Easy Stuffed Shells.

Hello my fellow foodies!

I'm so excited to guest blog, especially about food/recipes. I believe food needs to be fast and flavorful and that's exactly what I'm givin' you. I learned this recipe from my friend, Kim. We had a Spanglish Cooking group during the summer and she taught this recipe. It's become a weekly staple in our home and I thought I'd share it with you. Make this tonight...you'll thank me later!

Mixing bowls ready?


Measuring cups ready?


Appetites ready?


Let's get cooking!!!

Easy Stuffed Shells

The ingredients:
20-30 large pasta shells, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, 16 oz. cottage cheese (or ricotta), 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, and parsley flakes (or in Chie, perejil).

Cook 20-30 large pasta shells "al dente" in salted, boiling water.
{approximately 15 minutes}

While the shells are cooking, empty a jar/can of spaghetti sauce into a 9x13 pan.

I had a little leftover sauce from a previous meal...

... so I poured that in as well.
{Waste not, want not.}

(ready).Now, on to the cheese filling.

First, shred 8 oz. of mozzarella
Or, if you live in the United States, buy it shredded and skip this step.

Then, in a large bowl combine:

16 oz. cottage cheese {or ricotta}

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 oz. shredded mozzarella

2 eggs

and a generous amount of parsley flakes {for color}

Now, mix.
It should look like this.

Alright, now check your shells.

Drain the water.
I always leave a little in the pot so that the shells don't
stick together.
Let the shells cool for a few minutes.

Once the shells are cool enough to handle, take a heaping amount of of the cheese filling...

... and stuff your shells!
Make em' fat!
They like being chubby, kinda like me.
{Well, ok, that's a lie. I don't like being chubby, I just am.
It's because these stuffed shells are so delicious.
Darn you, stuffed shells!}

Then, lay them in the spaghetti sauce.

They like being cozy too.

Now, toss them in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly!

Mmmm, bubbly cheese.
It's my favorite kind of cheese!
And by the magic of television, I mean, the blogosphere, I present to you...

Easy Stuffed Shells

Buono appetito!

{Click on the picture below to print this recipe!}

guest blogger lynette

i met lynette after dave and i got married. she was in our ward and had the cutest little girl (carly) and i instantly wanted to be her friend. she is clever, smart, beautiful, and funny (no, funny's not the right word. hi-LARIOUS is more like it) and can make even a mundane story a bust-your-gut-snort-while-you-laugh type of story. i love that our friendship is even better now that we are blog buddies. she's a great writer and her blog is so much fun to read. her family moved to chile last year and it's fun to get a glimpse into the life of an ex-pat.

turns out, lynette is also a great cook. so i asked her to guest blog for me and she kindly obliged. so here is a quick "food" interview so you can get to know her a little better.

what's your favorite food? This is so lame, but probably big, juicy burgers. I can remember when I was younger and we went out to eat as a family, I always ordered hamburgers--even at Mexican restaurants!

what is your favorite thing to cook? anything fast! I like to cook, but it needs to take me less than 30 minutes. I can only handle so much chaos with the kids playing chase around the kitchen and running between my legs. I like my food fast & flavorful.

what's the weirdest/grossest thing you've ever eaten? I'm not usually one that ventures far from my food comfort zone, so I've never really eaten anything too weird. Plus, food is my friend--I enjoy it all. However, I do remember after having Wes, a family in our ward brought us dinner. It was a chicken and rice dish. But, the rice was overcooked and the chicken was undercooked. How that happened, I'm not sure. There was no sauce, no cream of anything, no cheese--just squishy rice and raw chicken. That was probably the worst thing I've ever had.

what's the most exotic thing you've eaten in Chile? Again, I haven't stepped too far out of my food comfort zone, so the most traditional Chilean food I've had is probably empanadas. Not all empanadas are created equal--I've had some pretty weird ones, like the one that was filled with black olives and egg. Personally, I'm not a fan.

what's your favorite breakfast? Do donuts count? No, seriously, pancakes, eggs, and bacon--but donuts are a close second.

and your favorite restaurant? I have too many. Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, TGI Fridays, Las Rosas, Texas Roadhouse, P.F. Changs, and Lasagna House. (waaaaa... I miss the good ol' U S of A.)

