Spaghetti Sauce

February 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m sure by now that you are all tired of seeing me post about spaghetti sauce… I’m sorry, but this is the one that I’ve settled on for perfection. 🙂

1/4 large yellow or sweet onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
about 5-7 baby carrots, minced
about 4 medium or large white button mushrooms, if desired
Extra Virgin Olive Oil first cold press is my favorite!
1lb ground beef (the leaner, the better! I usually get 97% lean)
Ocean Spray Cranberry-Pomegranate juice (just a splash! Maybe a quarter cup?)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
ground sage
Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash
Lawry’s Garlic Salt
Lawry’s Garlic Powder
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
and don’t tell anyone, but also about 4 or 5 taps of ground ginger

And now for instructions!

I usually put the water for pasta on to boil. It doesn’t matter what kind of pasta you use – Angel Hair, Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Wheels, Shells, Macaroni, etc.  I prefer Spaghetti 2 or 3. (That’s the thickness of the pasta.) I also cook it past al dente, but not until it’s soggy.

Anyways… Once the water is on to boil, I add a pinch of kosher salt. Now I can ignore it until later.

I dice the onion and mince the garlic and carrots. If I have them, I also slice up some white buttom mushrooms.  Then I heat up my big skillet (any large pan with high sides will do).  I pour a little extra virgin olive oil in – I have an olive-oil dispenser with a spout, so I just drizzle it around the pan a few times. I don’t need to cover the bottom, just add the flavor and keep stuff from sticking.

Then I add in the vegetables, along with a pinch of kosher salt and about 4 grinds of black pepper.

As it starts to cook, I add the cranberry-pomegranate juice. Not a lot.

Once that has cooked down a little, I add in the beef and brown it. As it browns, I usually add oregano, garlic & herb mrs dash, sage, and garlic powder.  I just cover everything. Note I said cover – not coat. Just tap or shake across your cooking vessel evenly and stir as you go!

After the beef has been browned, I add in the can of petite diced tomatos and let it cook a short while.

After a few minutes, I add in the can of tomato sauce, and then start adding oregano, sage, garlic & herb mrs. dash, garlic powder,  pepper, and garlic salt to taste. I also add about 4 taps of ground ginger – that is my super-secret ingredient!!

Then, simmer the sauce for as long as you want! The longer it goes, the thicker it gets. It tends to splatter, so covering it with a screen is useful for keeping your stovetop clean. 🙂

If you want to make marinara, omit the beef and mushrooms, and use a food processor on the onions, garlic, and carrots for an excellent sauce!


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Leftovers Into Chinese

February 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Well, we had a bunch of broccoli left over from pork roast night…and when we went out to Outback,  my sister didn’t eat half of her steak, so we took it home…and she forgot it!!

I don’t know about you, but I dislike reheated steak. Actually, reheated is fine. I just don’t like rare meat!

Well then. Check the cupboard, check the fridge, check the freezer.  What can I do with 3 ounces of beef for two people?

One egg left…add to grocery list… hmm… Why do I have three open boxes of boil-in-bag rice?

Oh inspiration!!!

Fried Rice Ingredients:
1 bag of boil-in-bag rice, cooked
some thinly sliced baby carrots
two handfuls of frozen peas
1/8 sweet onion, diced
1 egg
a little oil (I used olive)
minced onion
dark soy sauce
garlic powder

Beef & Broccoli
leftover outback steak house, sliced thin
frozen carrot rounds
1/5 onion sliced
garlic powder
soy sauce
minced onion
some oil
leftover broccoli

So, I boiled up the rice while I did my slicing and dicing.

I also heated up the pan for the beef, added a little olive oil, then tossed in the onions and carrots, followed by salt and pepper.

After a few stirs to get things hot,  I added some of my delicious dark soy sauce and some honey.

(this is where you have to focus on two pots/pans) at once lol

I also put oil in the pot I’d used for rice, added the rice, peas, and onions, plus pepper, garlic powder, and soy sauce.

