February 27, 2015

Cooking Up Memories: Baked Ziti {Snow Day Edition}

This has been a crazy week for all of us here in the Dallas area!  We've had ice and snow off and on all week so lots of things cancelled and moved around and changed up.  

On our way home from church last Sunday it started raining pretty hard and the temperatures were dropping, so we stopped at the store to buy at least enough essentials to get us through a few days at home and enough ingredients to make one of my recipes this week if I didn't get back to the store.  

I was planning to make this Baked Ziti Monday when David and I were both home from work due to the ice, but we ended up having a mashed potatoes, chicken and biscuit casserole (one of the complete meals from a box, no recipe needed) instead because that sounded better to him when I gave him the choice.  

Tonight we were supposed to have ICF and I had a different recipe picked out for an appetizer to take, but then it was cancelled due to the snow today so we're back to Baked Ziti.

This is a recipe from my sister-in-law Aja.  She has given me lots of good and easy recipes throughout the last 10 years that she's been part of our family and every one of them has been great!  And this was no exception.  It was good meal for a cozy night at home.

Baked Ziti
*1 16 ounce package of Ziti Pasta *2 26 ounce cans of spaghetti sauce *6 ounces Provolone Cheese *6 ounces Shredded Mozzarella Cheese *1.5 cups Sour Cream *Grated Parmesan
-Cook pasta, drain 
-In a greased 8x12 dish {I used a 9x13 because that's what I had} layer as follows:
1/2 of ziti
Sour Cream
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
Remaining Ziti
Remaining Sauce
Top with grated Parmesan Cheese
Bake for 30 minutes at 350
{When I made my shopping list last week I already had some Provolone cheese, but when I went to add it to the recipe today I noticed that it had gone bad, so I didn't use the Provolone.  I ended up using a little more Sour Cream than called for to make up that layer and it turned out fine for us!  Next time I'll be sure to have it on hand!}

I made some garlic toast to go with it and it was a great dinner!

After I started dinner this evening, we went and spent some time playing in the snow since David had made it home from work.

Lily enjoyed the snow a lot.  She ran and played and chased after snow balls and chewed on the snow.  But then she was quickly ready to go back in where it was warm!  

Like I said it's been a crazy week.  We were both home from work on Monday.  My office had  delayed openings Tuesday and Wednesday and we had our evening activities cancelled Monday and Tuesday.  Then a real blanket of snow today!

Another highlight of our week was having Lucas and Yali over for dinner Wednesday.  They were supposed to come over Sunday, but didn't because the roads were starting to ice over.  But we still had all of the food so when things cleared up Wednesday night they came over.

Last week was the Lunar (Chinese) New Year, so Yali had made some dumplings from scratch and she froze some to make for us at dinner.  I decided to try out some new recipes for fondue so we had fondue for appetizers and dessert and dumplings for dinner.  It was a lot of fun!

I found the recipe for cheese fondue here
 For the chocolate fondue, I started with the recipe on that page but tweaked it some.  I actually had made a small batch of the chocolate one for David and I on Sunday night but I tasted too much of the cream and vanilla.  So for round 2 I eliminated the vanilla, reduced the amount of whipping cream and then once it was all melted I added some Peanut Butter.  And we all really liked the way it turned out!

It was Lucas and Yali's first time having fondue.  It wasn't as fancy as a fondue restaurant, but we all liked it and had fun trying all the different goodies to dip.  And it was all pretty easy to put together too!

It's been a good week.  We are involved in a lot of things right now and all of them are so fun.  But it was nice to have a week of cancellations where we've been able to enjoy just being home most evenings.  And it was really fun for us to experience our first snow in our new house this week!

Happy Snow Day {Week} from the Daniels!

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