Okay, I lied.
So this will be my last summery recipe.
Okay, I lied.
So this will be my last summery recipe.
Happy (Taco) Tuesday!!!!
I am very much a person who loves routine as I have so much to juggle so being able to keep my head above the water I like to stick to a routine. Or at least a plan at trying to keep a routine. ha!
Autumn enjoys her various routines with us, including our morning routine to drop her off at daycare. We take turns dropping her off either based on our schedule or her preference that day. She can climb into either car and car seat to then be strapped in before we start the drive to daycare.
If Price is driving her, I will pull up next to his car and roll down the windows and wave to Autumn who is waving through the open windows as well. So funny! And then they make the turn to daycare and I continue on my way to work.
If I am driving her, we wave at Price too but it’s important to note that we listen to 90’s on 9 or Pop2K on Siruis so we get to sign along to so awesome rap and pop music. It’s important to start teaching them young of great 90’s and 00’s music.
My dad picks Autumn up from daycare everyday in the afternoon so helps cut down on her day at daycare, compared to when I’d arrive from leaving work. It gives them a chance to play around and for him to give her dinner by the time that I get home. It has been working out so well. They both love their routine of him getting her at the daycare to their trips to Ace Hardware where Autumn loves to get little bags of popcorn to playing in her water station on the lanai.
I love how we all have these various routines with her. So much fun.
Also fun (horrible segway…), is this rice. Rice can be fun right? Let’s say it’s fun!
I think it’s fun since it’s so packed with flavor. It’s just like the rice that you get at Mexican restaurants. I had no idea how easy it was to make but it is so I think it’s really going to become out go-to rice recipe when we are having tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and so much more.
I would normally like it spicy with 2 seranos but I kept it mellow since Autumn was eating it too and there is only so much spice this 2 year old enjoys. “ooo pie-c!!!”
This rice is going to have you be hooked the moment you take a bite!!
Makes 8 servings
This is a creamy dreamy mac and cheese.
We were heading over to a friends, Mark & Allie, house for lunch one day and the request for Mac & Cheese came through. Mark makes fantastic pulled pork. And smoked pulled pork and mac & cheese are best buddies. BFF’s.
To stand up to Mark’s ah-mazing pulled pork, I had to really bring it. And damn… it was brought!!
I consulted with some foodies at work for the best mac and cheese to make and was pointed to Ina Garten’s mac and cheese recipe. Well, you know, Ina knocks it out of the park so I had to go with it.
Rightfully so too! This made for a ridiculously delicious mac and cheese. Ridiculous.
The key to making this recipe the best it can very be is the cheese sauce.
Get your ducks in a row to have the cheese all grated so you can quickly dump it in once you get the rue and warm milk combined and smooth.
Trader Joe’s has a cheese that is a combination of cheddar and Gruyere so just grabbed enough of that (2 big blocks) and got to work at grating that right up.
This mac and cheese is perfect for the winter as it’s the perfect kind of comfort food, but it’s also great in the spring, summer, or fall. It’s great on it’s own, or with a side salad or with some smoked pulled pork. Or in a house with a mouse. Or in a box with a fox. Wait a minute…
Oh, and the breadcrumbs. Toasty, crunchy, & yummy.
I had to end the week on this ultra decadent, super cheesy recipe as next Monday Price and I are diving into Whole30, an ultra strict 30 day diet reset. And, buddy, this is not complaint to that diet at all. I just had to share this recipe now so I don’t have to look at this drool worthy pictures while we pass out on all dairy and grain for the month.
While we won’t be eating recipes like this from February 2nd- March 3rd, it doesn’t mean you can’t! Share some pics if you do. I’ll probably lick my computer screen. ha!
Makes 8-10 servings
Adapted from Ina Garten
Last year I had my hands full with a new baby. My mom arrived the night that Autumn was born and stayed for a few weeks. She helped out immensely with tons of every day things that suddenly feels so overwhelming. Oh, so much laundry. Plus, she became my chauffeur as I couldn’t drive after my C-section. Oh moms.
And then my dad came for a visit. He helped out by stocking our fridge and freezer with so much good food. One of the things that he made was a big batch of meaty marinara sauce. As I was happily distracted with my sweet little bean, I didn’t pay too much attention to him making it. I did pay attention to how damn good it was. It was flavorful, rich, and nicely filling. Perfect for having the energy to stay up late with a cuddily sweetie. Or just for lounging around watching a movie or football. Whatever gets you through your day!
As the days get colder and the dark creeps in sooner, I gravitate towards meals like this. So I was recently thinking about that batch of Italian gravy that my dad made. Just when I was going to email him to ask him about it, Price picked out this Four Meat Italian Gravy. It sounded and looked familiar to what my dad made so I figured I’d give it a try to see how it compared.
Thankfully it did not disappoint. I now have a fantastic recipe for a flavorful meat packed sauce that I can whip up myself on a Sunday afternoon to best “Celebrate the Sauce.” I won’t have to wait until my dad comes up for another visit. And since he had to fly in 2 different snow storms last year, I didn’t think think he will be making another trip this winter. I’ll see that snowbird in the summer.
Since I’ve mentioned before that we have been attempting to cut the carbs and eat more paleo meals, maybe you’re wondering why I just posted a recipe that goes hand in hand with pasta? Well, I have a nifty Spiralizer that we put to good use so often that putting it away seems silly since it gets pulled out of the hutch so often. Anyway, gotta keep the counters clean. Or attempt to.
