The Bored Girl's Kitchen











{April 21, 2014}   Stuffed Shells, Takes 1 and 2

Verdict: My husband prefers the one I cobbled together, I agreed with him until my first full plate of recipe 1 and then decided I preferred that one instead. It’s a bit creamier and almost a little sweeter, but recipe 2 almost tastes like little personal lasagnas.

On a Monday, I decided I wanted to make stuffed shells. I headed to the grocery store to get my supplies, recipe I fully intended to doctor in hand. Well, in phone. I planned to make them Tuesday, but something came up. Wednesday wouldn’t work because we host a weekly dinner with friends that had already been planned and had stuff divvied out for people to bring. Turns out on Thursday he wasn’t going to be home early enough to put them in the oven if I prepared them ahead of time. Friday rolls around and I realize it will probably be almost another week before I get a chance to make them for dinner, so I said “fuck it” and made them Friday afternoon as lunches for however long it took everything to run out. The bonus to waiting? I got to use up the the leftover meat from Wednesday too!

I could post the original recipe I messed with, but you’re probably here to see what I did and not what that lovely woman from Pinterest did, so I’ll just go with that. Stuffed shells are another one of those awesome dishes that there really isn’t a wrong way to make. Well, I’m sure there are actual wrong ways, but there’s definitely more than one right way.

What you’ll end up needing for sure:
– Jumbo pasta shells
– Sauce to line the bottom of the pan and pour on top of the shells
– Stuff that works well with your sauce and itself (ingredients that play well together)

What I used for recipe 1:
– Ground beef mixed with pizza sauce, leftover from making calzones
– 1 cup ricotta
– 1 cup cottage cheese
– A small Tupperware container of chopped mushrooms
– Salt and pepper to taste
– A can of pizza sauce
– Mozzarella and three cheese shredded cheeses

image

What I used for recipe 2:
– Leftover taco meat
– A jar of spaghetti sauce
– The rest of the ricotta
– Shredded sharp cheddar
– Feta cheese
– Pepperoni

image

I started by boiling water for the shells and got to work setting up a spot to start mixing things together for recipe 1. In a large bowl I combined the meat, ricotta, cottage cheese, and mushrooms and mixed it all together with a spatula.

image

I noticed the water was boiling and added the entire box of shells to it. At this point I realized that I am not a smart man, and my pot was too small. So I got out a bigger one, transferred the contents, added more water, and wandered off to do some laundry, open a bottle of wine, and started preparing the baking dishes. Both dishes have different dimensions but seem to have roughly the same capacity so I wasn’t too picky with which one I was going to start with, and your biggest criteria should be that it holds what you’re making and won’t break while you’re cooking in it.

image

Taking the dish nearest to me, I poured a thin layer of pizza sauce along the bottom. Once the shells are done cooking, drain them however you want and bring them to your work space. Fill the shells with the delicious concoction in your mixing bowl and place them in the dish. You’re done filling it when you run out of space, filling, or shells. I ran out of filling first, although I did cram the last few in there because I knew I was running low on filling and didn’t want to have a pan with only a handful of that flavor. Pour the remaining pizza sauce over the shells, top with the shredded cheese, set aside to start working on the other dish!

image

Having run out of filling but not shells, I set about to make more filling.

image

Raiding the fridge I saw the leftover taco meat, feta, and pepperoni and decided to give that a shot. I tossed the meat into the mixing bowl, added some spaghetti sauce and feta, and stirred. It didn’t look quite right, so the rest of the ricotta went in there too. Declared my new filling good enough and went to preheat the oven. The last time I made shells I swore the temperature was 350°. This recipe called for 400°, but I was using glass and according to my momma should drop the temperature 25°, so I settled on 375° and got back to the shells.

Line the new baking dish with some spaghetti sauce, making sure everything is covered evenly. Stuff your shells and add them to the dish. Cover them with the rest of the sauce, sprinkle some more feta and the sharp cheddar across the sauce, top off with a few pepperonis, and you’re just about ready for the oven!

image

Cover your baking dishes with tin foil and put them in the oven. Set your timer for 20-25 minutes and go enjoy a glass of wine. Come back and take off the foil but leave everything in the oven for another 10 minutes or so to let the cheese really melt.

image

Remove from oven and allow to cool before attempting to enjoy.

image

And look at all the lunches we got!

image

If you enjoyed this recipe, share it with your friends and let me know how it turns out for you!

Advertisements


{April 17, 2014}   Homemade Calzones

Verdict: Om nom, nom nom nom.

Pizza is one of those dishes that my husband and I both love. It’s a favorite for him when he doesn’t feel like making a full meal because it’s quick and easy, especially when ordered. I like it for, well, most of the same reasons. We always end up compromising on what we get because I alwaya want a ‘fancier’ pizza than he does, so personal pizzas were a no brainer that I brain farted on until very recently. After talking with one of the ladies at work about how she threw together a calzone for her family in a reasonable amount of time, I decided that hey, I can do this too!

