We got our first measurable snow this week, and it has been bitterly cold. I don’t like the cold, and I don’t like driving on slick, snowy roads in my little car. But given what the people in New York are facing (FEET of snow, motorists stranded on the interstate for days, in case you live under a rock) I am just being entitled to complain.
Its been too cold to really get out and play in the snow, so my daughter has been sneaking out on the deck to throw a few snowballs.
You would think days like this would make me want to bake up a storm and warm the house up, but I am pretty content to wrap up in a blanket with some tea and a book. Let’s get real, I put on fuzzy slippers and sat at my desk working.
I mentioned earlier this week about how I am adding margin to my life, and reducing the demands on my schedule. So for this weeks menu I chose easy to prepare meals that can be thrown in the crock pot. I think crock pot cooking gets an unfair shake in the culinary world. When I think of crock pot meals, mushy casseroles and chili come to mind. But the only limit to what sort of dish you can concoct for your slow cooker is your imagination.
On this particular day I made stuffed shells that were inspired by this recipe. I tweaked and made this recipe to our taste, so I am including that version below
These were easy, although there is a bit of prep involved, and my family loved them! The best part is being able to assemble, throw them in the crock pot, and then walk away. Sure, I used canned sauce and *gasp* processed pasta, but my family got fed and I didn’t feel like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Its all about priorities.
- 1 pkg jumbo pasta shells
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 pint ricotta cheese
- 1 10 oz pkg fresh spinach
- 2 C shredded cheese (of your choice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Run spinach through food processor a handful at a time to break it down into shreds. In a large mixing bowl add 1/2 of the jar of marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, spinach, and shredded cheese and mix until incorporated. When shells are cooked drain them. Spoon filling into shells and arrange them in the crock pot over the sauce. Pour rest of marinara over shells. Cook on low for 3-4 hours til heated through and cheese is melted.