pepperonistuffedshells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite comfort meals. Pasta encasing a bunch of fluffy ricotta and gooey, cheesy goodness? You just can’t go wrong. Not to mention the variations and combinations that you can use to “mix up” your filling is endless.

So, when Sugardale Foods reached out to me about creating a recipe using their delicious pepperoni – my mind immediately began brainstorming. And, led me right to the thought of  a pepperoni-studded stuffed shell (say that 3x fast!). All of your favorite flavors in a pizza, but in pasta form. Genius!

Pepperoni is something that I always have on hand in the fridge, it’s a great way to add a little bit of meaty flavor to recipes. I’ll often add it to skillet pastas, or baked pasta dishes…as well as just for snacking purposes. Love having it around for a quick anti-pasta platter when unexpected guests drop in. A few slices of cheese, some pepperoni, maybe a few olives? Bam! Awesome easy appetizer.

But, finding a good-quality pepperoni can be a little bit daunting – to say the least. So many are full of so much fat, by the time you cook it…there’s nothing left. Not the case with Sugardale’s pepperoni.

Sugardale Foods is a family-owned company that’s been in business since 1920. Right here in the good, old US of A too! That’s a feat that seems to be harder and harder to come by these days. You can find their products  (ham, pepperoni, bacon) at many retailers nationwide, in various size packaging. With 3 little boys, I can blow through one of their 1-lb bags in no time. It’s a brand I know I can always turn to for quality! Make sure you stop by their recipe page for a bunch of great recipe ideas.

I kept the filling simple: Ricotta, chunks of mozzarella, a little oregano. Placed the whole pepperoni slices into the shells, then stuffed with the ricotta mixture. Baked with my favorite quick marinara sauce and a little extra mozzarella on top. Perfection, I tell ya!

It’s the time of year where we find ourselves turning to comfort foods, and this one is definitely a new favorite in our home. Add it to your menu soon, you won’t regret it!

Connect with Sugardale Foods on Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest • YouTube

What is your favorite comfort meal? Tell me about it in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Roasted Vegetable Quiche

This summer was insanely hectic. I feel like it passed it a blur of beaching, boating, and warm summer nights. I wasn’t in the kitchen making new things to share with you as much as I’d like, but now that the days are becoming cooler – it’s my favorite time of year to be in the kitchen. Not to mention it’s the best time of year to work with the bounty that your garden, or local farmers in your area have produced.

I’ve always been passionate about gardening, and particularly varietal history and seed saving. So when the good folks at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello reached out and asked me to share the details on their 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival happening this weekend, I was delighted to do so!

Thomas Jefferson championed vegetable cuisine, plant experimentation, and sustainable agriculture. In today’s modern world,  they are continuing that tradition at Monticello – and have been doing so, for many years. They were kind enough to send me a beautiful box of garden goodness fresh from the fields.

monticello

I mean – what an honor. Talk about tasting history! Eggplants (Listadia di Gandia and Black Beauty), Peppers (Marconi and Fish Hots – a variety that was used in seafood houses in my region for hundreds of years), a Green Nutmeg Melon, fresh sesame, and some of their locally made Hickory Syrup and Peach Butter available from their online shop. I can’t thank them enough for sending that box of loveliness my way, it was a real treat!

I ended up tossing the eggplants Marconi peppers with a little olive oil and salt, and added a tomato and some garlic from my dad’s garden for good measure – then roasted. That’s a great way to get out excess moisture, that can lead to soggy situations in whatever dish you’re preparing. Plus, it really intensifies all of the flavor.

Used my favorite pie crust recipe to line my tart pan, and blind bake. Then piled in the roasted vegetable goodness and a rich egg-custard to fill in all the nooks & crannies. And a little goat cheese for good measure. A local farmer has been selling his goat cheese at the farmer’s market here on Chincoteague, and it’s insanely wonderful. Have been enjoying it every chance I can get!

A quick bake for about half an hour, and you’re good to go. Paired with a simple green salad, it’s the perfect meal for this time of year. Could also be made in a pie plate without the crust!

