Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday Happy Hour and Tuesday Fiesta!

So as I mentioned in my last post our Miami friend, Britta, came to visit us last night for dinner as she was home from Colorado for a few days.  We went to Marcella's (I promise I don't go there every week but you can't deny their great happy hour specials!) with some friends to catch up and hear about Brit's exciting life out west!  Even better part of her visit, I got a night off from cooking, those are welcomed every once in awhile!  With my Whiskey Rosso (featured in a previous blog) I ordered a side salad and tried their Arancini which is risotto rolled into balls and fried.  These were very tasty and creamy but I imagine they might have more flavor/substance if they used a mushroom or veggie risotto rather than just cheese.  I'd seen arancini made on cooking shows before using leftover risotto but I had never made or tried it.  Which reminds me, maybe I'll have to cook up some risotto this weekend to share with you guys!  Talk about comfort food!  Then if I have any leftovers I should give making arancini a shot!  All and all we had a great time catching up and reminiscing about our less responsible days!
Some of the group! (photo cred to Bryan on this one!)

Tonight I wanted to try something new in the kitchen, Mexican Stuffed Shells!  I know, sounds totally weird, not serving Mexican within a tortilla of some sort, strange.  I had some leftover cooked shells from Fridays Stuffed Shells and I had seen this on Pinterest so I decided to spice up our weeknight and give it a try!  I tailored my recipe to serve two, the original probably serves four.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- taco seasoning (I use about a tablespoon)
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 7 - 8 jumbo pasta shells
- 1/2  c. salsa
- 1/2 c. taco sauce
- 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
- 1/2 c. monterey jack cheese

- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.
- Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Mix together. Set aside and cool completely.
-While beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain.
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray then pour salsa on bottom of dish.
- Stuff each shell with meat mixture.
- Place shells in baking dish seam side up.
- Cover shells with taco sauce.

- Cover with foil and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Take dish out and uncover, add shredded cheese and bake for 8 - 10 more minutes.
- Take out of the oven once cheese is melted and bubbly.

- Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, sour cream, cilantro, etc.), I put some fresh cilantro on top.

This turned out pretty tasty! I was a little skeptical mixing Mexican flavors with pasta but it was a pleasant surprise, on the Chris scale (refer to this blog for a Chris scale refresher) it made the "make again" rating!

Not sure what the rest of the week will hold, maybe some risotto and arancini? Maybe a new cocktail to try?  We shall see!


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