Monday, July 23, 2012

Tortellini Even a Toddler Would Love

As a very good friend of mine just (literally, just, as in, minutes ago) posted on Facebook, I (we!) have been in a cooking rut lately.  Pinterest is all the rage these days, and while combing through pages and pages of luscious-looking food pictures can be both a time suck and inspiring, it takes some effort to actually start putting some recipes together for a week's worth of dinner.  You gotta go to each site, get the recipe, print it out, figure out what new ingredients you might need, go shopping.... ah.  I've been doing it for the past couple weeks, and so far I've liked everything I've tried off Pinterest, but it's getting kind of expensive.

So sometimes you end up going back and resurrecting your old favorites.  The ol' reliables, the stand-bys.  That's what this recipe is for me, and since I shared it once with my aforementioned friend, who loved it, I figured it's time to share it with you.  My husband is not a fan of heavy pasta dishes (bummer -- Pinterest is saturated with them), so when he's not home, this is my go-to treat-myself pasta dish.  :)

If you, like me, have made anything off Pinterest lately, chances are you probably have these ingredients on hand.  And if not, well, it's not that many ingredients.  And I promise you it's worth the simple effort involved.

This is the first grown-up pasta dish I made for my daughter and she loved it, and still loves it.  Make no mistake -- this is a heavy dish -- and I know it's summer and we all like to eat light, but damn this is a good pasta dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my creamy-stuff-loving daughter do.  :)

Creamy Roasted Garlic Tortellini

  • 2 heads garlic, roasted*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package cheese tortellini -- I use a 19oz package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • Minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*To roast garlic:  Cut off top to expose cloves.  Place heads in a sheet of aluminum foil with the heads up.  Drizzle olive oil on top.  Seal aluminum foil into a packet and roast for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Let cool before removing cloves to make sauce. 

When the garlic is done, it should look like this:

Cook's note:  Spread this roasted garlic on a piece of French bread, and thank me later.

So now that your garlic has roasted itself to sweet deliciousness, pop those cloves out and drop them into a blender.  I find that the easiest way to do this is with a butter knife, like this:

A lot of people actually like to hold it in their palms like that and squeeze them out by squeezing their hand into a fist, but I find that this way gets the most garlic out.

Once you've popped all the cloves out into the blender, pour in the olive oil and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and give it a whirl until the garlic is completely pulverized.  Then add the rest of the heavy cream, the sour cream, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Whirl it again to combine; the sauce will be thick at this point.

Cook the tortellini according to package directions and drain.  Melt the butter in a skillet large enough to hold all the tortellini.

Then pour in that thick, rich, delicious sauce.....

And stir it up and heat it through.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, and if the sauce seems too thin for you, add some more Parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper the pasta to taste.  Before serving, stir in the minced parsley.

Pour it onto a plate... you will probably want a big serving.... and enjoy.

If you are feeding this to a toddler, you probably want to cut the tortellini noodles in half.  But, you're probably a good mom and already know this.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


Well I've been on hiatus for quite a few months now.  Things have just been insane.  Work has been insane.  School has been insane.  And free time -- what's that?  It's no wonder my 52 project came to a screeching halt.  I've been nonstop for months now.

But things are finally starting to settle.  As they are settling, I am having more time to process things I started bottling up about over the past couple months.  My mind is dredging things up that I thought were long-buried, and I'm attempting to re-process them.  Like, hey, remember that time your so-called BFF talked shit about your daughter behind your back?  Oh, yeah.  That pissed me off pretty good.  Hm, yep, still pretty upset about that.  And, hey, remember when you found out that your other so-called friend twisted your words into something that doesn't even resemble what you actually said, and spit them back out to someone else so that person could spend months angry with you over it?  Oh yeah!  How could I forget.  You know what, yep, I'm still pretty ticked about that too.  And, what about the time when your so-called BFF blatantly betrayed your trust and broke your confidence, or the time when your so-called friends twisted interactions with you into something they very clearly were not?  Yeah, turns out I still remember that crap too.

It's exhausting.  Dealing with this crap.  Positively exhausting.  The toughest part is that I don't have a poker face.  I can't hide how I'm feeling.  If you sense that I'm upset with you... well, I am.  You'll know it.  I don't set out to intentionally make anyone feel uncomfortable, it's just that I can't stomach being fake and acting like nothing happened when you've just stabbed me in the back and are twisting the knife by smiling in my face like you didn't do anything wrong.  So yeah.  It's exhausting to hold back the bitch, to bite my tongue to keep from telling someone off, to hold my fist by my side so it doesn't connect with someone's jaw.  But alas, keeping the peace is likely necessary to keeping a lot of the other things in my life as well.  My tongue has permanent teeth marks in it.

But there's a lesson to be learned from this weight.  And that is, above all, the love of your family is the most important thing in your life, and nothing should ever tarnish that.  None of those problems should ever tarnish me so much that it takes away from my day-to-day love and joy that is my daughter.  None of these things should ever weigh so heavily on me that I can't enjoy my daughter and my family and the other people that really do have my back and love me.

I will never go home in a bad mood and let anyone else's actions take away from the time I have with my daughter.

So, if I can muster the strength to put those issues aside every day to go home happy and enjoy my life with her, I really just need to find it in me to put those issues aside completely.  Chalk it up to lessons learned and cut those people out of my life.  And if I can't....and I might not be able to, least know they can't be trusted.  Avoid them.  Protect myself.  Live my life and love my daughter.

She is really the greatest thing that's ever happened to me, and I won't let anyone hurt me in such a way that she is affected by it.  She is my saving grace, the light at the end of every tunnel, the hugs and smiles waiting to ease my pain.

Life would really, really suck without my daughter.