Monthly Archives: October 2015

Rustic Artichoke stuffed pasta shells 


Happy Friday great foodie friends.

As fall arrives so does the memories of comfort foods & fall flavors. From savory soups, braised ribs and of course filled pastas. 

Today we look at a perfect heartwarming filled shell pasta! 

Makes 24 stuffed shells

  
Ingredients

1-16 oz box jumbo shell pasta

Your favorite tomato pasta sauce

2 – 15 oz containers ricotta cheese

14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rustically chopped.

1/2 lb lean browned ground beef (I also love to use ground veal mixed in with my ground beef, it makes it extra rich and flavorful) 

1 cup diced red or sweet onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Parmigiana cheese

 Directions

Mix the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.

Fold in the artichoke pieces and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

  
Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Boil the jumbo pasta shells following the directions on the box. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  
Add your olive oil to your favorite pan then add in your diced onion and soften. Brown the ground beef and the minced garlic and let cool once browned. 

Now mix the ricotta mixture with the cooled ground beef and set aside.

  
Warm up your tomato sauce in another pan and heat through. Then remove from the heat.

Spread 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  
Fill each jumbo shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta / ground beef mixture and place seam up into the baking dish.

Repeat until you run out of ricotta/beef mixture.

Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the stuffed pasta shells.

** A little added fun! Make your favorite garlic parm cream sauce and drizzle over the top as well for some added flavor! 

  
Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the ricotta filling is heated through and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove baking dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 to 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells and dust with Parmigina cheese.

  
Recover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve this perfect fall dinner with your favorite garlic bread and salad and maybe even the perfect sip of vino.

Enjoy! 

You Gotta Try This! 

Study pegs value of food reviews 


Happy Wesnesday great foodie friends – 

Found a great article from Sauder Business School – UBC on 24 hours News. 

This is exactly what drove me to food reviews as it is a tool I have always used. Further to that you get to know different writers in different areas who you feel are honest and real to their word reviewers with culinary knowledge.

Thank you Michael Mui and 24 Hrs. As well as Marketing Professor Chunhua Wu out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC 

   
 It’s your first time travelling to a new place — say, Vancouver — and you’re looking for somewhere to eat. And since you don’t have anyone to ask, chances are good the search will take you to a food review website.
This is the idea that led marketing professor Chunhua Wu, out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC, to figure out just how much value restaurants get out of these reviews.
And if you were a new person in Vancouver searching online, his findings suggest that the search just contributed $1.50 to the local restaurant economy.
To arrive at that conclusion, however, Wu had to find people regularly using these sites, and how many actually visited the restaurants after reading the reviews.
His answers were found in Dianping.com, the largest consumer review website in China, which gives users discount cards if they check in to an eatery.
The findings suggested 15% of the users actually showed up to eat shortly after reading the reviews, based on about 5,000 users’ browsing habits for the top seven hotpot restaurants in Shanghai.
At those restaurants, the average person is likely to spend $17 (prices converted from Chinese currency), and Wu calculated how much value each review reader, on average, contributes to the restaurants’ incomes, regardless if someone shows up — it was about $1.50.
“We found it’s very interesting there’s so many online reviews but we don’t know whether consumers value this, or whether it would change the profitability of restaurants,” he said.
“If you have 200 potential customers looking at your (review) website today, if you have really high consistent ratings, it will give you 200 times $1.50.”
The study is limited, however, in finding out how different types of reviews might impact whether customers show up, since he picked only the top restaurants.
“The content is more important than the rating … it contains more information than just the numerical ratings, people read the messages and try to figure out how it can fit their own taste,” Wu said.
Other questions include whether score ratings are consistent — if they aren’t, customers might not trust the review.
Things like the “star status” of a reviewer and their accuracy also matter, as do the number of upvotes given to reviews considered more “useful” than others.
Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, agreed with the author that reviews are more likely to matter if tourists are reading them.
“The emphasis is on people if they are travelling to places, where there’s no reference point. They’re looking for something they feel is an independent point of information. They don’t have friends, they don’t have anyone to tell them — those online reviews, in that case, work better,” he said.
All told, the average total each of the seven restaurants got out of people reading reviews was about $7,300 per year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Friends


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Candian friends! 

Remember to be thankful for all that you are greatful in life and spend your time with family and friends.

As I always say I truly believe that food brings us all together through our heart and souls and connects our families and friends forever.

Eat well and share your recipes and photos with us and I promise we will share back! 

Enjoy the weekend