Thursday, December 30, 2010

Special thank you, shout out to Lori of for the how to on adding my current book. Thanks friend!!!

Spaghetti, just to PASTA time

 It was spaghetti time soo...I had to mix it up. I'll have to admit I was OVER my blah ol' straight out of the can $hi# and so was my husband.  So... I set out to make my own sauce, and spice up my go to staple. Don't think I'll ever go back. Probably a good thing.


1 package Jimmy Dean Original Sausage
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 whole head of garlic
1 package store bought mushrooms
1 can Muir Organics Italian Stewed Tomatoes Whole
1 can Muir Organics Italian Stewed Tomatoes Diced
1/2 cup marinara sauce
salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Italian spice blend to taste
1 package spaghetti noodles

I began by browning my sausage completely and setting aside.

Jimmy Dean, original sausage. It was a great change up to regular ol' ground beef.
  Next, I chopped and use my food processor to get my veggies ready. By hand, I sliced up my red bell pepper, pretty chunky and my mushrooms into thick slices. Then, I added my red onion and head of garlic to this bad boy and chopped it down really fine.

My new Hamilton Beach food processor. Thanks mom!! This bad boy took a good 15 minutes off my cooking/chopping

Red bell pepper and mushrooms for my sauce
 Into a large saute pan, I first added my marinara, canned tomatoes, and my onion/garlic mixture. I let this simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then salt, peppered, garlic salted, and Italian spice blended it to taste. (with the help of my honey) I then let that all simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes. Lastly, on medium-low heat, I added in my bell peppers and mushroom and let that cook, only until they were soft. When the veggies were soft, I added in my drained sausage and called it good.

Oh yeah, I cooked the noodles according to package directions and tossed it in a little bit of EVOO when it was done.

The sauce was hearty, chunky with vegetables, and uniquely flavored by the sausage. Best of all..everyone LOVED it! Ooohhh yeah!!!

 I kept the noodles and sauce separate so everyone could take what they wanted. YUM! I used Franz brand Garlic Sourdough for soppin' up the sauce. So good.

My new sauce, served over spaghetti noodle, with a slice of store bought Garlic Sourdough bread.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Magic of Christmas

It's crazy that it's all over. Christmas time that is. I love the holidays so I am sad to watch them go so quickly.
With that all said we had a great time. My mom, step-dad, and sisters came over on Christmas Eve.
We had a giant dinner: Prime Rib, Turkey, Crab, mashed potatoes, broccoli in a cheese sauce, freshly baked loaves of bread, pumpkin pies, banana pudding, all an array of Christmas cookies. Pretty sure I didn't take pictures though. We were having too much fun and I was drinking wine. Ooopps.
My girls got to open their gifts and headed to bed early in anticipation of Santa's visit. The adults however stayed up late drinking Cabo Wabo and various other concoctions.

Christmas morning

Grandma Maggie's house in Hoopa, CA

Maggie crashed out for a midday Christmas nap

The next morning bright and early, Mina came in to tell us that, Yes indeed Santa had come!! The girls got really cool stuff from Santa and he ate up their cookies. My honey spoiled me, really. I got a great gift certificate to a boutique in old town Eureka, Alirose. I always am eyeing their jeans!! AND a spa package at the Eureka Spa.  I love this place. Can't wait to use it.
The girls and I bought, Jed some board games, Last Word and Monopoly ( he's always talking about how good he is at Monopoly, we'll see about that) and some really nice Danner work boots he needed. 

Needless to say everyone in my family and my friends knows about this blog and my cooking. My girlfriend Amanda got me some Taste of Home cookbooks, my mother in law bought me a single cup Keurig coffee maker, a book of cookie recipes, and for my birthday earlier in the month a Kitchen Aid hand held mixer.
My mother got me a Hamilton Beach food processor, and my sister Heather got me a Comfort Food cookbook. Close friends of our also gave me a pyrex set for baking and storage. Wow, thanks guys. Where am I going to put it all?? No really thanks. :-)
Looks like alot of new recipes to try and post.

Everyone was happy and the day was great. My family is my magic.

Since I didn't take pictures. I should have but ya know shit happens. I'll give you a one of my cookie recipes. They are basic but Christmas traditions at our house. Peanut Butter.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • Directions

    1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
    2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour. ( I didn't do this part )
    3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.