Category Archives: Recipes

Stuffed Shells!

Bryn and Lydia had a birthday a few weeks ago (12!!) and they requested stuffed shells for their birthday dinner.  I took a few pics along the way so I could share the recipe here.  It’s one of our family’s favorites and I think I’ve made it for just about every friend who ever had a baby. . .it’s a perfect dinner to make and freeze for later.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Step 1:  Cook the pasta shells according to package directions

Step 2:  Pour a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce into a 9×13

Step 3:  Mix together 8 ounces each of mozzarella, sour cream, and cottage cheese


Step 4:  Brown a pound of ground beef, drain and add to the pasta sauce

Step 5:  Set up a workstation and prepare to get a little messy! 2-022

Step 6:  Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture then nestle them into the pan: 4-024

Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, 30-45 minutes.  Add a salad and some garlic toast and enjoy! 5-026

Here’s a handy printable for you.  Let us know if you try it!

Stuffed Shells
  1. 1 box jumbo pasta shells
  2. 1 pound ground beef
  3. 28 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
  5. 8 oz. sour cream
  6. 8 oz. cottage cheese
  7. parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top, optional
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown the beef and drain. Mix the beef with the spaghetti sauce and pour into 9x13. Combine the mozzarella, sour cream, and cottage cheese. When pasta is drained and cooled, stuff about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture into each shell and place them on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly.
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Two More Things About Christmas

I have two more things about Christmas to share with you and then we’ll be done with Christmas talk (I think).

1.  Kim and I were astonished to find out that our brother had never heard of Sweet BrownWHAT?  How in the world did he miss out on that?  So Kim and I had the great privilege of introducing our brother to Sweet Brown:


As you might imagine, several of those lines came up throughout our weekend together. When Kim’s 3 year old looked at us and declared, “Aint nobody got time for that!” we all fell over laughing.  Frankly, I’d like to call Sweet Brown and ask if Kim and I could take her out for lunch.  I’m guessing she has lots of stories to tell and that she could keep us all laughing for a long while.

2. Chicken Soup. So, we mentioned a time or ten that we dealt with plenty of germs and vomit over Christmas break. In need of some serious comfort food that was easy on the belly, I found a recipe on Pinterest for lemon chicken orzo soup. I will go right ahead and tell you it was the best chicken soup I’ve ever had in my life. Forget your grandma’s recipe, this one is better, I promise.  I thought the zest and juice of two lemons would be too much.  It’s not.  It’s perfect.  I’m still dreaming about it. Please try it.



I finished my finals on Thursday night and was feeling that weird mix of exhaustion and giddy excitement!  I had everything done and was ready to start enjoying Christmas break!  I was in desperate need of getting out of the house and doing something fun.  I texted Kimmie, “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?  Wanna bake?”  She texted back, “Sure, Come on up!” 

So the next morning, I packed up my baking supplies and headed to her house.  I spent the first half an hour playing with the boys (My nephews own me.  There’s no use pretending I have any control or assert any authority when I’m around them.  Aunt Vicki aims to please, nothing more, nothing less), including a game of football with some weird figurines that Conner apparently got in a Happy Meal.

Soon, we had the boys occupied and off to the kitchen we went.  The first item on the agenda was molasses cookies.  This is a family favorite and Christmas just wouldn’t seem right without them!  The recipe is all the way at the bottom of this post.  I hope you love them!

Red appliances make everything more fun!
Red appliances make everything more fun!
I could eat the dough raw! The smell of molasses is amazing!
Roll the dough into small balls and roll in sugar


Soon your whole house will smell like Christmas!
While one batch is baking, get the little kids in on the action. It really does go faster!
Love that kid. My nephews are the closest I’ll ever get to having sons.
Not exactly sure what’s happening in this picture. One kid reaching for M&M’s and the other looks like he got caught doing something he shouldn’t be doing.

We also baked Chocolate Fudge Cookies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?  Did you bake with your mom or grandma?  Did you decorate cut out cookies and lick the icing until you were on a sugar high?  We’d love to hear about your Christmas cookie memories!

In the meantime, here’s our recipe for molasses cookies.  Enjoy!

Soft Molasses Cookies
  1. 1/2 c. butter, softened (we use real butter, not margarine)
  2. 1/2 c. shortening
  3. 1 and 1/2 c. sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1/2 c. molasses
  6. 3 and 1/2 c. flour
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 2 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  9. 2 and 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  10. 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  11. 1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves.
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add the molasses and eggs, then set mixture aside. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together and then slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture. Roll dough into balls then roll in sugar. Place on an unbaked cookie sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. Do not overbake.
  1. We use a portion scoop (#40) to help us make evenly sized cookies and that particular size needs 10 minutes of baking for this recipe. It's fine if they're underbaked in the middle - more delicious in our opinion. Enjoy!
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