Thursday, August 23, 2012

to bring you up to speed

We are temporarily settled here in IL.

After having my GPS stolen, I can manage a trip to the local Wal-Mart without getting lost, but I dare venture much further. 

School got under way this morning and we are seasoned Cross Country parents with one meet under our belts. {ha!}

Praise God, our kitchen is now fully stocked and regular meals have ensued.  We've had the W's over once for dinner and collarborated with them last night.  I altered a Pampered Chef recipe to our liking and made...

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
1 - 24oz. container cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella
1 - 9oz. box frozen spinach, thawed & chopped
1 lb. sausage, browned & drained
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1 box jumbo shells
parmesan cheese to top
extra mozzarella to top

Cook jumbo shells in boiling water for 15 minutes or until done.  Mix cottage cheese, mozzarella, spinach, sausage, Italian seasoning & garlic together to make filling.   Using a spoon, stuff shells with sausage filling.  Pour 1/2 cup (or more if needed) spaghetti sauce into bottom of 13x9" & 8x8" pans (This recipe will make enough to fill a 13x9in. and also an 8x8in.)  Lay filled shells on top of sauce until pan is full.  Pour remaining sauce over shells.  Pour 1/2 cup water into spaghetti jar and shake, pour over shells.  Sprinkle with more mozzarella cheese, cover & bake on 425 degrees until sauce is bubbly (about 30-45 min.)  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & serve.

Tips: next time, I'll try using manicotti & piping the filling in using a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off to save time and effort.
(sorry, no photos, they're gone.  long gone.)

I made a boat load of this (because it makes a boat load) and shared it with friends.  Instead of grating the soap, I microwaved it and then crushed/crumbled it but, the smell was so strong we had to open the windows.  Therefore, I'll definitely try the food processor on the next go round.  I just need to actually put it to work and hit the laundry mat, ugh.

Hmm, what else?  I'm dying to have my sewing machine I could be making soo much but, looks like it's stuck in VA for a while, along with my jackets and all our fall clothes.  sniff sniff.  I could stuff no more in the car.  OK, well I could've but then I wouldn't be able to see out the back glass and that's just a teensy bit important to me while driving 14 hours.  I prefer to be comfortable if possible, ya know?  Also, some friends of ours were visiting family in September and offered to bring some stuff out but, their plans changed.  They're flying instead of driving.  It's OK, we don't need that stuff.  Not like an epi-pen or blood pressure medicine or anything, geez.
I am thankful to have what we have, it could be worse.  I promise I'll try to take some real pictures.  I'm a little hesitant to step outside this town with no GPS.  Does that make me some kind of freak?  Maybe just a whiner?  Just askin'.