Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh Basic Italian Dressing

This has got to be some of the best dressing ever.  After looking for different ways at making this I decided to take the ingredients that in my opinion make up the essential Italian ingredients. This is hard for me to put into measurements because it all depends on how much of each of these ingredients you like the flavor of, being it more or less and then how big of a batch you will be making.
Here is a list of the ingredients and how I made our dressing:
I made a small batch.
3 cloves of minced garlic
Maybe 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar.
About 3 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar.
Approximately  1/2 to 3/4 cup of olive oil.
Black pepper, sweet basil and oregano added to the mix so that looks like the amount you would like to have.
*I made ours, as you can see in a small mason jar. I put all of ingredients in the jar and put the lid on and shook it up. Ready to pour on top of your salad.
I know this may not be the best list of measured ingredients but honestly I added ingredients on how every thing looked to me in the jar and by what we like. I suppose a good note would be that you would want half of your liquid to be olive oil to the other half being the rice wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar combined. The rest is dried seasoning and all depends on your taste preference.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Marinara Sauce

2 or 3 Fresh Medium Tomatoes chopped and put in blender.
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 of an onion
*Mince garlic and chop onion into smaller pieces then put into deep dish frying pan in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee the garlic and onion making sure not to burn it.
2 cups of chicken stock from bullion. Place 1 cup in pan with garlic and onion put the other cup in the blender with the chopped tomato.
1  6oz can of tomato paste. Add to blender.
1  14 oz can of diced tomatoes drain juice from can into pan and add 1/2 to 3/4 of diced tomatoes to blender. Put remaining diced tomatoes in pan.
*Puree the fresh chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of chicken stock from bullion and diced tomatoes then pour into pan.
Add 1 teaspoon each of sugar, salt, pepper and dried sweet basil.
Stir all ingredients together bringing to a low simmer. Simmer for 1/2 hour or until sauce thickens.
You can choose to add mushrooms for a mushroom marinara sauce.
We added meat balls to this sauce at a low simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours.
*Depending on the size of meat balls the simmer time may need to be increased. Our meat balls were about the size of a golf ball.
Meat balls in marinara sauce.

Dinner served with a fresh green salad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Homemade Tomato Soup

Here is a soup that has bold thick flavor and is good for a light summer dinner or that warm-me-up from the cool crisp fall afternoon. Perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich or slices of avocado and cottage cheese on the side. Simply put, this soup says "Yum."

3 Large Cloves of Garlic sauteed in 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil. 
*We love garlic so even more garlic would be fine or less if you're not a garlic lover. The olive oil I pour out an amount that looks good to me so 3 Tablespoons is approximate. Less or more is fine too.*
2 to 3 medium size fresh tomatoes finely diced
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes 
1 14 oz or larger can of whole or halved tomatoes *squish these in your hand as you add them to your pan.
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste. Keeping in mind that if you are using bullion for your stock it will have salt in it.  Taste before you salt. If you like pepper add some pepper too. 

After finishing up the garlic add all ingredients to pan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes then take 1/2 to 3/4 of soup in pan and place in blender and puree. Add this back to your pan and stir together. Place back on the heat and bring back up to a low simmer. At this point add 1/4 cup of cream or 2 large table spoons of sour cream. Stir in the cream or sour cream. Add a few dashes of sweet basil and stir in. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and your choice of freshly graded cheese. 

Monday, August 26, 2013


     It has been awhile since I have been able to be here on our blog. I hate to bump and go, which it seems is the only kind of time that I have had over the past year. I like to have time to spend while I am here on the blog so the opportunities for posting are not as often. So today I begin my post with catching up from  summer. We had visitors on and off most of the summer and did a small bit of traveling for family events. Kind of a strange eventful but uneventful summer. Bringing us to this week-the last week before school goes in session for us. Trying to get as much out of these last days as we can. Most importantly the easy quiet time spent enjoying each others company, being unhurried and able to keep our focus on what we are doing instead of having outside distractions keeping us from being fully attentive to each other. No work for my Husband, no school or sports for my son and no work for me in the afternoon. These times are few but needed and enjoyed so much. Quality time.                                                            
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