Well Dined

14Nov/164

SRC – Stuffed Shell Casserole from Making Miracles

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

Remember when I thought that the fall SRC post was my last one?  Well, I had completely forgotten that I still had one more regular Secret Recipe Club post.  Oops!  Luckily I did remember in time and was able to look through my assigned blog - Making Miracles.

Rebekah is a mother of two who traveled extensively as a child, including living in Africa - wow!  Most of her meals are "quick, easy, and family friendly", but sometimes she has time for something more complicated.  She has also been a surrogate for many years resulting in 4 baby girls, 2 of whom are twins!  What an amazing gift!  I can't imagine how challenging and rewarding that must be.

On Rebekah's blog I saw lots of casseroles, and you KNOW I love casseroles.  I was particularly interested in this Crockpot Turkey and Rice Casserole, this Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole, this Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with Doritos, and this Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole.

Other dishes that peaked my interest were Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, and Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Roast.

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

I let my husband look through all of my top choices (so generous of me *wink*).  He picked out these classic Stuffed Shells, and I was happy to oblige!  But then I ran into a problem - the store didn't have any jumbo pasta shells!  I thought I remembered having a box at home, so I bought the rest of the stuff and went back to check.  It turns out that what I had was actually large shells, not jumbo.  I was out of time and had already bought the other ingredients, so I decided to improvise.

5Sep/161

Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Shrimp and Strawberry?  Do you think I sound crazy right now?  Trust, young padawans, and learn the ways of combining sweet and savory.  Rice noodles, pickled veg (and mango!), basil, mint, scallions, shrimp, and strawberries are combined in a rice wrapper for the ultimate summer freshness.  Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dipping - get in my face!

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

I had seen a blog photo ages ago that I loved on this site, but I was scared to try it because I had never made summer rolls before and it seemed finicky.  Then I was over at a friend's house for dinner and that is what we made!  It was a bit tricky, but not as scary as I had imagined.  She was a pro, so I asked her to help me make my shrimp and strawberry rolls.  Then I looked at the recipe for the photo I loved, and wasn't a big fan of the ingredients.  I wanted noodles instead of cabbage, and mango instead of bell pepper.  So I switched some things around.

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Then we got to work!  She was skeptical of my flavor combo, but ended up loving it.  You can see the progression here from back to front where I put the ingredients on in the wrong order so the pretty parts didn't show, then exploded one, then finally got some decent rolls.  The good news is - it doesn't matter if you don't get the best looking rolls, they still taste amazing!

23Aug/168

Food ‘n Flix – Hotel Transylvania 2 (Oozing Eyeball Pasta)

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Holy miracle, Batman - I finally got my act together in time for Food 'n Flix again!  It's been almost a year, yikes.  This month, our film was Hotel Transylvania 2, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

This film is a sequel, and though we didn't have to, I watched both films - I had been meaning to see them anyway, because my neighbor's kids are obsessed and quote them all the time.  These are really cute films about acceptance, diversity, fear mongering, and family.  Big topics for kids movies, I know.  They voice actors are big names, too - Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

They also had all kinds of cute and creepy (but not too creepy) foods - like "scream cheese" and "monster-ball soup".  So there was lots of foodie inspiration.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

I had seen a Buzzfeed video for Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs and thought how cute those would be as Oozing Eyeballs!

6Jan/140

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh, you guys.  This might be my favorite butternut squash pasta since the life-saving mac and cheese.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Sheets of homemade pasta filled with roasted butternut squash, apple, onion, sausage, and three cheeses; topped with a creamy sage bechamel.  It's totally swoon worthy.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

The filling is a little complicated, but totally worth it.  While your butternut squash is roasting in the oven, mix up and brown your sausage mixture.  Did I mention that you are creating your own sausage, so you can adjust the spices to your liking?  And you can be sure that there are no weird preservatives or sugar?  Awesome.  Anyway, next you saute some onions, garlic, and apple.  Plus a little white wine - aww, yeah.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh this filling.  It's insane.  You may want to make extra to use in other ways.  I'll talk about that later.

