Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chores and Stuffed Shells

We live in a one bedroom apartment.  It is a rather large one bedroom apartment, but still, just one bedroom, one living room, nice kitchen, and a bathroom.  When we clean, we usually tag-team and it takes up a good thirty minutes.  Long time huh? Well, T is not here, so I had to battle the place on my own, it will probably take about an hour.  If cooking were my only chore, I would love to do chores all day! But, unfortunately, that is not my only chore.  The place has been needing to be cleaned for quite sometime and I have been putting it off over and over again.  Well, something inside me made me clean when I got home from work.  I deep cleaned the kitchen, deep cleaned the bathroom, washed all of the rugs, vacuumed, and after I eat my little dinner, I have to do my most dreaded chore... ironing.  If you followed me when we were in London, you know that I despise ironing!

Anyways, enough about chores.  The real reason I am here is to show you the quick and easy recipe that I am eating for dinner tonight.  I am SO glad that I had these stuffed shells in my freezer, ready to eat, after my dreadful afternoon of cleaning.  I made my homemade ricotta this weekend at my parents house.  I just had to show them how 'cool' it was! We decided to make some stuffed shells and freeze them for a later date.  Right now, I am thanking this clever idea that we had.  Here is how I made them!

1 package of giant shells
3 cups of ricotta
2 tablespoons of my secret italian spice
**(My mom and I bought this spice in Italy 4 years ago, and we have been obsessed ever since.  Unfortunately, most of you will not have this Italian spice brought back all the way from Italy.  To make it, mix together, 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon garlic salt, 1 tablespoon onion powder, and 1 tablespoon dried basil. Combine all of these ingredients and you will have it for a while.)
1 egg
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Put the ricotta in a medium sized mixing bowl.

2. Add the egg to the ricotta.

3. Add the special Italian spice.

4. Add the mozzarella cheese.  Mix all of the ingredients well.

5. Meanwhile, cook the giant shells for half of the time it says on the box.  My box said 10 minutes, I cooked them for 5.

6.  Add the mixture to a plastic bag.  Cut a small slice at one of the corners.  You will use this to put the mixture inside of the shells.

7. When the shells are cooled, or easy to handle, put about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture into each of the shells.

8. Place the stuffed shells on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for about 1 1/2 hours.

9. When they are finished, they will look like this.  Even though the mixture may look like it is spilling out, it is frozen and will not spill in the bag.

10. Take them off of the cookie sheet and place them in a freezer safe bag.  They should last up to 1 month.

To heat them up later...

1. Take the amount that you want out of the freezer.  Let them thaw for about 10 minutes.

2. Put them in a oven safe dish.  Pour your choice of sauce over them.  I used a tomato, basil sauce with ground turkey meat.

3. Bake them in a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes until they are bubbly. You can add a little bit of cheese on top to get the extra golden brown deliciousness! 

Until next time...

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