Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stuffed Shells


[Printable Recipe]

I love me some stuffed shells, but I have never made them myself. I have bought the frozen kind, and I will occasionally get them out at a restaurant, but when Amanda at Tales of a Horvath Housewife posted her recipe I decided I needed to try it.
I combined her recipe, the recipe on the back of the shell box and some of my own ideas to create this dinner.
Jumbo pasts shells
2 cups broccoli florets
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
half a jar or so-  pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Turkey pepperoni
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Boil jumbo shells for about 10 mins (according to the packaging)
Drain and rinse with cool water.
While boiling pasta, steam broccoli in the microwave (or stove top if you wish)
Roughly chop the broccoli. (I also added some minced garlic and a little butter after the broccoli was steamed)
Chop pepperoni
In a bowl, stir together ricotta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Season with garlic and Italian seasoning.
Add broccoli and pepperoni to cheese mixture. ( I actually made some with out pepperoni because I wasn’t sure how it would taste. I should have used more pepperoni because it didn’t really change the taste too much but I think it could be really good)
Spoon cheese into the shells.
Place in a baking dish and top with pasta sauce.
Sprinkle top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

These were very good. I would make them again, I would add more pepperoni to the cheese, and season it a little more. I like that you get a veggie in the meal, without really tasting it. I ate broccoli with my shells, but I slept better that night knowing that Matt had some green veggies for dinner :-D (not really but I always wish he would eat more veggies, I should too for that matter)
Also, I always print out my recipes, they eventually make it into my binder. Usually I put them immediately in plastic, but I didn’t this time, and good thing. I let it get a little close to the flame of the gas stove. Now my recipe has a little character. 

*** I know I haven’t posted many baked goodies lately. I haven’t really been baking much, I can’t bake without a reason right now or else I would gain 50 lbs. (this is the downfall to not working at the daycare anymore-no coworkers to share with) I have family dinner coming up soon, which always means I will try a new dessert recipe. I hope you enjoy some of the meals I have been making.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lemon Bundt Cake


[Printable Recipe]

I love lemon cakes. A while ago when my parents came to visit I decided to try my hand at it.
The cake was good, my execution was not.
I found this recipe on tortatebukura's blog.  I followed the recipe pretty much the same. I only added a little lemon extract to the glaze. My glaze didn’t look as white as the pictures, but it was still good. I did rush the glazing process so that could be why.
3 Lemons, zest and juiced
3 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk
3 eggs, room temp
1 egg yolk, room temp
18 tbsp butter, room temp
2 c. sugar
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Bundt pan with baking spray and flour.
Mince lemon zest to fine paste, combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl. Set aside
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Combine lemon juice mixture, vanilla and buttermilk in a bowl.
Whisk eggs and yolk.
In a standing mixer cream butter and sugar at medium-high until pale and fluffy.
Reduce to medium and add half eggs and incorporate, then add the rest of the eggs.
Scrape down bowl, reduce to low.
Add 1/3 flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, then half of the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the buttermilk then finish with the flour mixture. Scraping the bowl a few times throughout the mixing process.
Remove from mixer and scrape into the prepared pan.IMG_3801
Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. About 40-50 Mins
While cake is baking, whisk 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, buttermilk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth,(I also added 1/2 tsp lemon extract for added kick) add more lemon juice as needed until glaze is thick but still pour able ( I think I probably thinned mine too much)
Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 mins, then invert cake directly on to rack. ( Now, when I took the cake out my mom said to dump the cake onto the rack right away, I said no I wanted to follow directions, she was right, it stuck. I know I buttered the whole pan well, and used a lot of flour so it wouldn’t stick. I am not sure why it did, but at least it was just for the fam.)
Pour half the glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour, pour remaining glaze over the cake and continue to cool until room temp.
This was so good, super lemony tasting. The cake was very refreshing in my opinion. Even though my glaze was thin it was still very flavorful but not overpowering. This was a bit of work, but totally worth it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I feel so loved


I was so kindly given this award last week, I have wanted to take the time and get it up on my blog, but I have been running around like crazy lately.

Rabea at EllaBellaMozzarella and Jennifer at Eastern Mom's Cents both gave me this award. It was very sweet of them, and I am happy to pass it along. I have found so many new blogs lately, and wish I had more time to spend at the computer commenting and reading posts.

These are the rules I must oblige by in order to pass it on:

- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.

- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.

- Link the nominees within your post.

- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.


Check out these blogs:(in no particular order)

1 -Rita @ one2try who gets to ride tower of terror anytime she wants which makes me insanely jealous

2- SkinnyRunner who runs 10 miles like it is nothing and makes me want to kick butt more (and keeps me up on celeb gossip)

3- Kari @ Nathan and Kari Otto who has a cute blog, love lost and  hates snow, so now we are going to be friends :-D

4- Julie @ Engine 3 who is super sweet and is kicking butt at losing weight and inspiring me daily

5- Ashley @ Life is Beautiful she has a cute blog and has a lot of giveaways

6- Pam @ Kassie's Beach another cute blog I found, and she likes Mario :-D

7- Juliana @ A Blonde Walks Into a Blog her blog posts are cute and witty, and sometime deep and speak to me.

8- Blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell her last post about reading in the bathroom had me cracking up!

9- Sweet Harper a blog with super cute crafts and sewing projects.  Makes me wish I was crafty

10- Sugar Weave Cakes these cakes rock! I love them

11- Kim @ Mom Tried It her weekly say what posts crack me up, and make me wonder what will come out of my mouth when the twins get a little older

12- Tina @ Tina's Place has some really cute crafts. I totally love the things she makes.


So there you have a sampling of the blogs I read, if I had more hours I would have linked to all of them, but I just don’t have that kind of time. Anyone who is my follower is welcome to take this award too!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina


[Printable Recipe]

Matt and I were watching Giada on the food network one day, and she made this dish. It looked so good that we printed the recipe and made it the next night for dinner. I also made it for my family when they came to visit. I think my brother ate 4 helpings (probably half of a 9x13 pan – no joke)
I describe this meal as a grownup’s mac and cheese. You have to try it.
1 c. pastina pasta( or any small pasta – I used elbow)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 c. cubed chicken breast
1/2 c. diced onion ( I actually used more like 1 c.)
1 clove garlic (used more like 2 or 3, but we like garlic)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 400.  Butter a baking dish.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes, dice the onion and garlic.
While pasta is cooking, put olive oil in the pan, and cook chicken, about 3 mins.  Season the chicken with garlic salt, pepper if desired
Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Put chicken in bow with pasta. Add canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
IMG_3541 IMG_3542 IMG_3543 IMG_3544
Place the mixture in the baking dish. I used to circular baking dish. I doubled the recipe and used a 9x13.
In a small bowl mix together bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture.
 IMG_3546 IMG_3547 IMG_3548
Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until top is golden brown, about 30 mins.

This was so good. Definitely making the rotation. My only suggestion is season all the layers, season the chicken, then season the mixture. I may try to use melted butter on top next time. There seemed to be some dry spots. But still worth making again, and again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lost Cake

Check out my post about this cake on my other blog