Meal Planning Monday #5

With being out of town on Monday, my whole cooking routine was a little off.  I didn’t get to the grocery store until Tuesday so didn’t cook as much, but my little sister sent me a great recipe that she made this week for my blog (thanks Hay).  I only cooked twice eek! We just had leftovers from the weekend and my mother in law sent us home with food so it would have been wasteful to not eat it.

Also, while confessing the truth about cooking this week, I made fish tacos from the boys’ stripers they caught.  I am not a fish taco kind of person, and I was missing some crucial ingredients so they were just ok.  So much so that I’m not even gonna post the recipe, because they were a made up flop.  I’ll probably give them another shot some other time. The two recipes that I am posting about are both winners tho!!

This recipe has floated around my family for a couple years now and is my cousin’s uncle’s recipe.  Yes, I’m for real on that credit to Uncle Jason who is not really my uncle, but we called him that.  Well Uncle Jason owned a restaurant for a while and this is his soup.  Be warned it makes enough to feed an army.  Or to just freeze half of it for later.

Uncle Jason’s Tomato Basil Soup


2 (29 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (29 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup dried basil
2 tbsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste


In a large pot cook tomatoes, tomato sauce, and butter.

Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Once simmering, add cream and return to a simmer.

Add salt & pepper, sugar, and basil.

Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency.

I am a smooth soup kind of girl and don’t love a lot of chunks in my soup.

tomato basil soup (1)

Photo Aug 16, 11 11 31 AM
Sou chef Parker Kate
Photo Aug 16, 11 23 00 AM
Hayley just wanted to let me know that it was the perfect soup day in Texas

The other recipe I made this week is on the normal rotation at our house after a co-worker introduced me to it: Mexican stuffed shells.  So just like Italian stuffed shells, but with a tex mex flare.

Mexican Stuffed Shells
adapted from The Way to His Heart


1 lb ground beef
1/4 package taco seasoning
4 oz cream cheese
16 jumbo shells
1 bottle taco sauce (not salsa)
1 cup salsa
1 cup fiesta blend cheese
green onions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta shells al dente for 7-9 minutes

While pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef and drain the fat.  Add 1/8 cup water and the 1/4 taco seasoning to ground beef.

Next add the cream cheese to the meat and cook on low until it has melted.

Spray a 9×13 pyrex pan with cooking spray and layer a little bit of taco sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

Stuff each shell with meat and set upright in the pan until all shells are stuffed.  Cover the shells with the remainder of the taco sauce and the salsa.  Feel free to do less or more on the sauce according to your own preferences.

Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted.  Top with sliced green onions and serve.

mexican stuffed shells

Here’s hoping I cook more next week 🙂  Happy Monday!

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