Saturday, December 01, 2012


Yes, it's true: I'm always facing a book-due deadline. But even when I'm hip-deep in character drama, my family wants to eat. So I've relied heavily on my trusty slow cooker, especially in December, when decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping and other Christmas preparations pose deadlines of a whole different kind.

My Christmas gift to you? Thirty-one of my (and my family's) favorite tried and tested recipes--posted one per day--that are sure to save you time and earn lots of "Hey, that was super!" comments from those at your supper table.

Here's a sneak peek at what you can expect, beginning on December 1st. I hope you'll enjoy--and feel free to copy, share, and even 'change-up' these recipes!

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Loree's Meat-and-spinached-stuffed Shells


1 pound lean ground beef (turkey, veal, etc.)
1 egg, beaten
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-squeezed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
1/2 teaspoon (dried) minced onion
1/2 package saltine crackers, crushed
1 package large shell pasta, cooked and drained
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella chees


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 9x12 baking dish with Pam
Spread a thin coat of spaghetti sauce on bottom of pan

Mix everything (EXCEPT PASTA AND SAUCE) in a large bowl
Spoon meat mixture (usually about 2 tablespoons each) into cooked pasta shells
Lay filled shells in baking dish
Cover generously with spaghetti sauce
Sprinkle HALF the cheese over the shells
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil
Bake 30 minutes and remove foil
Bake an additional 15 minutes

Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

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