Sweet Inspiration

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 16, 2011

in friends, Italian, simple recipe, vegetarian

I’ve been waxing poetic about the blogging community lately. See, I knew it was a wonderful community to be a part of before when everyone sent me lovely messages when Adam and I got married. I knew you were all supportive when my father passed away and people came out of the woodwork to send their condolences, and later helped me and my family raise over $1000 for pancreatic cancer research. When Adam’s stepfather passed away, the support was just as amazing.

And then this morning, something far less remarkable happened. I was reading blogs before school started (isn’t that what all of us teachers do?) and something on Jessica’s blog stuck out to me. Ok, that’s not something new either. I generally drool over her posts. But this morning? She had a recipe for Creamy Caprese Baked Pasta .

I know.

It was on my mind all day, and at about 5:30 tonight, my bags of groceries went from bags of ingredients to this


To this


And then this


Twice. There was wine involved too. I

‘m not going to post the recipe since you can get it here from Jessica, but a few things that I did a little differently:

  • I used two pints of grape tomatoes instead of just one. I cut half of them in half and half I left whole.
  • I used only 8 ounces total of fresh mozzarella. Jess’s called for 4 ounces cubed, plus a layer on top. I utilized an old “make the real cheese go farther” technique by breaking slices into small bits that spread.
  • I used a TON of basil. Almost two bunches. I think I have a problem.

See that little jar in the last picture? With basil in it? I’m trying to grow my own by using cuttings. I don’t know if it will work, but it’s worth a try, right? Anyone have any experience with that?


Then, because I’m a good wife, I made these:


Nothing like browned-butter rice krispie treats with extra mini marshmallows to make a Monday less Monday-ish. What, you want the recipe? Maybe… :)

OH! And remember Maddux? He’s quite a cooking buddy! He stayed in the doorway to the kitchen the whole time, and any time I’d say “oh no” or “ouch” he’d come running!


I hope you all had a beautiful Monday… it appears that things may be looking up around here (knock on wood, cross your fingers, etc.) You can bid on a batch of my soft pretzels with a homemade honey mustard dip on Tina’s Blog Bake Sale until Midnight EST today, 5/16!



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat May 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM

I know I drooled a little more than normal over that post too. So yum!
Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat´s last blog post ..Challah


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 16, 2011 at 9:07 PM

So glad you liked it! Love you girl!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog post ..Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars


Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 16, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Love you back!! :)


Sarah May 16, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Basil is so beautiful. There is something about the red tomatoes paired with the green herb that is just visually spectacular.



Lauren May 17, 2011 at 5:48 AM

This looks fantastic. I thought the exact same thing when I saw it on Jessica’s blog and now I’m convinced this is some kind of sign telling me its my turn to make it. :)
Lauren´s last blog post ..Why I Wont Have a Good Week


Lauren May 17, 2011 at 6:14 AM

I always read blogs before school, also ;). Your pasta looks every bit as tasty as Jessica’s, and it’s going on my “to-make” list for sure! What a perfect dish for summer (even though it recently plummeted down to the 50s here in Boston).

My dog always lays right in the kitchen doorway while I cook :). I think she’s waiting for food scraps to hit the floor!
Lauren´s last blog post ..Tropical Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes


Roz May 17, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Love the idea of cutting half the tomatoes and leaving the other half whole! I’m routing for your little basil cutting!!!! “C’mon basil!”
And I have to “awwwww” and “awwwww” again at the lovely Maddux! He looks like a real sweetie!!! Have a great day Mara!
Roz´s last blog post ..The Saturday files…


Stephanie May 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

WOW! Thanks so much for posting this! It sounds like something that would go over VERY well in this household!!
Stephanie´s last blog post ..Consider the Vegetarian…at Your Next Cookout &amp Grown Up Potato Salad with Vinaigrette and Olives


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