Sunday, September 18, 2016

Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

It's that time of year again.

The garden has exploded with ripe tomatoes and there is no way you, your family or the neighbors can eat them fast enough. 

It's okay. 

This is a sign to make easy, freezer tomato sauce. 

Big, beautiful, garden fresh tomatoes are easily turned in to this versatile sauce. No need to peel them, just rinse well and chop in quarters, cut out the stem end and that's it!

8 quarts of fresh, cored tomatoes, cut into quarters
3 tbsn olive oil, or canola oil
2 large onions, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup red wine (opt.)
1 tbsn Kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper


In a large stainless steel pot (important that it's not aluminum), heat 3 tbsn oil over medium heat 2-3 mins, then sauté the onions and garlic for 3-5 mins. 
If using the red wine add no and reduce for 7-8 mins. 
Throw in all those tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that they simmer at a low boil and stir occasionally over the next 2-3 hours. 
Add in the salt and pepper and taste. Add more if needed. (If your tomatoes are too acidic add a tbsn of sugar). 
Simmer for another 15-30 minutes and adjust seasoning. 
Now would be the time if your making marinara to add a big bunch of basil and some fresh thyme and oregano.
Take off the heat and blend thoroughly with a stick blender. Or let cool slightly and in batches blend in a blender, venting the cover and being very careful you don't overfill the blender each time. 
Let cool for 30-60 minutes and portion in containers to freeze. I use inexpensive plastic 3 cup containers from the dollar store. 
Let cool to room temp, seal and freeze. 
Home made tomato sauce, fresh from the garden!


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and Buns In My Oven and Daily Dish

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Easy One Pot American Chop Suey

This is the all American take on a Hungarian classic. 

Made super simple, everything is cooked in one pot!

Some of you may know this as Goulash, Chop Suey, or by that handy hamburger helper friend. Either way, this is a meal your family will love to eat, you will love because it's made in one pot. Your family or whoever you serve it will be happy because it's just so tasty. And we'll all be happy because we didn't have to buy a box with ingredients we can't  pronounce. 

Meaning it's a win-win, in taste, simplicity and nutrition. 


Plus dinner/supper is on the table in a flash! (Okay...I'm also jazzed about the one pot-less mess to clean up!)

Wherever you're from. East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, this baby has been a tasty, easy meal to prepare and provide so many of us with a hearty good meal and it just never gets old. 

It's sooo good!!

Easily made for 4-6 or a crowd, just double the ingredients. I've made it for potlucks, for new moms, for families just needing a hot meal, it's just a great staple to make for your loved ones or to share. 

To make it for the cheese loving crowd, add in cheese at the end and sprinkle more on top.  Whoa! Cheeseburger Mac! Another HH helper meal!

Here is the basic recipe--feel free to change this baby up!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Easy Baked Apple Purses-Worth Repeating!

Apple season is in full swing and these babies are worth repeating!

Easy Baked Apple Purses

These scrumptious little babies are a tribute to the delectable French pastry Chausson aux Pommes, which are delicate buttery "slippers" filled with a tender apple compote.

Now, back to reality and the frozen tundra that I live in called North Iowa.

Ahem...far, far removed from anything remotely "French".


That doesn't mean I can't pretend try to come up with a recipe that might come close. Actually once you taste these you may just think you're in Paris!

Well, yeah, that may be a stretch, but not that far.

They are beautiful little purses of baked goodness, filled with tender apples cooked in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Drizzled with a brown sugar glaze...

oops sorry, I drooled a little on my keyboard.


wait for it..


They're made from refrigerated biscuits.  !!!

Yeah, I know, every true baker just threw up a little. But here, look at it again.

You know you'll be stopping by the refrigerated dough section the next time you go grocery shopping.

Don't forget the apples!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sweet 'n Sour Sausage Kabobs

This is such an awesome recipe...

It's worth repeating!

My family loves to have things off the grill, as do many I'm sure.

