Food Fit For Graduation! - The wonderful world of 'Manda Blog at - 304038

The wonderful world of 'Manda

Food Fit for Graduation! 
Jun. 6, 2013 11:17 pm 
Updated: Jun. 24, 2013 11:59 pm
In western civilization, as in any culture, there are milestones that mark the transition from youth into adulthood. I became an adult sometime in the past 10 years, and for my little sister, her trek into adulthood is about to begin as she graduates high school and moves out of my parent’s house for the first time to live with me and attend college. 

No ritual is so sacred to the transition from childhood to adulthood for Americans than graduation day. I still remember receiving my diploma in front of all of my peers, their parents, and my family and I hope that my little sister has a special day that she can remember, always. 

As part of her special day, I decided she needed a special meal for just the two of us. For my little sister, homemade Italian food hits the spot and rings true as an exceptional meal. Thanks to Sargento’s Six Cheese Italian Blend, homemade Italian has just been made easier.

For my sister I made my Six Cheese Rigatoni Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce. The whole dish was a labor of love, from picking the fresh tomatoes out of my garden to assembling the final product to put into the oven. And, the best reward of all, she loved it. We are both cheese lovers, so for us the warm bubbly top of the bake truly hit the spot.

While I made this dish to commemorate my sister’s social transformation from child to adulthood through the ritual of graduating high school, she also has future graduations to come – all of which can be celebrated with the same fanfare. Graduation is a time to congratulate those in our lives who have worked hard to achieve this milestone and recognize that our children, siblings or friends are growing up.

My recipe is going to be featured in the Sargento Digital Cookbook this month as part of the Allrecipe Allstar program. 
Jun. 7, 2013 7:02 am
Congratulations to the new grad, & glad she liked the dish you made for her-sounds like it had a lot of love in it also!
Jun. 7, 2013 10:25 am
Congrats to your sister on her graduation. I know she and your family are excited for her as she continues her education to the next level of college. Props to you for developing your recipe, and thanks for posting it. I will give this a try and blog about it soon. I've been on a spinach run lately so I may add spinach to your recipe when I cook it.
Jun. 8, 2013 3:58 am
very nice story, good luck to your sister.
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Jul. 2007

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About Me
I hope to be a future teacher. Right now I major in English and Political Science. One day I might aspire to be a local politician - who knows! Maybe even an acclaimed author. Oooh, acclaim! Right now my possibilities are endless. I also love to cook. I live with my best friend, my god child and my boyfriend. We're all a happy little family in which I do all the cooking since no one else in the house likes to cook. I also watch my god child one day a week and we try to do kid friendly recipes together to introduce her to cooking and nutrition. I try to plan meals but we usually end up going to the market once or twice a week to pick up food items on sale. Almost everything in my pantry, fridge and freezer come from a sale. We try and be very conscious of how we spend our money and what we spend it on. I have a coupon book and I do clip coupons regularly but we usually just end up getting "the store brand" of whatever is on sale because it's always cheaper anyway.
My favorite things to cook
I have a lot of favorite things to cook! This Christmas my boyfriend gifted me my first ever stand mixer. I try and use it at least a few times a week to show him I appreciate the gift. I've been making a lot of breads from scratch in my household. I also love love love to use my slow cooker! It not only makes delicious roasts, soups and sides but it makes them super easy too. I do go to school and I do have a lot of things to take care of at home, so when I know I'm busy I just throw something in the slow cooker and it always turns out fabulously! I make the best, non fried, not butter rich hot wings for my little sister who is a junk food enthusiast. My turkey three-cheese lasagna is a highly requested recipe by my junk food loving sister as well as my healthy conscious boyfriend. It's a recipe that can't be beat. I also do a four hour roasted chicken that is requested in my household a few times a month. I tend to do it on weekends when I have four hours at home to spare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother is not the best cook in the world. My grandmother, on the other hand, has made everything from scratch since she was a little girl. Growing up I remember helping her cook before she moved to another state. We had a great time together and she is my inspiration for learning to cook myself and not just eating the junk food, frozen food and canned food readily available in the house I grew up in.
My cooking triumphs
My mother made THE WORST everything, especially pot roast. Her idea of a pot roast was to stick a piece of meat in water in a steamer and let it cook all day, as if it were in a slow cooker. That was not good eats. My boyfriend is a huge fan of pot roast and I happened to have won a slow cooker last year at his family's gift exchange. I decided to chance it and make my first ever pot roast that hopefully didn't taste like shoe. It was amazing and delicious! I was so happy and now it's something we both enjoy eating regularly, usually when roasts go on sale at the market.
My cooking tragedies
What's tragic right now is that I don't have a BBQ! We've recently moved and while I have my whole kitchen set up I lack a BBQ in my yard.
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