When 5:00pm rolls around, my house turns into a baby feeding, bath-time giving, dinner-making machine. Everything needs doing at 5:00pm. So today, when Judah went down for his morning nap, I thought I'd make dinner ahead of time and try to shrink our 5:00 list. We're having stuffed shells, (see recipe below) which is great to do in advance. After the first batch was complete, I still had about a dozen shells left over. So I made a different kind a filling, stuffed those, and froze them for later. Then I saw the pile of extra grated zucchini I didn't need. Can't waste! So I made up a batch of our favorite muffins, whole wheat apple-zucchini (recipe also below). I found a recipe at gardenguides.com and altered it just a bit. But as I was grating apples, mixing up the muffins, draining and stuffing a few dozen pasta shells, and making a huge mess...you can guess...Judah woke up. And with cries coming through the baby monitor, John Jay called and was on his way home for a lunch break.
In my efforts to lighten my load, I just moved 5:00pm to 11:00am.
But all is well. John Jay was home just in time to rescue Judah, who then played in the kitchen long enough for me to wash the giant load of dishes I dirtied and eat a few yummy muffins.
A box of jumbo pasta shells
1-2 jars marinara sauce
fresh spinach, 2-3 cups chopped
1 grated zucchini
one container ricotta cheese (12-16 oz.)
1 1/2 t. oregano
1/2 cup Parmesan
one can of sliced mushrooms
a little salt and pepper
•Boil shells according to box instructions (recipe makes about 20 shells, but boil a few extra in case they break) and drain
•Grease casserole dish
•Mix all ingredients for filling and stuff in (cooked) shells.
•Pour marinara over and cover with foil
•Bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes, uncover and top with a little mozzarella and bake about 10-12 more minutes.
Whole Wheat Apple Zucchini Muffins:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar packed
3/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini
1 peeled and grated apple (or 2 if they are small)
•Preheat oven to 350˚ and grease muffin tins or use liners
•Mix all dry ingredients
•Beat eggs until pale yellow and add rest of liquid ingredients. Then fold in apples and zucchini.
•Stir wet ingredients into dry just until blended
•Bake for 25-30 minutes
(makes 1 dozen)