Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 2: A Recipe and A Debate

So, on Facebook today I asked for some suggestions on topics to blog about this week.  I got some good ideas, and since I'm writing this Monday night, and I'm tired and want to go to bed, I'm going to choose the easy suggestions for Tuesday's post.

At my buddy Amy's suggestion:

Stuffed Pasta Shell Appetizer

Ingredients: (I don't remember the proportions, so I'm just going to guess and you can adjust as needed)
1 box of the large pasta shells
1 carton of ricotta cheese
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 medium white or yellow onion
1 package bacon
a few sprigs of fresh basil leaves
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix for dip (optional)

Boil the pasta shells, drain very well and set aside
Dice the onion and lightly sautee in some oil
Fry the bacon and then chop the bacon into very fine pieces
Mix together the ricotta, grated parmesan, sauteed onion, bacon crumbles, and Ranch mix (if desired)
Clean the basil leaves and prepare in your choice of two ways:
    chop fine and mix into the cheese mixture
    or line the insides of the pasta shells with the whole basil leaves (my preferred method)
Carefully stuff the cheese mixture in the pasta shells so that they are completely full
Chill and serve cold, as a finger food appetizer
(Don't add any additional salt to this recipe.  Between the cheese, the bacon, and the Ranch mix, it is plenty salty as it is.  Skip the Ranch mix if you want less salt.)

Also, if you want a sauce to dip them in, I made one I liked a lot:

Roased Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce

Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
Minced Garlic
Fresh Basil
Fresh Oregano

Place tomatoes and bell peppers in a roasting pan, basted with a little olive oil, and roast until the skins start to blacken and peel off
Peel off all of the skins
Chop the basil and oregano very fine
Toss the veggies, garlic, and basil into a food processor and process to desired texture (chunky like a salsa or smooth like a sauce, your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste

This is a very tasty little snack.  I entered it in the State Fair one year, just for the heck of it.  I didn't win anything, but I liked the recipe well enough to remember it.  Like I said, you will probably need to adjust the measurements of the ingredients to make sure you don't have a bunch of leftover filling or get the amount of bacon Just Right (because BACON!).

At my cousin Christine's suggestion:

Pie vs. Cake

I said pie, hands down, no elaboration necessary.  Christine disagreed and demanded an explanation, so here it goes.

I like pie better.

What, that's not good enough for you?  Okay, fine.
1. First, pie doesn't need frosting to make it good.  Cake does.  Unfrosted cake is generally pretty boring and can be pretty dry.
2. Which is another point in pie's favor:  pie is rarely, if ever, dry.
3. Plus, there are so many different kinds and flavors of pie, way more variety than there is with cake.
4. And finally, the clincher: pie can be a meal as well as a dessert!  Pot pie, shepherd's pie, mincemeat pie, quiche.

HA!  Take that, cake!  Pie is the clear winner!  The end.


  1. Let's just have both, I say, as they are equally "yummy". I love to bake, and eat them both, but I do think a perfect pie can' t be beat, and you have a good point. Pies can be the entree or the dessert. I am weak--I can't say which is my favorite. Auntie M.

    1. Haha, I will definitely have a piece of both if you are baking, Aunt Marie!


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