February 11, 2010

Once again, I am clever post title-less.

Not that my post titles are going to win prizes or anything, I'm just saying.

My unsolved question of the universe to solve for the day is:

Why is it that the kids can be playing perfectly content and happy, but the moment I walk into the room and they see me, they start crying for attention and sympathy that was not needed 5 seconds earlier?

Not that I ever do such a thing when my parents come to visit... *cough* They just like to take me shopping and bring me treats, really! I guess I'm just cute like that.

But let's see, chemical imbalance? Bad hair day? Food stuck to me somewhere that they'd like to eat?

Or perhaps, in this case, it was just the fierce competition for attention going on yesterday. I was watching a friend's little ones. Six kids under the age of five for the whole day.

Do you think I'll be forgiven for eating a whole bag of chocolate chips during that time?

I better not tell my kids. I don't think they'd forgive me. 

But I forgive me, I think that counts for something.

Anyway, so far my becoming the best mommy ever goal for the week is coming along pretty well! I mean, come on, we haven't burned the house down yet!!

I even let them pour their cereal and help me with the milk, which they think is the best thing ever! *sigh* If only they could be so easily pleased once they become teenagers. I'll just have to say something like, "No honey, you don't need a car, you can just go pour your own cereal. See? No don't you just feel better?" I have high hopes that it will work, but I'm not willing to bet my chocolate on it.

Last night we made Stuffed Pasta Shells, Savannah's all time favorite dish. I'm not kidding, she'll eat three helpings of it every time.

Reminds me of her daddy and his ice cream.

I let the kids help me stuff the shells, but the boys just couldn't handle it. After doing just one shell, Jacob was done. He didn't like getting his fingers slimy. He did, however, like licking it all off his fingers. It was very hard to keep him from double dipping, I'm not even sure how successful I was.

So, anyone care to come over for dinner?

Joseph lasted a little longer, but he too didn't care for getting his hands dirty. In the end, Savannah was the only one who stuck it out with me to the last shell.

And I made the spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes that I had bottled from our garden last year. Our very first garden. 

It was a very fulfilling feeling. 

Kind of like when I finish off a really good chocolate bar.

Savannah's Stuffed Pasta Shells

1pkg. (12oz) jumbo shells                                       1 tablespoon parsley or italian seasoning            
4 cups (32 oz) cottage cheese                                  1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese               1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese                              1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs                                                                      3 cups (about 26 oz. jar) spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Heat oven to 375*F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, stir together cottage cheese, spices, eggs, spinach and cheeses.
Fill each cooked shell with about 1 1/2 tablespoon cheese mixture and place shells in a 13x9 baking dish. (It will be a tight squeeze to fit all the shells. I just sort of push and squish them all in.) Pour spaghetti sauce over shells.
Cover with foil; bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Makes 8 to 10 serving.
Also works well as a freezer meal. Just increase cooking time.

17 super cool people speak:

Heidi said...

I love Stuffed Shells! What a fun one for the kids. And getting my hands slimy is one of my favorite parts of cooking. Bring on the meatloaf and the wontons!

Just ME the MOM said...

These are totally darling photos - and I am printing out the recipe right now. My poor husband would soooo appreciate it - I've been a lousy cook this week!

And a bag of chocolate chips - that's nothing - now a box of chocolates . . . that's more my style :)


Elizabeth said...

mmmm...that looks like a yummy recipe! I'll have to try it sometime!

Sarah said...

Yeah, we can't invite people over to dinner if my kids have been anywhere near me while I prepare it - you just never know... :)

We did tuna salad today for lunch - that's an easy, peasy one for them to help with too.

Wonder Woman said...

Let me just say that I LOVE YOU for posting a pic of your house in a "less-than-spotless" state.

Also, I was just making dinner, and the Hulk was helping me. He asked me a question, but I was distracted and answered "yes" without paying attention. He poured my egg whites into my bread crumb mixture. I started to get angry, then realized it was my fault, and not a big deal. I thought of you and wondered about the slight dinner mishaps you may have had this week. :o)

Patty Ann said...

I love the fact that your house is normal! I think we will have to try the shells for valentines day. The girls can make them for me!! Chocolate chips are great to sneak. I like to add a few guilt free nuts to the mix and I can feel like I worked in a few vitamins.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

For the record, I ate a whole bag of mint melanos by myself today...and a box of valentine creame filled chocolates the day before. so, I think it's fair for you to forgive yourself. LOL.

Sheesh, i need to get going on the best mommy ever thing. Yesterday, I ignored them and let them watch tv all day while i blogged, and today was good, until they were fighting all the way home from their grandmother's house (45 minute drive) so taht i took away privileges and then they cried the rest of the way.

i seriously could use some of that 'great mommy' feeling right now.

As always, loved the post!

Mama Smith said...

Darling pictures....I would like to say...that this PASTA SHELL recipe...is WONDERFUL!!!!!

The Perkins Family said...

Oh! I was thinking as I was reading "I will have to ask her for the recipe in my comment" and there it is! Brilliant!

Really, you MUST be spying on my house...You are living my life!

And who needs clever titles when you have such clever posts??

I loved the whole teenager conversation! lol

Shelby Bingham said...

As long as the food is being cooked (thus killing all double-dipped germs), I don't think there's a problem. I totally can relate with the satisfaction of using your home-grown bottled tomatoes -- very fulfilling indeed.

I've been on a kick lately with our hand-cranked grain mill (bought to have in food storage 12 years ago, just barely took it out of the box for the first time about 2 weeks ago -- took the better part of an hour to locate it).

The kids are all excited about helping to grind the grain. I've taken to replacing half of any white flour in recipes to half whole wheat flour -- easy -- and the kids can't tell. I've made some really yummy whole wheat bread and delicious corn bread using ground -- popcorn!

It's been very satisfying feeding the family some awesomely nutritious food along with the not-so-nutritious regular stuff. :)

I've never made stuffed shells, so I'm looking forward to trying your recipe!

Jackie said...

Why is it that kids whine SO MUCH MORE for mom. Seriously. What's the deal?

Hang in there! Have a good weekend.

DeNae said...

Ooo, those stuffed shells look so yummy! And your kids are darling.

Forgiven for eating chocolate chips? You say that like it's a bad thing.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Shelby: I have the BEST biscuit recipe as well as the best ever whole wheat bread recipe! I'll post em sometime if you want em!

Valerie said...

Looks yummy! Fun for your kids to get to help. I've had my kids help with cooking since they were little (while they still enjoyed it).

JAY, DENISE, and JAMES said...

OK, I finally got around to trying the stuffed shells recipe - DELICIOUS! Thanks again for helping me switch things up this week. My husband certainly appreciated it :)

Evelyn Perkins said...

I'm trying this recipe tonight! They're sitting in the oven now! YuM!

Evelyn Perkins said...

Here I am again looking for this recipe. I am making it for my sis and her family tonight. You'd think I'd just print this dang thing off by now. Haha! Have a great day! Thanks for always making me laugh!

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