Oct 5, 2011

Happy Fall!

I know I’m a few days late, but I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Fall. Not sure about you, but I sure am ready for the cooler weather. While we were blessed with a mild summer so to speak, I’m ready to not wait for the sun to go down around 9 PM so that it will cool off enough that I can go for a run and not suffer – I still came back from these runs sweating buckets. Now I can get home, go for a run and still eat dinner at a relatively normal time. Plus, the cooler weather that came in at the end of last week made for great running conditions Sunday.

As I drove home from work Monday, the first rain fell. I’ve been ready for a cloudy, rainy day for about a month now. When I got home, I broke out the comfy sweatpants and dove into cooking a new dish I got off of Skinnytaste.com. Cooler weather always brings out the cook in me – a warm meal on a cold night is always yummy. Who wants to deal with a hot, sticky kitchen when it’s hot outside?!

I was in an Italian food mood the last time I was browsing the Skinny Taste web site so I printed out some recipes along those lines. This included a Spinach Ricotta cheese mixture stuffed in Jumbo Pasta shells and topped with a meat marinara sauce. It turned out pretty good, though I hadn’t realized we were out of canned tomatoes so I improvised and used Tomato Sauce instead. This threw me a bit as I prefer to follow a new recipe down to the last ounce of every ingredient the first time I make it before implementing my own flourishes.

Oh well. I now know which changes I would make next time, and I’ll make sure to have canned tomatoes on hand for that attempt. What would my changes be? First, I’d add in some salt to the cheese stuffing mixture. Second, I’d mix in some of the meat sauce into the cheese mixture before stuffing the shells and baking. It’s also a recipe I think I’d save for a weekend night – between prep and 40 minutes in the oven alone, we didn’t eat until after 7:30 PPM and I was starving when I got home at 5 PM on Monday. This caused some unnecessary snacking and additional calories for the day. Plus, the dish makes so many that there is a few days of lunches and leftover dinners in it.

The good news is London likes it too – she had some of the left overs for dinner last night and ate almost her entire jumbo stuffed shell. And it looks like the rain is going to stay for a few days. Last night I woke up at 2:30 AM to it POURING! I couldn’t see out the windows it was hitting them so hard – it was like being in a car going through a car wash. I even heard thunder today while at work. Hello coziness!

This month is a busy one for us, and we still need to plan some time to go to the pumpkin patch, not to mention decorate the house for our annual costume party and get our Halloween costumes in order.

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