Tag: pasta

spaghetti!

Best Ever and Dead Easy Bolognese Sauce

You know when you’re driving home from work and you suddenly think – Oh shit! What are we having for dinner? Ya, well that never happens to me. lmao

I’m going to present you with a tried and true, dead easy pasta sauce. I learned it from one of my all time favourite TV cooks, Giada de Laurentis. I met her back in the day when I used to watch the Cooking Channel as I burned calories on the treadmill. It was the only way I could get through it. (I think that’s irony… yes?) Anyhow, Giada introduced me to easy Italian recipes, and taught me a TON of cooking tips in the process. I use her her first cookbook, Everyday Italian, regularly. It was given to me in 2005! Now that’s almost vintage. 

giada cookbook
An oldie but a goodie.

What I like about this sauce is that you can put it together with very basic ingredients and it’s FAST. … although making it without fresh basil kinda sucks, so you will want to have a little forethought and pick up a bunch of the fresh stuff. Oh and you must have some pecorino romano or at least parmigiano reggiano. 

handful of basil
Nice photobomb, Annie!

Oh and one more MUST … a can of crushed tomatoes. I always keep cans of crushed tomatoes in my pantry, SPECIFICALLY for this recipe. It simply is not the same with any other kind of tomato product – whole, crushed, sauce, etc… You NEED to have a can of crushed tomatoes. It creates the perfect consistency without any need to fart around with simmering down a watery sauce or thickening with tomato paste. Who the hell has time for that? NO ONE. Ok, lots of people do. But not me.

When you grab all of the ingredients that you will have on hand now that I’ve told you, it will look kinda like this (plus a can of crushed tomatoes that I forgot to put in the picture): 

ingredients
Those are heritage carrots. The orange one was purple before I peeled it. Yes, they’re very fancy carrots…

And here’s my beef about beef. I’ve decided that I am no longer buying grocery store ground beef, because it’s just plain STINKY. When it cooks it lets off a fuggy dead cow smell … and my neighbour, a cattle raiser (or whatever the hell she’s called), told me that the smell is from the crap ass chemicals in the beef. Buy the good stuff and as it cooks all you’ve got is beautiful smelling chuck. AND SHE WAS RIGHT!! 

hamburger1

Let this sauce simmer for as long as it takes to cook your noodles and then it’s ready to eat. Nothing to it.

spaghetti!
Ta Da!

I could type out the recipe into my fancy widget, but Giada has the recipe on her website, and you’re gonna want to visit Giadzy! It’s a great site. 

Get the recipe here.

 

Expanded Family, Same Old Traditions

The week gone by was, well, life changing. Not just for me, but for my whole family, and for Bree, the wonderful girl who has joined it. All sorts of meetings and stress are behind us, and while there are likely many challenges ahead, we’re feeling pretty peaceful for now. We’re at the cabin, happy to show her around and share with her some of our traditions. She has already noted that we are a very “singy” family … so when we did our Disney princess challenge on the way in (in which one person sings a Disney song and the others try to name the movie faster than the others), she wasn’t overly surprised.

The other day she asked what exactly we DO up here. I think she’s figuring it out, and is starting to find her own groove. She’s been swimming, enjoying big breakfasts and plenty of baking, relaxing, exploring the woods. She likes to fish but is terrified of boats. We’ll have to work on that.

Today has been a day to make a few of the comfort foods that we love to eat when at the cabin. Buttermilk biscuits for breakfast…

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Annie ate 7. Omg.
Cinnamon buns for an afternoon snack …

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I only ate 3. 
Pasta salad, chicken parmesan and Gingerbread cake to take with us to Andrea & Mike’s for dinner…

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Once around the fridge pasta salad.

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Paul flattens and breads chicken, then fries it. Mmmm.

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Gingerbread cake is cooling. Almost ready to make the icing.
A good day so far!!

Peace out.

 

Lunches. Suck. 

It’s the night before the first day of school all across Ontario. Kids are irritated that their summer is over but they don’t have to give a crap about lunches because at this stage of the game the parental units are feeling generous with their time and making lunches that their kids might actually like. Truth.

In this household we started with the obligatory chat on the way home from the cabin. “So, what might you want to have in your lunches this year?” Yawning silence. Best friend of 14 yr old daughter says “well I can tell you all of the things she eats out of MY lunch…” OMG why the hell didn’t I think of that LAST year?? Turns out: pasta salad and perogies are favorites. Who the hell would guess that?? Jeez.

So tonight I embark on making pasta salad all 3 of us will like. It goes like this:

No dressing for the 12 year old. Add dressing and tomatoes for the 14 year old. Add peppers for me. Done.

Then I decided that muffins would be a good idea, so I whipped up a batch of blueberry lemon muffins. The kids have both stolen one and they’re ‘good’. Gee thanks.

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Love the Pampered Chef muffin pan … makes pro muffins every time.

Finally, I need granola for my own personal survival. I like it with yoghurt and whatever fruit I can salvage. It’s the perfect thing to keep at work and eat whenever I have the chance. This granola is a Deborah recipe … made with coconut oil and maple syrup and cinnamon and a dash of cloves … nice and crunchy and flavorful. I will give you the recipe for this one since it’s insanely good – not like that lame-ass orzo salad that I hobbled together with whatever was in the fridge…

After tomorrow’s lunch everyone is officially on their own. It’s all downhill from here.

You’ve Gotta Be Nuts Granola (odd title, but bear with me)
In a large bowl mix:
3 c large flake oatmeal
1 c slivered almonds (I used sliced, whatever)
1/2 c raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
Reserve: 1 c raw pecan halves (you’ll add this to the whole mixture after 15 minutes of baking time)
Melt together:
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c butter
Add: 1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (go with it)
1/8 tsp salt
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, mix. Spread onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 325 degrees (where the hell is that symbol on an Apple keyboard? Wtf). Add pecan halves and toss. Bake another 15 minutes or till the stuff at the edges is looking dangerously brown. Cool. Store in an airtight container. Eat it and share it and be the granola boss.