Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Are you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce!

Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best.

Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple?

Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara

One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks!

So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy!
I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t.

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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot
  3. Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter
  4. Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well
  5. Add puréed tomatoes
  6. Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf
  7. Let boil then turn down heat to low
  8. Simmer sauce for about an hour
  9. Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip
  10. You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce
  11. You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas!
  12. Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months.
  13. Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy!
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Frico Cups

Frico Cups

Serve your raw green salad in frico cups!

Frico cups are small cups made entirely out of cheese. They are naturally low carb, gluten-free, and completely irresistible.

 

Image result for Frico CupsYou know that little bit of cheese that oozes onto the skillet when making a grilled cheese sandwich? The stuff that turns dark and crispy and perfect for popping in your mouth? Frico cups are essentially an entire serving bowl made of that rich crispy cheese.

You can make them in various sizes. Yet I’ve discovered if you bake them about the size of a paper muffin liner and fill them with a smaller serving of salad, they’re more likely to disappear!

Frico is what Italians call the wafer like crisp that forms when you bake or fry shredded cheese.

This delicate, baked Parmesan cheese cups are deceptively easy to make. You can fill them with whatever you want, but grape tomato, olive and feta make for a light and refreshing snack.

 

Ingredients

For the Frico Cups

Parmesan cheese (3 tbsp. per cup)

For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad

4 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c. green olives, sliced and pitted

1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Basil, for garnish

For the Sesame Cucumber and Radish Salad

1 English cucumber, finely chopped

3 large radishes, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp. black and white sesame seeds

Kosher salt

black pepper

For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad

4 ears corn, husked

2 c. cooked farro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Directions
  1. For the Frico Cups: Grate Parmesan and make piles, 2 inches apart, on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F until melted but not quite brown (6 minutes); use a thin metal spatula to quickly transfer to muffin pan, pressing lightly in centers. Cool before filling.
  2. For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad: In medium bowl, combine grape tomatoes, green olives, feta cheese, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with basil.
  3. For the Sesame, Cucumber and Radish Salad: Toss cucumbers and radishes with lime juice, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad: Preheat grill on medium-high. Grill corn 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool. Cut kernels off into large bowl; toss with farro, green onions, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Simple, summery and a great little appetizer with a salty parmesan bowl of its own.!

 

 


Frico Cups
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Asparagus Pockets

Asparagus Pockets

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals; and low in calories and sodium. It’s a versatile vegetable that can be used as a side dish, appetizer, or as a main course ingredient, think stir-fry!

Here’s one of my favorite asparagus recipes. These Asparagus Pockets are tasty, easy, and look impressive. They’ll make a great appetizer at a party, specially during the holidays. They’re so easy to make, you can whip them out in less than an hour. Guests will think you spent hours preparing them!

Here’s my recipe, hope you love them as much as we do!

Ingredients:
– 24 Asparagus tips – washed and trimmed to about 8” long
– 2 cans refrigerated crescent dough
– 1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese
– 1 Egg – beaten

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees
  2. Prepare asparagus
  3. Unroll crescent dough – dough is pre-cut into 8 triangles and unroll as 4 sets of triangles together forming a rectangular piece
  4. Separate rectangles – Do not separate it into triangles – you should have 8 rectangles with a diagonal line scored from one corner to the other
  5. Press the scored line together to form a smooth rectangle
  6. Place 3 asparagus tips diagonally across the dough – from corner to corner
  7. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of cheese over asparagus
  8. Fold free corners over each other to form the pocket. Top and bottom of asparagus should peek out. Check picture above.
  9. Place each pocket on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  10. Brush each pocket with beaten egg.
  • Bake in oven about 20 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and serve hot or warm.
  • Makes 8 pockets.
Asparagus Pockets
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Banana Foster Dutch Baby for Father’s Day

Banana Foster Dutch Baby for Father’s Day

Dutch babySunday is Father’s Day.  Why night surprise dad with this yummy Banana Foster Dutch Baby?

You can serve it for breakfast or brunch or even as dessert after lunch or dinnerr.  It’s absolutely wonderful.  It’s creamy and rich caramel sauce, homemade of course, goes lovely with fresh bananas sliced over a yummy dutch baby pancake.

But first you might ask what exactly is a Dutch Baby.  Well it’s basically a German Pancake; it’s a cross between a crepe and a popover.  Traditionally German Pancakes are small round flat cakes but the American version somehow ended up being a large round pouffy cake best made in a cast iron skillet.

 

My Banana Foster Dutch Baby uses the basic recipe I use for the Dutch Baby with Lemon Curd and Blueberries.  I just use different toppings.  Click here for that recipe.

While you’re making the Dutch Babies in the oven you can make my simple homemade caramel sauce, or you can make the sauce earlier.  I always keep a jar in the fridge because the sauce is yummy on just about everything including ice cream, cakes, and fruit.  It’s great for dipping too!

Anyway once your Dutch Babies are done top it with sliced bananas drizzled with caramel sauce, then top it all off with whipped cream! You can’t possible go wrong!

