Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The day I spent prepping meals for the freezer was certainly a long one. I was 38 weeks pregnant with swollen ankles and general exhaustion. But my nesting urges/energy helped me push through. Then when it came to making the very last thing and suddenly my energy was gone. I wanted so badly to just leave the kitchen (and the mess!) and hit the couch. But it was close to dinner time and I knew we would need to eat anyway, so I decided to make a large batch of dinner and freeze half of it. Then I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

I am so glad I pushed through! While I’ve made a lot of versions of stuffed shells, I have to say that these were by far my favorite. I think I finally got the perfect ratio of ingredients to make a flavorful filling that’s not dry and really hits the spot. I’m also happy to report that the portion that was frozen was just as delicious!

 

Other deceivingly easy, delicious pasta dishes!
Creamy Shrimp Pasta
Penne with Chicken and Vegetables in Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
Cream Lemon One-Pot Pasta
Cajun Chicken Pasta

 

Creamy Spinach Stuffed Pork Chops

 

So everyone knows the  stereotypical pregnancy craving – pickles and ice cream. But, do you think anyone has ever actually craved that combination?? I’ve wanted some interesting combinations, but definitely not that interesting. My cravings usually come in the form of a specific dish and not necessarily bizarre combinations (though I have discovered that ranch and Italian dressing are delicious when combined).

One specific dish that I was craving last week was creamed spinach. When it came down to actually putting my meal plan together, I wanted to mix it up a bit. I decided a sturdy pork chop would be the perfect vehicle for the creamed spinach. Jesse loves pork chops so of course he was excited to see this on the menu, he even went back for seconds so I know he was fan. I liked the way the spinach tasted with the pork, but I have to be honest and admit that the filling was my favorite. 🙂

 Other tasty pork recipes!

Barbeque Pork Tenderloin Wrapsk
Island Pork Tenderloin
Ribs
Garlic and Herb Crusted Pork Loin
 

Guest Post: Spinach Manicotti with Tomato Cream Sauce

Well, I’ve made it safely back to the U.S.! This week I am in Ohio visiting with family/friends and picking up my kitty cats and next week I will be returning to San Diego to get our new home set-up! As I mentioned last week, because this is such a busy time for me,  I’ve asked a few friends to help me out over the next few weeks. Today, I’m happy to have Krissy, from Dainty Chef, as a guest poster. I could spend hours going through her posts and drooling over her delicious photos, just check out this Apple Cheesecake or these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or these Sweet Potato Cakes with Black Bean Chipotle Salsa. Yum! And this manicotti is definitely going to the top of my “to-make” list when I get in the new kitchen! Thanks, Krissy!

Hello Sunny Side Up Readers, my name is Krissy and I am the blogger behind Dainty Chef. This is a busy time for Jessica so I told her I could help her out with a guest post, and I am so happy to be here. Last October, I was in the same boat as Jessica, my husband and I were settling on a new house, so now I am returning the favor for her. Over on my blog, I try to post a variety of recipes ranging from sweet to savory, of course the sweet ones have a tendency to outweigh the savory :). Today, I wanted to share with you a quick and easy, but somewhat elegant weeknight meal.

Since I am a teacher, this is still a busy time for me since we are just about a month into a new school year. If things couldn’t get any more hectic, I decided to switch grade levels so that adds a whole new dimension of busy in my life. I moved from fourth grade to second grade and those little guys literally suck out all the energy from me each and every day. The last thing that I feel like doing when coming home from work is cooking a labor intensive meal. That is when I turn to recipes that I know will be delicious, but won’t take much time.  These Spinach Manicotti may look intimidating, but they come together quickly and are easy to make! The reward is a satisfying and healthy dinner for your entire family. We ended up enjoying these for two nights in a row. They were perfect with a glass of wine, salad, and some bread to clean up all that extra sauce! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did and thanks again Jessica for having me!

 

 

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese


Starting out in the kitchen I was pretty lucky. I didn’t have a lot of flops and I had enough success to keep me motivated in trying newer, some more complicated, things. But let’s get real here for a second. Not everything I make turns out great the first time. Getting even more real, some things never quite turn out the way I want them to. I tried making pad Thai a few months ago…. We had pizza for dinner that night.

Of course, I’m not going to share things here that just don’t work, not really the kind of blog I’m going for. Keeping that in mind, I always have high hopes that whatever dish I make will be good and what I like to call “blog worthy.” Occasionally, a meal I expect to be good exceeds that expectation.

This Macaroni and Cheese is one of those meals. I found myself licking my bowl clean, going back for seconds and sneaking a few extra bites when putting the leftovers away. Plus there’s spinach in it, so it’s got to be healthy right? OK, maybe not. But turning one of my favorite appetizers into a meal this good is a win in my book. It’s also pretty easy to put together. Lots of stirring, and adding the ingredients in steps, but not at all difficult. From start to finish (including all the chopping) I think it took me just over 30 minutes.