Enter the meal train.
The meal train; the expectation of bringing food. And not just any food, the bringing of home-cooked meals to the family with the new little bundle of joy. Because surely, after nine months of growing a human being, the pain of labor, and then the following sleepless nights, a new mom and dad deserve a series of home-cooked meals.
I just don't know what horrible thing they ever did to deserve one of my home-cooked meals.
My first reaction upon receiving the invitation to join the meal train was fear. People could be harmed.
My next thought, order out. "That's it, I'll stop by a nice restaurant and pick up something fabulous. Something... edible."
But then, that nagging thought in the back of my head. Do you ever here it? It's like your conscience only it sounds more like Martha Stewart. It says, "Home-cooked means more."
And so I called my mom. The woman who is like a bohemian Martha Stewart. Only without the jail time or haircut. After, taking copious notes, I set out to prepare one of the most comforting meals I have ever eaten; my mom's Manicotti.
My Mom's Manicotti (serves 4)
Half pint Ricotta Cheese
Half cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Salt
8 ounces Mozzarella Cheese (grated)
1/2 cup Pitted Ripe Olives (chopped)
15 ounce can Seasoned Tomato Sauce
8 Manicotti Shells
Combine Ricotta Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Italian Seasoning, Salt, half the Mozzarella Cheese and half the Olives. Mix Well.
Cook Manicotti Shells according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400°
Pour half Tomato Sauce in bottom of a glass baking dish (or whatever you're using).
Fill Manicotti Shells with cheese mixture. Arrange on top of Tomato Sauce in baking dish.
Pour remaining Tomato Sauce over top of stuffed Manicotti Shells.
Sprinkle Remaining Mozzarella Cheese and Olives on top.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.