Sunday, February 24, 2013


Every time I make spaghetti sauce, I change it a little bit. The difference is usually based on what ingredients I have on hand at the time. I have come a long way from the spaghetti sauce I used to make, which was combining a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce with ground beef and calling it a day. Now that I've adapted to making my own sauce, I won't go back to the other again because this sauce is so much better. One day I will make sauce by using fresh tomatoes, but I haven't done that yet.

This is absolutely a base recipe. Feel free to add or subtract ingredients in any way that you like. I know there are a million different ways to make spaghetti sauce and everybody has their likes and dislikes about what they like (my husband and I hate mushrooms, for example). Around here, we like a chunky sauce, and this is what this recipe turns out to be.


1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 large onion (or whole, small onion) chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano 
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper
1 cup water

Brown the beef and sausage in a large pot, then drain off the fat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool. Serve with spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

I also usually add some crushed red pepper flakes because we like a little spiciness in our food around here. The sugar added into the sauce is not to make it sweet but to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. You won't notice it. One final ingredient that I often add is a tablespoon of butter (not margarine). It seems to blend everything together and makes the sauce go from ordinary to decadent. Then again, maybe it's just the southern girl in me coming out that thinks everything tastes better with a little butter. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winner Winner.. Pineapple Chicken Dinner!


2 pounds of chicken
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 pats of butter
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
20 oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. In a medium-size bowl, stir flour with sugar, then whisk into melted butter. Stir in pineapple juice. Keep stirring with whisk for about 5 minutes until the sauce becomes thick and bubbly. Add in soy sauce and pepper.

Lay chicken in pan and pour sauce over chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, and then add crushed pineapple to pan, pushing pineapple pieces into the sauce. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, basting a couple of times until tender.

Serve over rice.

*** This is an adaption from a crock pot recipe that I made last week. I did not prefer the crock pot version and waited to share the recipe until after I'd converted it. This recipe is basically two recipes that I'm familiar with, rolled into one. I was quite proud of myself for coming up with it and will be making it again!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Sauce

Today's recipe can be used in a lot of different ways. I'd been wanting to try this recipe for a while after finding it online. I had all the ingredients for the sauce, but nothing to eat it on! Last week when I went grocery shopping, they had angel food cakes on sale for $2.99, so I bought one and made this sauce to drizzle over it. It was so good!! Sorry no picture though!


1/4 cup of butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cold milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. In a medium-size bowl, stir flour with sugar and cinnamon. Then whisk into melted butter until mixture is moistened. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

This sauce is best served warm!!