Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Baby Meal Part 1

Some of our friends had baby boy #2 about two months ago.  With the holidays and now germs and infections, we have yet to be able to see them!  We were supposed to head over for dinner this past weekend, but the viruses that were swarming in their house didn't sound too appealing so we had to reschedule.  I had a fabulous meal planned.  Baked ziti, a salad, bakery bread, and blueberry oatmeal muffins with a streusal topping that could double as dessert/breakfast the following morning.  This particular mom brought us some fabulous food not long after the Princess was born and she stepped it up a notch by bringing paper plates, plastic silverware and everything so that we didn't even have to do any dishes!  Sorry environment, but if anyone deserves to destroy you and skip doing the dishes, it's a new mom!  Even though we didn't make it over to see them, I still prepared the meal anyways and froze it for when we do get to see them (don't worry-not the salad).  The best part is, our next meeting is supposed to be brunch, so I'll just toss a breakfast-y casserole together and bring that along.  Then we have brunch (casserole and muffins) and I can leave them with dinner.  She won't have to lift a finger in the kitchen that day.  Sounds like a dream come true to me!

And obviously, I have to bring a gift for the new little guy.  So waaaaaay over there on the right, atop the muffins, are a pair of baby leg warmers for him that I hope to exchange for some snuggle time.  Take it from me, baby leg warmers are awesome.  Diaper changes are so much easier when there are no pants to remove.

The recipe for the baked ziti belongs to the Pioneer Woman and can be found here.  I had to switch it up a little bit and skip the meat, so the following is my adaptation.

Any suggestions for a breakfast-y casserole?

Baked Ziti

  •            2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  •            3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  •            1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  •            1 (28 Ounce) can Crushed tomatoes
  •            2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Marinara Sauce
  •            1 (14.5 Ounce) can diced tomatoes
  •            2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  •            Salt And Pepper, to taste
  •            16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  •            1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  •            1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  •            1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  •            1 whole Egg

1.  Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. 
2.  Add all forms of tomatoes (crushed, marinara, and diced), salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. 
3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4.  Cook and drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. 
5.  In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
6.  Pour the pasta into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps).  Add the cheesy coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon the sauce over the top, then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. 
7.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*To freeze it, I skipped step 7, wrapped it in foil and put it directly into the freezer.


  1. I LOVE the Pioneer Woman! I haven't tried that recipe yet though, I'll have to make it soon!

    We didn't have to cook a meal for the first like three weeks of Harrison's life, between friends bringing dinners, leftovers, and our parents stocking up our fridge! I'll have to remember the idea of bringing paper plates and plastic silverware when its my turn to repay the favor :)

  2. I love baked ziti too - my mom made an amazing batch while she was here! Love the suggestions for visiting friends with babies!