Follow Me on Instragram

Instagram

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Red Sauce

We had to deal a bit with Tropical Storm Isaac (nka Hurricane Isaac) Sunday and Monday ... Sunday was just wicked wind and rain. Power out at 8:30pm Sunday night. Thankfully, AFTER dinner and doing dishes AND posting the weekly menu plan. Power was restored on Monday at 8:00pm, thanks to Chain Electric Co. out of Kansas, I believe? 6 trucks and about 18 men ... woo hoo!


So, yeah, I'm taking the easy way out and re-posing a recipe ... it's what we had for dinner on Sunday ... Hubby wanted to get a big pot of it simmering on the stove but I couldn't find any italian sausage, but DID find a big bag of sauce already made ... I was pretty thrilled that I had it!

Hubby loves this stuff and swears it taste best the following day. Makes quite a bit, 14 cups or so AND I generally freeze in quart size bags for a quick defrosting dinner.   Nothing better than rooting around in the freezer and coming across a bag like this ... SCORE!

Make sure that you do this on a day where you have plenty of time to just putz around ... you want this to simmer for a good 4 to 5 hours for optimal texture and taste.

The original recipe was taken from a newspaper food article, Noodles Panini ... I still have the cut out clipping taped inside the spice cabinet ... whenever Hubby makes it he flips on the bay leaf...bay leaf phobia is very very hard to overcome, apparently. I have to sneak them in and THEN remind him that he needs to remove THREE leaves before eating (mine are small so I use 3). If we don't, it's guaranteed that he will get the bonus and gag. Nice, huh?

A side note? I am thankful in a roundabout way that my pantry no longer has THIS many cans of tomatoes ...



19 cans of diced tomatoes ... really.

Let's hop to it and get you a pot of sauce simmering!

About 2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs (or so) Italian sausage (I used 4 to 5 links, and slice through the casing, peel it off and break it up)
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tsp marjoram
1 large bay leaf (or 2 to 3 smaller ones)
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup water
About 90 ounces crushed tomatoes (3 large cans) ... I just buy one of them Costco sized tomato sauce cans, I think its' 105 ounces? because hubby doesn't do chunky cooked tomatoes)
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup loose packed fresh basil, julienned (you know, sliced thin!)

Heat olive oil in LARGE pot. Add onions & garlic, saute for a minute or so to sweat. Then add sausage and cook til no longer pink, breaking up as you go.

Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh basil. Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Once the sauce hits the thickness you like, turn it off and let it cool down a bit. Take the basil (if you remember!) and stir them in to the pot ... honestly, I forgot 80% of the time and it's still pretty damn good without them.

Serve up with your favorite pasta. Freeze excess into serving portions your family uses. I freeze in gallon size bags but think next time I will do quart size ...

Enjoy!



Linking up with these GREAT blog hops ... go check them out!
Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link& amp; Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Menu Plan - Week 35

I reallly think I need to go count on the calendar to make sure it really is week 35?? Just doesn't seem like that can possibly be ... but I'm sure it is!

This weekend was a wash, seriously. We had Tropical Storm Isaac in our face (tv, radio, weather, you name it) and we pretty much took it to heart to be conservative and get stuff done on Saturday, 'just in case'.

That meant laundry, cleaning, quick review of freezers and pantry, and cooking. I also made mayo just in case we had to tap in to the tuna supply ...

The freezers gave me a small disappointment ... I apparently AM using up what I have on hand, went hunting for some italian sausage to make red sauce Sunday and what the heck, I had NONE. I did however, find a bag of sauce, so it's not a total lost. But still, we were looking forward to a pot of sauce cooking on the stove all day long.

So here we are, another week in of using what we have on hand ...

Sunday - Italian style. Pasta with red sauce and garlic bread (pasta in pantry, sauce from freezer, garlic bread from freezer). May also make a caprese platter but I don't have any 'fresh' mozzarella, but do have a small brick. Not the same but I want to use up 2 tomatoes that are getting soft. Will also make a small salad and some Oliv-y Garden Dressing.





Monday - taco salad ... hoping to cook the beef in the morning before I go to work (beef in freezer, salad stuff in fridge, took out last cheddar cheese pack from freezer)



Tuesday - Shrimp of sorts. Today is the last day of the shrimp sale for the month of August at The Fresh Market. $7.50 a pound for 21-30 court, peeled with tails on and cooked. Good price AND the shrimp is the best I've had lately. Buy 2 lbs every week for freezer ...

Wednesday - could be a night out with Hubby or it could be a simple chicken and veggie dish (both items are in freezer)



Thursday - Chef salad. I may need to make a stop and get some more produce ... have quite a bit of lunchmeat that was picked up last week on sale

Friday - As it's moving in to a 3 day holiday weekend which hopefully will involve some boating and a visit from Sonny Boy, I'm going to leave tonight and Saturday open for Hubby. I'd really like to make pizza as it's been awhile but we shall see.

Saturday - Leaving it up to Hubby as I don't know what our plans our (heck, we are under a massive amount of rain and wind as I type this on Sunday so ... you know, I'm just putting together possibilities!

