Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Is it bad that as I typed the Stuffed Shells title I wanted to make a stuffed bra joke? Because I did. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Today's blogging music: Glen Hansard. I have no words for Glen. I love him. His music weaves around my heart and curls into my soul.

Wow. From stuffing bras to music that curls into my soul....did I forget my meds this morning? I'm all kinds of random. And by "forget my meds" I mean, should I have ran to Starbucks for a chai tea this morning not because I need it (because let's face it: it wouldn't change my randomness), but because it keeps me stable? Wait. If chai tea keeps me stable then that means that I need it. Starbucks! I curse you and the hold your delightful chai tea has over me. But not nearly enough to give it up. I love it. Does that make me an addict? Maybe I should skip caffeine this morning. The extra hour of sleep from Daylight Savings seems to be all the crack I need today.

Okay, let's get back on track. And really, I mean me. I'm sure you're on track and much more mentally stable than I am.

I've been really inspired by recipes in magazines and cookbooks lately. Most of the recipes I've been eyeballing are main dishes. Let me be honest with you: baking is my strong point. I seem to have more of a knack for it. Cooking is something I do well when I've worked with a recipe a few times. I rarely cook a new recipe and love it straight off. Well, unless I precisely follow a recipe that has figured out the perfect seasoning. But when I get wacky and wild and throw caution to the wind (re: not following a specific recipe), I usually don't love the recipe. I may like it or see its potential, but I don't generally love it. Such was the case with the Stuffed Shells.

I had seen a recipe that had filled the shells with bacon and cabbages. It inspired me to do a little version of my own, but that meant that I was not going to be using a recipe. Run for your lives! I did look around online to try to figure out baking times, but I didn't use anything specific. The results were a tasty dish that has great potential, but not delicious. Not the moaning, I'd-give-up-my-children-if-I-had-them response that I wanted. So, I'm not going to give you a recipe today because I need to do some tweaking. Some tweaking? A project that needed "tweaking"? T-w-e-a-k-i-n-g. Tweaking. Sorry. You've Got Mail is permanently ingrained into my brain and I'm easily set off. Instead, I'm going to show you pictures and make a confession or two.

You have to cook the shells before you bake the shells.

Okay, this was a flub. I bought cube steak instead of ground beef. But I had recently read something about ground beef that disturbed me, so I wanted the closer to natural product that cube steak would allow. However, what my fear neglected to allow my practical brain to think was that steak needs longer and different cooking methods to become tender. My rational brain kicked in when I was home...with the cube steak...ready to cook. You can't see it, but I'm shaking my head. I was able to get the texture to an okay level of tenderness, but really, truly it didn't work. I'll be buying ground beef next time. That's what you get for reading. (Just kidding. Reading is a good thing.)

The sight of a busy stove makes me happy. Look at all that steam!

Hello, cheese. Welcome.

Lovely...just a little underseasoned...and with the wrong kind of meat. Bummer.

I'm predicting success during my next attempt.


  1. Well at least they look good!

    On a different note (hee!), Glen Hansard will always be the "broken hearted hoover fixer sucker guy".

  2. Three comments in one comment form.

    1. Okay, you didn't say what songs Glen was singing for your cooking pleasure and that's why I really started reading your post. Once soundtrack? Strict Joy? Frames stuff? And I love Glen more than you do. True fact.

    2. Your blog is delightful

    3. Crockpots rock. I'm making the pork thing you suggested today. And I'll also add that I made a mean cuban sandwich in my waffle iron a few weeks ago and think you should try it. Most delish.

  3. Margot,

    1. I have a Glen Hansard playlist that has all of the albums you listed. It was on shuffle. He kills me. If thinking that you love him more makes you sleep sounder at night, go for it. ;)

    2. Thank you. :)

    3. A sandwich on a waffle iron??!! GENIUS!