Yesss! Today has been the first "normal" Monday since sometime way back in December. I truly love it when my kids are home and we have lots of family time but, good grief, we have been out of a routine for an eternity, it seems. With the days we had off due to the flooding at our school, finals were just last week so the younger two had half days off even last Thursday and Friday. This will be a crazy week - we have basketball every night this week except Wednesday - but, at least, I have my Monday. I will be missing the games on Friday night, however, as I am speaking at a women's retreat in East Texas. I am most excited about that. The retreat theme is peace (which, obviously, I have been in need of these days when we've been out of a routine) and I hope to share some things God has been teaching me in that area later this week.
Since my friend Julie commented that she wants my spaghetti recipe I thought I might just share what I will call my "spaghetti sauce guidelines" since I don't really have a recipe. I like to imagine that I'm a really good cook -- my family humors me much of the time when I make things without a recipe and they turn out pretty delicious. So, here's just a few things that I think you should know to make your own really terrific spaghetti sauce:
I start with ground beef (I prefer lean) and I brown it in my biggest skillet. I take it out of the pan to drain it. Here's what I think makes the sauce delicious - before I return the meat to the pan, I add a little olive oil (maybe a tablespoon or a tablespoon and a half) and some garlic that I have finely chopped. I saute that garlic - on low heat because you do not want it to burn. (Burned garlic is awful!) Then, you return the meat and add any combination of tomato sauce, tomato paste, or crushed tomatoes that you might have on hand. My family does not want to see anything that looks like a chunk of tomato so even if I have diced tomatoes in my pantry I will put them in the food processor before I use them. Then, you add the spices. Oh yeah, you could also saute a little chopped onion but my family doesn't like onion pieces either. I use onion powder, instead. Sometimes I will use the Italian Spices (the ones in the jar actually labeled Italian Spices) but the main ones I like are basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley. I also add sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I also like just a little crushed red pepper. When I have herbs growing in my garden then I like to add fresh ones instead of the dried.
You should just make the sauce, adding a little of the herbs that you like at a time until it taste like you want it to. Just remember, after you add the herbs you have to let it simmer for a while before you taste it or add more. I think it's fun to experiment. Plus, I almost always have the stuff on hand to make it so it's a great go-to meal when I don't have time to plan a menu.
So, that's my cooking tip for the day. I really like cookbooks (I got 3 new ones in December!), cooking shows, cooking gadgets, so I'd love for you to share your cooking wisdom with me!
Serving the King,