Friday, January 31, 2014

Foodie Friday: Stuffed Manicotti and Meals for Friends

Do you have a go to dish when you want to bring a meal to a friend? I tend to vary what I bring, but I usually do it in a similar fashion. I have a hard time cooking a meal for someone else and not just cooking one for our family, too. So, I normally just double a recipe to make one to keep and one to share. I also try to include more than just a main course. I figure bringing the side items really can help someone out who needs it. I once read a post where the author would bring EVERYTHING. I don't go as far as bringing milk, but I do try to include a veggie or salad and also some sort of dessert if possible. I also try to bring everything in containers that I don't need returned. I figure it is one less thing for them to have to worry about at a busy or rough time. I also like to make the meal freezable if possible. That way if they have an abundance of food at the time I bring the meal, they can use it at a future date. I also like to include any instructions they may need for reheating and preparation in writing. That way they don't have to remember anything. In addition to directions, I include the recipe. Not so much because I think they are going to want it, hopefully they like it, rather in case they have any allergies or other dietary considerations.

I recently had two families that I wanted to bring a meal to, so I thought I would share the meal and recipe with you for inspiration.
I started with one of our staple recipes, Stuffed Manicotti. I added in one of our new favorite salads, spinach with dried cherries. I also included some homemade buns I had on hand along with some mini muffins I also had.

Stuffed Manicotti
*8 oz Manicotti
*2 Jars (27 oz) spaghetti sauce
*2 Eggs
*15 oz Ricotta
*4 cups Shredded mozzarella
*1 cup Grated Parmesan
*1 T dried Parsley
*10 oz Frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1) Cook manicotti according to package directions.
2) Preheat oven to 350.
3) In bowl: Beat eggs, stir in ricotta, 3 cups of mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan, parsley, and spinach.
4) Spray 9 by 13 pan.
5) Spread one jar of sauce on bottom.
6) Fill manicotti with ricotta mixture and arrange in pan.
7) Top with second jar of sauce and remaining cheese.
8) Bake covered until bubbling (about 45 minutes.)
9) Uncover and bake five more minutes.

There you have it. Do you have any tips or tricks on sharing a meal? Do you have a go to meal to share?

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