When it's grilling season, I'm game to try almost anything on the grill (except rice, it just doesn't work believe me).

So I prepped Asparagus from our garden and Chicken Sausage Kabobs with red and yellow peppers, onions and pineapple. Grilled and then brushed with a sweet and sour glaze--Yum!!

Can't wait to dive in??

This is a fast, simple and really quite delicious meal to grill. It is on and off the grill in about 10 minutes. The total meal comes together in the time it takes to make a pot of rice, about 20 minutes!

1 lb. fresh asparagus-tossed with 1 tbsp of EVOO and salt & peppered.
1 lb. of your favorite sausage ( ours is a Chicken Cheddar!), sliced into 1" pieces
1 each-yellow & Red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1"cubes
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
8 oz. can of Pineapple chunks drained and reserve juice

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar 
1 tbsp agave syrup or brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper

  1. Mix ketchup, pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.  
  2. Thread onto skewers, sausage, pineapple, onion, peppers and continue using about 4-5 pieces of sausage per skewer. (we made 8 skewers)
  3. Preheat a grill to med high and place skewers and asparagus directly over heat. Cook turning until grill marks appear and asparagus is still crisp tender, about 8 minutes (depending on the size of your asparagus it may be ready in less than 5 minutes).
  4. Remove asparagus to a serving dish and start slathering the Sweet & Sour glaze onto the skewers turning and coating over all sides, grilling about about another 2-4 minutes. 
  5. Remove to your serving tray and serve over/with rice. 

  This recipe is shared on my Link parties. Also shared on http:// and and , Lean Lena and

Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Steak and "Baked" Potatoes

This is such a great idea, and I've used it many times even using chicken, that I'm sharing it again. Enjoy!

I get a lot of use from my slow cooker, mostly during the Fall and Winter.

Even when it gets really hot and humid back here in North Iowa I use my slow cooker, it doesn't heat up the house and saves my DH from the skeeters looking for a drink while he's trying to grill!

Today I am trying something totally new to me.....making 2 ingredients in one slow cooker.

Of course I saw this on Pinterest, if there is anything, anyone has ever made, tried, consumed or dreamed of, it is on this site. Pretty handy if you have an ingredient and want to change it up!!

So this is basically pork steaks, simmered in a spicy BBQ sauce, then a layer of foil and scrubbed potatoes wrapped in foil are placed on top!!!


All this meal needs is a side of veggies or salad and it's good to go!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

How To Keep Strawberries Fresh

This is the time of year when berries have exploded in the produce section of stores. 

We love eating fresh strawberries, right out of the package. It's so discouraging though, when just a few days after purchase, cause I can never buy just one container, some of the berries start to develop mold or get mushy. 

And sometimes you bring them home and there's some hidden ones that are bad. That makes me sad...

I'm sad no more, because I found the perfect solution....pun intended!

It's eco friendly, does no harm to people, animals or the environment AND this can be used on any berrie, fruit or vegetable, safely.

It's cheap, readily available.....

It's vinegar, a good 'ol white vinegar and water solution! This natural solution eliminates spores, toxins and bugs from all produce. 

Basically it's a 10-1 ratio. 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Place the berries in a fine strainer or colander and immerse in the solution for 2-3 minutes.

Drain thoroughly, no need to rinse-you will not taste vinegar, dry completely in the strainer or colander and then refrigerate as you would normally-uncovered. 

I just place mine on a small plate in the frig and BINGO! 

Beautiful, spore free, scrumptious berries. 

All you need is a big bowl or sink, a strainer/colander and plain white vinegar. 

Place 5 cups of cool water in a bowl and pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Place your berries in this solution for 2-3 minutes. 

Pour into a strainer/ colander and allow to air dry. Then refrigerate and enjoy!

This solution is great for blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and all sort of produce!


  This recipe is shared on my Link parties. Also shared on http:// and and , Lean Lena and