When the carrots were defrosted and the onions cooked mostly through, I added the beef, the broccoli,  ground ginger, garlic powder, minced onion, and some more soy sauce. I also ended up adding a handful of water lol.

Once the peas and onions were mostly cooked, I added in an egg and fried it up, mixing with the veggies.

Then, I added the rice back in, plus some more soy sauce!! ^,^.

Dished it up! Fried rice and beef & broccoli in a bowl. Tasty! Wish I’d had more lol.

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Honey Garlic Pork Loin

February 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm (cooking) (, , )

oooooh yyyyyeaaaaah.

The other night, Mom wanted pork roast. So, I got to the market and grabbed a pork loin.

I decided to do something a little different, based off a steak I had in August that was de-(dirtyword)-licious!!!!

So. I put the pan on medium heat, drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil to lubricate the pan.

Then, I brushed the top with honey. This was followed by a sprinkling of kosher salt, then adding garlic powder over one side.

After the first side was all brown and delicious, I flipped it and added honey, a little more salt, and then, again, covered it with garlic.

I wound up adding more honey to both sides, during the cooking.

It spent half its cook time on low heat, covered, and half its time on medium heat, uncovered.

It was SO good! Deep rich brown, delicious, sweet, and garlicky. ^__^.

SO DARN GOOD!!!! I can’t wait to do it again! ❤

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Chicken Pot Pie, Redux!

February 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Alright. I was frustrated with my failure last time.

This time, I was sure I could figure out how to do it!


Start with a large chicken breast.. or two smaller ones, whatever. This was big and chunky.

In a pan, I used a little extra virgin olive oil, and dusted the chicken with garlic powder and parsley. Then, I cooked the breast til it was done. (You can see the thermometer sticking out lol…sorry. I used a frozen breast.)
And now… onto making the Pot Pie part!

6 taps of nutmeg (my secret ingredient mwa ha ha)
fresh ground black pepper
kosher salt
1/3c flour
6tbs butter
1/4 stalk celery, minced
1/2 lg sweet onion, kinda diced/minced
2 handfuls of baby carrots, sliced into rounds
the cooked chicken breast, cubed (after a rest)
2/3c half and half
1 and 3/4c chicken broth
frozen corn

frozen peas
frozen green beans
a roll thingy of Pillsbury pastry crust
Also, preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit! 🙂

I put the flour, about 12 grinds of pepper, a healthy pinch of salt, and 3 taps of nutmeg in one bowl, the celery, onion, and carrot in another.  I also prepped the butter, half and half, and the chicken stock.

So. I didn’t even bother cleaning the pan… why lose the delicious chicken-y goodness?

I turned the heat up to medium, and melted the butter.

Once the butter was melted, I added the bowl of flour. After that was incorporated, I added the bowl of sliced’n’diced veggies.

Once they had cooked down, and it was all happy and bubbly (nothing like a lovely golden roux to make me happy), I started adding broth and the half and half in batches, mixing it in all the way before adding more.

I tasted, and wound up adding more pepper and 3 more taps of nutmeg.

Once it was all in, I cooked it up to a happy boil, stirring the whole time.  After about a minute, I added the cubed cooked chicken, and frozen veggies. Don’t really know how much veggies… maybe about half a cup each?? I like green beans in my chicken pot pie, Mom requested corn… worked out, I think. 🙂

After that, I shut off the heat.

Got out my ramekins, and cut out 4 rounds of pastry dough.

Dished out the goodness.

Oh yeah. That looks good. (Don’t mind my shoe!)

Then, I put the rounds on top, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled it with salt.

Ain’t it purty?!

Then, I cooked them for 15 minutes at 425 F.

Hot and bubbly and smells great!

What’s this? I made a FIFTH one for myself as a lunch?? Why goodness, how did you get there, my creamy luscious delicious chicken pot pie-y goodness?

Oh yes. You were delicious….
I am SO happy that it worked out!!!! 😀  It is perfect and tasty and I am SO happy!!

And I REALLY like the salt on the crust. Tastes SO good lol!!

Definitely want to make it again and recommend it!!

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