Wednesday, June 17, 2009


making tomato sauce: cooking it downImage by Andrew Huff via Flickr

In our family our traditional get together meal is Spaghetti. When we had a family reunion in Denver (the halfway point for Det and LA) We brought an electric frying pan and plugged it in the hotel room and mom made our traditional dinner for us. When Melody lived with us, she asked me to make it for her on her brother's birthday. It is our comfort. It is also EASY!

Now for those of you who do not know and love my family (and hey, why don't you?), you know that we are plain and simple people, so feel free to expound on this recipe in many ways.

Three main ingredients:
Ground Beef
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Paste

There are no exact measurements. I usually use about 3 pounds of ground beef, to 2-3 large cans of tomato sauce and 1 small can of tomato paste. Brown the beef, add the sauce, bring to a boil and let simmer for as many hours as you can. this is where my mom would add water throughout the day to keep the simmer going longer, personally I would rather add more sauce but I am less frugal than she. ABout a half hour to an hour before serving add the paste to thicken.

Add vegetables of choice, you could cook onions in with the beef, I enjoy adding roasted garlic and some oregano. You could even use ground soy crumbles and or go meatless with vegetables only. THat is the beauty of the simplicity of this recipe.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Easy Peasy

How do you accomplish a dinner that looks this good in about 15 minutes? It's extremely easy you just have to be willing to not start from scratch.

I always prefer cooking from scratch but since I mostly cook only for myself now, it isn't worth the effort.

But in this case, you get a perfectly balanced meal of roast beef, parmesean rice (or any flavor you desire) and peas (swap out for your favorite vegetable).

Just follow the directions on these

The rice takes the longest, about 15-20 minutes. While that is cooking, you can pop the roast into the microwave for 4 minutes and then the peas for another 4. It feeds at least 2 if not 3 people, or in my house me and the dog. And if any of the people being fed are kids, then it could feed up to 5. It is simple delicious and quick for a family always on the go.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Pate Chinois

This is a dish that mom made often, I think Erika is the only one that doesn't like it. But I could be wrong.

It is a take on Shepard's pie and can be made in many different variations. As a matter of fact Aunt Nancy made one of the best I ever had with some leftover roast beef.

It is a simple casserole and can be made a couple of days in advance and/or frozen before or after cooking. It is a good "passing" casserole for taking to a family in need or a potluck.


1 lb ground beef (here you can sub roast beef or lamb or a combination of any meat. I have even made a meatless version with soy for Adam)
1 can of Cream Style Corn (guess what? Yep you can add any additional veggies here as well. I would still use the cream style corn for the liquidity, but I have added green beans and lima beans as well. Really any veggie will work)
6-8 servings of instant potatoes (This you shouldn't sub. Real mashed potatoes just aren't worth the trouble for this casserole, unless you have them leftover already)

That's it. Layer the meat on the bottom, the veggies in the middle and the potatoes on top. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, the potatoes should have golden peaks.

Again here is a chance to personalize it, some sprinkle paprika, some sprinkle cheese (cheddar is good for color and taste), some just leave it as is.

This is usually where I would load a picture of the finished product, but right now Flickr and Blogger are not playing nicely together.

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