Monday, April 13, 2009

Balls in shells

Brianna loves to sit up on the butcher block and watch me cook. Last week, I decided to make a big deal out of her cooking supper for everyone! Being 4 1/2, she looked at me nervously and said, "I think I'm going to need some help..."

My beloved Taste of Home magazine has changed it's format. Some changes (such as the ad-free magazine going more commercial) were a big difficult to adjust to. However, there are some new gems to be found in it, as well. There is now a section with a recipe targeted towards kids. The most recent issue had a delicious-sounding recipe that seemed like it would be a fun project for Brianna's first dinner-making experience:

Easy Stuffed Shells

*1 package (12 oz) jumbo pasta shells

*1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce

*36 frozen cooked Italian meatballs (1/2 oz. each), thawed

*2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.

Place 1/2 cup sauce in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. (We halved the recipe, since we don't need to make that much food!).
Place a meatball in each shell.

Transfer to prepared dish.

Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Mmm... this recipe was fabulous!! It was a really simple cross between lasagna and ravioli. We ate it with garlic bread and salad. Since we only made half the recipe, we had a fun time counting out half the shells and meatballs. Great job, Brianna! This recipe is definitely a keeper ☺


Mamma has spoken said...

Looks good ;d I love how she sat on the counter top to make the dish. My mom never let me do that :o(

Monica said...

Really great recipe!!! Will try it with my 3 year old soon! xx

Anonymous said...

I think we'll give that recipe a try! Frozen meatballs from Costco are a permanent item on our list! I love recipes that give the children such confindence - the I can do this thing is so big, cooking doesn't have to be this big long scary list of ingredients carefully measured to exact specifications! Go Briana!

Sara said...

That looks delicious! I'll have to try it out. We don't have any kids, but it looks adult-friendly, too!

Anonymous said...

MhasS - That's because you could fall off the counter and get hurt! Or is it that you would lean on the burner and get burnt?

Mamma has spoken said...

Kimberly, nope it was because she would say counters were for food, dishes and pots, not butts. Even as an adult, if she caught me sitting on my kitchen counter (which I do, it's my house)she would say "Your butt's not a pan!" Boy I miss hearing her say that....

Jenny S said...

Awww your little kitchen helper is so cute!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, MhasS you are funny! I didn't think about that! Your Momma was right though! Luv - about how many shells fit in the square (9"?). I bought a package of Jumbo shells yesterday, they weren't on sale so they were pricey, I'll be watching for sales now though!

SquishyCuteStuff said...

Kim, we counted all the shells in the box, subtracted the badly broken ones, and divided by 2 ;-) I believe we ended up with 18 shells as the half-total. They fit in my square pan snuggly.

I am used to getting most pasta on sale for 49-99 cents a box, but I think I paid 1.79 for the shells. I am going to have to watch for sales on them now since this recipe is definitely going to be a staple :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok, we are going for this recipe tonight! I think I can fit about 18 also in my square dish (not everyone will eat it, to much fraternizing going on!!) Don't faint - I paid $3.39 for the 12oz box! I don't like paying a lot for pasta either and will stock up when it is on sale, I'll be doing that with this type from now on!