Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – Onion Free Of Course

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – Onion Free Of Course

So I promised that I would post my homemade tomato sauce recipe once I perfected it. When all three of my differently palleted family members tasted this sauce, they deemed it “the BEST sauce ever!” I’m calling that good!! 😉 The tomatoes that I used were straight out of my garden – mostly Roma tomatoes but a few other types thrown in because I had them. I had picked 2 small buckets full, quartered them, cooked them, and run them through my food mill with the salse screen. I canned 7 pints but still had about 5 left in the pot. I didn’t have time to can any more that day so I figured that I would make the rest into pasta sauce for dinner the next day. I ended up with 1 pint that didn’t seal so that got thrown back into the pot giving me about 3 quarts (6 pints) of tomatoes. If you can’t start with fresh tomatoes, then use about 6 or 7 15oz cans of petite diced tomatoes instead. To smooth it out a little, you might want to throw it in the blender or use an emersion blender to lightly break up some of the tomatoes. My salsa screen breaks the tomatoes up into chunks about 1/2 the size of most petite diced tomatoes. This sauce is great on its own, but feel free to cook and drain some sausage or hamburger or to throw some of my meatballs in.

Ingredients:

  1. Approximately 3 quarts of cooked tomatoes, run through the salsa screen of a food mill (or roughly chopped to your desired chunkiness).
  2. 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  3. 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  4. 3/4 tsp paprika
  5. 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. You can use dried but start at about 1/4 tsp and gradually add more tasting as you go. (Dried herbs tend to be more potent than fresh.)
  6. 2 TBSP salt
  7. 1 TBSP sugar
  8. 1 12 oz can of tomato paste
  9. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  10. 1 Bay Leaf
  11. 1 TBSP butter

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients except the butter to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover
  • Set heat to simmer or low
  • Stir to mix well then allow to simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally
  • Just before serving, remove the bay leaf and add the butter. Stir gently to incorporate.
  • Enjoy over your favorite pasta. (I would recommend anything but angel hair as this sauce really needs a “meatier” pasta.)
It’s also great in lasagna!
Sort of Last Minute Vegetable Soup

Sort of Last Minute Vegetable Soup

So here is a recipe that I came up with for vegetable soup one day when it occurred to me at lunch that I had completely forgotten to thaw soup for dinner. I had vegetable soup on the menu so that’s what I made (but trust me that doesn’t always happen.) This would also make an easy and healthy weeknight dinner. since you can get it on the table in under 45 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of my homemade chicken stock – if you don’t have any homemade stock you can use store-bought cans but homemade is so much better
  • 1 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, and carrots)
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (This is just what I grabbed. You could use any kind of beans you want.) Also, feel free to use dried if you can plan ahead and prep them the night before. I would suggest 1 cup of dried navy beans as a substitute for 1 can of cannellini beans. **Update – since first posting this, I have made this soup with 1 cup dried kidney beans, prepped the night before, and it was great!
  • 1 cup of dried lentils
  • 3/4 TBSP sea salt – if you use chicken stock from the store, start with 1/2 tsp salt and add to taste. I don’t salt my stock when I make it, since I prefer to salt the dishes themselves when I make them.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse lentils well and then place them and 4 cups of cold water into a small pot and cover. Do not salt the water.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low and set a timer for 30 min. Once the water starts to boil reduce heat to low
  3. While the lentils are cooking, add the other ingredients to a large pot or dutch oven and turn heat to medium. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer until the lentils are done.
  4. Once the lentils are done, drain and rinse them. Then add them to the rest of the soup.
  5. Stir the soup to incorporate the lentils well.
  6. Serve warm with fresh bread and enjoy!
It’s a tasty dinner that you can feel good about when you come back for seconds (or thirds).

About Me

Hello and Welcome,

Here’s a little background on us (me in particular).

I have wanted to live on a farm for as long as I can remember.  As I moved from childhood into adulthood and eventually parenthood, my idea of what I wanted changed significantly.  When I was 8 years old, suffering from the effects of chemotherapy for leukemia, the first dream I wanted to ask the Dream Factory for was a farm.  My mom said that was a little too big.  When I was a teenager, I envisioned a large horse training facility.  (I am blessed to have a mom who is as crazy about horses as I am, so horses have always been a part of my life.)  I was competing heavily and successfully and, like most teenagers, couldn’t imagine life being any different.  I just knew that one day soon I would make it big and have a world class training facility.

I grew up, a little.

In college, my plans changed from a huge operation to something smaller (or a more “focused business strategy” as my entrepreneurship professor put it).  I dreamed of training 3-4 top notch show jumping horses at a time.  Also while in college, I met the man who would one day become my wonderful husband.  He told me that despite having horrible allergies to everything outdoors AND growing up in a suburb he had always wanted to live on a farm.  Dream come true!

The movie A Walk to Remember had come out right before we started dating.  I loved the idea of making a list of things that I wanted to do before I died, so I made one too.  I shared it with DH (then boyfriend) one day.  One of the items was to find the end of a rainbow.  DH said that if we ever got a farm we would call it Rainbow’s End.

Around the time we got married, life started throwing major curve-balls my direction, which I am sure God was using to redirect my plans.  First, the Great Recession hit.  Any hope I had of raising, training, and selling horses went down the drain.  No one was buying luxury items anymore.  A year and a bit after we got married, DH was in a horrible car accident and hit his head on the car window, changing his personality and mannerisms forever.  Not long after that, my ankles gave out (meaning that now I can’t even use stirrups when I ride without being in extreme pain the rest of the day or longer).  God was definitely trying to change my course.  DH and I had to rediscover how to function cohesively.  Besides that, I couldn’t jump anymore.  I continued riding but had to switch to dressage (like ballet or figure skating with a horse).

I grew up, a lot.

Fast forward a few years. DH and I were functioning reasonably well.  We (well mostly the bank) owned a small house.  We had a dog.  But our family was incomplete.  We decided to try to have a baby.  The doctors had told me that I would probably never be able to have kids because of the chemotherapy so early in life.  God had different plans and blessed us with DS and then DD 2 years later.

Our family was complete, but, deep down, my dream of a farm still lingered.  Now, though, all I wanted was a quiet, peaceful place to raise my kids.  I envisioned a few chickens, a big veggie garden, and a few horses.

And now, I’m finally getting it!  DH and I found the farm of our dreams, and God worked in ways that are so much greater than I could have ever imagined to make it happen.  I have never felt so at peace letting go and leaving the process in His hands before.  (Believe me, I’m a total control freak – just ask my husband.)  But with this decision and through the whole process, I haven’t needed to feel in control.  I know the One who is, and He is so much better that I am at directing my life.

So, welcome to my journey.  I invite you to be in this adventure with me as my family and I work to build things and get back to basics and simplicity.  Welcome to our own little pot of gold, our Rainbow’s End.