Stuffed Shells 2 Ways

This past week Ryan has been working nights.  Occasionally his schedule gets switched around and he moves from days to nights.  He isn't the only one, so one thing spouses have done in the past is cook dinner.  This is especially good when they are on nights because there are limited food options on base in the middle of the night.  Plus, who doesn't love a home cooked meal?!?!

This time was no exception.  I tried to get as many spouses as possible to chip in and volunteer some cooking hours to keep our active duty military members well fed when they are working different schedules and longer than usual hours.  I was trying and trying and trying to decide what to make that would be well accepted by mostly guys (there is one girl in his shop and I have no idea what shift she is working this week) who are used to either the chow hall or fast food, although those that are married probably get home cooked meals more often.  I decided a casserole of some sort would be the easiest for Ryan to transport to work.

After looking for a few minutes, I stumbled across THIS recipe.  I haven't had stuffed shells in a very long time and this appealed to me because I could pack in those veggies and hide them in cheese and under the sauce.  Zucchini, red peppers, black olives and onions galore!  Yes, I even added a little more than what the recipe called for.  I also went with the lower fat ricotta.  I must say that for my first time making stuffed shells, these turned out pretty nicely.
Add sauce on top and melt the cheese, and voila, this was the perfect meal to send in to the guys.  The verdict?  Ryan said they all loved it.
Well, after I sent him off with those shells, I decided to experiment a little with the shells I had left over.  I decided to make mine with shrimp.  I had picked up a can of baby shrimp at the commissary because they were on sale and I was curious.  It was the perfect addition to the cheese mixture.  So I used the same basic recipe but left out the veggies, mixed the cheese with the egg and then added the can of drained shrimp.
I must say, this was awesome!  I had enough for dinner and lunch the next day.  And since I used all the veggies up from the one for Ryan, I made sure to add a veggie on the side for me.  Yum!
I am so excited that these turned out so well, but even more excited because I inspired some of my friends here to experiment with stuffed shells too.  My coworker did some with shrimp and crab and another friend was thinking about doing the veggie shells for a Friday dinner since they can't have meat.

QUESTIONS:  When was the last time you had stuffed shells?  If you could stuff anything in your shells, what would it be?

Making Juice

I know, I know, it's been a while again.  I wish I had more exciting news, but it's really just been busy with work and with school.  But, the good news is that things are slowing down and I am gearing up for a trip back to the States.
In the meantime, Ryan purchased us a fun juicer on Black Friday (and it didn't arrive until January!).  I am not a huge fan of juicing (as a diet aide or "lifestyle", and I would advocate to eat the fruits and veggies first and foremost, but juice, especially fresh made, can be a nutritious part of any diet. 

I really like our juicer because it is an extractor, not just a "squeezer" style machine.  The fiber from the pulp can be easily added back in.  Plus, you can make almond milk in it!
Fruit around here is so expensive that thinking about juicing it seems like a waste of money (at $2 something an apple that becomes the most expensive glass of apple juice ever!), so when I found a big bag of oranges for just under $4 I knew we had to start off with some nice, fresh OJ.
This was not what I was expecting.  In fact, I was a bit impressed by the color and consistency.
Juice, juice, juice and a little while later we had this amazingly creamy OJ.
But, alas, it was a Saturday night and we couldn't wait until Sunday with breakfast.  So what did we do?
Yes, we made homemade screwdrivers...and it was one of the best drinks I have ever had!

QUESTIONS:  Do you have a juice or make your own juice?  Have you ever made your own almond milk?  Any fun plans this weekend?