Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our 4th of July Celebration

Good food, great friends, some fireworks and live music...
 I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

These pups stayed by the cookies and guarded them. Bellies flat on the floor, noses touching the container. But they did not bother them one bit. It was hilarious to watch them, watching the cookies. 

Fun was had by all. 
I just wish I would have gotten a photo of our flag,
 when all of the fireworks were going on overhead. 
But my camera died.

I took a dish to share that I think I will be making again. As I was waiting to check out at the grocery store I picked up a magazine to see the front cover. It had pictures of stuffed Jumbo pasta sea shells. They looked yummy, so I decided to make them. 

Appetizer stuffed shells
1 box jumbo pasta sea shells
1 bag frozen meatballs
1 lb. mozzarella cheese (shredded or cubed)
1 jar marinara (use your favorite brand, mine was homemade from last years harvest, that is what I had on hand)
1 small can tomato paste 
1/2 cup water
Parmesan cheese (shaved or grated)
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top. 

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain, set aside.
Mean while microwave the meatballs for a few minutes until completely thawed and set aside.
Bring pasta sauce, tomato paste, and water to low simmer and let cook 10 minutes.
In a 9"x13" baking dish spread about 1 cup or more of the sauce, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. 
next start filling the shells with 1 meatball and 1 cube of mozzarella cheese. Line them up fairly tightly in the pan. When they are all stuffed, pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Then microwave for 5 to six minutes until heated through. It is too hot to turn on the oven right now so use the microwave if you feel like it. 
The sauce was very hot so that cut way down on the microwave time. This was most definitely the easiest recipe for stuffed shells I have ever made. Also it made a great appetizer. I will be making these again and serving them for dinner with a nice summer salad and a crusty loaf of french bread. It was such a quick and easy recipe. 

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