When a Casserole Says I Love You

This week marks another week on the road for the Practical Cook. One of the most challenging things for any cook is planning, and planning for someone else to execute in one’s absence is that much more complex. So what is the very last thing I did before heading to the airport on Sunday? I stuffed some shells of course.

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Because my job (which I dearly love for the flexibility and support) requires some travel, I find myself challenged to use up what’s on hand, ease the burden of childcare, and support my ideals of home-cooked food in my absence. What better way than leaving behind a casserole of some sort?

Stuffed Shells with Cooking Directions Attached

Stuffed Shells with Cooking Directions Attached

The last time I left town, I left a roast in the slow cooker. Apparently part of my exit strategy is leaving food behind. Technology affords me the ability to talk to my kids on a webcam in real time. Wow. My Great Depression era cook self drives me to make comfort food.

Swiss chard saved from the compost heap!

Swiss chard saved from the compost heap!

In this case, I sauteed some Swiss chard, a small amount of leftover spinach, and some green garlic in olive oil. Tossed with ricotta cheese, some nutmeg, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and grated Parmesan. Stuff shells, cover in sauce, seal in foil, add instructions.

I love you kiddos!

I love you kiddos!

I know that the Practical Cooks Junior ate their veggies on Tuesday night, and have leftovers ready for lunch or dinner on Wednesday. I can sleep just a little bit better. Sometimes a casserole says I love you.

Do you have a favorite make-ahead or leave-behind dish? Join the conversation here or on Twitter.

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Next time, what may become a controversial review of In-N-Out Burger: Another Adventure in Eating.



Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

4 responses to “When a Casserole Says I Love You

  1. You’re so smart to leave behind a casserole. When I travel if I haven’t done this, I find that my boys have eaten rotten choices!

    • The Practical Cook

      To be fair, I left behind some blackberry popsicles, too! But at least I know what was in ’em. 🙂

      It does take the “mom guilt” out of business travel!

  2. AHi (aka Sleep Deprived Southern Mother)

    Southern comfort with a healthy twist. I love it. I dare say most of our kin would not. Their loss…

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