt on top. I used Pink Himalayan salt.

For the mashed potatoes:

  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.

  2. While the water is heating, peel the potatoes and cut into smaller chunks (about 8 per potato).

  3. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the potatoes. Allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork.

  4. Drain the potatoes from the water. Add the butter, cream, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir and mash the potatoes until creamy. For extra creamy potatoes, use an electric mixer.

For the steak:

*A disclaimer: I know many people are very particular about how they cook steak. If you are one of those people, cook a steak in your preferred method. If you need a steak recipe, here’s one you can use:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Generously add salt and pepper to both sides of the steak and along the edges.

  3. Place the steak on a metal rack over a baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes. This will make your steak medium-rare. If you prefer your steak more rare, cook for less time. If you prefer it more well-done, cook longer.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Place the steak in the hot oil and sear both sides for about 30 seconds each.

  5. Add the butter to the skillet and place the garlic and rosemary on top of the steak.

  6. Once the butter has melted, tilt the skillet so that the butter collects on one side. Using a spoon, continuously pour butter over the steak for about 30 seconds.

  7. Flip the steak over and spoon butter over the steak for another 30 seconds.

  8. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes under foil before serving.

For the green beans:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Trim the rough ends off the green beans and spread evenly over a baking sheet.

  3. Drizzle the olive oil and use your hands to coat the green beans. Add the garlic on top and season to your liking with the salt and pepper.

  4. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

The butter, rosemary, and garlic and a rich flavor to the steak.

Not to worry, Donna Reed will not be making us turn in our pearls because we won’t be forgetting the rolls. Between this episode, and a Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving, I don’t get why the girls are always skipping the rolls! The rolls are such an enjoyable carb (aren’t all carbs really?). And these rolls are ones you definitely don’t want to forget. They are so soft and buttery, and if you have the patience to allow them to properly rise, they are so worth the wait. I love the sprinkle of course salt on top because it adds an extra oomph of flavor to an already delicious roll.

I've never been much of a steak girl, but I'm evolving!

Rory doesn’t specify what kind of steak she prepares or how she cooks it. Which, let’s just assume that Rory asked Sookie to cook her steak for Dean. There is no way someone with that little of cooking experience could whip out two steaks on her own. I included the disclaimer because I know there are steak-lovers out there that might come for me. Because Rory doesn’t give any details about the steak, you can literally make whatever kind of steak you want in whichever way you want. It doesn’t matter! I paired mine with a pinot noir and it was *chef’s kiss*. I've never been a big red meat eater, but I'm learning to like it! I treated myself to a new stand mixer as a belated Christmas gift. I was so excited to have a dough hook to make the rolls, and the potatoes came together with ease. You could pair this dish with the cornstarch gravy I made for Kiss and Tell.

I love making creamy mashed potatoes with an electric mixer.

As for the lime fantasy supreme...I already knew I wasn’t going to particularly enjoy this dish. I don’t really like Jello, and lime Jello seems to be one of the worst flavors of Jello. But this was a full Donna Reed Meal, and that included lime fantasy supreme. If you want to pass on the lime fantasy supreme you won’t hurt my feelings (I might suggest that you do actually, unless you love hospital food, then be my guest). If you still want to enjoy a Gilmore dessert, I recommend trying my blueberry shortcake recipe from episode three!

Let's be real, I don't know what Rory was thinking with the Lime Fantasy Supreme

Let’s dive into the episode, shall we? Now we’re getting to the part of the show where I really start to dislike Dean. I get that he was raised by a mom who was able to get dinner on the table every night for her family, but the way he acts in this episode about it...bleck. Rory is raised to be a strong woman- a feminist in some regards, yes, but her feminism does not reflect the intersections of a true feminist. However, I don’t think Rory would happily go along with this Donna Reed charade for Dean. Even if she was trying to prove a point and ended up admiring the real-life Donna Reed after doing her research. I honestly think a better episode would be Rory learning how to cook like Donna Reed after growing up only eating Luke’s, pizza, and leftovers her entire life. Lorelai would be like who are you? You’re no daughter of mine. See, interesting conflict right there. Although, we do get the best line for Gilmore Girls fans everywhere in this episode, “It’s a show, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a religion.” If that doesn’t sum up the fandom, I don’t know what will.

Let me tell you, these Parker House-inspired rolls are divine

I do, however, love the other main plot of this episode, the Luke and Lorelai plot. Once again, Sookie points out Lorelai’s obvious feelings towards Luke. Can you imagine being Sookie in this situation? It would become so tiring having to tell your best friend that she obviously has feelings for this guy. But I personally just love how Luke and Lorelai’s sexual tension continues to build. The scene of them in the diner when they end up sitting on the floor behind the counter with a couple of beers always makes me swoon. It’s just so damn cute!

And then, we get our first glimpse of THE Christopher Hayden at the end of the episode. I’m going to save my thoughts on Chris for the next episode since it’s really his big debut, and I have plenty of thoughts on Chris. However, hate him or love him, you can’t deny that the guy is beautiful. I mean you can...but I can’t! And that entrance on the motorcycle? Swoon AGAIN!

This is probably the easiest green bean recipe. No need to blanche!

This week has been…*insert your choice of adjectives, grievances, cuss words here*. Suffice it to say, it’s been a long week and only one week into 2021. I reflected in my Paris is Burning post that things weren’t going to magically change at midnight on New Year’s. We were still going to be in a global pandemic, and we were still going to be in a racist country (because we always have been). And the events this week only reminded us of that gravity. But I hope that you are able to find a bit of levity in your coming days. Today, we got a bit of snow here in Texas, which is obviously rare. Somehow, it managed to stick in all the surrounding areas except for where I live. Though I am disappointed by that, I still enjoyed a nice magical walk in the snow, obviously accompanied by the Stars Hollow “La-Las” in my head.

That Damn Donna Reed

Happy Cooking!

If you missed what I missed last episode, catch up here!


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