have you ever had a cooking fiasco? Oh, yes! Every year at Thanksgiving my dad makes a traditional southern cornbread stuffing. Ammon and I were living in Provo and we were unable to fly home for the holiday so we decided to host our very own Thanksgiving dinner at our apartment with some friends. When I called home for the recipe, my dad gave me the ingredients and directions and assured me that I could not mess it up. So, with confidence, I began to make the dressing. {Now, my dad's recipe was tripled so that it feed my entire family, so I tried scaling it down.} Somewhere amid the stress of trying to cook my first Thanksgiving meal all on my own, I added three times as much chicken broth to the batter (the correct amount on the recipe, but remember, I was scaling it down) and it was a runny mess. What should have taken 45 minutes to bake, took 6 hours and even then it only barely resembled my dad's cornbread stuffing. But, not to worry. I have since mastered that recipe and I've made it for the entire family the past couple of years.

i can't wait to see what you have for us to eat! thanks lynette!


ellen's {sloppy} turkey joe's

i got this sloppy joe recipe from my sister ellen a few years ago. but instead of ground beef, it calls for ground turkey. when she told me that, i wasn't sure if i would make it because dave despises ground turkey. so i decided to try an experiment--make them, eat them, and not tell him what it is until after. it worked. he loved them. i'm not a huge fan of sloppy joes, but i'm telling you, these are good. so let's get started.

you'll need a pound of ground turkey, 1/4 of an onion, ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and pepper.start by browning the turkey with the chopped onion.
keep going...
there. perfect.
now add 1/2 cup of ketchup,
3 tablespoons or BBQ sauce,
1 tbsp. mustard,
1 tbsp. vinegar (you can't see it in there, but it's there i promise),
1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
mix it all together
until it looks like this.
now let it simmer for 10 minutes.
and serve it on a bun.

ellen's turkey joes
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. bbq sauce
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper

brown turkey and onion, then add everything else. mix well and let simmer for 10 minutes. serve on a bun and enjoy!


ellen's {easy} chicken enchiladas

my mom makes the best chicken enchiladas. but they are lots of work. i was thrilled when my sister ellen gave me this recipe a few years ago, because it's like 3 ingredients and 20 minutes and you're done. so let's get started:
you'll need green chile enchilada sauce (you can use red but it's not as good in my opinion), 1/4 of an onion, 3/4 cup cheese, a package of chicken, and flour tortillas.boil the chicken for 30 minutes or until no longer pink. i used breasts here because that's all i had. i usually use strips because it's easier to chop.
i refuse to chop onions by hand, so i use this handy little tool. if you don't have one, dice 1/4 of an onion.
(or let your little helper do it for you).
like this! that was easy.
now put it in a pan on medium heat,
chop up your chicken,
and add in with the onions.
brown them together for a few minutes.
open your green sauce and pour a tiny bit in the bottom of your square pan. spread it out with a spoon.
now add 3/4 of the can to your chicken and onion on the stove.
and try not to do this because you need a little bit of sauce left at the end.and then add your 3/4 cup of cheese. i use the pregrated kind for stuff like this because it's so much faster.
stir it all together until the cheese melts and it's kinda bubbly.
then grab a tortilla and spoon some of the mixture in. oh man, i wanna lick that picture this looks so good.
then roll them up, and place them in the pan. easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!now pour the remaining sauce on top--not too much or else the tortillas get kinda soggy. like how my pinky is up in this picture? so proper. spread it out with a spoon, making sure to get some on both ends. they'll get a little crispy without it.
then sprinkle some cheese...i only had a tiny bit left of the pre-grated kind and i was too lazy to grate some myself, so this is all we got. more is better. this is pitiful. i'm embarrassed about this picture.
now pop it into a 350* oven for 20 minutes or until it's hot and bubbly. in my case, i forgot to set the timer and they cooked for almost 40...they were a bit crispy, so i didn't take a picture of them in the pan. they looked better on the plate. and they were still good, just a little crunchy. on the outside. and who doesn't like crunchy? i know i do.
since it was cinco de mayo we celebrated with the pioneer woman's spicy mac & cheese and {virgin} strawberry daquiris. yum!

ellen's chicken enchiladas

1 package of chicken {breasts or strips}
1/4 onion, diced
1 can green chile enchilada sauce
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 flour tortillas

Boil chicken 30 minutes, then chop up and add to a pan with diced onion. brown for a minute, then add 3/4 of the can of enchilada sauce and 3/4 cup of cheese. stir until cheese melts, then fill tortillas with mixture. roll up and put in a square pan lined with enchilada sauce. pour remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with extra cheese. cook at 350* for 20 minutes.