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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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.

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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:

No duplicate comments.

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

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

Garlic Herb Salt

Back at Christmas time I bought an insane amount of pre-peeled garlic due to poor grocery shopping planning, and needed something to do with it. I’d remembered a recipe they’d talked about on The Splendid Table a while back for homemade seasoned salt using fresh garlic, and decided that since I had a plethora of the stuff that I needed something to do with…this was the perfect opportunity to try out said recipe.

You guys, it’s been pretty much the only seasoning I’ve used since then – save chili powder and cumin. Not a meal goes by that I don’t find myself dipping into the stuff. I keep a mason jar curing of it at all times, just because it’s so perfect to use on everything – any protein under the sun, to any vegetable or starch you can throw at it! It really heightens the flavor of whatever it is you use it on, without overwhelming it…which many store-bought seasoning blends tend to do!

I roasted the garlic first – to intensify and deepen the flavors. Then, toss it into bunch of salt along with some freshly chopped herbs. Any mix of your favorite will do – I’ve been using rosemary and thyme recently, just because it’s been pretty readily available during the cold months.

However now that it’s warming up and I’m starting to think about my herb garden – I’m looking forward to experimenting with different blends of herbs this season. I also think that bit of citrus zest would also be a welcome addition to the party! Or maybe a smidge of lavender for an Herbes de Provance twist? Have fun with it, you can’t mess this one up!

Source: adapted from The Splendid Table

Crab AlfredoThings have been crazy around here. Pony Penning took place last week here on Chincoteague, second only to Christmas around these parts. Friends and family are in town, we were busy running around to one event or another, and good home-cooked meals (and blogging) kind of fell by the wayside.

Crab season is also in full swing here on the Eastern Shore. They’re cheap, plentiful, and heavy. I paid $50 for a bushel of #1’s the other day – that’s insanity! I’m very fortunate to be able to cut out the middle men, and go directly to the source.

On those nights when things are crazy, and you want something easy and delicious that doesn’t take forever – this crab alfredo always answers the call. Five minutes to make the creamy sauce while the pasta is cooking, a quick warm-up in the pan for some fresh crab meat… and you have an ahhhmazing pasta dish that took no time to prepare, but is impressive as all get out!

A side of steamed broccoli or a green salad, and a glass of white wine paired alongside makes for a perfect light summer meal.