Friday, February 27, 2015

Baked Ravioli with Pumpkin and Sage {Recipe}

I meant to sit down and write something more meaningful than just a recipe, but my brain is fried. Sick kids will do that to you. Since I figured some post of merit was better than none, I will share something perhaps you can recreate in your own kitchen and think of me while doing so. It's kinda like cooking together, right?

Here we are at the 2nd meatless Friday during this Lent. This meal is a new one for us that was a combined creation effort betwixt David and I. Originally I had concocted in my head inspired by some recipes I'd seen and building upon one I made a few years back. I set to work starting the meal. And then of course, as things are apt to do, we had a bed wetting and a cranky baby in the hour I was supposed to be making this, so David stepped in and added his own flair to it.

I divided ingredients into each step rather than combining the amounts, so you might notice certain items twice. Happy Cooking!

18-24 oz dried ravioli - I used Trader Joe's mini raviolis and ended up using about 1 3/4 packages

2 TB butter
1 onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper

6 TB butter
6 TB flour (whole wheat or white)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups half and half
1 cup pumpkin puree (plain, no spices!)
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup milk (optional)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1-2 tsp fresh sage, chopped

1. Prepare ravioli according to the directions. Drain and toss with a little olive oil. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 TB butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add chopped spinach stirring often. As soon as leaves begin to wilt, add garlic, nutmeg, sage, and salt and pepper. Sauté mixture 30-45 seconds until you can smell the garlic.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400º.

3. In small saucepan, melt 6 TB butter over medium low heat. Once melted, add flour and garlic. Stir constantly until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in half and half. Return to heat and heat over medium to medium high heat until mixture boils stirring constantly. Once boiling, cook and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and add pumpkin and cheese. Stir until cheese melts and pumpkin is thoroughly mixed in.
*If sauce seems too thick, you can add up to 1 cup milk to thin.

4. Lightly oil a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of cooked ravioli. Spread 3/4 spinach mixture over that. Pour half the cheese sauce over. Repeat with remaining ravioli, spinach, and sauce. On top of that sprinkle the 1/2 cups of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and the chopped sage.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese on top browns and bubbles.


Looking for more new meals perfect for Meatless Fridays?

I have two posts in the Archives: 

Also go check out these two bloggers who are sharing new recipes this year:

Gina at Someday Saints

BethAnne at BethAnne's Best

What are your favorite meatless meals? I'd love more ideas, so please share any that are fan favorites in your house!

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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post Baked Ravioli with Pumpkin and Sage {Recipe} first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 27 February 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Where you can find me today!

Hey there long lost readers!

Technically I'm the long lost one in this situation. Lost, that is, behind piles of snotty hankies, piles of sheets, and rather whiny children who've been kept inside far too long. Last week was a forever go, go, GO! of Adrian finally breaking through his top two teeth. This included 3 nights of waking every 5-15 minutes, which is enough to drive any person crazy. They popped through Monday and Wednesday, and on Tuesday both he and Blaise came down with a cold. The rest of us have stayed relatively well, and the little two are on the mend.

Lent begin in a sneaky little way. I didn't even make it to Ash Wednesday mass because between children I wasn't about to take out of the house, temperatures hovering around 0º, and snowstorms, it just wasn't remotely practical. Instead we set out our grapevine wreath and a homemade beeswax candle, and counted that as decorated for Lent. It's a relief to have one season that is so simple to decorate for, ammaright?

Something akin to Spring visited over the weekend, and we ventured forth both to the zoo and the library. On Sunday, the weather was around 25, and it felt soooooo warm, I didn't even make the boys wear coats. Well, Adrian had to, but you know, when you're a baby, the rules don't always apply to you… All the same it was a day to thaw out some of the frustration from being stuck inside for so long.

Anyhow in all this busy, I have neglected ye old blog more than I would like. I am wanted in the area of Teacher at the moment, so for now, I leave you with a devotion I wrote for today's readings for Blessed Is She.

"Rules, so many rules. At first glance, you, too, will probably notice today’s readings are chock full of rules. Of laws to be adhered to. Of actions we are to take: Feed the hungry. Don’t oppress your neighbor. Clothe the naked. No slandering. Don’t bear grudges.
Being an oldest child, I tend to be a rule follower, yet there’s still that selfish, independent part of me that cringes at someone telling me what to do. I can appreciate structure, but I’m more likely to have my heart in my actions if I have a reason for its importance..."

Read the rest of it here.

