Friday, December 30, 2011

Old habits die hard.

So I always have big intentions for starting/posting in a blog and then they diminish. That's usually how things go in my life.  Start a big (or small, I don't discriminate) craft project and  I'll find something shiny and fun and go there.  Well, no more.

So...what's been going on.  I got married.  It was fantastic and beautiful and everything I could have ever wanted in a wedding.  It wasn't until 3 hours later that I started to feel like complete crap.  I caught whatever stomach bug had been going around and completely ruined our wedding afternoon/night and the next day.  Couldn't fully enjoy staying at Disney's Polynesian.  And I'll stop talking about it now because I'll keep beating myself up over it and take away from the beauty of that day.  But luckily our honeymoon isn't until January.  So we're just going to pretend we got married the day before we board the Disney magic and go along with our happy selves.

I did quite a bit of crafting for the wedding/reception we had a week later.  And done quite a bit for Christmas.  So I plan to start getting some projects up.

And recipes.  I've been cooking up a storm.  Baking us fresh bread.

Here is one of our favorites.  I adapted it from a Rachael Ray recipe that I followed to the tee the first time I made it and it was slightly lacking.  I understand she was going for quick, but it came out kind of soggy and the kale was too crunchy for the my picky husband who needs veggies soft.  So here is what I did:

Fake Bake Ziti with Kale
Adapted from Two Color Fake Bake Ziti


  • 1 lb whole wheat ziti, cooked to slightly under al dente
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
  • 2 bunches kale, de-stemmed and chopped up.  (We like ours extra green, you can use 1!)
  • Dash of nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 reduced fat ricotta (gotta watch those hips!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans of Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)  (Sometimes I go wild here and do 1 can crushed, 1 can diced...I know, saucy!)
  • Basil, I chop up a few leaves from the plant my cats like to kill.
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
Serves 4/6 depending if your husband has a Thor size appetite like mine does.


Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook until a little under al dente.  You're going to bake it in the over a little more, so it will soften up. 

In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons on olive oil and saute the onion. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper (optional) and then add the kale to wilt down.  Sometimes I will add a little bit of the cooking water from the pasta here to help the process along.  After a few minutes, season with salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg.  Instead of transferring to a plate, this is where I toss in the canned tomatoes, basil and oregano.  I like to let it simmer on low for about 30 minutes, I just like all the flavors to blend and the kale to be cooked through. 

Once done I toss in the cooked pasta and add in the ricotta to the pot of sauce.  Sometimes if I'm feeling crazy I put some Parmesan in too.  The toss it into your casserole dish and top with the mozzarella. I put some foil on it and bake for about 20 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and crank up the heat to broil for 3 or 4 minutes and BAM!  Nice and toasty on top!

Let me know if you try this!

Until next time!

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