Quick & Easy Red Sauce for Pasta!

I had a handful of Campari tomatoes leftover and didn’t want them to go bad. A red sauce sounded good. Something simple and fresh. I didn’t have enough Campari tomatoes to make enough for two servings, so I added a large can of tomatoes. I also added minced onion, because I like it and a wee bit of minced garlic towards the end. The last few minutes I threw in some fresh basil. What resulted was heavenly. I always thought you had to simmer sauce for a long time for it to be wonderful. NOT TRUE. I simmered this 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes broke up and looked “saucy”. Topped with some parmesan atop penne pasta it was AH-MAZING!

I will make this with all fresh tomatoes soon, while they’re so good. Sometimes I will toss the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute then into an ice bath so that they peel easily, but usually I leave the skin on.

Click HERE to print the recipe!

Quick & Simple Red Sauce

Ingredients:

Olive oil

Slice of onion, minced

1-2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 – 28 oz. can tomatoes (I use petite diced or whole, peeled – then break up)

(OPTIONAL): Handful of fresh tomatoes (or more) – I used Campari

Small pinch of sugar (⅛ teaspoon)

S & P

Fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

Heat olive oil in medium – large saucepan on medium high heat.

Saute minced onion, after a minute or so, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the can of tomatoes and fresh tomatoes (and their juice!).

Sprinkle in the pinch of sugar, S&P.

Simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until tomatoes are broken up.

You can add the chopped basil right before the sauce is done cooking, or you can add it and remove it if you just want a little taste. Another option is to use dried basil, but if you can use fresh, that’s the best!

Cook your desired pasta and drain, top with the red sauce and top with a sprinkle (or two!) of parmesan.

Freezes well.

This makes enough for 2 servings + a little left over for a lunch the next day (or freeze for a lunch later on).

Enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

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Caprese Chicken Recipe – too good!!

I remember the first time I had Caprese salad… it was at an Carmine’s Italian restaurant in NYC. I couldn’t believe how fabulous. I wanted to eat there every single meal.

This chicken dish has the fabulous freshness from the tomatoes and basil and the added deliciousness of the mozzarella. I used fresh mozzarella, a favorite of mine. This is good served with pasta or rice, or a good salad. I’m thinking that’s what we had with it, a salad.

The recipe is from DELISH.com, click HERE to print the recipe (or save to Pinterest, etc.)

Caprese Chicken – Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

S & P (I used Himalayan Sea Salt)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

4 slices of mozzarella (or shredded, whatever you’ve got)

Directions:

In large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil.

Then season the chicken with S&P and cook until golden and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side – transfer to a plate.

Add balsamic vinegar to skillet to deglaze, then add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt. Let simmer until soft, 5-7 minutes.

Stir in fresh basil.

Return chicken to skillet and nestle in the tomatoes. Top with mozzarella and cover with a lid until the cheese melts.

Spoon tomatoes over chicken and serve.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

 

 

Banana-Oatmeal Bread – Good and good for you!

I always like to try a recipe as is the first time, then make alterations based on what we like/don’t like. This recipe was excellent as is. I lightened it up by using less oil and substituting applesauce for 1/2 the oil. (I’ve also substituted applesauce when I’m a wee bit short on bananas – I’ve made banana bread with extra banana in the past and it’s tricky getting the middle to cook, so keep that in mind… I also added walnuts – I think they add so much!

I didn’t use a mixer, so this was quick and easy to toss together and is quite excellent as a hearty breakfast with yogurt and fruit or a midday snack to get you through until dinner!

Click HERE to print this recipe – or click HERE to see original Cooking Light recipe.

This recipe is a favorite that you will likely make again and again – Recipe inspired from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

Are you looking for a quick and easy recipe no-bake cookie recipe? I didn’t think I was a fan of the no-bake chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies – but after I made them (I’m not sure if this recipe was different, but let me tell you…) OUT OF THIS WORLD! Bonus… you don’t even bake them!

Once you mix up the batter, you spoon onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or silicone baking sheet), let sit 30 minutes and they are done!

Click HERE to print the recipe!

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies  – these take approximately 45 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

1.5 cups sugar*

½ cup whole milk (can use 2%)

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

_____________________________________

½ cup smooth peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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3 cups Old Fashioned Oats*

In 4qt (large) saucepan, add the butter, sugar, milk, cocoa and salt.

Bring to boil (stirring it together). Boil 1 minute. Then remove from heat…

Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring to incorporate

Stir in oatmeal.

Once all ingredients have been combined, drop by teaspoonfuls onto Parchment lined cookie sheet. (I used a silicone baking mat on one cookie sheet, and didn’t use parchment and it worked ok, but it would be easier to use Parchment Paper).

Let cool 30 minutes to set. You can then store them in an airtight container at room temp (or fridge) for up to 2 weeks. I cannot imagine them lasting one week, they are that good…

This recipe was adapted from the recipe by the Brown Eyed Baker (BrownEyedBaker.com).

*What I changed: I added less sugar (1 ½ cups vs. 2 cups) and I used Old Fashioned Oats instead of Quick Cooking Oats, as called for in the recipe. Very minor changes.

