Shrimp Stuffed Shells Recipe

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This was a first for us – we’ve never tried Stuffed Shells before but I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and it looked intriguing. The only thing we didn’t use was the potato starch (I’ve never seen that in a grocery store!) but it turned out great and was delicious – enjoy!

Shrimp Stuffed Shells (Cooking Light) – Serves 5

20 Uncooked Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped shallots
2 T. minced garlic (~6 cloves)
1/2 c. (4 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 c. 2% milk
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
1 lb. medium shrimp coarsely chopped
1 T. potato starch
3 c. marinara sauce
1/3 c. grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 400

Cook pasta for seven minutes or until al dente, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add cream cheese, milk, and pepper; cook until cheese melts, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in basil.

Place shrimp in a bowl. Sprinkle with potato starch; toss well to coat. Add cream cheese mixture to shrimp; toss well to coat. Divide shrimp mixture evenly among pasta shells. Coat a 13×9 inch glass dish with cooking spray; spread 1 c. marinara over bottom of dish. Arrange shells in a prepared dish; top with remaining 2 c. marinara and sprinkle shells evenly with parmesan. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until shrimp is done.

Happy Holidays 2014!

I hope everyone is enjoying a restful and relaxing holiday break. Below is the yearly collage I put together for my holiday card – always a fun project to look back on all the wonderful families and couples I photographed. Merry Merry one and all!!

CLICK HERE to see the full size front of the card and CLICK HERE to see the full size inside!
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August Cape Cod Trip

In August Norah and I headed down to the Cape to celebrate her bestie Emily’s 1st birthday. We stayed on for a few days – went to the beach, lounged under the trees, Moms had a night out (!!), and generally had a glorious time. It is so fun and special every time we get together to see the girls becoming more and more interested in one another. Fun times ahead!

Too much partying for Norah – time for a nap!
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Playing with some birthday presents
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First time at the beach! At first she was unsure but then she loved crawling in the tide pools….and eating sand.
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A pause for fabulous hair.
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Our besties.
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Summatime and the living (and playing!) is easy
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Norah looks a little tired again (but she’s wearing my old dress!)
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Ahhhhh – too much cuteness!!!
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And a lobster roll (not for the babies!) lunch to end the trip before we headed back home.
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Oh summertime you are wonderful!!

Simplicity Parenting

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Ages ago way before I had Norah I pinned the cover of “Simplicity Parenting” to my books to read list – the subtitle “using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids” really appealed to me even though I didn’t have a parenting philosophy yet. Now that Norah is a year I feel like we kind of have a parenting philosophy and this book is and will continue to be a part of it. The book is divided into sections which discuss simplifying various parts of life – the ones that appealed to me most were stuff and schedules.

Our house is small which I love – as a result it means we have to be very intentional about what comes in the door – otherwise it would be a cluttered mess. Since having Norah I’ve read a lot about toys and play and really subscribe to the idea that less is more – if kids have too many toys they get bored constantly because they are overwhelmed by all the options. Simplicity Parenting really confirmed this – they talk about pairing toys WAY down and cycling them out every few weeks to keep things fresh and interesting. This will obviously become more difficult as Norah gets older and starts having her own opinions about things but my goal is to keep toys and stuff to a minimum so she can really play with and enjoy the toys she has, and only bring really beautiful toys into our house that we want to see every day!

Schedule is the second piece that I see will be a huge ongoing struggle for our family. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a habit of filling my schedule and being constantly on the move. I’m realizing that this does not work well for Norah and have adjusted a bit but I anticipate that I will have to do so even more. Any parent knows it’s a constant balancing act between work and family and being a small business owner I feel is in some ways harder because you have to be even more intentional and firm about setting your schedule. Then of course when she’s older we will have her agenda (sports, birthday parties, playdates, etc.) to content with but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Anyway – it’s a great book and I feel like it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to with different lenses each time – I highly recommend it!

VT Baby Photography :: Reed

My final shoot of 2014 was with Reed one of Norah’s buddies from daycare. When I was editing she kept getting very excited when she’d glance up and see her friend – super cute. Reed is a few months younger than Norah – just starting to pull up and really get the hang of crawling. He made us work for his smiles but he is so sweet and his hair gets me every time – what an adorable kiddo he is! Enjoy the photos!
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