Archive for January, 2013

What’s Wrong With Me!?

My dear husband got me The Art of French Cooking (the Julia Child cookbook) for Christmas. This was not a subtle hint, I’ve been wanting it since I saw Julie & Julia when it first came out (2009? 2010?).

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I was SO excited to open it and knew my first recipe had to be Boeuf Bourguignon. Conveniently, our 7th anniversary was yesterday so I decided to make the dish.

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I had no idea what I was getting myself into. An hour and a half over the stove, followed by 2.5 hours in the oven (while me and Baby Bear napped), ending with another hour and a half over the stove. I’m convinced Julia Child was a lunatic AND a culinary genius. What a time-consuming, inconvenient, expensive, delicious creation. To make this, you have to really love cooking…and not be 7 months pregnant. Being on my feet for that long wore me out!

And as I was scrubbing the pan this morning, I found myself daydreaming about which recipe to try next. Julia, you sneaky wino! How did that happen? How did I fantasize about quitting an hour into cooking, debate even finishing the second hour and a half, truly despise and curse Julia…yet, I’m still giddy at the thought of trying another recipe! Also, after tackling that beast, the “complicated” recipes from Pinterest seem like child’s play. Oh there are a million ingredients? Oh there are a million steps? Psssshhhhh! I defeated Boeuf Bourguignon! I can take on the world!

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Stuffed Shells!

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Just made this for dinner tonight (sorry I didn’t get more pics, I didn’t know I’d be sharing) and it rocked!!! It’s basically lasagna in jumbo pasta shells and the only thing we don’t normally keep in the house is ricotta and shredded mozzarella (but they’re both easy to come by). I’m very proud of this considering I did zero measuring and only got the idea to stuff shells from a recipe. Yes, I’ve never made any dish with these jumbo pasta shells before. Is that weird? I don’t care. Try this soon, you won’t be disappointed!

Brittany’s Stuffed Shells
all of these measurements are approximate except the beef and egg, so you won’t mess it up if it isn’t exact

1/2 box jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
10-15 oz total of ricotta and cottage cheeses
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 jars pasta sauce
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350* F
1. Cook shells according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse in cold water long enough for shells to cool enough to touch.
2. Drizzle olive oil to cover an 8″x11″ baking dish.
3. Mix cheeses (leaving some mozzarella aside), beef, egg, seasoning and a little pasta sauce in a large bowl.
4. Fill shells with mixture and place in baking dish.
5. Cover with pasta sauce, sprinkling the remaining mozzarella over the top, and bake at 350*F for 1 hour.

You want to be sure to completely cover the shells with sauce. Have you ever baked pasta that wasn’t covered by liquid? Crusty, gross noodle is the result (made that mistake with lasagna rolls a few years ago).

You can also make the stuffing ahead so that all you have to do is cook the noodles and stuff them. Serve with garlic bread and it’s an easy meal for a week night! Replace the beef with chicken, if you want!

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