Banana Foster Dutch Baby

Ingredients:

Dutch Baby or Mini Dutch Babies – Click here for the basic recipe

2 – 3 Bananas, sliced

Caramel Sauce – scroll down for the recipe

Whipped cream

Directions:

Make one large or 2 mini Dutch Babies according to the recipe

Make a batch of caramel sauce

Top with sliced bananas

Drizzle with caramel sauce

Top with whipped cream

Homemade Caramel Sauce
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Homemade Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy sauce pan combine all ingredients except Vanilla Extract and stir over medium high heat
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Cook for another 10 minutes or until it thickens - stir constantly
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract
  5. Serve warm or store in a container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Refrigerated sauce may become too thick.  Heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds or until it loosens up enough to use.

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Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries

Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries

Lately I’ve been really loving these Dutch Babies!  You might be wondering what exactly is a Dutch Baby.  No, I’m not referring to those adorable blond haired blue eyed cuties one would expect to see in Amsterdam, I’m talking about these yummy dessert or breakfast pancake like creations topped which sweet or savory morsels of goodness.

A Dutch Baby is sort of a cross between a pancake, a crepe, and a popover.  And before you can ask it did not originate in the Netherlands, in fact there is nothing “Dutch” about it.  It is also called a German Pancake and in Germany is called an Apfelpfannkuchen and was originally served as 3 small pancakes with lemon squeezed on it and then sprinkled with sugar.  Somehow it evolved into larger sized pancakes.

But back to the name, the story goes that a Seattle diner called Manca’s Cafe back in the 1900s to the1950s served the German Pancake called Deutche Pancake (Deutche is the German word for well German).  The owner’s name was Victor Manca, and his young granddaughter could not pronounce Deutche, instead she called it Dutch.  And so the Americanized German Pancake was born!

However it got its name it’s still a delicious addition to breakfast, lunch, or even dinner; remember you can top it with just about anything.  I’m not a big pancake fan, but I do love crepes; unfortunately I seldom make them at home because I really don’t like standing at the stove frying either one, I find it tedious.  That’s why I love a Dutch Baby!  It’s not fried, it’s baked!  Now that’s something I can definitely get behind!.

Seriously Dutch Babies are super easy to make, you just mix the ingredients together, pour the batter in a cast iron skillet, pop it in the oven and in less than half an hour your Dutch Baby is ready to be topped and served!  Easy peasy nice and breezy!

I’m sharing this simple Dutch Baby recipe today.  I topped my Dutch Baby with lemon curd and fresh berries, it made a great dessert!  You can top it the same way; sprinkle it with powdered sugar; spread it with jam; or even top it with ham and cheese for a nice savory lunch or dinner.  In short just top it anyway you want!

Now this recipe makes a large Dutch Baby, I made it in a 10″ skillet.  You can adjust the recipe to suit your needs or if you like you can split the batter between two 5″ skillets and have personal pan Dutch Babies that each person can top the way they want.  If you’re making the large version just slice it up into wedges like you would a cake to serve.

 

 

Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries
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Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place eggs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Place butter in a cast iron skillet or any type of heavy skillet and place it in the oven until butter has melted.
  3. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 minutes until the edges have puffed up and the pancake is golden brown
  4. Lower oven temperature to 300 and bake another 5 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and spread with lemon curd, top with fresh berries, and sprinkle powered sugar over all.
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash is one of our favorite breakfast foods; actually we like it anytime of day.  We usually order it at one of our favorite coffee shops and they all serve the canned version.  Mind you we’re good with that, but have you ever had fresh homemade Corned Beef Hash?  Believe me once you do it’s hard to settle for the canned stuff!

Since St. Patrick’s day was just a couple of days ago I’m sure like me you’re wondering what to do with that left over Corned  Beef & Cabbage you had for dinner last Sunday!  Well wonder not more!  Turn it into Corned Beef Hash and serve it for breakfast or even dinner tonight!  I know I will!

Homemade Corned Beef Hash is a great way to use that leftover brisket.  It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s very yummy!  So let’s make some hash!

By the way it would be an awesome addition to a Mother’s or Father’s Day Breakfast of Brunch!

Ingredients

Left over Corned Beef Brisket (if you don’t have leftovers then cook a brisket in your crock pot or Instant Pot.  Click here for my Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe)

3 – 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled, boiled, diced (If you have leftover potatoes from dinner just dice those)

1 Small Onion finely diced

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1/2 Tsp. Paprika

1/4 Cup beef broth

Oil for Frying

Directions

Prepare your brisket and potatoes

Heat oil in frying pan

Saute onions until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and saute until they start to turn brown

Add diced corned beef and potatoes

Sprinkle with paprika and mix well

Spread corned beef mixture evenly in frying pan and smush down with back of your spatula

Pour beef broth over all

Turn down heat and simmer until liquid is mostly gone

Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula

Cook another 5 minutes or until dry

Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.

 

 

Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prepare brisket and potatoes
  2. Heat oil in frying pan
  3. Saute onions until they turn translucent
  4. Add garlic and saute until garlic starts to brown
  5. Add diced corned beef and potatoes
  6. Sprinkle with paprika and mix well
  7. Spread corned beef mixture evenly in pan and smush down with back of spatula
  8. Pour broth over all and reduce heat
  9. Cook until liquid is almost gone
  10. Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula
  11. Cook another 5 minutes or until all liquid is gone
  12. Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.
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