Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Days and Stuffed Shells

So it has been a whirlwind of a week so far, but we have been kicking ass and taking names! The BF and I took some action and everything seems to be working out exactly how we hoped. Custody issues are hard, but it felt so good to know in our hearts that we were taking the right path, and now we will get to have the Boy and Girl half of the time! School starts up soon and I can't wait to see what life has in store for our little family!

Meanwhile at the house...

This beautiful thing actually bloomed! The color is so radiant in the sun, its captivating.  Sadly, this picture is not the same today. Do you see that leaf in the bottom right of the photo? See that chunk that's missing? It seems there is something chomping around in our little garden while we aren't looking. Even though this flower had a quarter of its petals chomped off, it still radiates and fills the patio with color. 

Weekly meal planning has been working great, I put up a schedule on the fridge and start to fill in the meals for the beginning of the week, and keep filling in as we go. I generally have an idea of what dinner could be each night based on what we bought groceries for, and we love leftovers for lunch so it seems our system is working so far. Next week will be the biggest challenge yet: 4 mouths to feed 3 meals 7 days straight! I'm up to it, and have already started filling in the days for next week too. Its so fun to try new meals with the kids, their tastes are expanding and both of them are more adventurous these days! Not the same ol' chicken nuggets and french fries here! 

This week I tried out a new idea for Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Shells. I saw it first here.

It turned out really great, they have a rich and creamy flavor with the Alfredo sauce and it came together great with the chicken, broccoli and cheese. We had a salad on the side and it more than filled me up!

I cooked up the whole box of shells, and it was more than I needed. It worked out perfectly though, because some of the shells come apart while cooking, and I had the perfect amount of intact shells for all the stuffing. For dinner that night I cooked 12 shells in this great dish the BF's sister sent to us, plus had 3 containers (17 shells) for the freezer. I did stuff the shells pretty full, and I would do it the same again because the shells themselves are pretty thick to begin with, so lots of stuffing is good!

The dish is very cute, can I use it everyday? Thank you, please!

Shells almost ready for the freezer. I poured some of the Alfredo sauce over them and then into the freezer they went! 

For the meal we ate that night I topped the shells sauce, some panko breadcrumbs, some chopped fresh basil from our garden, and a little Parmesan cheese. It made a toasty crust which added a nice texture to the pasta.

Can you tell we liked it? Lunch the next day... drool...

Overall life is really great, the days have been filled with swimming (and hot tub), BBQ tri-tip a la BF, awesome new music, and (just last night) a big Pot Roast dinner with friends. When our house is filled to the ceiling with love and laughter its just the best feeling in the world! 

Smile bigger, laugh harder, and soak up some sunshine today!