Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Five Favorites, with a Bonus Recipe!

To make up for my near-internet absence of the past few weeks, I'm joining the Five Favorites link up hosted by Hallie Lord at Moxie Wife.  I am totally new to this scene, and it looks like fun.

1.  I'll start this post how I start my day: dark.  As in whole bean dark roast/ I want to be a cowboy/ way-better-than-good-to-the-last-drop goodness.  Yep.  I am a Mystic Monk devotee.

If you have never ordered from Mystic Monk, you are missing out!  Visit their website, check out their roasts, and have a religious experience.  Seriously.  No other coffee will ever make you happy again.

2.  I wouldn't be able to rock the whole bean without this:
Easy to use & inexpensive.  The Mr. Coffee model I'd bought at Target two years ago still does its job.  That is my kind of appliance!

3.  Speaking of appliances: I love my Cuisinart CBK-200 bread maker.  Not so much for bread, mind you, as for making the perfect home made pizza dough (enough for 2 pies).  When my game is "on," this baby saves so much money in ordering delivery.

Pizza is my son's favorite food.  Using this I can make it a whole wheat or near-to-whole-wheat crust.

4.  Sticking with the pizza-in-the-kitchen theme.  Three words: Pampered Chef Stoneware.  My Pampered Chef pizza stones are well seasoned, believe you me.

5.  OK, so we're still on the subject of pizza, and we all love good stuff cheap.  Having married into an Italian family, I learned to make a pretty decent sauce from inexpensive pantry items.  This was just necessity.  And I've adopted the brand of my mother-in-law, which was that of her mother before her: Tuttorosso.

I use the green can. One can makes more than enough sauce for 2 pizzas. When making up sauce for a meal of Eggplant, pasta, or lasagna, I usually cook up three cans, on low heat, for three hours. A crock pot works great for this. Oh heck, here... have my recipe:

Lee's (Mostly Stolen from Her Husband) Homemade Tomato Sauce
 1-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of finely chopped garlic (or use a teaspoon of the refrigerated pre-chopped kind)
1-3 small onions, finely chopped (but if making pizza sauce, I just use onion powder, because 2 of my children don't like the texture... picky eaters, you know?)
1-3 cans of Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes
1-3 teaspoons of sugar
oregano (While I prefer fresh herbs, I typically have to stick to the dried variety, which still works!)

1.  Start with warming your olive oil, add the garlic and brown it (which flavors the oil), then add the chopped onions.  Season it!  I tend to toss in some salt and sugar at this point, and cook the onion until tender.  FYI- I use a one-for-one ratio on the onions and sugar.  So if I make up only one can of sauce, I use one onion and one teaspoon of sugar here.  If I make up three cans, then I use three onions and three teaspoons of sugar.
2.   Plop in those cans of sauce.
3.   Have fun adding those Italian seasonings!  I start off with a couple of tablespoons of each kind, stir, taste, add, and repeat, until I've brought it to a happy place.
4.  Stir often.  Keep stealing tastes after each stir.  You are looking for that acidic quality to abate and have the flavors get smooth.  (Does that even make sense?  I dunno.  I never went to cooking school.)
5.  Ideally, three hours on low heat makes this unbeatable.  If pressed for time however, you can cook it on high for half that time, or even less if cooking on the stovetop.  Just keep stirring and tasting.

There you have it: my five faves for this week.  That was fun!  Click over to the Moxie Wife for more favorites, and let your heart melt over her sweet newborn, Charlie!

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