Fast and Easy Three Cheese Pasta Bake
Spring is finally here and this year’s Easter brunch was so much fun! Planning this year’s butterfly/woodland themed brunch ended up becoming just a butterfly theme, as I ran out of time preparing the decor.
I had a few weeks to plan and I use the weekend before to finalize and lock down the decor and menu, but my husband participated in a Tough Mudder in California that weekend, so preparation time was shortened.
But together, we prepared the house for guests, made the 11:30am deadline and the guest began to arrive just after noon. The butterfly theme was simple, but what seemed simple turned into a wall, tree and table centerpiece of hundreds of butterflies that I hand-punched from various shades of green paper stock. I’m glad I found realistic butterflies on the internet to accent the paper butterflies, or I probably would have not finished punching until Mother’s Day! I added extra large canning-like jars with flowers and butterflies in them and placed them on the buffet and seating tables. They added just enough purple color to off-sett the green butterfly leaves. The kids and the adults seemed to enjoy the decor and the kids really liked playing with the butterfly nets I found at the Dollar Store.
But it was the Three Cheese Pasta Bake that I found on the Southern Living site that everyone really liked. Figures! A quick and easy recipe with a three cheese combination of mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan cheeses. The only thing I did different to the recipe was to add nutmeg and coarsely ground pepper to the white sauce. It’s a great recipe that can be easily doubled, as I did for brunch. I tested the exact recipe the two-weeks before and it can feed 4-6 people easily with plenty of leftovers. I had 21 brunch guests and still had about 8 servings left.
As brunch winded down, the kids were getting anxious for the egg hunt. So I passed out my home-made Easter baskets filled with candy and assorted toys that all had “flying” themes, of course, and the kids made room in their baskets for eggs. The warm weather and the light breeze couldn’t have been better for flying toy helicopters and planes, so the helicopter competition was on!
After a few hours in the backyard watching the kids play and rescuing a few helicopters from the roof it was time for dessert! I made butterfly and bee sugar cookies (I will post), and our friends brought a Bavarian Cream Raspberry cake from Boonzaaijers Dutch Bakery here in town and I made a chocolate and salted-caramel trifle for the chocolate lovers (sorry no picture of the trifle).
What a great day . . . A labor of love, but its ALL worth it when I see the smiles on the kids faces and how much fun they have searching for eggs, ripping open their Easter baskets and playing with their toys in the backyard!
Thanks for all your help Tough Mudder! There was no way we would have pulled this Brunch off without you! XO
Until next year. . .