Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our Dinner Scare

Last night I had quite a scare at home. Jim was at class, so it was just me and Molly hanging out together for dinner. We had pulled chicken and cucumbers, both of which Molly has eaten before without any problem.

At one point, late in the meal, she put a whole cucumber slice in her mouth. She's a good eater, and chews well, so I told her to be careful and watched her closely. Because I watched her closely I noticed her eyes get large, her mouth open up, no sound come from her throat, and her skin start to turn purple. Because I let her have an entire cucumber slice, my baby was choking.

I panicked hard. I remember screaming "No, no, no Molly, NO, NO, NO" and I swiped my finger down the back of her throat. The piece was down there quite a ways, and was most definitely blocking her airway. Luckily it was easily removed, and I crumbled in a heap on the floor crying and rocking my baby girl. I have never in my life been so terrified, and even as I write this hours later, I'm tearing up.

I'm not writing this to be scolded for giving my child a piece of food that was obviously too large for her. I'm writing it because I think that as our kids get older, we start to get more comfortable, and begin to forget some of those safety measures we were so anal about in the first year or two of their lives. Once they get the hang of it, things like eating, or climbing, or running become such a normal part of our days, and we forget that our kids are still little, and not fully capable of taking care of themselves. And while cuts and bruises are bound to happen, it doesn't take much for something routine to become quite serious quite quickly.

My husband associated it with riding a motorcycle. He says the motorcycle becomes deadly when you stop riding it like a motorcycle, when you take it for granted and forget the dangers that come with riding. Don't take your kiddos independence for granted, and don't forget they are still kiddos. I'll be watching with a much closer eye after last night.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What's for Dinner? Tortellini Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

If you've never heard of Pinterest, you are either living under a rock, or in your third year of law school (that was for you V). If you're not on there, find your closest friend, (who most likely is not living under said rock) and offer to trade just about anything you have for an invitation (husbands included, kiddos excluded). Within the site you'll find everything from gorgeous home decorations, photo ideas, wedding details, funny quotes, and recipes. And I'm not just talking "how to make a taco salad" recipes, I'm talking "how to make a taco salad that you'll be eating and talking about for the next week" recipes. Deeeeeelish.

Photo Credit - OurBestBites.com (Because
mine didn't look like this, and let's be honest,
yours won't either). But it still tastes
damn good!
Last night I tried out a new Pinterecipe (I made that up, like it?). My husband took one bite and said "Yup, this is what eat from now on." Sadly, if that were the case, we'd weigh in at a million pounds a piece, but for every now and again, this dish rules.

I made just a few teeny tiny changes to the original recipe. Here's my version, and the original is linked below. I highly recommend prepping the ingredients before you begin to cook unless you are some sort of crazy kitchen cooking wizard.

Tortellini Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce


  • 20 oz cheese tortellini (I used garlic and herb)
  • 4 oz bacon (about 5 strips), crumbled and divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium lemon - zested (2 tsp) and juiced (1 tbsp)
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions (NOTE: Do not overcook - tortellini only takes 3-5 minutes to cook). Drain and return to stockpot.
  • While tortellini cooks - in a medium-sized skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat. Cook until crisp. Remove and place on paper towels to drain and cool. 
  • Reserve two tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pan, and discard the rest.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.
  • Add flour to pan, and whisk for 1 minute.
  • Slowly add milk and continue to stir with a whisk until smooth.
  • Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes, and bring sauce to a simmer.
  • Add lemon zest and juice. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Crumble bacon. Reserve one tablespoon, and add the rest to the pasta mixture.
  • Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Add sauce and stir gently to combine.
  • Place mixture in a casserole or baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and bacon.
  • Cover with foil or baking dish lid, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil or lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese on top is melted, and dish is bubbly.
I hope you like it. It's a bit of work, but so very worth it! Yum yum!