When I started blogging and poking around the food blog world, I discovered a fun little thing that I wanted to be a part of: the Secret Recipe Club. In essence, it's a group of food bloggers who are assigned each other's blogs in secret and then all post at the same time and reveal what they made at the same time. A fun way to read other people's blogs and see what they make. And try new things too. I was intrigued. You can find all the details and rules here on the Secret Recipe Club's website.
But there are rules: you need to keep an index; you need to take your own pictures; you need to give proper credit; but the most daunting was the 100 recipe minimum. It took a while, but when I reached 100 recipes I made sure I was in compliance with the rest of the rules and filled out the form to join.
I think that was most of a year ago. I don't remember exactly when I sat down and made sure things were in order - but I'm pretty sure I set up the index over March Break last year. It was a long wait, but a few weeks ago I was invited to join! So exciting! I'm thrilled to be joining Group A for the first time!
The blog I was assigned was Why I Am Not Skinny. Maxine is a South African expat living in Belgium. I love Belgium. Almost as much as France, but not quite. Spending a year in Flanders will do that to you. France is a place where I learned to eat - and took my cooking in a totally different direction. I made stuffed chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy for my host families, and learned to make good Bechamel and Tarte Tatin.
I went through lots of recipes on Maxine's blog, thinking I'd actually get to use the measuring cup I brought back with me from France 20 years ago, and then I found something that looked so good. When I read the title to J, he was all in.
I present to you now my inaugural Secret Recipe Club post from Why I am Not Skinny, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Pasta Shells:
20 Jumbo Pasta ShellsAdapted (slightly) from Why I am Not Skinny
1 recipe of Creamy Spinach
4 oz bacon, finely chopped
4 Tbsp butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Red onions, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1 c milk
4 oz Sharp Cheese
1/4 c Seasoned Panko crumbs
1. Cook pasta to al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet, adding garlic and onion. Cook until onion is soft and add chopped bacon. Cook until bacon is cooked through. Remove from heat, and add creamed spinach.
3. Stuff shells with spinach mixture and place in 9" pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. Make cheese sauce: In a saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add flour to make a roux and cook, 3-4 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, to ensure that there are no lumps. Add 3/4 of the cheese, stirring until melted. Pour over shells.
5. Sprinkle with Panko and shredded cheese.
6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
Join me in the blog hop! See who made something from here for dinner!!