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!

Fluffy Rice Krispie treats (not buttery)

5 cups Rice Krispie cereal

1 bag or 16 oz marshmallows

4 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

1/8 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Line 9×9 pan with parchment paper

Melt butter with salt in a bowl (either microwave or double boiler system)

Add marshmallows except one cup of marshmallows. Heat until mostly melted but still has shape

Add Rice Krispies and mix.

Add marshmallows and vanilla

When mix, dump the mix into your lined pan

Wet your fingers and gently press into shape. Do not press so hard or it will become dense. Not fluffy

Let set for one hour. Then slice and serve

Options : half Rice Krispie cereal and half fruity pebbles. Add crumbled Graham cracker and chocolate chips for s’mores treats

Philly cheesesteak

1 lb thin sliced beef (I use pre sliced shabu shabu)

1 medium onion (diced)

1 pack mushrooms (dice if serving those with sensory troubles, otherwise slice)

1 green bell pepper (optional)

Hoagie rolls

Provolone cheese slices (or cheese whiz if you prefer that method. I often use mozzarella)


1 cup water

1 Tbsp vinegar

1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine marinade ingredients. Add beef and massage in. Allow to marinate for atleast one hour. But the longer the better

Dice onions and mushrooms (bell pepper if you choose) Cook until tender. Do in batches if you need to avoid overcrowding your pan. Make sure you season with salt while it cooks. (Beef cooks quicker than veggies so cook ahead and set aside)

Cook beef on medium heat. When half way done, add some onions and mushrooms to cook together

While cooking you meat, toast buns in the oven. Melt cheese over your buns once you’ve reached desired toasty-ness.

Remove buns and top with your Philly cheesesteak and serve!


Not spicy gingerbread for those looking for a milder flavor. This recipe is no less flavorful, just more gentle on ginger.

26 Tbsp butter

2 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup light syrup

2.5 Tbsp molasses

6 cups AP flour

1 tsp ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp baking soda

375 for 7 minutes (crisp cookies) then 4 minutes returned to oven

5 minutes (soft cookies)

Note: if you don’t have molasses, just increase your amount of syrup. However, I think it’s the key to the most delicious cookies.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl

Melt butter, syrup and sugar in a pot.

When melted together, add to dry ingredients and mix.

Turn onto counter and knead together (doesn’t take long to combine together)

Separate into workable sizes of dough and set aside and cover with plastic in a bowl.

Dough will be greasy. Roll out into no larger than 1/4 inch thickness. Stamp out with cookie cutters

Combine excess dough and roll out again.

Bake to desired softness. For soft cookies 4-5 minutes. For crisp cookies, 7 minutes and then remove from the oven and restamp cookies or trim edges of making gingerbread house. Return to oven for four more minutes. If adding candy for glass windows add at this time for the candy to melt in the oven.

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.