Hello! I have been slacking lately! Life has been busy the past month. I’ve been cleaning our house like crazy getting it ready for showings (it finally sold last week, yay!), holiday gatherings and getting ready for baby #2! We just found out last week we are having a BOY!! Noelle will just love being a big sister. I don’t think she quite understands it yet, but she knows theres talk about a “baby brudder”. 🙂
We decided to surprise everyone by announcing the gender on Easter. I made a coconut cream cake and filled it with blue jelly beans. Such a fun way to announce and the cake was sooo yummmy. I’m not much of a cake person, but home made cake is just so amazing!! Especially this recipe.
Everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? We had a good time going to my parents’ house in Fountain Hills for the parade and then Thanksgiving meal later in the day. So yummy. My parents are great cooks! It was also nice for Noelle to have both of her great grandpa’s there!
Now we are on to Christmas…I can’t believe it!
Now that we are in full holiday mode, I’m sure we are all feeling really busy and a bit stressed! The recipe I am sharing today is perfect for those days when you need a meal that is delicious and requires very little thought, prep and extra ingredients. I have made this plenty of times when I didn’t get around to making dinner plans or grocery shopping. It tastes like you went the extra mile, but really its super simple to make. Pretty much zero cooking skills needed.
“I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
I’m excited to participate in my second monthly Recipe Redux contest. Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables is sponsoring this month’s challenge. They have a new product coming out to the shelves January 2015 and are challenging us to create healthy and delicious appetizers, soups, salads and side dishes, which can be made in ten minutes or less!
Let me introduce you to….Libby’s Vegetable Pouches! They are a time efficient and healthy source of shelf-stable vegetables that can be warmed up in their packaging within seconds! Not to mention they are environmentally friendly (the bag uses less energy to produce and compresses nicely for disposal), BPA free and are easy to open. The vegetable pouches will be available in five varieties: sliced carrots, sweet peas, cut green beans, mixed vegetables and sweet corn.
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Today I am going to share my 4th and final pasta recipe for National Pasta Month sponsored by Pasta Fits. Kale, Mushroom and Zucchini Stuffed Shells + Easy Red Wine Tomato Sauce. I felt like I was channeling my inner Italian while making this dish and sipping wine as I made the tasty tomatosauce. Yes, I am supposedly ¼ (or less?) Italian. I say “supposedly” because one of my great-grandfathers claimed to be from Palermo, Italy, although he was adopted and the story keeps changing. I hear that multiple birth certificates for him were found, so it seems that he may have actually been born in Milwaukee, WI (where my family is originally from) and possibly had Italian parents who set him up for adoption? Or his adoptive parents were Italian? Interesting… Maybe I will work on my family history some day to solve that mystery.
We just ‘d this pasta dish! I think it would also be wonderful to make for a holiday dinner. Christmas Eve maybe? It has incredible flavor and elegance, without being too complicated! Not to mention, it’s packed with nutritious kale, mushrooms and zucchini. I haven’t cooked much with kale yet, besides making kale chips, so I thought I’d give it a go. I would definitely recommend using kale in your pasta recipes (cook just like you would fresh spinach). In this recipe I finely chopped it up so it was evenly spread through out the ricotta stuffing. Yum! What a fantastic way to get in some extra vitamins K, A, C and many other nutrients.
I also made this dish slightly healthier by using part-skim ricotta and 2% milk mozzarella along with heart healthy homemade tomato sauce and olive oil. The noodles provide a delicious and nutritious base to the recipe alongside the wholesome fresh ingredients.