Beyond delicious!

NOTE: These are excellent and perfect for get-togethers – but beware if dogs are nearby, dogs cannot eat dark chocolate…

The TNH SC 24A plan by Moser Design Group!

This is the TNH SC 24A plan by Moser Design Group. It’s great plan that has 2,168 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. There is a master suite down, another bonus!

Another wonderful porch across the front of the house. The living and dining are open to the wonderful kitchen. Working in this kitchen you won’t miss anything that’s going on, that’s for sure! There is a master suite downstairs as well as the laundry room and a powder room. Perfection!

Upstairs there are two bedrooms with a shared bath. The front bedroom has access to the wonderful porch. What a dreamy plan, perfect for so many of us!

All images via MoserDesignGroup.com, used with permission…

Images are not for construction or reproduction, they are property of the design firm.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Beef & Green Bean Stir Fry!

This is one of my very favorite recipes from Chinese restaurants. It often ends up being quite unhealthy, mostly due to the fact that there is a lot of soy sauce and oil… Although I did splurge and use Jasmine rice instead of brown rice (Trader Joe’s freezer section – already cooked, microwave 3 minutes – it’s fabulous), the rest of this recipe is pretty healthy.

I took bits and pieces from different recipes, and in the end LEFT OUT THE SOY SAUCE (recipe includes it, with an *, to remind you that you can omit) and ended up with this. Quick, easy and beyond favorite recipe!

Click HERE to print the recipe…

BEEF & GREEN BEAN STIR FRY

2 SERVINGS

Sauce

1/3 cup beef broth

*1 Tablespoon organic soy sauce low sodium

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

pinch of red pepper flakes if you like

Stir Fry

Canola oil

fresh green beans (two big handfuls of fresh with ends snipped – I used between 1/4-1/3 pound) – dry them so they don’t spit when hit oil.

1/2# stir fry meat (I used sirloin steak, or flank steak)

3-4 scallions (green onions) OR regular onion, sliced thin

Ginger (to your taste, use microplane to grate it – I used about a 1” piece)

Garlic (as much as you like)

Cooked Rice, enough for two servings.

Sesame Seeds (optional) – can toast them or use plain

Directions

The beef and green bean portion cooks quickly, so start it once your rice is almost ready.

Mix ingredients for the broth, set aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over high heat. Add green beans, saute for 4 minutes. Then set aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in same skillet, add beef. Cook 1 minute WITHOUT MOVING over fairly high heat. Then cook another 3-4 minutes stirring.

Set aside with green beans.

Add a little more oil, add the scallions, ginger and garlic. Saute, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the beef and green bean mixture back to the hot skillet.

Add the broth, stir until thickened, about 1 minute, spoon on top of rice.

*I didn’t use soy sauce the second time I made this recipe because I’m not supposed to eat it. We could not tell a difference. I think it’s because I use a good amount of ginger. It was so fabulous – I’ll never add soy sauce again!

Enjoy and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

Stew Beef & Mushrooms Over Egg Noodles!

I adapted this recipe from a Beef Stew recipe from Once Upon A Chef. The recipe was so tasty, but while eating it, I was thinking how good it would be minus the potatoes and carrots on top of egg noodles.

Let me tell you. This is an excellent recipe. It’s easy, makes the house smell amazing, and is so good. It’s one of those recipes that you will make over and over. Perfect for cooler weather! It would be pretty topped with fresh parsley. I just topped with salt and pepper. That little dollop of sour cream adds such a nice touch! I have also used Greek yogurt (plain) and it was equally as good!

Click HERE to print the recipe…

Stew Beef & Mushrooms Over Egg Noodles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1 pound stew beef (I used lean)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

~Dry stew beef pieces, sprinkle with S&P. In large heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until hot and you can see it shimmering. Add the stew beef pieces and brown, turning with tongs (be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or the beef won’t brown. It’s OK to get brown crusty bits on the bottom of the pot, they will enhance the flavor once you add the beef stock).  Browning usually takes 5-8 minutes (browning, not cooking through). Remove from pan and set aside.

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove (I use microplane), chopped small

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

~Add ingredients to pan and cook for 5 minutes.

1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste

~Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.

1 ½ teaspoon all purpose flour

~Add browned stew beef back into pan, sprinkle with flour, cook 1-2 minutes or until flour dissolves.

3 cups(+) beef stock

1 cup water

~Add stock and water to pan, loosen the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. 

1 small bay leaf

Dried thyme (a sprinkle)

1 pinch of sugar

Mushrooms, washed and cut in chunks (I used an 8 oz pkg. of Cremini)

~Add to the pan, the cover and transfer to preheated oven for 2 hours.

Serve on top of Egg Noodles, cooked using directions on package. (I used ½ package) 

Topped with a little dollop of sour cream – Perfection!

Fresh parsley would be pretty sprinkled on top, if you have it.

My recipes are a guide… add more of what you like, and less of what you don’t – or substitute for something that appeals to you!

Catch you back here tomorrow!