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Manicotti Disaster of 2014

Recently, I’ve been making up a menu for our dinners each week. Well, Monday-Thursday. Friday is more of a leftovers day(or pb&j/cereal for the kids). Weekends usually see us out and about/at family things, so I don’t worry about planning those. When I don’t plan, it usually gets to be about a half hour before dinner, and I have no idea what to make. Also, this has led us to trying new things.

Well, last night, I had manicotti on the menu. I’ve never made this before. I’ve done stuffed shells, although I think my mom’s recipe is different from most. Mainly, we use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and include ground beef in the mixture(most recipes I’ve seen only call for the cheese mixture). Since it was a new recipe, I made sure to follow the directions exactly.

So, I opened the box of manicotti. One of them was broken, so I didn’t bother putting it in the water to boil. I followed the directions on the box to boil them. By the time I drained them, every single one had come apart. A few of them were still enough to wrap around the cheese mixture after I’d put it on. Most of them I had to piece together. I was about ready to toss them all, but I’d already mixed together the filling.

I didn’t have any problems with the cheese mixture, although wrapped the shredded noodles around it was a problem. Covered them with the sauce and put them in the oven. About five minutes later, I realized I hadn’t sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the sauce. Pulled the pan back out(thankfully remember a hot pad), took care of that and put it back in.

Then, I went back to the recipe and read some of the reviews. One offered a quick tip: you don’t have to pre-cook the manicotti noodles. That they’ll cook in the sauce. We’ve gotten the no-cook lasagna noodles(hint: don’t use these for slow cooker lasagna. They get really mushy.) before that you can do this with. I didn’t realize you could do it with these though. Lesson learned for next time at least.

And, in the end, they didn’t turn out too bad. They wouldn’t win any prizes for presentation, but even my picky princess asked for seconds(the monster was sick and only ate a couple bites of his).

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