I’ve been swapping out pasta for healthier veggie ‘noodles’ by using the Spiralizer . We used butternut squash noodles when we enjoyed this gravy as I feel that they hold up well to hearty sauces, at least a bit better than when using zucchini noodles. Basically use what you want… pasta, gluten free pasta, pollenta, veggie noodles, whatever… just make it.
Plus, the Tuttorosso tomatoes that I used were sugar and salt free. Tuttorosso is a cherished 85-year-old tomato brand that has now developed salt free products. This helps everyone better maintain their sodium intake. Plus, having sugar free products makes for healthier eating all around. That means it’s Paleo and Whole 30 complaint. With some subtle changes, like using a compliant sausage and not putting bread crumbs in the meatballs, the resulting gravy would be great paleo and whole 30 recipes in your arsenal.
And brown the freaking meats! It makes such a big difference when you do that compared to just putting the meat in the pot at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.
And get that tomato paste all toasty. It helps get rid of the raw flavor and develop that nice toasty umami flavor.
The original recipe calls for everything to be cooked in a large dutch oven, which you put into the oven. Here’s the thing, I don’t have a dutch oven that is large enough. I have 2 covered casserole/pot things that could have potentially worked but neither large enough, so then I’d have 2 use both and that equals more dishes… uh no. And then I have a monsterious covered pot, but even after googling, I couldn’t figured out if it was oven safe. So I decided to just used that and cook the sauce on the stovetop. No harm, no fail. It worked out perectly. Just a heads up, you can do this recipe ON or IN the oven. Whatever works for you.
I also deviated from the original recipe in that I just used the whole can of tomato paste and can of beef broth mainly because I knew I wouldn’t use the remaining portions of the cans. Kinda a lazy approach but it worked out perfectly in the end as the paste thickened the extra beef broth and they both packed a a rich extra flavor kick.
Basically, just make this gravy. It’s stick to your ribs good and you’ll need plenty of those hearty meals this upcoming winter. I’m sure you’ll love it. Shoot even my 1 year old could not get enough of it. She ate so much and then attacked the rib bones. Proud mama moment right there!
Makes 12 servings
Adapted from Tuttorosso
This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso. I received product from Tuttorosso to make a recipe of my choosing. All opinions are my own.
And now the GIVEAWAY!!
You can win a Tuttorosso gift pack that contains a variety of Tuttorosso products (perfect for you to create the recipe yourself!), an apron, a wooden spoon (which are best for sauces) and recipes that can help you “Celebrate the Sauce.”
*You just have to leave a comment by 12/10/14 at midnight. Write whatever you want. Simple as that!
Post contains affiliate links.
It snowed this past Sunday. #snovember
It’s the first week of November and I’m already over the winter. Done with it. But sadly it is not done tormenting me.
While I’ve written about how we are trying to eat more Paleo meals- meaning no pasta- I couldn’t resist making a big batch of sauce and some meatballs to enjoy with some – gasp- pasta!!! Sure, we could have had some spaghetti squash but I just couldn’t resist some stick to your bones food on the first day of snow.
And you know, what… it was damn good!!!
Maybe it’s my Italian half shouting from the roof tops but nothing beats homemade marinara sauce and meatballs. Seriously. Oh man, and to dip pieces of Italian bread into the pot of sauce… bliss. I think I just caught myself drooling a bit.
Side note- Autumn loves pasta and sauce. But I was working on making some garlic bread and gave her some bread that I dipped into the sauce for her. I turned back to my task at hand and .2 seconds later I hear her babbling away. The bread was gone! She just inhaled it and wanted more fast. In the end she ate a decent amount of bread with marinara sauce. Makes a mama proud!
Well, look no further than this recipe the next time you are craving some spaghetti with meatballs. Grab some Red Pack and get ready for an awesome meal. The marinara takes about 10 minutes of active cooking time and then you get to forget about it for the rest of the time.
The recipe below says to cook it for 6-7 hours total but if you can adjust your slow cooker to go at a lower temperature then you can extend that cooking time to 8+ so that you can prepare it and set it up right before going to work and then it will be ready for you when you get home.
And the meatballs are the coolest! They are stuffed with a mozzarella ball so when you cut them open you get some warm ooey gooey cheese that comes flowing out. Like lava, but you’d like this kind of lava. They might look intimidating to make but they take about an extra 15-20 seconds to make each one compared to regular meatballs. That tiny bit extra effort is so worth it.
I might just be able to survive this winter.
At least I’ll have some more marinara that I can easily prepare in the morning and it will be all ready when I get home. It will be so delightful to come up to a great smelling house and freshly made marinara.
Makes 8 servings
For the marinara sauce
For the meatballs
Adapted from Red Pack
This post is sponsored by Red Pack. I received product from Red Pack to make a recipe of my choosing. All opinions are my own.
And now the GIVEAWAY!!
You can win a Red Pack gift pack that contains (2) 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes and (1) 28oz can of Red Pack sauce, wooden spoon, tote bag and recipe cards.
*You just have to leave a comment to the blog post. Write whatever you want. Simple as that!
To get an extra entry then tweet the following & come back here and leave another comment telling me you did.
Also, check out their Facebook page because they are giving away 2 slow cookers every day until Nov 12th. EVERY DAY!!! Plus there is a grand prize at the end too! One lucky winner will win a Slow Cooker grand prize package that includes a state-of-the-art slow cooker, a serving and braising tongs (total prize value estimated at $330).
See, they just really want to have everyone have a slow cooker so people can have a hot meal waiting after a busy school/work day. There are so many great soups, stews and casserole recipes they have on their site that you can enjoy too!