Nothing earth shattering mind you - just the run of the mill, hum drum, "Oh look what Skip can do." kind of stuff.
Having a daughter in college, one in her senior year of HS and paying out over $3,000 a month in insurance and medication fees money is tight. Damn tight.
And in the words of Mother Hubbard - Skippy's cupboards were bare. Cobweb collecting kind of bare.
Okay, really there just wasn't anything I wanted to make for dinner staring back at me from the fridge or the pantry. We have food - but you know that feeling when you just don't want "that"? That being anything you have when you really want something you don't have? Yeah, that feeling.
Then I saw a large can of crushed tomatoes. Hmmmm.....
And I knew I was in the mood for spaghetti with marina sauce.
This was so, so easy and so, so good.
I sauteed one small, diced onion in olive oil - I would have added green peppers too, but Steven threw away the tops to my peppers the other night when he made stuffed peppers for dinner - and after they were translucent I threw in some minced garlic and about a half a pound of hamburger.
Once the hamburger was browned I poured in the crushed tomatoes, and tossed in some dried oregano, basil, salt and pepper. I decided it was a bit thin so I added two heaping tablespoons of tomato paste and about 1/2 cup of water.
Then I let that bad boy simmer for an hour.
Side note: My mom used to make homemade sauce when we were growing up. The stuff was amazing, but always made with canned tomatoes. She was a "city" girl and didn't have access to fresh produce like we do here, so she became accustomed to cooking with canned. I was blessed with an abundance of garden grown tomatoes from my beloved father in law's garden and spent a large part of the summer making sauces and lasagna with all the stuff we were given. But I had never attempted sauce with canned tomatoes and have no idea what my mom's recipe included.
This is some good sauce Tadpoles. And easy! Impressed the heck out of the family too - always a bonus. I have always bought canned sauce, until this year [see above] but I am not a fan of the sweet sauces like Prego or Ragu - we would buy Hunt's spaghetti sauce and this made up sauce came close to that, but BETTER.
I realize a lot of you have been doing this for years, but before this summer I had never made my own sauce. And with money so tight I find I have to stretch what I have. I spend, on average, about $60 per week to feed the three of us - this includes all three meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner, as Evie and Steven both take their lunches. Thank goodness Steven likes leftovers.
I know this is probably a boring post, but I am quite pleased with myself. I have never really considered myself a great cook - I am just someone who cooks and bakes a lot. But that sauce? Is really, really good.
Hope you all have a fabulous Thursday. Smile loudly, life is a gift!
We'll see ya' on the flipside. Love, Janine