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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About Me
I'm working towards my Ph.D. and, while not reading, studying, teaching, volunteering, or relaxing (what is that thing again?), I'm cooking! I've been a vegetarian for the past 3 years and I've loved every minute of it. People ask me why all the time, and there are really a whole list of reasons. To break my rationale down, it really falls into these categories: for the environment, for my health, for the economy, and, of course, for the animals.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake, but I'm, personally, not a huge fan of baked goods. I love to feed other people, though, and baked goods are fabulous for that reason alone. My slow cooker is one of my best friends. Lately I've been into Indian food - I love a good heaping pile of paneer masala with a pile of rice and some garlic-herb naan.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother was not a cook. My grandmother, on the other hand, grew up on a farm and, after living in the city for most of her adulthood while raising my mother and aunts, has returned to the farming lifestyle. She's the one who taught me how to cook traditional American homestead foods from scratch like breads, berry jams, pickles (she especially loves pickled eggs. I can't say I've acquired the taste yet), and pies.
My cooking triumphs
I've been trying to do at least one vegan meal a day, everyday, in addition to being a vegetarian. A lot of the pollution issues, economic issues, and cruelty issues with meat are mirrored in the diary industry so I've been trying to reduce my intake. Any time I can transform a favorite of mine into a vegan dish, I consider it a triumph. I made the most amazing banana-coconut milk muffins the other day. They disappeared in a heartbeat at a beach get-together.
My cooking tragedies
I think the real tragedy is that I often don't have enough time to cook! In addition to not having time to cook as often as I'd like, sometimes it's hard to get great ingredients. I try to go to the local farmer's markets, but, even on the weekends, my work and school can overwhelm my schedule and prevent me from picking up the really tasty veggies.
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