4Sep/135

Veggie Based Pasta Sauces

Well Dined | Roasted Beet Pasta Sauce with Ricotta and Herbs

I've been doing this thing lately where I pretend that making a pasta sauce out of vegetables makes up for the fact that I am eating pasta.  Leave me to my delusions, I'm not ready to face the truth.  I have three such recipes for you today, and the first is this gorgeous roasted beet sauce that will make your pasta intensely fuschia.  Simply roast some beets, allow to cool slightly, peel, and puree with some starchy pasta water.  Toss with cooked pasta, season, and serve.  I topped mine with ricotta and fresh oregano.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cream Sauce

Next up is a broccoli sauce - what could be more healthy than broccoli?  I am not really used to broccoli because my father is allergic and we never really had it growing up.  My poor husband loves broccoli (shocking since he is NOT a veggie eater), so I am trying to familiarize myself.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cream Sauce

Did you know that you should peel broccoli?  I didn't.  Apparently the outside part is tough and bitter.  Anyway, peel and chop the broccoli, steam, and then saute with butter, onion, and garlic.  Add some cream, puree, and toss with pasta and a bit of that magical pasta water.  Top with a gratuitous amount of Parmesan.  And before you start yelling at me - know that many vegetables need to be eaten with fat in order to allow the body to fully absorb the nutrients - FACT.

Well Dined | Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

Lastly we have a roasted red pepper alfredo.  I think this one might be my favorite - super creamy and cheesy with a ton of roasted pepper flavor.  I topped it with grilled chicken that I marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, rosemary, and oregano.

Well Dined | Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

They sell roasted peppers in jars at the grocery store, but it turns out that it is super easy (and cheaper) to do at home - just pop them in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes, allow to cool, then remove the stem, seeds, and core.  Toss the roasted peppers into a mixture of onion, garlic, half and half, herbed goat cheese, and Parmesan; puree and enjoy.

5Jul/130

Roasted Radish Flatbread with Honey

Well Dined | Roasted Radish Flatbread with Ricotta and Honey

So this little beauty came about due to inspiration from Bev Cooks and the need to get rid of a lot of leftover ingredients from other meals.  Sort of a clean-out-the-fridge-in-the-most-delicious-way-possible sort of thing.

Well Dined | Seared Scallops with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

I had leftover ricotta from this recipe, with you may recall from last week.  Well, not really leftover since I purposefully made double the amount I needed.

Well Dined | Spring Vegetable Salad

And I had little nubs of radish left over from this Spring salad I made inspired by this Martha Stewart recipe.  I didn't post about it but it had butter lettuce, shaved radish and fennel, blanched peas and asparagus, and fresh mozzarella in a lemon juice and sour cream dressing.

28May/130

Fresh Homemade Pasta!

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I have been wanting to learn to make my own pasta for years, so I was super jealous when my friend Melissa (you know her by now) got a pasta roller for Christmas.  I had been thinking about getting the Kitchen Aid attachment (versus the hand crank kind) but it is very expensive and I had read reviews about them breaking and being hard to clean.  Melissa said that her manual roller was very easy to use, and invited me over to try it out / teach me how to use it.

Our first experiment was Spinach Ravioli with a Creamy Tomato and Veggie Sauce - yum!

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The first step is to make the filling.  Saute diced onion in butter, then add in frozen spinach (thawed and drained) to cook out any liquid.

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Add in ricotta, Parmesan, and an egg yolk.

9May/130

Moroccan Meat Pies and Afghan Pumpkin

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This post got lost and forgotten somewhere, so it's not very seasonal and I apologize.  But you can look forward to making it next Fall.

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And you should look forward to it.  Sweet, caramelized pumpkin with spices, creamy yogurt, and tangy tomato sauce?  Yes, please.  This is one of my favorite Afghan dishes, called kadu bouranee.

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And these delicious Moroccan inspired meat pies made with phyllo, ground beef, and spices are the perfect main to complement the pumpkin.  You could also make the Afghan meat dumplings called mantu, of course, but they require a little bit more work.

22Sep/120

Roasted Tomato Pasta

A few weeks ago I posted about doing a roasted tomato pasta, but forgot to take a picture of the finished product!  So when I saw these gorgeous local tomatoes at the market, I wanted to make it again.

So - toss with salt, pepper, olive oil and roast at 400 for 20 minutes or until they are bursting and caramelizing.  I roasted mine ahead of time and stored them in the fridge until I needed them.

Then you just toss the hot tomatoes (I reheated mine when I was ready for them) with hot pasta and they will turn into a chunky sauce.  Top with fresh basil and adjust for salt and pepper.  That's it!  Gorgeous, fresh, fast, and easy.