happenings, part 5

Heeeellllooooo!! Are you so dang ready for a holiday? Me, too. This has been one of those sorta rough weeks in genetics land. Most days, I do what I do without too much thought about it, hoping I do a good job, hoping I’m not too much of a downer but at the same time not too optimistic either. Usually, I easily leave work behind, but sometimes, sometimes it creeps home. Sometimes it just plain smacks you right in the face. Genes are scary things, that’s for sure.

But enough about that, for now. Sometimes faith, in any form, is all you have.

Meanwhile, I found a few links to share with you, so check these out. I even listed some recipe suggestions for the 4th.

  • Some reviews just crack me the f up. How rude!
  • Just re-found this site and am super stoked about this salmon recipe. It seems anything with avocado is a go for me :).
  • I found another food blog to add to my reader. I like when that happens!
  • Checked out another restaurant on my “to eat” list last weekend, and going here tonight! Thanks for visiting, Charles + Kristy!
  • Bon Appetit has published a San Francisco dining guide. Not bad, actually, but please, don’t you dare call it “San Fran”. That’s just lame.
  • Chris upgraded to the new iPad this week, which means I inherited his and still have no idea what to do with it. For starters, I’m totally addicted to Flipboard. What other things should I use it for?
  • If I had a backyard of my own, I’d totally put these up. Fab.

Last but certainly not least, it’s grill time next week for the 4th of July! Sadly, it falls in the  middle of the week, but I try not to complain about a day off, anywhere I can get it. Here’s a few recipes from my site that are definitely 4th-worthy:

And to spread the wealth a little bit, here’s a few more recipes from around the blogosphere:

Until next week, friends! Drive safe, and eat a lot of crap :).

Shelled In

Hello. Hi there. How’s it goin’? It’s nice to see you here. It’s nice to know I can move across the country, start a new job, move again, unpack, unpack some more, and then get my internets hooked up and see your smiling faces. Well, not really see you, but you get my drift, yes?

I’m glad you’re here, and I’m glad I’m here.

I’m also glad to have my kitchen back. As of Sunday night, all boxes are unpacked. Now, this doesn’t mean everything is in its place, but great progress has been made on the home front. I will say that it’s hard to move to a smaller place, but I think we’ll manage just fine here.

I think we’ll eat a lot of good dinners together, and I think that, once we procure another dining room table (and chairs of course. chairs are good here.), we’ll eat a lot of dinners with other people too.

But for now, it’s just the two of us (we can make it if we try; just the two of us). That works out  nicely when I make a dish I don’t enjoy sharing, which happens often. Of course, stuffed shells aren’t exactly a novelty, but considering I had an unopened box of jumbo shells in my pantry that made it’s way here all the way from Chicago, I felt it worthy of a housebreaking meal.

Also, my favorite mother-and-father-in-law mailed me some extra-tasty fine Italian cheeses for my birthday, and I took this as an opportunity to use some of them. Now, you don’t have to go all out and put your best cheese on this dish, but you could if you wanted. In our house, cheese has to get used quickly, or else it risks getting eaten by a certain cheese-lovin’ boy.

But why eat cheese alone with you can eat it with more cheese, the best tomatoes ever, and pasta? No brainer.

Swiss Chard Stuffed Shells
serves 4

time commitment: 1 hour (30 minutes active)

printable version

20 jumbo shells (~1/2 box)
1 15-oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 bunch swiss chard, chopped
salt and pepper
1 28-oz can San Marzano tomato puree
1/3 c Asiago cheese, shredded
1/3 c Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded

preheat oven to 350 F. bring a large pot of water to boil. cook pasta shells according to package directions, being careful not to overcook them. drain and rinse with cold water; pat dry.

meanwhile, make filling. in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese through chard. season with salt and pepper.

taking one shell at a time, stuff with filling until overflowing. place in small baking dish (you want them to all be touching one another, not spread out). pour tomato puree atop stuffed shells and top with the two cheeses. bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. uncover, and bake another 5 minutes.