I have a Costco list going right now. After reviewing the pantry and freezers to prepare for a possible tropical storm weekend, I realize I'm getting low on quite a few things. Not a HUGE issue, especially since I'm trying to change up our eating habits a bit ... but there are somethings that will be needed soon ...

Linking up with Organizing Junkie ... go check it out!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Honey Mustard Dressing

I love honey mustard dressing with my salads or to dip chicken pieces in, but it's really not that healthy when you buy it in a bottle from the store shelve. I mean, seriously, the 2nd ingredient is HFCS ... really, on a bottle of Ken's LITE Honey Mustard Dressing. That was an all time favorite in this house, and imagine my disappointment once I started reading labels.



Ken's ... we would have 10 bottles of this stuff in the
pantry back in the days of being clueless

 
BUT, Tammy over at Tammy's Recipes shared her recipe a while ago, and I am just addicted to this stuff ... definitely a keeper and worth sharing (AGAIN and AGAIN) the way I make it ... (don't forget to check out Tammy's site, shes got some GREAT recipes over there...

1/2 cup olive oil (personally, I've started using half and half of extra and regular)
3 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs water
1/4 cup honey (tip: measure the oil first and pour into bowl THEN measure the honey in same cup, will pour right out for you!) ... FYI - made this with some local wild flower honey and yummmm
1/4 cup grey poupon mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt (or more, but for me, its' good as I'm salt sensitive taste wise)
dash pepper

Place all in jar with tight lid and shake, shake shake to mix. I used my cruet that I got from the last church sale for 25 cents. Store in fridge for up to 1 week. Somehow, it just never last that long for me...




It's a little thinner than the store bought stuff, but the flavor is like a burst of happiness in your mouth. I use this to make the Aussie Style Chicken, Cobb Salads, ordinary every day salads, and even top my burgers with it ... what can I say, I love this stuff!

Linking up with the following great blog hops ... go check them out!
Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You MondayMeatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link& amp; Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu Plan - Week 34

Can someone check and see if that's REALLY the right week? Hello? Ummm....never mind ...

We got Sonny Boy back to Orlando on Saturday. Fortunately, I didn't become a weeping mess, probably because I was physically exhausted. He had requested the THIRD floor apartment (to eliminate bug issues AND to avoid the party noise on lawns) and well, NO ONE apparently took in to consideration the fact that we had to climb three flights of stairs for each box to move ... good grief Kid!

Then his girlfriend, she lives on the 2nd floor of another building (same complex) ... and being a girl, had like, 10 times the amount of stuff, so climbing up and down to her apartment was probably worse than his. Needless to say, I believe I got my exercise in for the day.

So, now, we are flat broke, boy-less and can get back in to our usual food groove. Thank you God!

Unfortunately, as we were unloading the quick grocery stop (brisket and taters for Sunday's dinner), I noticed a puddle of oil ... sure enough, the tahoe was 2 quarts low and we definitely blew something on the way home ... yikes. So there it sits for now, and I'm sure my wonderful bonus from last week is going towards this. Much as I had hoped I could put that in the no-touch savings (and boost the account from $60 to $1060) ... it's not going to happen.

Still working on the freezers and WOW, we are really starting to see gaps here and there. Of course, I bought about 10 lbs of b/s chicken breast because it was $1.39 a pound which is an EXCELLENT deal and well, we eat alot of chicken around here!



Sunday - picked my Dad up at noon and we were eating by 3pm ... beef brisket, mashed taters and gravy and green beans ... beef and taters were purchased, the rest came from freezer/fridge/pantry.

Monday - I'm thinking some shrimp since the allergy-laden with shellfish issues kid is out of the house. How about some bangin shrimp? Going to be slightly modified to eat the 'new' way. All ingredients are on hand.

Tuesday - Stir fry chicken with some cauliflower, I can't believe it's not rice (recipe will be posted this week AFTER I try it and can say that. I'm not a big fan of cauliflower!). Most likely will use boneless skinless chicken thighs as I have quite a few of those still in freezer. Everything else is on hand (including a head of cauliflower which I have 2 of hanging around in the guest fridge)

Wednesday - Would like to think DATE NIGHT but I doubt it ... need to be saving our pennies. Wedge salad (providing the iceburg is still alive and well) ... otherwise, cobb salad ... all ingredients on hand ... if not I will have to improvise!

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - grillin and chillin ... chicken with veggies ... may need to get some peppers by this time which is fine ... I will stop at the produce market if I do ... much cheaper than the $3.79/lb for red/yellow/orange peppers. Geesh.

Saturday - I've got a couple of pork tenderloins hangin out in the freezer that I'd like to cook up ... maybe some Island Pork or Sweet and Spicy stuff? Need to pick up a mango or two if I do :) Guess I better decide by Friday night! Of course, if we go boating, all bets are off, and would be best to stick something in the crockpot to eliminate the slightly sunburned, slightly hungover and way too tired to cook mode ... back up plan could be pulled bbq pork and a coleslaw if I can find a recipe that I like!

What do you have on the menu this week?

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday, Menu Plan & Blog Hop, Menu Planning ... go check them out!