Secret Cravings’ Secret Recipes: Author Tamara Hoffa

Happy Easter Eve, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great weekend. We’re busy, busy, busy preparing for the Easter Bunny’s arrival, but we wanted to make sure we shared another fabulous recipe with you. 



Tamara Hoffa has graciously joined us once again and she’s brought a recipe that’s quite fetching 🙂 Please give her a warm welcome…

 Hi guys! It’s Tamara Hoffa again. It’s Saturday and I have a new release coming soon and a new recipe for you today.
Fetching Love releasing May 2.

 Here’s an excerpt:

With a jaunty wave Chad headed home to meet his brother for lunch. He pulled out his phone and speed dialed his mom. She answered on the second ring. “Circle R Ranch.”
“You didn’t look at the caller ID did you, Mom?”
Laughing she said. “No, I didn’t. I’m up to my armpits in tomatoes and just grabbed it.”
“Tomatoes? Are you making sauce?” he asked eagerly.
“Yes, I am and I could use some help peeling all these tomatoes.”
“I’m on my way home. Have a paring knife ready for me. Did Chase tell you he was coming up to the house for lunch?”
“Yes, he did. I’m focusing on dinner for our guests tonight, so you boys will have to make due with sandwiches.”
“How ‘bout I stop at the deli and pick up some subs and chips?”
“That sounds wonderful. I’ll take a turkey with lettuce tomato and mayo, no onions.”
“You got it, Ma. I’ll see you in few minutes.”
“’Kay.” She hung up without saying goodbye, typical of his mother when she was cooking.
Chad found his mother exactly where he expected her to be, at the kitchen counter. He set the bag of food on the table and came up behind her, giving her waist a quick squeeze and kissing her cheek. “Got that knife ready for me?”
“You betcha. Over there, by the other cutting board. There’s about a half a bushel left to peel.”
Chad flinched inwardly, that was a lot of tomatoes, but for Mom’s sauce it was worth it. He picked up the knife and started pealing. “So, are you making the sauce for tonight? What are we having?”
“Some of it is for tonight, yes. The rest I’ll freeze. I’m making stuffed shells.”
Chad’s mouth watered at the thought. His mom’s shells were the best and if he wasn’t mistaken he smelled fresh bread baking. “Homemade garlic bread too?”
“Yes, and salad.”
“What’s for dessert?”
“I hadn’t really decided yet. Are you angling for something in particular?”
“You know what I want, Ma.”
“Cheesecake,” they said at the same time with a laugh.
The back door swung open and Chase sauntered in. “Hi, Ma. It smells great in here.” He snatched a slice of tomato from the board in front of her and she slapped at his hand. “Get out of that, you. The tomatoes are for the sauce.”
“You’re making sauce and Sam and I didn’t get an invite for dinner?” He gave her his best puppy dog face.
“We’re having Megan and Doc over for dinner,” Chad interjected before his mother could speak.
“I’m making plenty. I’ll send some home with you and you can make my Samantha some nice spaghetti for dinner.”
Chase looked crestfallen. “Aww, come on Ma. You know I hate to cook.”
“Yes, I know, but Sam has been working too hard and she is big as a house. It’s the least you can do for her. All you have to do is boil up some noodles.”
“I’m telling her you said she was big as a house,” he teased.
Wiping her hands on her apron she placed her hands on her hips and gave her middle son the stare. Chad turned back to his tomatoes so he didn’t get caught in the crossfire. “I beg your pardon, young man. Did you just threaten your mother?”
Chad struggled to keep a straight face, laughing now would earn him a smack in the head, but it was so funny to see his itty bitty mother squaring off with her six foot plus son. Watching out of the corner of his eye he saw Chase drop his head and mutter, “No, ma’am. I was only teasing.”
Chad bit his cheek and continued to peel tomatoes.
“Shoo, you two. Get out of my kitchen. Go eat your lunch in the living room.” She took the knife from Chad’s hand and pushed him toward the door.
So can you guess today’s recipe? Momma Ryan’s Stuffed shells with tomato/basil cream sauce (Maybe I’ll share grandma Kate’s cheesecake one day, if you twist my arm)  My son has been a vegetarian for the last twelve years and I came up with this recipe for him. I will warn you I don’t really measure so ingredient amounts are approximated… and I only know how to make enough for an army!
Sauce:
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 quart heavy cream
3 cups fresh chopped basil
1tsp sugar
¼ cup red wine
Simmer low for 1 hour – do not boil!
Shell Filling:
4 cups Ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan/ Asiago cheese
1 cup diced mushrooms
½ cup diced sweet onions
6 cloves minced garlic
4 cups chopped fresh Spinach
2 TBLS butter
1 TBLS olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In medium skillet melt butter and add olive oil, sauté onions mushrooms and garlic until soft, add spinach and cook just until wilted. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl combine all cheeses and add cooled vegetable mixture. Season. Stir thoroughly.
Prepare 2 Lbs Jumbo shells per package directions, drain and cool.

Stuff shells with cheese/vegetable mixture and place in a shallow baking dish ( I use an industrial 20 x 30 pan)  2- 9 x 13 pans will work. Cover shells with sauce and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mange! Moulte Bene!

 Thanks so much for stopping by, Tamara! Good luck on your new release and I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family.

Readers, as always, thank you so much for joining us. We hope you have a great weekend. From our families and from our publishing family at Secret Cravings, we wish you all a magical Easter filled with many blessings 🙂




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