Simple Tomato Sauce

I remembered this recipe recently that I had from my poor college days. It was cheap and fairly fast but mostly good and nutritious way to eat my noodles. Depending on what spices I put it in, it could be a zesty pizza sauce or a tomato base for various pasta dishes. This one is so simple. Only tools needed are a pot and if you like, an emersion blender (though I didn’t have this when I was in college). When you don’t start with a pre made tomato sauce, it’s a little surprising how much salt is required.

1 Tbsp olive oil

5 ripe roma tomatoes

1 large onion

5 cloves garlic

Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Cream, chili powder

Chop all your vegetables. If you’re using an emersion blender then you don’t need to chop finely. Pour some olive oil in a pot before adding vegetables on medium heat. Stir periodically to ensure even cooking. Once the onions are tender and translucent, I blend. Add Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste, it may take a little more salt but you’re starting with an unsalted base unlike pre made sauces in jars. I will admit, it won’t be a pretty red color but it’s a fresh and light sauce. For a little zestier flavor, you can add a little chili powder, it gives a milder heat without being over powering. A little goes a long way. Also, if you want to make it creamy, I add 2 Tbsp of cream right before you serve since cream has a tendency to burn.

If you want your sauce to be more tomato-y and red like traditional sauce double the tomatoes. I like the flavor of this one more than wanting that pretty red color.

If you want to be Super Healthy! I make this with spaghetti squash with some mushrooms and broccoli. Happy Cooking!

Almost Harry Potter Butterbeer

Butter beer

3 cups cream soda

1 cup seltzer water

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup caramel topping/sauce (do not use a syrup)

Butterbeer topping

1/4 cup caramel topping/sauce

1 cup whipping cream

2 Tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

Whisk one cup of cream soda and caramel topping together until integrated.

Add remaining cream soda, vanilla and seltzer water. Gently stir.

Pour into glass, ice optional if you want it extra cold

Whisk caramel, cream, sugar and vanilla until a soft whipped cream.

Spoon or pipe into butter beer and serve. Makes 4 butter beers

Cranberry sauce

12 oz cranberries

1 1/4 cup brown sugar (or 1 1/2 cups for less tart)

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup water

1/4 tap cinnamon

1 Tbsp orange zest

Combine all ingredients except orange zest into a pot over medium heat

Bring to a boil, the reduce heat to simmer

Stir every few minutes

When thickened and cranberries are broken up mix in the orange zest

Set aside and store in glass jars.

Option: pass through sieve for a smooth cranberry sauce

Squash apples

Three ingredient, not pumpkin pie, not apple pie but kinda like both.

1 medium butternut squash (peeled and cubed)

6-7 apples (peeled, cored and cubed)

1 tsp cinnamon

Peel and cube squash and apples. Place into a dish or 9×13 pan. Dust with cinnamon.

Cover with aluminum foil

Bake at 350 for 1 to 1.5 hours

Remove from oven when all pieces are tender.

Smash until it resembles chunky applesauce. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Kalbi sauce

1 1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

1 cup rice wine

1/2 pear/apple (squeeze liquid out for about 1 cup of juice)

2 small thumbnail sized pieces of ginger

1/2 cup garlic

2Tbsp sugar

Blend all together and squeeze out pulp (prevents burning)

Marinate meat overnight prior to cooking

English muffins

4 cups bread flour

2 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp butter (softened)

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

450 ml warm distilled water

Combine ingredients and knead

Allow to rise until double in size (about an hour)

Separate into 2 oz pieces. Shape into balls and flatten. Makes about 20

On parchment paper, dust with cornmeal so muffins won’t stick. Set muffins on the parchment, giving two inches between for proving. Set aside let rise for 25 minutes

Heat pan or griddle to medium heat. Gently set English muffins in pan. It should rise a lot. Flip, when cooked halfway thru like pancakes.

Remove from pan when cooked. Make sure to not open or cut for Atleast 30 minutes. Or it will become gummy inside. Store in air tight container once fully cooled or in the freezer.

Grandma’s meatballs

2 lb ground beef

1 cup oatmeal (rolled or ground up)

1 slice of bread

1 cup milk

2 tsp salt

5-7 green onions diced

optional equipment:

baking sheet with a lip

parchment paper

Ice cream scoop

Take bread and oatmeal in a bowl. pour in milk and let it soak (15-30 minutes).

preheat oven to 350 if using oven method. if using frying pan, disregard oven instructions.

When milk looks well absorbed, add in green onions, salt and beef. Combine until well integrated. Note: make sure to cook a small piece in the frying pan and test if it’s seasoned enough. If needed add more salt

Oven: place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Scoop with two spoons to shape meat into balls or use an ice cream scoop for meat balls. place in cookie sheet. Shape into balls and place cookie sheet into oven. Cook times vary depending on size of the meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes.

Frying pan:

Use two spoons or ice cream scoop and shape meatballs into balls. Place into frying pan over medium heat.

When meatballs are cooked, place in spaghetti sauce to serve!

German potato salad

9 potatoes (peeled and chopped)

8 slices bacon

2/3 cup of diced onions

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1 cup water

1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)

Optional: parsley

Steam potatoes or boil in a pot to cook.

Cook bacon, reserve grease for roux. If cooked in the oven, chop slices after cooked. Cook onions in pan with bacon grease. If cooked in the pan, chop bacon in small pieces then cook in pan with onions.

Whisk water, vinegar, flour, salt, sugar in a bowl and pour into onions and bacon. Stir…. It thickens quickly into a roux.

Throw in your cooked potatoes fold into roux. It should come together fairly quickly.

Creamy garlic pasta

1 1/2 Tbsp bacon grease

8 medium button mushrooms (sliced)

6 cloves garlic (whole)

2 cups stock

2 cups water

1 cup milk + 1/4 cup

Pasta of choice

2 tsp salt (to taste)


1/2 bag of frozen peas

Two handfuls cherry tomatoes halved

1 Tbsp corn starch

Cook mushrooms with bacon grease in wide, lidded pan or Dutch oven

Add garlic and allow to roast (a few minutes)

Add stock, water, milk, salt and pasta

Cook sausage while pasta is cooking. Set aside (add at end)

Once pasta is al dente, add peas and tomatoes

In a bowl, whisk corn starch with 1/4 cup of milk. Add to pasta and stir in. The sauce will thicken and coat noodles. Add in sausage, stir together and serve.