Monday, February 13, 2012

An Ill Friend

Michael and I have a friend who had her second back surgery in about a year a few weeks ago.  Michael knows Miss Imogene through work (they are both Realtors in the same office), I have known her much longer.  This wonderful woman sold my house when I got divorced.  We had listed the house with her once before when it looked like we were moving to Houston (thankfully that fell through) and I absolutely thought the world of her.  She tells you exactly like it is!  Price, condition, what needs to be done and being the bargain shopper I am, where you can get it done right for the least amount of money.

You may or may not know that here in the states, a realtor does not get paid unless you buy or sell your property.  All the work they do, all the miles they travel are on their dime.  They don't get a salary from the real estate office they work for, they get paid by the seller and that's it.  You get paid when you have a closing so it can be feast or famine (we live that life everyday).

My ex-husband is a very demanding customer, so demanding that I would not want him as a customer (may have something to do with why he is the ex).  Miss Imogene dealt with him constantly, sometimes many times a day in regards to the sale of the house.  God Bless her! I do not know how she did it and kept her cool at all times.  I have considered her a dear friend since then.  After all these years since the house sold in 2005 she still asks for the girls (by name) and how the dogs are.  She is really a Real Estate Professional and a very special person.

Anyway she is pretty much housebound and in a wheelchair with a great deal of pain so...I am bringing over some supper for her and her husband later this afternoon.  I know a Costco chicken wandered their way late last week so shes probably chickened out by now (those are some BIG chickens) so I was trying to figure out what to take to her..something that doesn't require a lot of work on her part and hopefully something that they would enjoy.  Of course my mind went completely blank!  As I was running my errands earlier I thought...why not Stuffed Shells?  Everybody loves Italian food and the left overs are great!  So here is my recipe for...

Stuffed Italian Shells

1 box large shells
32 oz fat free small curd cottage cheese
1/2 pound grated  reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-24 oz jars spaghetti sauce
2 eggs
1 Tbls Italian seasoning
some salt and pepper

Cook shells according to directions on the box.  The one I used suggested boiling them for 9 minutes since they are going to be baked.  Drain and cool on a cookie sheet (I had never cooled them like this before and it worked great).  In the mean time mix together the cottage cheese, 2/3 mozzarella, 2/3 of the Parmesan, the eggs, Italian seasoning and the salt and pepper.  Spread enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan you will be using (this should fill nicely a 9x12 pan).  Fill each shell with a little over a tablespoon of the cheese mixture and put in pan.  Do this until you either run out of shells or you run out of cheese!  Cover the shells with sauce, sprinkle with the remaining cheeses (you can add more if you want of course).

Bake at 350 for around a half an hour covered, than about 10 minutes uncovered to brown.

You may notice that there is no ricotta cheese in this.  That was one of my Mom's hints.  It saves fat and calories but more important it saves money!  I scored on the sauce today at the Costless outlet.  I found a three pack of Barilla sauces for only 3.99 and for someone that makes their own sauce normally, it tasted pretty dern good!

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