Stuffed Shells

I love easy menu options and tonight’s dinner fit the bill. I made stuffed shells. Between prep and cooking the entire meal was made in under an hour. A quick dinner preparation was exactly what I needed tonight after running around all day! Among other things we had a homeschool coop this afternoon, so dinner prep time was very limited. Here is the recipe:

1 Box (12 ounces) of Pasta Shells
32 oz Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 tsp Parsley
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1 to 1 1/2 Jars Pasta Sauce (I used Bertolli Olive Oil & Garlic but use your favorite. You can make it with just one jar; we like extra sauce.)
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta as per box directions. Mix the beaten eggs with the ricotta cheese and all the seasonings. I did not add any extra salt to my recipe, because I figured there was enough salt in the rest of the ingredients. Stuff the cooked shells with the cheese mixture and arrange in a 9×13 inch oven safe dish. Pour desired amount of sauce over the stuffed shells. Sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over top and place in preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Remember to let the dish cool for about 10 minutes before serving so that it does not fall apart on you as you try to serve it.

I served the stuffed shells with a salad and garlic bread. It was delicious!


We’ve Gone to the Dogs

We have gone to the dogs. Yes, we have. When I was a child we had a German Shepherd who lived in the back yard. She was a great dog. Dogs inside the house just was not something I was use to. Now my husband’s family, they had dogs. Though, he said they were mostly outside dogs, also.

Our son kept asking for a dog, as most children do. After resisting for several years I told my husband that I had some specifics regarding the possible pet: no inside dog, no little dog and no yappy dog.

So in 2010 a friend of ours needed to get rid of her Jack Russell Terrier. His pictures where so cute that we ran over and picked up this little (well that adjective is questionable), inside dog that yaps. Funny how the things we say no to seem to come in to laugh in our faces. He was 1  1/2 at the time. Our son renamed him Jack Jack, a tribute to The Incredibles movie he had just finished rewatching. And well the love affair began.

Jack Jack
Who knew this cute overweight short haired dog sheds, or had skin issues, or anxiety. But after dealing with the hair and spending big bucks at the vet to get the skin issue under control, we won’t talk about the anxiety, this dog is quite the loyal 4 legged child. He is so loving – to us. He is very smart and seems to be a great judge of character. He loves our son and will go lay next to him in bed in the mornings until our son wakes up.

Our second 4 legged child came to us in a much funnier way. You see we go to the fair every year. And every year the county animal care and control office has a booth with animals that need a home. Do you see where this is going? Well, instead of coming home with a stuffed animal from the fair we brought home a real animal. A 6 month old (we think) Jack Russell Beagle Mix our son named Dash (as in The Incredibles oldest son, Dash). Little did we know at the time, Dash is very fast! As in careful he “Dashed” out the door when you opened it. Dash is a funny little dog that loves the swimming pool, loves tug a war and howls like a Beagle.

Just when we thought we were done, we went shopping for pet food, and the store had a cute dog wearing a harness that read “Adopt Me.” So we did. We needed a “Violet,” the third child – a girl- from The Incredibles movie, but this dog was a boy. A 2 year old Norfolk Terrier with teddy bear eyes that we named Rigby. He is active and sweet. He likes to follow me around and lay in warm laps.

These 3 children are much loved members of our family. And hence we have gone to the dogs!


I Struggle Making Dinner

I do. There it is. I struggle. It’s not that I don’t like to cook; I really enjoy making a nice meal for my family. And God knows that I love to bake:

I have never understood people who don’t like desserts, but that’s altogether an entirely different post. It is just that – I struggle. I like to eat out. Example dinner tonight:



Think about it: you are seated, choose what you want, it is brought to you while you enjoy conversation with people at your table, your drink is refilled and your food is brought to you without any effort on your part. When you are done someone picks up the table, boxes the leftovers, and does the dishes. Who doesn’t like that? Unfortunately, this habit is expensive and restaurant calories are usually much higher than homemade meals.

Maybe I need a schedule. I do a much better job of cooking dinners when I plan our meals in advance. It seems like such a chore to me. I’ve seen so many lovely blogs where ladies plan their weekly and monthly menus and actually stick to their plan. I do good for a week or so and then I get tired. How do you keep from getting tired or bored or just sick of cooking? Maybe I am missing the daily cooking gene. Most admirable, I think, are those who can whip up an entire meal without much thought or planning – every night!

You know what I don’t mind – laundry. I can do laundry everyday! Or even cleaning! Toilets – No Problem! But cooking, now that’s a chore!

I am going to resolve to do better. Honestly, not because I really want to cook more (hey, I said I was being honest), but because I want to save on the budget. All that extra laziness missing the daily cooking gene is taking a toll on the wallet. So I am going to take a stab at it. Any suggestions or recipes for me? They will all be much appreciated.


An Expedtion

I need to embark on an expedition – an expedition to organize my home. Yeah – that doesn’t sound as exciting, does it? Somehow the house has gotten away from me. It happen somewhere between the holidays, a visit from out of town family and a weekend camping trip (I can add several other excuses, but I’ll just stop there). But seriously, who am I kidding, this has been a mountain I have been climbing for some time.

Christmas Decorations Before:

We had 2 trees this year:

One day I was taking down the Christmas tree and two weeks later I am staring at decorations strewn all over the once empty surfaces of our home.
After Christmas Chaos:



But enough is enough! The time has come to get my act in order, and my home too. I forged ahead and boxed up all the Christmas decorations.

Now the question is, how do I get all that to fit back in the closet? And once I do that I will continue on my home organization project. Sigh…….


Happy New You!

Happy New Year to You!…. and Me! New Year’s is always so exciting; it brings a promise of a new day, new hopes, promises and adventures to be had. A fresh start of sorts. It’s almost as if, if you start in January you will be able to conquer any ¬†task. So here is my task – as you can tell since you are here reading, I’ve decided to blog. I want to share, and post pictures and make new friends! I don’t plan for it to be perfect and it may not even be interesting, but it will be all me! So please feel free to share with me as well.