Miss A has an affinity for all things Italian, like last week’s chicken “parm.” When I was little, my mom used to make these stuffed shells. My sister and I remember them fondly* and I thought Miss A would like them as well. We were right. She loved the stuffed shells. They’re easy enough for a weeknight dinner and perfect for a Friday during Lent.
Toddler approved: Stuffed shells
- 1 Mozzarella block shredded
- 1 Colby block shredded
- 1 small container cottage cheese /Ricotta cheese large or small curd doesn't matter, I prefer the cottage cheese but to each their own!
- 2 eggs
- 1 Box Jumbo shells
- 1 jar Your favorite marinara sauce you might need a jar and a half, we usually use Bertolli Marinara and Burgundy wine or Lucky’s Market Roasted Garlic
- Parmesan cheese*
Get the water boiling and follow the directions on the box.
Our box said boil for 9 minutes if baking.
Shred the blocks of cheese. Mix together the cottage cheese and two eggs, then add the shredded cheese and mix.
You can add seasoning like salt and pepper or this delicious Penzy's frozen pizza
blend we received as a gift. When we made this for Miss A the first time, we left out the spices and just sprinkled them on before we ate.
Pour about 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your favorite baking dish.
Drain the pasta and shock with cold water.
Using a soup spoon (or your favorite spoon) stuff the shells and line the baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce (you might need another half a jar to get all of the pasta covered). Bake at 350 degrees for at least a half an hour or until all the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
For at least the last 10 years, I’ve been making this dish wrong. I *remembered (incorrectly it seems) my mom using cheddar cheese and I couldn’t figure out why it never tasted exactly right. When shopping for the ingredients for this dish with my sister, she said she remembered our mom using colby cheese. Upon my first taste with J and Miss A I remarked that my sister had been right and the missing ingredient was colby cheese! That’s when we Facetimed my mom from the dinner table with the intention of showing her how excited Miss A was to eat one of her recipes. That’s when my mom asked about the ingredients. Turns out she sprinkled Parmesan cheese* on top! I feel like the kid in Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (one of Miss A’s current favorites) when Alexander exclaims, “I HATE Limas” after having to eat lima beans for dinner because I very much dislike Parmesan cheese and absolutely do not remember that being part of this recipe. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a childhood dish can be interpreted so differently?
I know I said this was the best gazpacho recipe and I promise I still really like that one. This one is a teensy bit better and reminds me of a bowl of gazpacho from a restaurant in my hometown that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the perfect HOT summer dinner. We found this gem hidden in a Mexican cookbook that we bought years ago:
Now the serving suggestions include:
But truthfully, we don’t bother because the model didn’t include the garnishes and it’s just as good.
- 1 cucumber (the original recipe says small we just got an average size one) peeled and chopped
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 2 green bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic cloves we really like garlic so we used about twominced garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil sprig we have this growing in the kitchen and used about a quarterof leaves
- 2 1/2 cups strained tomatoes (we had a heck of a time finding strained tomatoes in our Mid-Missouri town so we used tomato puree)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil splurge and use the good stuff. We have some wonderful EVOO from C's trip to Spain!
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar splurge and use the good stuff
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar splurge and use the good stuff
- 1 cup and 1/4vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Some people keep this extra chilly by serving an ice cube at the bottom.
Instead of crusty bread (because I’m still limited in my wheat and gluten intake) we served it with corn quesadillas! Delicious!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: even our toddler loves this gazpacho, which she calls “sauca!” She’s been practicing using a spoon on her own and if we keep this a bit on the chunkier side, she’s 90 percent successful!
I haven’t been shy about my love for all of AB’s recipes (for example our Christmas ham, gyro meat and a peach buckle). This one started out as a delicious grilled summer meal, but quickly morphed into a scrumptious year round crock pot meal. Extra bonus, we make it ahead and freeze it so it’s super simple to just pop into the crockpot!
Crockpot Alton Brown Pork Loin
- 1 whole pork tenderloin approximately 1 pound
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice concentrate is also fine!
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder we actually use regular minced garlic
- 1 in chipotle chile pepperadobo sauce (out of the can we use about three or four chipotles and half of the sauce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt We omit (but you can feel free to add!)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves We omit (but you can feel free to add!)
Place the lime juice, honey and garlic powder in a ziptop bag and shake to combine.
Add the chipotle pepper (s) and squish together to combine.
Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible and squish to coat the tenderloin. (At this point, we usually freeze this mixture together.)
If not freezing, marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours (we like overnight).
When you're ready to cook, dump the entire mixture into the crockpot, marinade and all. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (Always double-check your specific crockpot settings for correct cooking times).
If you can, flip it once, but if you can't it's ok.
When you're ready to eat, remove the pork loin. Make sure to reserve the juices! We enjoy pouring it over rice to go with the pork.
Like I said above, this is great year round. It’s just as good with a salad as it is over rice. Enjoy!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: without the chipotles in adobo sauce, our toddler eats this up! We just add the chipotles and adobo sauce to our plates.
Now that we’re getting more comfortable with the No Six Diet restrictions, we are also getting a little more adventurous with adapting recipes. J bought some leeks for another recipe we scrapped and we weren’t entirely sure what to do with them. Luckily, my mom was visiting and suggested a chicken and leeks dish that she’s made several times. It turned out perfectly!
Pan-Roasted Chicken With Leeks
- 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4-6 in chicken breasts cuthalf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to season the chicken
- 3 teaspoon cloves garlic smashed or aand a half of minced garlic
- 1 bunch leeks white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 6 ounces sliced button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet (we used out cast iron dutch oven) and cook over medium-high heat until some of the fat renders about 5 minutes.
Push the bacon to the side of the pan.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan and cook, turning once, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Stir in the garlic and leeks, then arrange the chicken on top of the bacon-leek mixture.
Whisk in the cornstarch in the chicken stock.
Add the stock and wine to the pot.
Transfer to the oven.
Set the timer for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Check the chicken and if the broth has mostly evaporated, add more stock to keep everything moist.
Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve over rice.
I couldn’t get enough of this dish! I wished there was more!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: Our toddler likes this dish! If we’re making it to eat with her, we use a little more chicken broth and a little less wine.