Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homemade Tomato Sauce

It is amazing how easy it is to go to the grocery store and buy tomato sauce in a jar. There it is, all ready to come home with you and be poured on pasta. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I miss how simple that was. The problem...once you have had homemade sauce, the stuff in the jar will just not do. The absence of preservatives and unnecessary fat are just too good to not put the effort in. But, just because it is homemade doesn't mean it has to be difficult. And yes, there are still canned products involved but I think it is so much better than the Prego I was fed as a child. So here goes, my homemade tomato sauce recipe.

Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can Petite Diced Tomatos
3 6oz cans Tomato Paste
22oz water
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of sliced mushrooms
red pepper flakes

In a large pot saute the onion and garlic until extremely fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute for about 3 mintues. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Stir until a smooth consistency. Add all remaining spices. I forgot to measure so try your best! Let this simmer for about an hour. Enjoy!

Note: All tomato products used were Hunt's brand. Also, this freezes really well! Here are mine about to go into the freezer!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Attempt at a Healthy Week

Healthy...That word is so objective these days. To some it means low carb, or low fat, or no sugar or full of veggies. Well, for Mark and I it means not over loaded with cheese or bacon and usually includes one vegetable. You see, although I love cooking and I love food, both of those phrases have their limitations. I love cooking, but, only things that I love to eat. I love food, but only things that fit into a very limited number of categories. I am an extremely picky eater. So, since the holidays are not too far off, I figured it was time to try out some healthy recipes so that when December rolls around, bigger pants won't be on Santa's wish list. I tried this recipe, with some modifications, from Cooking Light, and I must say, it was actually pretty good. Looking at the picture it looks quite monochromatic but it was very appealing in person. I added the garlic bread because this whole healthy idea is a gradual need to cut out everything I love. Oh, and have I mentioned I love garlic? Like almost to an unhealthy degree? There have been mornings I wake up with garlic breath because I ate so much the night before, but that is another blog for another day. So, here it is, the Parmesan Chicken and Rice recipe that was my attempt at being healthy...

Parmesan Chicken and Rice
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 C Chopped Onion
1 t Minced Garlic
1/2 t Thyme
8 oz Sliced Mushrooms
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 C Dry White Wine
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 C uncooked Basmati Rice
1 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
1/4 C chopped fresh Parsley

Pour rice and chicken broth into a pot. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add chicken and saute until chicken is browned. Add wine, salt and pepper; cook until the liquid almost all evaporates. Stir in the cooked rice and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the rice has soaked up the rest of the liquid. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and parsley. ENJOY!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Trip to Denver...

So, for those of you who don't know, my husband is in Medical School at UT Houston. This is amazing; I am so happy that he is following his dream to become a doctor. The only draw back is that he is very busy, so busy that last year I found myself to be very lonely. I completely understand the commitment we have made to him going to school but as a very co-dependent person it has been a hard adjustment. Well, this year I decided I am tired of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself. I am perfectly capable of putting myself out there and meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends. This is actually going fabulously!! I have made some amazing new friends and I have truly enjoyed reconnecting with old friends.
One of those friends is a sweet girl named Annika. Annika and I went to elementary, junior high and high school together. She was my doubles partner for four years in college and when you spend that much time with someone, you are destined to become friends. After high school we didn't chat as much but recently we have rekindled our friendship and as a way to continue putting myself out there and not being lonely, I took at trip to see her in Denver. I was a little nervous because I don't travel much without Mark but it turned out to be an awesome weekend!
My most favorite thing we did was Saturday morning we drove up to Boulder and went to a farmer's market. The weather was amazing and we got the yummiest food for lunch! I had Chicken and Basil Dumplings with a Spicy Peanut Sauce and Fresh Squeezed Lemonade. Oh dear they were good!!Yes, even when I travel my number one favorite thing to do is eat. I am pretty sure Mark and I plan our vacations based on where all we can eat! But ya, the weekend was amazing and I had so much fun with Annika; I just love friendships that can be picked up at any time! Also, this was good because Denver is one of the places I would consider moving for Mark's residency and after this trip, yes, I could move there :-)

English Muffins Breakfast Pizzas

Lately I have felt that Mark and I are eating the same things over and over again. Yes, they are yummy things, but I have been feeling we need to broaden our horizons when it comes to dinner. One of our favorite meals is breakfast for dinner, but sometimes I feel that there are only so many ways you can combine bacon and eggs. I mean, not that that is bad but I was pleasantly surprised to find the following recipe because it was scrumptious and incorporated a few veggies into our dinner which it is usually lacking. So, here they are, English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas :-)

English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas
6 English Muffins
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 t salt
10 dashes Cholula
10-12 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
3/4-1 C Shredded Mexican Cheese
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and Cholula. Gently pull apart each English muffin and soak the inside side in the egg mixture--you want the egg mixture to soak into the bread, but you don't want the English muffin to be completely falling apart. Place the muffin, cut side up, on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on the top of the muffins. Add the green pepper and onions and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and serve immediately.