Authentic (Quick) Italian Tomato Sauce for Pasta

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sauce and meatballs

Authentic Italian tomato sauce for pasta, and best of all it’s quick. This sauce doesn’t have to simmer for hours to taste GREAT. Quick, easy and the best tomato sauce. you will want to make this time, and time again. Another great authentic Italian recipe from Christina Cucina. Meatballs Recipe

sauce

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (like De Cecco or Lucini)
  • 4 or 5 cloves fresh garlic (not in a jar, dried, powdered, or frozen) preferably grown in USA
  • small bunch of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 (28-32 oz) carton/jar of chopped tomatoes or puree (like Pomi or Bionaturae) ultimately, fresh Roma tomatoes are best if you have them
  • about 1 1/2 level tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 or 4 large leaves of fresh basil

To enjoy with pasta as soon as the sauce is ready, put a large pot of salted water on the cooktop over high heat and cook the pasta (I prefer De Cecco)

Pour the oil into a large saute pan (not a deep pot) over medium high heat. Crush the garlic and add it to the oil. Sauté the garlic until it just starts to brown, then add the parsley.

Turn the heat up to high.

Now add the tomatoes, and quickly cover with the lid for about 30 seconds, until the squirting subsides. Stir with a wooden spoon and lower the heat a little. It is important that this sauce is cooked at a fast simmer, as it is cooked briefly.

Add the salt and continue to simmer at a fast pace, and stir often.

The sauce will thicken quickly, so do not overcook it, and have it become too thick; about 5 to 7 minutes should be sufficient.

Taste the sauce, if it doesn’t taste delicious, it probably just needs a little more salt.

Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil (I tear mine into pieces).

Also, unless absolutely necessary, do not wash your basil.

Wipe it with a damp paper towel instead, so the water doesn’t ruin the flavor and aroma.

Add sauce to the drained pasta (save some pasta water to add back into the pasta in case it’s too dry), and enjoy immediately with some freshly grated authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Meatballs, Italian Style

meatballs

Meatballs, Italian style, and they taste fabulous! Authentic Italian recipe from Christina Cucina, a true Italian. These are the best meatballs, tender and moist. My new go to recipe! Must try Tomato Pasta Sauce

sauce

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, organic
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken or turkey, organic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 or 2 tbsp milk (if too dry add 2 tbsp vs. 1)
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz) breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves, finely minced garlic
  • olive oil for frying the meatballs

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, until evenly combined.

meatball mix

Shape into meatballs (whatever size you prefer) and place in a hot frying pan with olive oil.

Cook until browned all over. If you are using them in sauce, they will continue to cook, so there is no need to make sure they are completely cooked through.

On the other hand, if you will eat them without further simmering in sauce, make sure they are thoroughly cooked.

Serve as desired.

sauce and meatballs

How to Make Iced Green Tea that’s NOT Bitter

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green tea

I never liked making Green Tea at home, because it was always too bitter. Thanks to a post from More Than Heels I learned to make it, and it turns out great every time. Green Tea has so many health benefits, and it has no calories.

1. Open about 15 green tea bags and rope them together by the strings. You’re going to make the tea stronger than normal to make up for the ice watering it down.

2. Measure out about 80 oz of water- 10 8oz servings. This isn’t set in stone- you could adjust for taste, but this is the ratio I follow. Put the water in a large pot and put on the stove over medium heat.

3. Allow the water to heat up, but not too hot. You should be able to put your finger in and it not burn you. Don’t let the water boil! It should not even have bubbles forming on the bottom. This is very key to keeping the green tea from getting bitter.

4. Hold the tea bags by the paper tabs and dip them in the water. Swirl around and steep for no longer than two minutes. This is the second important step for maintaining the delicate taste- don’t over steep!

5. Remove pot from heat and remove tea bags. I always press the tea bags out over a strainer to get all the liquid out before discarding.

6. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate. Allow to cool completely, pour over ice and enjoy!

Homemade Natural Deodorant

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Homemade Natural Deodorant

no bo no bo2

DOUBLE THE RECIPE IF FILLING EMPTY CONTAINERS

Homemade Natural Deodorant – Get rid of that junk with the aluminum and all the chemicals!!  This is a great recipe, and it really works!! Keep in refrigerator.

Where to buy dōTERRA essential oils click here

Dr. Oz:No B.O. Deodorant Cream

The deodorant has just five ingredients, but you have to make it in the correct order or the ingredients will actually blow up! It’s science :D

Dr. Oz explained that the acids in the lemon and vinegar prevent bacteria from growing, so it makes sense that the homemade deodorant would work.

deordorant

Homemade Peach Pie

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peach pie

You’re going to love the smell of this fresh homemade peach pie baking in the oven. No can stuff here, just fresh all the way. I love the look of a lattice pie crust!

