Day 9: Faceless Self Portrait & Baked Ziti

For my faceless self portrait, I chose to take a photo of my hand, resting on my keyboard.  Why?  You can decide… what do you make of my artistic choices (if you can call them “artistic”)? 

And now… a new recipe for you all!  Thank you all for waiting so patiently… things have been a little insane around here lately.  We have a lot going on academically, personally and professionally and we haven’t been doing much cooking of new recipes lately.  We’ve sort of been sticking to our good old standbys.  Hopefully that will change in the next few weeks as things calm down a bit.  This weekend we have a big weekend ahead of us: my parents are arriving tomorrow afternoon and Ken and I will be cooking them dinner because of a bet we lost to them (Shepherd’s Pie and a Salad).  Ken’s parents arrive in the evening tomorrow.  Friday is “Match Day,” when we find out where Ken will be going for his Internship (which will start on July 1st of this year).  Saturday night all 6 of us (Ken, me, his parents and my parents) are going out to dinner at Domenica, a John Besh Restaurant located in the Roosevelt Hotel.  It’s a great restaurant with a lot of vegetarian options and a lovely (mostly Italian) wine list.  Saturday morning is my Bat Mitzvah, and following services I am sponsoring a Kiddush Luncheon.  Last night, the ladies in my Trope class all got together to help me cook the food that we will be serving (Baked Ziti and Brownies were what we made yesterday, and we’ll also be having a spinach salad with strawberries and feta, and a green salad with tomatoes, onion, and cucumber, and a fruit salad).  Saturday evening we’re going out to dinner at Lilette, and in addition to the six of us, my mom’s best friend will be here with her husband, son and daughter-in-law.  They were the ones who got married at the Chinese Restaurant in New York over the summer (remember Ken’s seersucker suit?)  Sunday morning we’ll go somewhere for breakfast with Ken’s parents, and then we’ll spend the early part of the afternoon with my parents before they leave to head back to San Francisco. 

Luckily it won’t be too long before we see everyone again, because everyone will be back in 2 months for Ken’s graduation!  At that time we’ll also have Ken’s younger brother, his older brother and his wife, and Ken’s grandmother!  We can’t wait to see everyone! 

So… now for the recipe you’ve all been waiting for……… BAKED ZITI! 

This was a recipe that was given to me by one of the ladies in my Trope class, so we’ll call it “Lisa’s Baked Ziti.”  For purposes of my Bat Mitzvah Kiddush Luncheon, we multiplied the recipe by 6 and made it in a giant bowl, but for purposes of making it at home, this recipe will work very nicely.


  • 1 lb. of ziti
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of tomato or marinara sauce
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (or Pam Spray)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil water and cook ziti about 5-7 minutes–do not overcook. 

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta and egg.  Stir in the tomato sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella, and 1/2 of the parmesan.  Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Mix in the ziti, put in lightly oiled casserole, top with remaining cheeses. 

Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through, and the cheese is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!

I’ll be honest… we each snuck a little taste of the Baked Ziti once it was finished cooking, and it was quite delicious!  Hopefully it will reheat well on Saturday morning and everyone will enjoy it during the Kiddush Luncheon.

Until then, I wish you all a lovely Wednesday and I will write again soon!

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