What you’ll need to make this: realistically anything that sounds good on a pizza. I went with

– Pizza dough
– Pizza sauce
– Cheese (I used mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and feta)
– Ground beef and pepperoni for my meat
– Mushrooms and garlic for my veggies

image

Step 1: Brown your beef. I tossed it into a pan and let it simmer while I got to work chopping my veggies.

image

Bonus shot of my pizza dough thawing on the pilot light.

Next step: cut up your veggies! This is also probably a good time to start heating your oven. I set mine to about 350°. Don’t forget to check on the meat periodically though. Here I chopped up some mushrooms and used my fancy shmancy garlic zoom (don’t judge, it was a wedding present) to get my stuff ready. I also had some extra time to chop up a few more vegetables for lunch time snacks.

image

If you’re smarter than me, you’ll probably roll out your dough on a cutting board. I am not a smart man, so I greased up my cookie sheet, cut my dough ball in half, and started kneading it out with my fingers. It worked, but it could have turned out a lot better. In any case, get however many dough bits rolled out as you need and get them on your baking sheet to start filling them. When you start, you’ll want to keep in mind that you need to flip one half over so that all your ingredients are covered. I just tried to stick to filling one side of my dough. I chose to go sauce, cheese, meat, then veggies, and fold everything over. However you choose to do it is perfectly fine, just so long as you can fold over your dough and seal the edges.

image

     Not pictured: well sealed edges.

Pop that bad boy into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is as toasty as you want it. Pull it out. Let it cool, and enjoy! I did thoroughly, because I never get to put that much garlic on anything and it was a nice treat for me. Not as much for my husband when I tried to kiss him later, but for me anyway, and that’s really the important part.

Hope you enjoyed my bored return to the kitchen!



{March 23, 2012}   Ramen with a teakettle

Verdict: Success

Oh Ramen noodles.  The staple of every stereotypical college student’s diet, the pinnacle of just starting out on one’s own, and the perfect quick meal if you’re broke, in a hurry, or too hungover to really cook.  Believe it or not, I just learned how to cook Ramen myself only a few weeks ago.  Ok, that’s a bit wrong, I always knew how to make it.  Boil water, add noodles, eat.  But until just a few weeks ago I never made it by myself.  I always either had it made for me (thank you, best husband ever), or I ate it straight  out of the package.

What? I know I’m not the only one to do that.  You can put your judging eyes away now.

So one day I’m hungry and in a hurry.  I decide I’m making myself some Ramen noodles because they’re delicious.  I walk into the kitchen and remember that oh right, nobody has done the dishes yet.  (Sorry, mom!)

So not wanting to do enough dishes to clear a spot on the stove for a pot to boil water in, and not wanting to wait the … *checking package* … 3 minutes for the noodles to cook after already waiting for the water to boil I looked around.  My eyes fell upon the teakettle and a light bulb went off over my head.  I turned off the light because well, it was the middle of the day and the kitchen was bright enough as is.

Prep time:  However long it takes the teakettle to boil.

Cook time:  However long it takes the hot water to cool enough to not burn you.

To make Teakettle Ramen you need just a few things:

– A teakettle.  I have this handy dandy one that my mom uses all the time.

– However many packages of Ramen you want to cook.

– A bowl big enough to hold the noodles, the water, and leave you enough room to do a bit of stirring.

Today I’m just feeding myself, so I have this bowl here.  In reality it’s more of a mixing bowl, but my favorite Nightmare Before Christmas bowl just doesn’t cut it when I also need room to stir.

Step 1:  Make sure there’s water in the teakettle.  Put it on the stove and start the heat underneath it.

Step 2:  Open your packet of noodles.  Put the noodles in the bowl.  You can break the noodles up if you want, or leave the block whole, it’s really up to you and your personal preference.  Open up the seasoning packet if you want that, and pour it on top of the noodles.


Step 3:  Go play some solitaire or something while you’re waiting for the water to finish boiling.

 

(This is me sucking at Spider Solitaire)

Step 4: Water’s boiling? Ok good.  Turn off the heat, and pour the boiling water over the noodles in the bowl. I know the directions call for two cups, but you really just need to make sure that there’s enough in there that you can cover all of the noodles.

As the noodles begin to soften, keep stirring.  By the time they’re “fully cooked,” they should be cool enough to eat.

I know, that sounds soooo complicated.  But I have faith that you can do it too. This recipe is awesome because you get tasty, tasty Ramen without the additional wait time for cooking, and with even less dishes to wash when you’re done! Because if you’re anything like me, you hate dishes too. To celebrate your newfound awesome, go ahead and make yourself a cup of tea.

 

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: