meet finley

Before I introduce you to Finley, I must share a recipe with you.  A friend ask me for this recipe a while ago and I finally got around to making it again.  Sorry it too so long!

Its so simple, you’ll want to make it this week.  Please forgive my “recipe.”  I do not typically measure anything, just go more by look and this “recipe” is based on filling a 9×13 (3-4 servings) + an extra 8×8 (2 + lunch servings).


Stuffed Shells

  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 1 egg (in the above recipe I used two, and I feel it made the filling a bit soft)
  • parsley, pepper, italian seasoning, cayenne pepper
  • salt (you really must add the salt)
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 of a box of large shells, cooked al dente
  • 2 jars marinara (from a jar my fav is Emeril’s chunky marinara)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Cook pasta in salted pot of water for about 8 minutes (until just past hard but no where near “done”).  Drain and set aside cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta and egg until combined.  Add about a palm full of parsley, 1/3 of a palm of ground pepper and 1/3 of a palm of Italian seasoning, and a dash of cayenne.  When you mix the filling, you should see bits of color throughout.  Add salt.  (I usually do not add salt to any recipe, but this one really needs it to boost the fullness of flavor in the filling).  Add maybe 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and a few shakes of parmesan.  Stir to incorporate.
  4. Spoon (part of) your filling into a plastic zip-top bag and squeeze out all the air.
  5. Set out your baking dish.  Place 2/3 of the sauce in the bottom (this way your shells can be nestled into a basin of bliss).
  6. Cut a corner out of your plastic bag and “pipe” each shell super full of yummy goodness and then place them filling side up in the baking dish.  Repeat until all shells are gone.
  7. Use the remainder of the pasta sauce to “cover” the pasta.  Sprinkle with a little cheese and parsley and pop the sucker into the oven! Bake until bubbly and browned… maybe 30 minutes or so.
  8. Enjoy!  You can get creative and use a meat filling or add spinach.  Don’t be shy.


Ok now to Finley.

This weekend Hubs and I went on a bike ride to support Second Harvest (a food bank here in Knoxville).  For the ride, the lovely people at West Bicycles let me demo a bike.  I’ve been wanting a smaller framed bike, so I figured why not give one a try.  Well their plan worked… and Finley came home with us as an early CHRISTMAS present for me!!!

2011-11-04 18.32.2411-11-8 11-11-7

I’m so looking forward to another run/ride this coming weekend at Cades Cove. Oh and I did win a sweet swag gift at the bike ride!  A nice gift basket donated by the Hallmark store.  It was a good weekend.


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