Stacy’s Sloppy Kitchen

17 05 2010

I always knew there would come a time when I would have to buckle down and learn to cook. So far I have been able to prolong the dreaded moment for 22 years. After finding myself graduated, living at home and jobless I decided what better time to tackle the wonders of the kitchen? Of course maybe if I came to this realization before going away to college for four years I could have avoided the freshman 15, followed by the sophomore stomach, the junior jigglys and of course the senior bar pounds. But since I don’t have a time machine, I made a deal with my mom that every Thursday from now on I would make dinner. So far two Thursdays have passed and I have surprised not only my family but myself with my fabulous cooking skills.

I have always had a fear of the grocery store. It may seem irrational to some, but it is so overwhelming to go up and down those enormous aisles with so many different products and brands to choose from, without any direction as to which brand is the best. What is really the point to having five different brands of paper towel? Even within the same brand there are different varieties – ones for cooking, ones for cleaning – and then you could get a pack of 1, 2, 8 or 16! And then of course whichever you bring home will never be the right one. As soon as you walk in the door your mom will ask, “Which one did you get? Oh, that one? They didn’t have the other one? Oh. I see.” And who really wants to go through all of that just to disappoint your family and let everyone down over paper towel? Certainly not me. Since my mom has refused to come with me to the grocery store as her way of forcing me to grow up and learn my own way, I’ve been bringing my dad with me. So at least this way I have a little insight on which brands Mom usually buys and if he doesn’t know either, well then at least I have an accomplice.

My first Thursday home I made a salad and lasagna rolls. The lasagna was a huge hit! This past Thursday I made non-fat spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer followed by a cheese pizza for my father as well as a mushroom and olive pizza for my mother and sister. The spinach and artichoke dip could have used less cream cheese. I ended up making enough for an army but the leftovers definitely came in handy over the weekend. The pizza was delicious.

If I’m learning anything over the course of my cooking it’s that I should definitely invest in an apron! I am one messy cook. I’m constantly getting everything on my clothes, the counter and the floor. My dogs are loving Thursdays for that reason. My mom, not so much. I am lucky that my dogs are always at my feet to lick up any spills right away. The cleaning-up-after yourself part is totally annoying. If ever a counter is invented that just automatically cleans itself I will be the first to jump on that bandwagon. Until then, Thursdays are deemed “Stacy’s Sloppy Kitchen” night by my family.

Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients: 1/2 cup park-skim ricotta cheese, 1 egg beaten, 1 ounce shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided, 1/8 teaspoon Oregano leaves and basil leaves, Dash garlic powder, 4 curly-edged lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions and drained, 1/2 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Spray 2 individual casseroles with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In small bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and the seasonings. Mix well.

3. Place cooked lasagna on damp towel and spoon 1/4 of the cheese mixture lengthwise along the center of each noodle; starting from narrow end, carefully roll each noodle to enclose filling.

4. Place 2 rolls in each sprayed casserole and spoon 2 tablespoons sauce over each roll; sprinkle each roll with 3/4 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and bake until thoroughly heated, 35-40 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients: 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese divided, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 3 garlic cloves crushed, 1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped, 1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese softened, 1 block fat-free cream cheese softened, 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach thawed drained and squeezed dry, 1 package baked tortilla chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (Parmesan through Spinach) in a large bowl, and stir until blended.

3. Spoon mixture into 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

4. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozarelle and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

6. Serve with tortilla chips and Enjoy!


Italian Pesto Sauce

Ingredients: 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided), kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste), 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped

2. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth

3. Season with salt and pepper

4. Add all remaining oil and pulse until smooth

5. Transfer the pesto into a large serving bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese

6. Mix with pasta and Enjoy! Also excellent when mixed with vegetables and/or chicken.




6 responses

18 05 2010
Kristin Cassidy

HAHAHA your funny. I love you!

25 06 2010

love you too big! miss you

18 05 2010

How about coming to my kitchen, say on Tuesday nights, and practice your culinary skills on us!?!

25 06 2010

If you think you can handle the mess, then you got it! Haha

23 05 2010

Just thought I’d let you know I’m following your blog. Thus far: very entertained. Can’t wait for more sloppy updates and hopefully in a couple Thursdays I’ll sneak away from Stefan’s and stop in for a dinner myself 🙂 xoxox gglittle

25 06 2010

Always happy to entertain! Miss and Love you! Please stop by anytime you’re in Jersey!

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