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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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

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And look at all the lunches we got!

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

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{May 10, 2012}   Customized Pizza

Verdict: Not half bad!

With my new schedule comes getting used to a new schedule.  That meant that when I didn’t eat breakfast in the morning and then didn’t get a lunch, I was very hungry for a short while, and then by the time I got home I wasn’t all that starving anymore.  A few days of eating a normal sized dinner and nothing else led to me feeling like no matter how much I ate I was still hungry, so I got home from work one day and decided I was making myself a pizza and playing a game of how much of it could I eat before I felt full.

To do what I did, you’ll need:

– A frozen pizza of whatever brand you like.

– Slices of cheese.

– Notes: You can use more shredded cheese if you have that, but I had slices and they just stacked so darn neatly.

I promise you the steps for this are super easy.

Step 1: Unwrap the frozen pizza, taking note of the cooking instructions.

Step 2: Add as much cheese as you want to the pizza.  Eat some of the cheese while you’re adding it.

Step 3: Follow the given cooking instructions. Adjust the time if after the allotted time it isn’t cooked to your liking yet.

Step 4: Allow to cool, and then cut and enjoy!

I managed to make it through about half the pizza before I didn’t want to eat anymore, but didn’t feel full until after I ate my next meal.  This is something you can do to spruce up just about any frozen pizza you can buy.

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!



{April 29, 2012}   Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles

Verdict:  Omg tasty!

I like making cookies, but I don’t eat them all that often.  At least not often enough to really justify making them that often.  I think what I like so much about making them is that I think it’s really cool to watch all these (not so) random ingredients turn into something delicious.  My best friend of … well, let’s not start counting… a very long time, wanted to make cookies, so we sat down with one of my mom’s cookbooks (The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook circa 1976) and took at look at what cookies there were to make.  We settled on the snickerdoodles.  What we did varies slightly from the written instructions, but you can follow either one.

In the original recipe, the instructions are all one paragraph that’s essentially one long step.  I broke it up to make it easier to follow with pictures.

What you need:

– 1 cup butter or margarine, softened. To aid those of you who don’t do a lot of baking, that’s two sticks.

– 1 1/2 cups sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 2 2/3 cups unsifted Pillsbury flour*

– 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

– 1/2 teaspoon soda

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 2 tablespoons sugar

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon

– 1 cup of chocolate chips (this is optional, and I decided to added it myself.  Well ok, it was Connie’s idea, but still an addition not in the original recipe)

– Notes: They say you can use whole grain flour if you want, and if you’re using self-rising flour you should omit the cream of tartar, soda, and salt.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For a softer, gooier, cake like cookie set it to 380 instead. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

Step 2: Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Step 3: Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Once everything’s all mixed, add in the chocolate chips.

Step 4: Combine the sugar and cinnamon together.

Step 5: Shape the dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon of dough for each.  We opted to use a mini ice cream scooper that worked pretty well, and we decided to put the dough in the fridge for a while to firm it up some.  It worked great for a short while, but after the third ball it was gooey again, so that part is totally up to you. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar mixture, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  We used parchment paper and it worked just fine.  The instructions say to bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set.  We had our heat turned down and baked them about 15 minutes and they came out perfectly.

Step 6: Allow to cool, and enjoy! Ours stayed on each sheet about 15 minutes or so before being transferred to a plate.

The chocolate chips were actually seriously tasty in there, and the cookies had what I would describe as pretty much the perfect texture.  The outside had a light crisp and the inside was fluffy, almost like cake!

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!



{April 9, 2012}   Holiday Cookies

Verdict: I have no idea why I try to make cookies that require being cut out, but they still taste pretty good.

Oh my god an actual recipe! That’s right, I made something out of a cookbook! Also, where cooking allows for a lot of leeway, there’s a lot less leeway in baking.  Baking has directions, cooking has guidelines.  This is why I normally cook and don’t normally bake. But I was bored, and decided to give it a shot anyway.

For this recipe (as given by The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook) you’ll need:
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 3/4 cup superfine sugar

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces and softened

–  2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

– Notes that they make: “Superfine sugar will give your cookies a finer crumb and crispier texture.  If you can’t find it in the supermarket, simply process about 1 cup granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds, then measure out 3/4 cup for the recipe.  The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and re-rolled one time only.” Also, the dough discs can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator.

– Notes I make: I just used 1 cup of granulated sugar, didn’t do anything to soften the butter other than leave it out while preparing everything, and ended up using 2 teaspoons of cream cheese instead of 2 tablespoons.  The cookies were difficult to roll out, but still tasted just fine.

Step 1: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.  Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, then continue to beat until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Step 2: Knead the dough in the bowl by hand a few times until it forms a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, divide it in half, and pat into 2 4″ discs. Wrap the discs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: Take a break to wash up the dishes you’ve used, your glasses, and anything else you may have touched with your butter hands.

Step 4: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll out the dough to a 1/8″ thickness between two sheets of parchment paper.  Slide the rolled dough and parchment paper onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.  I ended up having to leave mine in there about 20 or so.

Step 5: Go play some solitaire, or watch some TV while you wait for the dough to firm up.

Step 6: Working with one sheet of dough at a time, cut out shapes using cookie cutters and lay on two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart.  Bake the cookies until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. (While the first batch of cookies bakes, cut out cookies from the second sheet of dough and bake them while the first batch cools).  I hate cutting out shapes from cookie dough, but I did find one cutter that was generic enough to use.  I cut out all the shapes I could from each sheet, and ended up baking the scraps as oddly shaped cookies. I found I had to bake mine about 15 minutes or so, but that a lot of the thinner cookies ended up a darker brown.  There were no burned ones though, at least none that tasted burnt.

Step 7: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. When cooled, the cookies can be glazed and decorated as desired.  While waiting for the last batch of cookies to finish cooling, you can go ahead and clean out the rest of the cookie dough from under your nails. I don’t have a wire rack, so I just let them cool on the pan and transferred them right to the plate.   They’ve been out for a few days now and people seem to be enjoying them.  This is a not fantastic picture of them (somehow the picture I took didn’t end up staying on my camera, but I took this with my phone to taunt a few friends).

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!



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