Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On My Hearth: A Special Birthday Dinner!
Today is my Mom's birthday (she's 68, I don't think she'd mind me telling you that) so I'm making her favorite dish - Stuffed Shells. I use the recipe on the back of the Ronzoni box with one small change: to half of the mix I add spinach, either frozen or fresh, to make them florentine. A few of my family members aren't fans of spinach so this way they can enjoy the plain ones.
I am also making her a birthday cake but it's a surprise so don't tell her, ok? It's a Sour Cream Coconut Cake because coconut is one of her favorite things and, well, there's a story about another time I made coconut cake but I'll share that with you later.
I'll try to pop back in later to post pictures, we're doing something fun & special for this birthday, can't wait to see her reaction!
STUFFED JUMBO SHELLS
1 (12 oz.) pkg. Ronzoni jumbo pasta shells
4 c. (32 oz.) ricotta cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, diced or shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
box of frozen spinach
1 (32 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
Prepare pasta as directed on package. Cook 9 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water, drain and arrange in single layer to fill.
Meanwhile, mix together cheeses, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Defrost and drain spinach very well, squeeze out all of the moisture you can. Add the spinach to the cheese mixture (or to half of it, in my case). Fill cooked shells with cheese mixture. Cover bottom of baking pan with some sauce. Arrange shells in single layer. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover with foil, bake for about 30 minutes at 350, uncover and bake for a few minutes more. Makes 6-8 servings, I always make a double batch to freeze.
Coconut Sour Cream Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package white
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sour cream
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 (16 ounce) container frozen
whipped topping, thawed
2 cups flaked coconut
1. Grease and flour two 9 inch pans. Prepare cake mix as directed by manufacturer, adding almond extract. Bake according to instructions on package. When cake is cool, remove from pans and cut in half, horizontally.
2. To make the filling, mix together the sour cream and sugar in a medium sized bowl. stir in 1 1/2 cups of the coconut. reserve 1 cup of this mixture and spread the rest between the cooled cake layers. Fold whipped topping into the remaining filling, frost the outside of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top of the frosted cake.
3. Refrigerate from 1 to 3 days before serving.