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!

Banana pancakes

2 ripe bananas (mashed)

1 1/2 cup milk

1 Tbsp vinegar (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour (optional 1 cup AP flour, 3/4 cup almond flour)

Dash nutmeg (optional)

Pinch cinnamon (optional)

Mash up two ripe bananas

Whisk in milk or milk with vinegar (to make buttermilk)

Combine dry ingredients

Whisk in dry ingredients

Cook pancakes

Key lime pie

5 limes juiced about 2/3 cup (3/4 cup for more tart pie)

1.5 cans sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup cream

4 limes zested

1 sleeve biscoff cookies

1/4 cup melted butter

Crush cookies in a food processor to make crumbs. Add melted butter and mix until we’ll incorporated

Dump into a pie pan. Press into the pan and up the sides about half way. This is a punchy but thin pie

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Then set out to cool

Mix in sweetened condensed milk, cream, lime juice, and lime zest in a bowl.

Pour mixture into the crust and return to the oven for 13-15 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure it doesn’t brown!

Let cool on the counter. Make sure to cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge. Cover the plastic directly on the pie so there’s no water that collects on the plastic and drips to the pie.

Warm and cozy hot chocolate

3 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vanilla

* optional * 1/4 cup corn starch (to make into drinking chocolate)

Put all ingredients into a pot over Medium to medium/high heat. Whisk forever until milk reaches desired temperature. My stove takes about 12 minutes.

DO NOT STOP WHISKING OR MILK COULD SCORCH! Then you’ll have to start again

For “drinking chocolate” consistency (like in Europe) whisk with corn starch until it begins to feel a little thick. If you over thicken, you can add milk to thin. If you want a more authentic drinking chocolate, use half cream, half milk.

Moms kimchi

Napa cabbage (2)

Salt (a lot)

Carrots (thinly sliced)

Green onions (chopped in1.5 inch pieces)

Korean Turnip (thinly sliced)

Rice flour 1/2 cup

Water 2 cups

1/2 tsp fish sauce

2 slices korean pear/pear/apple

1.5 bulbs garlic (peeled)

1 thumb nail sized piece of Ginger

1/2 cup water from rehydrated kelp (optional)

Gochukadu, red pepper flakes

Remove outer leaves of Napa cabbage.

Place on cutting board and insert a knife about 3 inches from the bottom of the cabbage and chop. Pull halves apart. Repeat for four quarters per cabbage

Generously pour salt into each cabbage leaf and place into a bowl… to kill. Allow to sit until all the leaves are wilted but crunchy. Rotate quarters from top to bottom of bowl as needed

When your cabbage is killed, prepare other ingredients.

Heat 1 to 1/2 cup of water until hot. Place a couple pieces of kelp to hydrate in the hot water. Set aside

Pour water into a small pot and heat. Add rice flour and whisk until thickened. Also set aside to cool

Chop or Juliene slice carrots, green onions and turnip. Place in a bowl

Peel and chop ginger. Peel and chop apple.

Place Apple, ginger, garlic into a blender

Get killed cabbage and rinse off excess salt. Squeeze leaves to get out extra water. Chop into inch long pieces and add into the veggie bowl

Add kelp water, rice goop, gochukadu and fish sauce into blender. Blend until smooth. Add to the cabbage and veggies, mix until we’ll incorporated.

Grab mixture and place in jars. Be sure to squeeze veggies down below the liquid.

Leave jars on the counter for Atleast 24 hours. Burp the kimchi by removing the lid to let out excess air. Secure lid and place in fridge… it’ll be ready to eat after a week


This is a vegan recipe. Tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food. I love it. It’s one of the easier Korean dishes to make. It’s my adaptation that doesn’t require anchovy stock (because I never have any) and no Asian fish cake (as my intolerances doesn’t allow me to any more). There are many options to put in tteokbokki… here’s how I make mine

2 cups water

1 heaping tablespoon gochujjang (red pepper paste)

1 tsp gochugaru (red pepper powder)

1 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp korean granulated beef stock

2 handfuls tteok

1/4 tsp sesame oil

A few cabbage leaves (chopped)

1 pack ramen (optional)

A few strips or balls of Fish cake (optional)

Mandu or dumplings (optional)

Pour water into a frying pan and bring to a boil. Add in gochujjang, gochugaru, beef stock and soy sauce. Gently stir

Add in cabbage and tteok. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

When liquid is reduced by a third, add ramen, mandu or fish cakes. Gently stir until liquid is thick

Remove from heat and add in the sesame oil. Stir to incorporate. And enjoy!

