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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

With any new relationship often comes new friends.  Many of my friends have become Andy's, and vice-a-versa.  One particular friend, Elise, went to both middle and high school with Andy in Wichita Falls.  Elise and I became fast friends through Andy and kickball, and she is a total blast to hang out with.  She is hysterical, and I feel very blessed to call her my friend!  (So, thanks, Andy!)  When I met her, Elise was dating a guy named Sean.  Sean is about a head and a half taller than Elise, and together they always keep us laughing.  Andy and I were at a wedding in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in July 2010 when we received word that Sean had popped the question to Elise.

Elise & Sean braiding the Wedding Knot at Robert Carr Chapel
For the next year, Elise and I talked girly wedding talk, and I had been looking forward to her and Sean's wedding since we first heard of their engagement.  We went to their Stock the Bar couples wedding shower, and I went to her lingerie shower and girls wedding shower, also.  I took my time with their present, trying to be creative and unique, and this is how it turned out:

You can't really tell... but it is a colander filled with kitchen utensils like a timer, measuring cups, etc and then wrapped in their wedding colors

I was pretty proud of myself, but I still wanted to add a little something more, so I made them an "L" for Sean's last name, Lokkesmoe, and painted it in their wedding colors (navy and lime green):
An "L" for Lokkesmoe

Elise & me at the reception at Stockyards Station
Sean & Elise's wedding was perfect.  The ceremony was at TCU's Robert Carr Chapel.  I'd never been in this chapel before, and it was absolutely beautiful.  Elise was beautiful, too, even when she was her goofy self and making faces at the congregation part of the time.  The reception was in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards at the Stampeded Room at Stockyard Station.  Babe's fried chicken catered the event, and it was definitely a treat.  I'd heard about Babe's, but never actually had it until the wedding, but it was well-worth the wait!  We danced the night away and took funny pictures in the photobooth- it was a very fun night with great friends and memories.  Thank you, Seanise, for including us in your big day! 
Andy, me, Ray, Lani, Michael, Jordan, Cody, Jennifer, Shane, Elise and Sean
at Elise & Sean's reception at Stockyards Station
The next day, I made this pasta for Andy and myself.  The weather was drizzly and crummy, so I thought a hearty homecooked meal would be a good touch for our couch day.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, and I knew Andy would love it because of the prolific amount of cheese.  The recipe yields a ton of pasta, so we definitely had leftovers for lunch the next day, and it tastes great when warmed up.

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno
Originally from Pinterest, healthified by Kate Strickland
Servings: 6; Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 12

Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if you use the garlic in a jar, already minced, you do not need the oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 14oz cans diced Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb tube pasta (shown here with ziti)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 c parmesan
Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

  1. Heat oil in skillet.
  2. Add garlic and cook over medium high heat, 1 min. *If you use the garlic in a jar, already minced, skip the oil)
  3. Add tomoatoes and oregano and simmer rapidly, stirring occationally until thickened (appr. 15 mins)
  4. Add salt & pepper to taste
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta
  6. Toss pasta with sauce
  7. Place half of pasta in an oiled 9x13 dish
  8. Cover with half parmesan and half mozzarella (I mixed the two together in a bowl before putting half the mixture on the pasta)
  9. Top with remaining pasta, then the rest of the parmesan and mozzarella
  10. Bake at 400 for 15 mins
Keep on cookin'!

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