Weekend Rewind

This weekend was not very eventful (craft party aside) however, I did make a fantastic dinner and I found a fantastic store.
Two words: Hobby Lobby. I am not sure if I should be cursing everyone who has never told me how great it is or if it is a hidden gem that I am uncovering to the world, but holy moly Hobby Lobby is the greatest! I found (and purchased) such pretty things and most of it was more for decorating than for crafting. Yes, there are a million hobby items there, but the decor was amazing. Do you ever walk through model home and wonder where they get all the cool stuff they have on the walls or in the nooks? They knew about Hobby Lobby. Well now I do too and I have already added some great items to my life. And more importantly, they have black and white stripped fabrics- the material anomaly. Check out a few of my other adorable finds
I mean, totally adorable right? I didn’t even take pictures of all the cute furniture, Christmas decor or most of the wall. Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Hobby Lobby!
I cooked one heck of a delicious meal on Saturday night. Spinach tortellini bake, garlic parmesan knots brownie and mulled wine. I can’t take credit for the brownies, those came from a delicious Ghirardelli box, but I highly recommend the bake and the knots and most importantly the mulled wine.
Start with the wine first. You can follow recipes for mulled wine, or you can go to Trader Joes. They have a mulling spices can. It’s a combination of cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and some other spices. All you do is stick a few tablespoons in some cheese cloth and add it to a couple of bottles of wine in a pot on the stove (you can do this with cider too). For those that like a little kick, add some brandy. Heat on med-low heat for 20 minutes. Do not let it boil. I know hot wine sounds weird, but I tell you it tastes and smells like Christmas.
Wine and brandy in the pot with a pouch of mulling spices on medium heat.
Christmas in a mug! Absolutely delicious!
For the cranky pants that’s hungry in the other room, I love to make this easy appetizer. Cream cheese, pesto and some crackers. It looks a little funny but it’s delicious and it will keep the hungry at bay.
Cream cheese and pesto-yummy, cheap and easy!
Then get started on the tortellini spinach bake. I got the recipe on pinterest and made some adjustments. Below I copied the recipe with my adjustments.
Pretty delicious looking right?

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce Recipe by Our Best Bites
12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini (I used 2 bags of Trader Joes cheese tortellini)
4 oz bacon or pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)*
3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced (or make it easy and by a jar of minced garlic)
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
¾ tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach
¾ C grated mozzarella cheese
¾ C grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
Place bacon in a medium-sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.
While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. (Note: I really love lemon so I added this to my tastes. If you don’t want as strong of a lemon flavor, I suggest cutting it down to 1 teaspoon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice) . Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
* For a vegetarian meal, omit bacon.
Serves 4-6 (I doubled everything and could eat it for a week by myself or feed a small army)

While the tortellini is cooking, you can get started on the knots! These are super easy and super delicious. My mouth is watering thinking about them! Also a pinterest find. I have included the recipe with photos!

Easy Parmesan Knots

  • 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits ( I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I did use the green can stuff)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  1. Roll each biscuit into a 12-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under.
This is what my knots looked like
  1. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the mixture.
Just painting with parmesan
Yield:10 knots
Bon Appetite!

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