Friday, July 30, 2010

My twist on baked Ziti


Ingredients for pasta:

  • 1  pound  uncooked penne
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour 
  • 3  cups  fat-free milk
  • 2  cups  shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/4  cup  mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Sundried tomatoes …I eyeballed the amount, just make sure you’re cutting them into bite sized pieces and that there’s a good amount throughout.
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Cooking spray

Ingredients for topping:

  • Breadcrumbs ….just enough to sprinkle on top!
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley


Cook pasta according to package directions, Drain; keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sauté garlic and sundried tomatoes until soft. Remove from heat.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper and sundried tomato mixture. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

My cousin, JP, came to stay with me for a week and during that time I cooked up a storm. It’s hard to experiment with cooking when you’re married to a vegan…needless to say, I had fun!  I made this recipe for him and it was a hit!  The original recipe called for smoked mozzarella…personally, I’m not a fan.  So I just used regular. 

P.S. buy the fresh stuff…it makes ALL the difference!  Enjoy :)


Olive oil
2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound purchased cheese tortellini
2 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.

Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. (Don’t over cook as they will cook in the oven) Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the  mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” — Henry David Thoreau

So I decided to let my creativity out this week. I wanted to make a bank for Peyton and I once saw this JOY bank in the Christian Living Store that looked like the picture to the right. I thought it was such a great idea to have something like this for our kids to teach them about giving to others as well as to God before thinking about ourselves. When I designed Lucas' room last year into a sports theme, I found these baseball banks...and turned them into the JOY banks and kept within the sports theme. I wanted to do the same for Peyton. It took me awhile to find banks for her. I ended up going to Michaels and getting these wooden banks...then turned them into JOY banks...of course I had to use the crown for the "you" bank because she's a princess ;)

For Peyton's
baptism she received a few pieces of jewelry and I realized this chicky needs a jewelry box. So out came my creativity again! I bought this wooden jewelry box from Michaels...have I said how much I LOVE that store?? lol I stained it and then added
some doodling along with the "Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice" phrase from the "What Little Girls are Made Of" poem. I painted the letters of her name and added them to the top and lastly took a yellow dish towel and lined the box with it.

My creative wheels are turning for a father's day gift for my dad and Joe...we'll see what comes out of it next :)