Friday, March 5, 2010

What's for Dinner? + Blog Facelift

First off, you may notice that our blog got a little facelift.  Thank you so much for everyone who complimented our little header.  It took me about 2 hours to make that silly thing!  My eyes were about to pop outta' my head and my nerves were . . .well, we won't go there!  Let’s just say, I’m not the most computer savvy in the Atwood home and hubby was at work . . . so my independent self decided to figure it out on my own.  I won’t be doing that again.

I’ve also added 2 new pages up top—About Us and How We Met.  If you know us, you won’t read anything new there, but if you don’t know us, then take a peek.  I think our story is a bit romantic, but maybe I’m just biased! :)

Last night, I cooked up one of Nathan’s favorite dishes—Manicotti.  I was in the mood to spice it up a bit, so I looked up a new recipe and tried it out.  Giada is my favorite Italian chef on the Food Network, so I gave her Beef and Cheese Manicotti a try.  The verdict? YUM!  I'm ditching my bland recipe, and from here on out, we'll  be having this manicotti.  So good! 

Beef and Cheese Manicotti--by Giada (click here to get her full recipe)

Here's what you'll need:
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter (about 2 TBSP)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (she suggested 3 cups, but 2 cups was plenty!)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups marinara sauce of your choice (this equaled about 1 jar)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (8 oz) pack manicotti noodles
  • 1 TSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP parsley flakes
  • 1 (15 oz) ricotta (we used part-skim)
  • 1 medium union, chopped
Here's how to make it . . . 

In a medium skillet, brown your meat and onion together.  Add salt and pepper,  if desired.  Once meat is brown, remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, parsley and garlic together

Bring water to a boil and add manicotti noodles.  Cook for 5 minutes, and place on greased cookie sheet to cool.

Once meat mixture has cooled, add to ricotta mixture.  

Brush 1 TBSP olive oil into large baking dish.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara into baking dish.

Stuff manicotti noodles with meat and cheese mixture and place in a single layer in your dish.  Top with remaining marinara sauce.

Top noodles with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan, and break butter into small pieces and layer on top of the cheese, covering the whole dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes


Maybe even with a piece of cheesecake???   :)  Ooo, my!!
Hubby was nice enough to make my favorite dessert last night--Cheesecake!!  What a sinfully delicious dinner and dessert we had!


  1. That looks yummy!!!!! I never put meat in my manicotti - but think I'll try that - maybe this weekend- thanks for the post.

    I do love your new look and the info at top - you should be proud of yourself!

  2. Love the new blog look, Rachel! It is so cute and perfect for Spring!
    And yummy! I love Manicotti! I have a great weekend!

  3. love the new header and blog look -- super springy!! Love the photos too -- were those engagement photos?

    what a delicious meal too... girl, you're on fire today :)

  4. The new pictures and heading are great. I really enjoy reading your blog and hearing about what is going on with you guys. Even though I don't cook, I like seeing the food. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  5. Hi, I'm not sure how I found your blog but we had this for dinner last night and it was good. Thanks for sharing!


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