The case for dry brine

One of our kids does not like to eat meat. Being a little obsessed with finding the best ways to make tasty and healthy foods, we sought out how to make meat more appealing to picky kid. We heard some years ago to do a “dry brine” which sounded alien. What the heck? Well…. we gave it a go and I’ve never looked back. My husband will sometimes forget what food was like before and try different recipes he finds online. Nothing has ever come close to a dry brine. I’ll start with simple instruction/explanation and end with why it’s the best.

To do a dry brine…. get your meat. Coat your meat in salt. Or a dry rub with salt. Do this the night before or worst case, that morning. Sprinkle and resist the urge to “rub in” the salt, it doesn’t work. Now, you’re reducing the amount of salt on the meat with it now sticking to your hands. Also, you’ll have meat contaminated hands. Trust science. So. Don’t do this.

For whole chickens…. rub salt into the cavity with your hands. A little extra salt for the breasts compared to legs and thighs. If you have a turkey do it ATLEAST two days prior. Stick it in the fridge and wait. In the words of Porky Pig… that’s all folks.

The reason this works is because of osmosis. Salt by its nature will draw moisture to it. Water will come out of the meat drawn out by the salt. The salt will then melt and the salt water will now be pulled back into the meat. This is oversimplified but that’s what happens. Though this takes time, hence prepping the day before.

Why dry brine is the best! Clean up is the EASIEST. There’s no contaminated bacteria water or milk to discard or risk spilling from a traditional brine. I will trim and salt in whatever container I plan to store my meat. Very little clean up. I keep a clean hand and a meat turning hand.

It is the tastiest! I’ve heard people rave about their seasoning or marinating practices… so I’ve tried them but I’ve found few to even come close to the dry brine. Dry brining seasons your meat deep to the inside. Flavor in every bite. This is how I do turkey and it needs no salt or gravy or anything added to it. Including the breast. So good.

And finally! Dry brining is the best because the salt added into your meat helps hold water. This translates to tasty, tender meat that is not dry. Even if you over shoot it a bit. We make pork chops, pork tenderloin, brisket, whole chickens, turkeys, chicken cutlets, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and steak this way. I do not use this for fish, ground meat, or pulled pork.

Pizza crust

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

1 1/2 cup distilled water (or reverse osmosis water

Optional but recommended: garlic powder, additional salt, oregano, salted butter

Put flour into a bowl.

Add yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl (salt will kill the yeast and inhibit your rise)

Add water and mix

Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about ~ 10 minutes

Shape into a ball (bread term meaning to pull sides down and gather to the bottom of the dough to make into a ball. Go around the dough and get all sides. You want a somewhat taut surface, pull sides and gather at the bottom as needed)

Let rise until double the size (about two hours)

Gently pull dough out of the bowl. Do not punch it; that breaks the gluten matrix built up during the rise. It is totally unnecessary, be gentle.

Divide into four or more and shape your pizza. Use a rolling pin if easier. No rules. (Optional: Make dough on corn meal or a light dust of flour if using a pizza stone so that it’ll transfer easier onto the stone. I use make pizzas on parchment paper and transfer that on to the stone)

Before adding sauce and topping, I recommend sprinkling a light dusting of garlic powder. After adding toppings, sprinkle a little salt (if using low moisture mozzarella) and a little oregano. A little oregano goes a long way.

Bake your pizza on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a pizza stone. For a crisper crust, bake at 450. For a softer, chewier crust bake at 400. It’ll take longer but my kids prefer the softer bread over crust.

Take out pizza and brush crust with butter (optional). Cut and serve. (Unlike a loaf, it does not need to rest before cutting)

Chicken stock

Bones of a chicken carcass

Half an onion

4 cloves garlic

1 large carrot

1 celery stalk

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp salt

Add all ingredients into a large pot and cover with water.

Simmer for atleast 6 hours and add water as needed

Stock should become opaque and smell amazing.

Strain out bones and vegetables. Allow to cool before transferring into jars.