Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baked Tortellini

I always have these great and grand plans to make the fabulous recipes that I have pinned on Pinterest or stumbled across and printed from the internet when I go grocery shopping. Then, real life happens and I come home from work tired and grouchy, or I'm the only one home to feed and cooking doesn't sound nearly as fun. So then, because I was such a good little grocery shopper and followed my carefully planned menu from my wish list of recipes I'm quite often left with ingredients that I am too tired to use as they were originally intended. This package of tortellini was in this category.

For whatever reason my kids have never really like spaghetti in any variety. I've tried different shaped noodles, tortellini, ravioli etc with sauce but it isn't ever received with loud shouts of praise. But, they do like lasagna type dishes. So, I dug through the pantry and refrigerator and did a dump and hope for the best kind of dinner. It was pretty tasty and for the energy challenged after work it was a win. It was good for lunches the next day too! Bonus!

Baked Tortellini

1 package refrigerated tortellini
1 jar marinara sauce
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 T. Italian seasoning
1 cup Ricotta cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese or Italian Blend
  • Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain well. 
  • In a med saucepan mix sauce, tomato sauce and seasoning and heat through. Pour over pasta and mix well.
  • In a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish layer half the tortellini, the ricotta cheese, a good handful of mozzarella cheese and the remaining pasta. 
  • Top the pasta with the rest of the mozzarella.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is gooey and melted.

Clear Punch

When I was a little girl I used to go to my Grandma's to visit and we would quite often get to have lunch with her. We'd scooch up to the bar and she would feed us whatever she had in the fridge and we would always get to have "clear punch" with our meal. Now, we all knew it was really water but it was waaaay more fun to call it clear punch. Even now I will catch myself or one of my sisters offering one of the kids clear punch and I kind of laugh inside because it's such a happy little memory!

This really is "clear punch". It's flavored with lemon extract and citric acid so it's really lemonade-esque but it is definitely in the punch category and is definitely clear unless you choose to make it something else. We made this for Jeff and Jessica's wedding reception and it was a hit. And even more importantly it was EASY. I just made it all up in coolers the day before and added ice and lemon slices when I put it in the dispensers that night. We also had flavored syrups that people could use as an add in and that seemed to go over well.

I think this would be awesome with some crushed raspberries or strawberries added to the lemon slices. Seriously yummy....

The picture is kind of sketchy, I just snapped it at the reception because I didn't plan ahead and take one at home but it's better than nothing, right?

Clear Punch

4 1/2  quarts water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 T. citric acid
1 T. lemon extract (I added a little more because it was going to be diluted with ice)

Float lemon or lime slices in the punch for color. Or berries, or oranges...the list is endless.