Thursday, May 31, 2012

Manicotti

Manicotti







Manicotti noodles
1 (15 oz) container Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozz
3/4 cup parmesan
1 egg
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 jar marinara sauce

Don't cook the pasta shells.
In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients except the sauce and noodles. Pour a little of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Stuff the UNCOOKED shells with the cheesy mixture. Top with the rest of the sauce. Bake at 325 for 55-65 minutes.


This is the same recipe I've made and posted before, only I learned a little tip along the way.  Now I can use the actual manicotti noodles instead of the large shells.  I just don't cook the noodles first.  That makes it easier to stuff them.  Then, put cellophane on the pan tightly, then cover with tinfoil.  Now you may be saying, "WHAT are you talking about?"  You can't cook something in the oven with cellophane on it. :)  Well that's what I thought at first, but someone told me to do it, so I tried it.  it worked great.  I didn't have to cook the noodles, and the cellophane helped hold in  more moisture than just tinfoil would hold in, and the lower, longer cook time allowed the noodles to cook from the moisture in the oven/pan.  Awesome trick.  Try it for yourself.

What's the trick for stuffing the shells?  Click this link.



 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10 Years later.

At the beginning of this year, I think I was going through a slight mental breakdown.  The looming of what this year had to offer was too much.  I was going to turn 30, (did March 12th), and then 2 months later, I was going to celebrate my 10 year Wedding Anniversary, (did May 25th).  Wow, that seemed like a lot to handle at the time.

I don't fancy myself a dreamer by any means.  But, apparently I had hidden hopes and aspirations about what these milestones would be like.  I didn't even know some of those dreams and hopes were in the back of my mind, until I was almost to that finishing mark, and couldn't see them completed in time.

And feeling the weight of those, incomplete unknown dreams brought on panic.

Panic brought on grief, and pain, and sadness.



If I were to say I had one fault, (I know there are many more, but lets focus on one thing at a time) I would say it's letting go.

I am a finisher by nature.  My parents raised me to work hard, give it all you got, every time, don't quit until it's done, no resting til you are at the end, if it's not working come up with another plan until it does work.  Get the picture?  If I am doing a simple project, it gets completed.  If I know I can't complete it, I don't start it until, I know I have the time to complete it.  If I'm having a hard time figuring it out, I focus and work on it, figuring it out, until it IS completed.

But I don't have control of all the aspects of my life.  I can't complete or attain every desire on my own.  They have to come from God.  So, I'd have to say God was/is teaching me an important lesson.

I think part of that lesson includes:
~Don't push away everything else, just because one little thing you don't have control over isn't completed.
or
~Enjoy what you have now.

I recently heard a quote from a ladies event that said, "If you're not satisfied with what you have, you'll never be satisfied with what you want."  Which may just be another form of the original saying from Socrates “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”


So I had to ask myself.  Am I currently happy/satisfied with what I have in the now?


Maybe not as much as I should be, therefore, I am not going to achieve the other things I desire.


If you haven't previously read my blog post on Enjoying life today! I would encourage you to do so....it has a great poem in there that is a great wake-up call to the selfishness that can fill our minds in this instant-satisfaction world we live in.




So,
10 years later even though life may not be as I would have written it, I can give it to God.  He is the one writing it, and He will do a much better job than anything I could have ever thought up.
10 years later, I am choosing to be happy, not stressing.
10 years later, I am grateful for my husband, and more in love with him than when I said "I do" all those years ago. :)
10 years later, I'm not done learning lessons, but will be more grateful for all the things I have gone through and use them to help me with all the rest of life's lessons.
10 years later, I'm trusting God more, and focusing on self, less.








10 years later......