Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sangria time

I love summer, it's so warm and full of fresh and delicious produce. I also enjoy the occasional glass of wine. So, for one Sunday "family dinner" I decided to bring along my own wine concoction, which I've now made twice!

I used the basic recipe from Mochachocolata Rita, which I found on Pinterest. I put everything into my fancy drink dispenser, stirred it up, and (for the first batch) drove 45 minutes. Here's what I put in it:

A handful or two of chopped strawberries
One or two pitted and sliced peaches
Half of a lemon, sliced.
2L Lemon-lime soda (to taste)
Cheap red wine (to taste)

The first time I made it, I bought a red Arbor Mist, so I didn't have to use a lot of the soda (I used the whole bottle of wine), but I did add the juice of half of a lemon. The second time I made it with a white merlot (I think?) from Sutter Home. That time I used 3/4 of the 2-liter and all of the wine. You can really choose the wine based on your preferences; I tried to go with fruity, sweet wines, but that's what I generally like to drink. You could also add any type of fruit that's in season or whatever your fruit preferences are.

I set it up with a bucket of ice and a scoop for the fruit. It was yummy and wonderfully refreshing. There was about a third left over, so I took out all of the fruit and poured the rest of the liquid into a container and put it in the fridge. So far it hasn't killed me.

I think this would be great as a wine slushy, but you may need to add some extra alcohol to keep it from completely freezing (depending on the alcohol content of the wine you add).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stuffed Shells

I like to cook, but I don't always have time. Sometimes we like to throw something in the oven and eat a short time later. This recipe allows us to do both. I usually do a double batch, we get to have a yummy, fresh dinner, but also freeze a bunch to make later. Yes, we could just go buy frozen stuffed shells, but I think it's cheaper this way. 

Also, I don't always use recipes or know the specific sizes of my ingredients because I just know what to buy. Hopefully this recipe will make sense. I promise other recipes will be more instructive. I think. Maybe.

Oh, sometimes I use lasagna noodles or manicotti instead of shells. 

Stuffed Shells
Two boxes of jumbo shells, cooked just underdone
Large tub of ricotta cheese
A block of mozzarella cheese shredded (or buy it shredded, you choose)
Jar of paremsean cheese
Two eggs
Spinach (totally optional, add to taste, I didn't use it this time)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Yummy tomato sauce

  1. Add a touch of oil to the shells, set aside to cool. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients, except for the sauce and some mozz, together, I like to use a large wooden spoon
  3. I use two tablespoons to fill the shells, you could fill a plastic bag, cut a corner, and do it that way (with the lasagna noodles, I spread the cheese on the noodle and roll it up). For a double batch, I usually end up with about half of box of shells unused, I just give them to Pete to eat.
  4. Fill a baking dish with the filled shells, spread some sauce on the top, your left over mozzarella, then cover with foil. 
  5. Cook for 30-40 minutes. I don't like my shells crispy, but if you do you can take the foil off for the last 10 minutes. Everything should be molten and steamy when done.
  6. For freezing/storing extra shells: put uncooked shells on a baking sheet and cover in plastic wrap. Freeze for 24 hours, then transfer the shells to freezer bags. I reheat the same way but at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
Yummy mozzarella!

Everybody get in the bowl!

All mixed

They looks so nice and neat, my hands did not

I think I used a Wegman's brand sauce for this

I like cheese...

They look good enough to eat, and I did