1 recipe double-pie crust dough

2 1/2 pounds ripe peaches (6-7 medium), peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 cup, plus 1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP juice from one lemon
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch table salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface, then fit it into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll the other disk of dough into a 13 1/2 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Trim the dough to a 13 by 10-inch rectangle with straight edges and slice it lengthwise into eight 13-inch long strips. Separate the strips slightly, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until very firm, about 30 minutes. *Note: You don’t have to do a lattice crust on top, you could just put the second disk of dough on top and cut slits in the top to let steam escape.
Toss the peaches and add 1 cup of the sugar together in a large bowl and let sit, tossing occasionally, until the peaches release their juice, about 1 hour. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Drain the peaches thoroughly through a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. In a large bowl, toss the drained fruit, the reserved juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until well combined.
Spread the peaches into the dough-lined pie plate and weave the chilled strips of dough over the top into a lattice. Let the strips soften for 5 to 10 minutes, then trim, fold, and crimp the edges. Lightly brush the lattice with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Place the pie on  the heated baking sheet and bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate the baking sheet, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes longer. Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours; serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
peach pie 2

 

Scalloped Potatoes

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scalloped potatoes

Here’s a great scalloped potato recipe that’s so easy and absolutely delicious. These potatoes are oh so delicioso and cheesy! A great side dish!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top
  • paprika

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.
  2. Let sit for a minute.
  3. Add all of cold milk, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Season with salt and cayenne.
  5. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
  6. Reduce heat and stir in cheese.
  7. Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish.
  8. Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.
  9. Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  11. Top with some paprika for color.
  12. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350°F.

Grilled Asparagus

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grilled asparagus

My favorite way to eat asparagus is to grill it! Grilling gives your food a huge punch of flavor so you really don’t need to add tons of spices and other ingredients to make it taste yummy. Putting them on a skewer makes it a lot easier to handle.

All you need to do is drizzle the asparagus in olive oil, juice of ½ lemon, or to taste, Kosher Salt,  Freshly grated black pepper. Bam! You’re done.

Ready for the grill! Grill 3-4 minutes on each side of the skewers.

I like to do zucchini the same way!

grilled asparagus 2

Banana Bread

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banana bread

Super simple recipe for homemade Banana Bread that uses basic pantry ingredients and is so moist it melts in your mouth! Super moist, perfectly sweetened, and easy banana bread. I like to add a chopped cup of pecans, or walnuts.

banana bread 2

2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

14 teaspoon salt

12 cup butter,

34 cup brown sugar

2 egg, beaten

2 13 cup overripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture just enough to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Firecracker Chicken

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firecracker chicken

A wonderful combination of sweet and spicy flavors that tastes a million times better than take-out! This recipe has a perfect balance of sweet and spicy with a hint of the buffalo sauce. It’s called Firecracker Chicken, but my husband renamed it…[ DYNAMITE Chicken] it’s that good! He’s not a chicken fan, but loved this, and it’s my daughter’s new favorite. It’s always a good feeling to please your loved ones.

It’s so easy to make, and the taste is amazing. I saw the recipe on Pinterest many times, and finally made it. I’m glad I did, because this will be on the menu often.

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 cup cornstarch
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with non-stick spray.
  • To make the sauce, whisk together sugar, buffalo sauce, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
  • Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Top with buffalo sauce mixture. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes to evenly coat the chicken.
  • Serve immediately.

Don’t forget the fortune cookies ;)

fortune

 

How to Cook Perfect Rice

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rice wfb

A method to cook prefect rice. It took me a long time, and a lot of tries, to cook rice without ending up with a sticky, mushy mess. Thanks to Anetta at The Wanderlust Kitchen for sharing her technique (she has a secret weapon). For rice to be so simple, it’s hard to get it perfect. This method produces tender, fluffy rice like the kind they serve in Thai restaurants.

Step-by-step here

It’s an absolute MUST to rinse your rice properly before you put it over heat. Again, for instructions see Anetta’s original post.

Serves 5 cups

Ingredients
  • 1½ c. long-grain white rice, jasmine rice, or basmati rice (no brown rice)
  • 2 c. water
Instructions
  1. Measure out 1 ½ cup of rice and pour it into a saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Move over to the sink and run some room-temperature water over the top of the rice until it covers the rice by about an inch. Use your fingers to swirl the rice and water around the pan. Drain the water off of the rice using a fine mesh sieve or through your hand if you don’t have one. Repeat the process of adding water, swirling, and draining three more times.
  2. Once you’ve finished, measure 2 cups of water and add it to the pot. Stir the rice as you add in the water, but do NOT stir it again once you’ve turned the heat on – ever.
  3. Set the pot over medium-heat and patiently wait as it comes to a boil. Let it boil until the water level drops below the level of the rice (the rice will be peeking through the top). Turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible, place the kitchen towel over the top of the pot, and cover the rice with the pot’s lid. Bring the edges of the towel up and twist around the handle of the lid so they aren’t dangling down near the heat element.
  4. Set a timer for 15 minutes and walk away. Once that timer goes off, turn the heat off entirely and let the rice sit for 10 more minutes before taking off the lid. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve hot.

 

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