Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dana's Ordeal and a Yummy Dinner

I'm very happy to say that my sister is finally home! She left the hospital last night and is slowly getting back into the swing of things. Slowly.
So here's what happened. As I stated in the previous post, Dana had had some troubles with nursing. She developed a blocked milk duct which turned into mastitis. She went to the doctor and he prescribed antibiotics. But her fever would not go down. So the doctor said she might need to go into the hospital for IV antibiotics. Sure enough, that's what happened.
But here's where things go a little weird. Somewhere along the way, the mastitis turned into an abscess. And the abscess turned into MRSA. Now, if you're not a health-care worker like my sister, or my mother-in-law, or my brother-in-law, you might be confused what MRSA is. From what I can gather, it's like a staph infection. But for her, it was like SUPER MRSA. Very drug resistant, and very hard to get rid of. They finally had to do surgery to clean out the infection.
She was finally released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. I went over today to watch the baby and help out while she rested. She is not able to lift the baby, or do very much physical activity. I'll be sure to update everyone on how she is doing.

In the meantime, check out this yummy dinner that we had tonight. Seriously, it was so good.

It's penne with five cheeses, from Ina Garten's cookbook. Mmmm, so deliciously creamy and cheesy. I had TWO helpings; it was that good. It's not an everyday recipe-LOTS of heavy cream and cheese...that's what makes it so good! Here is the recipe, in case anyone is interested.

Penne with Five Cheeses

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.

Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2-cup ca

pacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

We baked it at 350 degrees, instead of 500. My oven has a tendancy to smoke at high temps. Also, we served it in a large casserole dish, instead of small ones. But still, just as good.
As you can see, it was a big hit.


  1. Wow! I thought me getting five mastitis was bad. I'm so sorry this happened. Is there anything we can do for her and the family? Meals? Watching baby?

    On the brighter note your penne with five cheeses looks yummy!

  2. Glad your sister is on the mend-- scary stuff! Your pasta looks delicious, ad Sutton is adorable!!