Hope your February is continuing on swimmingly, and I will aim to check in again soon!

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post Where you can find me today! first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 23 February 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

7 Simple Ways to Make it Through Lent as a Family

Lent is in 5 (!!!) days, beginning with Ash Wednesday on the 18th and carrying through until Easter Sunday. Our family has tried many ideas through the year and has established a few that we love as Ortiz family traditions. In lieu of a long post documenting each and every one, I figured I'd share some that are fairly simple to encourage the whole family to join in for.


Walk Through Lent with a Map

This is the first things my kids remembered when I mentioned Lent was coming soon: Catholic Icing's Lenten Calendar. It's free, printable, and can be daily colored in or marked with a sticker. It is such a wonderful way to see yourself moving through Lent closer to the Passion of Holy Week and Our Lord's Resurrection. Follow the link above to print your own!

Another great time marker is a Countdown Chain similar to the one we do for Advent.


Simplify Your Menu

Only Fridays during Lent require abstinence from meat, and only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday call adults to fast. However, there are ways you can still include your kids in the fasting. We don't eat a lot of meat most weeks, so we try to go meatless during all of Lent, at least for dinner. As a family, we also do not eat sweets during the week.

A simple approach could be no dessert on weekdays or adding another meatless meal on another night.

Here are two fantastic posts about what to do about Sundays:

"Let Us Keep the Fast?" What to do about Sundays during Lent Daniel Stewart of Daniel Bearman: Acts of Idiot Praise

Sundays in Lent: We Can't ALL Be Right About This by Kendra at Catholic All Year

Need ideas for Meatless meals? I've got you covered!

A Collection of Meatless Meals for Lent

More Meatless Meals!

10 Meatless Lunch Ideas


Practice Serving One Another

We all take a part in this as we practice learning more about what love means throughout Lent. We talk about sacrifice a lot and put this into action by serving one another. In looking forward to Christ's ultimate sacrifice and display of Love on the cross, we try to put selfless actions into our days.

For younger kids, this could mean sharing a toy. 4-6 year olds? Helping clear somebody else's plate at dinner. My boys made Lenten Sacrifice Jars last year and look forward to putting them to good use by daily looking for ways to love and serve around the house.


Daily Prayer

A new one for us this year. For myself I'm going to practice some discipline in getting up early enough to pray with David before he leaves for work. Leila Lawler in The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home encourages you to invite your children to pray with you, and even if they refuse at first, they might be inclined to join if the invitation is always there.
Our plan is to do one of the offerings for the Liturgy of the Hours, but whatever is best suited to your family works: the rosary (a decade or the whole thing), the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Angelus - the list goes on and on!

For more info on praying the Liturgy of the Hours, check out this site. You can buy the Liturgy of the Hours 4-Volume Set or the shorter: Christian Prayer: Liturgy of the Hours. My husband got me a subscription to the Magnificat, so that's how we will be praying.


Pray the Stations of the Cross

Our homeschool group has set up a kid friendly one, but you can join in at any parish around that is praying the Stations. Usually they are held on Fridays from what I have seen. Anotehr idea is just to pray them within your home. Bonnie over at A Knotted Life has an awesome craft to make your own Stations of the Cross box, so your children can have something tactile to pass around while praying.


Empty out Closets and Toy Boxes

Ann Marie at White House, Black Shutters hosts an annual clean up called 40 Bags in 40 Days in which you declutter your whole house during Lent. As I've already been in the process of going through each part of our home during 2015, this seems like a great way to stay focussed, give away what we don't use, prep for some garage sale selling, and all around minimize what we have acquired over time.


Celebrate the Feasts Within

Aside from the mini Feasts of Sunday, there are also a few feasts to be found throughout Lent. These include:

St. Patrick's Feast Day, memorial  (March 17) 

St. Joseph's Feast Day, solemnity (March 19)

The Annunciation of Our Lord, solemnity (March 25)

Don't forget to make note of these and enjoy these so called "breaks" from the solemnness of Lent.

You can also check out my piece from last year:

Do you have any traditions that your family is able to delve into Lent together with?

Hope your Lent with your family is a most blessed time of reflection, repentance, and learning to love all the more!

Linking up with my fave, Kelly, for 7 Quick Ts!

Photo for Stations of the Cross: First stained glass window in the north aisle, depicting the scenes Our Lord condemned to Death (upper section) and Venerable Oliver Plunkett condemned to Death.Killarney Cathedral. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post 7 Simple Ways to Make it Through Lent as a Family first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 13 February 2015

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