And, if you’re in the vicinity and looking for something to do tomorrow – make sure you check out the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. The’ve got a great lineup of speakers, activities for kids, gardening info, seed saving, good eats….they’ll have it all! A great day to get outside and live, breathe, and taste history.

 


Shrimp in Tomato-Spinach Cream SauceIt’s getting to be that time of year when we spend a lot of time outside. After a long day out on the boat or at the beach, I always have a hungry crew ready to eat dinner. Often times I’ll plan a dinner around what I have at home, and then swing by the store to pick up a few things to bring it all together.

I live in a pretty remote area here on the Eastern Shore, so a “one stop shop” grocery store is really a blessing during these busy summer months. For me, that place has always been my local Food Lion.

Since they opened around 15 years ago in my small community, they’ve offered the freshest and best selection of produce in the area. They are the only place in a 60-mile radius that I can find fresh bean sprouts for my homemade egg rolls. Or, alfalfa sprouts. Or, any sprouts for that matter!
Fresh Blooms
I also love their small fresh flower section. For just a few dollars, a pretty bouquet really brightens up the dining room table for the week. That’s something else I’ve always had a hard time finding in my rural area, especially in the winter months when I’m not foraging for wildflowers or marsh grasses for centerpieces!

Their MVP Specials are another favorite for me. When we had our first baby and I gave up my job to stay at home, their weekly MVP specials were what I based our meal plans around. Always affordable, without sacrificing quality to do so – how refreshing!

So, when Food Lion reached out to me to share a recipe featuring some fresh finds from their produce section, I was happy to oblige! As I mentioned above, I’m often swinging in to pick up a few fresh components to make a quick dinner after being out in the surf and sun all day.

Food Lion Produce

For these occasions, you can never go wrong with a delicious shrimp pasta. Just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients – and you’ve got a filling and satisfying meal. One that I turn to again and again in the months ahead. And, all of the ingredients are just a quick stop on my way home. How refreshing!

Thank you for making freshness available at such an affordable price, Food Lion!

For more great recipes visit the Food Lion Recipe Hub.

What recipes do you love to make with fresh ingredients? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card. You can use this gift card to shop for delicious fresh ingredients at Food Lion!

Entry Instructions:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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  1. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
  2. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
  3. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 04/18/16 – 05/31/16.

Be sure to visit the Food Lion Brand Page on Blogher where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Salisbury Steak Meatballs
I’m such a sucker for any form of comfort food. I’ve been feeling a little gypped this winter, as it’s been unseasonably warm for most of the season. But, I haven’t let it stop me from enjoying a few of my favorites.

One dish I loved growing up was noodles and gravy. It was so easy, so filling, so comforting. Growing up, I stayed with an elderly couple before and after school in the afternoons until my parents got off work. It was something they’d often make for a quick meal, and I remember them always using No Yolks® noodles.

So when the brand reached out to me about creating a comfort food recipe to share with my readers using their noodles – my mind immediately flashed back to that childhood favorite. But, I wanted to elevate it a little bit to create a more grown-up version…

Salisbury steak has always been a favorite in our home, so that flavor combination rolled up into a delectable meatball, and served over a bed of perfectly cooked and firm egg noodles? It’s absolute heaven. The beefy flavor from the mushrooms and the savory flavor of the sautéed onions is perfection. And, the meatballs stay incredibly moist simmering in the sauce. It’s everything I loved and remembered about the meal in my childhood, only incredibly better!

A key component of the dish that shouldn’t be overlooked is a good, quality noodle. No Yolks has always been the gold standard in my kitchen.  They always retain their firm texture and shape, even in something like a soup. That is something that’s hard to come by in an egg noodle! Not to mention the fact that they are low in fat and have zero cholesterol.  What more could a girl ask for?

For more comforting recipes using noodles, visit No Yolks® for some delicious ideas.

What was one of your favorite comfort foods growing up? Leave a comment with the answer to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Tell us what your favorite comfort food is for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Entry Instructions:
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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public messag
e) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 2/22/16 – 3/27/16.