Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

My husband and his family are constantly telling me how great their Grandmother’s cooking was when they were growing up. As an Italian and the Matriarch of the family, she was adept at bringing the whole family together for a meal. They all get so excited when they recount all the tasty meals she used to prepare from scratch. That’s right! Those spectacular home cooked recipes from the old country are the stuff that myths are made of (something I know nothing about). Especially since Nana Onusic cooked by feel. Meaning? A pinch of this and a snip of that. Not exactly helpful when once she’s passed away, and you want to recreate the meals she used to make. So I have been on a hunt for a spaghetti sauce recipe that is both delicious and easy to produce. This is the first one that my husband has liked. And believe me, I have tried tons! So, in honor of Nana Onusic, I have decided o start some of our own Garcia Family traditions. So if you too are looking to make some spaghetti sauce from scratch, here is a little recipe from me to you.

This recipe makes about ten servings. So you can have yummy leftovers or freeze the extra sauce for another week. Or you can use it as the sauce for a yummy lasagna for the end of the week. Believe it or not, my husband loves it so much, that I have to double this recipe, in order to have leftovers. This is one of the base recipes for my Garcia Family Cookbook. Enjoy!

Mama Kerrie’s Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:
2 lbs Ground Italian sausage
1 small onion (chopped)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I usually put 1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon pepper

Cooking Instructions:
-In a large skillet brown Italian sausage. It is much easier to stir without spilling. Break up sausage into bits as you stir. When sausage is about halfway cooked, add onions and continue to cook until they have become soft and sausage is cooked through. Then drain grease and set aside.

In a large pot, add garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix them well. Add the sausage and onion mixture and mix until combined.

In a small bowl, mix basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Add spices to the pot and mix well. Bring sauce to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat to low.

Simmer on low stirring frequently for at least 2 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles. Or use as it as the base for your lasagna.

Enjoy!

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Mommy Project – menu planner

I feel like I am the most unorganized person out there. Which is incredibly frustrating, because I really do try to be organized. I never used to be this way. I had the greatest memory and I never ever forgot things. Ever since I became a mom, I feel like I am so scatter brained. I am constantly losing things, like my cell phone. Which is probably still somewhere on the 22 freeway, because I left it on the roof of my car one day back in December. I am also constantly forgetting things, like Aaliyah’s doctor appointment last Thursday to get her second flu shot. The worst part is – I didn’t even know that I had forgotten until my mom asked me how her appointment went the next day. If it wasn’t for her mentioning it, I probably still wouldn’t know that I had forgotten about it. But you get the picture.

My newest Mommy Project is intended to help me bring a little more organization to my messy life. I created a Dinnertime Menu Chart for my kitchen. I figured it would be a huge asset for my personal organization. At the end of each week, I will use my board to create a meal menu for the following week. Then I will go through all of the ingredients I will need to complete each of my planned dinners. Once I know everything I will be needing, I can go through my cupboards and refrigerator to see what I have and what I need. At which time, I can create a shopping list for my trip to the store that weekend. Then on Monday I will do all of my mixing and chopping and what not to prepare for the upcoming week. Sounds good in theory, right? We’ll see. If anyone can mess this up, I probably could.

Meal Planning Chart

I created a cute little board out of a picture frame that I write on with a dry eraser marker. And it is really easy to do.

Materials Needed:
11 x 14″ Picture Frame
Glue
Markers
Card stock paper
Scissors
Dry Erase Marker

This is an easy project. One that allows you to get really creative. So have fun with it! I really did.

On the left side of your paper you’ll want to create 7 separate blank rectangles. Each one should be labeled for one day of the week. I recommend starting with the day of the week that you typically do all of your meal prepping. For me, it’s always Monday.

Then on the right side, you’ll want to make one long blank rectangle that will be labeled Ingredients and one small square labeled Grocery List.

Now it’s time to come up with a fun title for your board. And put that at the top. I chose Mom’s Cafe.

Once you have finished creating your meal planning page, put it inside your picture frame and close it. And you are finished.

Now it’s time to find a place in your kitchen to hang it up! Hopefully you’re feeling inspired like I am and are ready to start planning your family’s meals. Hopefully this will help us all get more organized when it’s Dinnertime.

Enjoy!

Motherhood has changed me

This morning I was sitting on the couch watching my baby girl crawling around on the floor and playing, when I realized how lucky I am. I love moments like this. They are so peaceful. She’s not doing much, just climbing all over her toys babbling to herself, but she’s happy. Which makes me happy. She’s growing and changing and learning, and I get to experience it first hand.

This morning I realized just how much my life has changed in the past year. More so than I ever could have imagined. I am a mother to a beautiful baby girl and she is my world. My hopes, dreams, and goals have all changed. My days are spent playing peekaboo and singing Old McDonald. At night I rock my baby girl to sleep and then cuddle with her until morning. Before she was born I took everything so seriously, and now I don’t sweat the small stuff. My favorite things these days are slobbery kisses from my baby girl, watching her sleep in my husband’s arms, and that huge grin she gets when she’s happy. My life has changed since I became a mother, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I want to know, how has motherhood changed your life?

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The walking debate

Aaliyah’s first steps – it’s one of the major milestones that my husband and I have been waiting for. It has been in the back of our minds looming. Once she takes those first steps, she will never be dependent on us to get around. Soon after that, she’ll always be on the go. It’s easy to see she’s extremely curious and will be getting into everything. And considering my husband hasn’t quite finished child proofing our house, Aaliyah’s first steps need to be later than sooner.

I should probably begin by telling you that my husband and I rarely agree on history, timelines, or predictions. It keeps things interesting for us. We’re constantly placing stakes on when things will occur or how they occurred. It’s kind of our thing. Needless to say, predicting when Aaliyah will take her first steps is no different. George is convinced that she will be walking in the next month. That’s right, he thinks Aaliyah will start walking sometime during her eighth month. Which we all know is extremely early. And while I do believe our Baby Girl is an overachiever and ahead of the curve, I do not think she’ll be setting that type of a record. I honestly think she will begin walking during her ninth month. Which is still pretty early.

So now is when things begin to get interesting in our house. Now that we have taken our stands, Both he and I will begin to lure people to our sides. We’ll will break down her every move and try to use it as evidence that she is on trend with our own predictions. It can all get pretty comical.

You all might be thinking that with all these predictions, that we’re going to miss out on all the fun leading up to the milestone. But that couldn’t be farther than the truth. We cherish every single day we have with our little lady. If anything we probably hypersensitive to her transition to walking. I wouldn’t miss any of her changes for the world. She is that special!

So stay tuned to see which one of us was right about Aaliyah’s first steps…..
George = anytime before May 11
Kerrie = May 12 – June 11

Tell us about your baby’s first steps. How old we’re they when they first began walking.

“Mama” registers on the baby scale

Last night my husband and I were hanging out in our bedroom with our daughter. We were just reviewing our days and discussing things that had happened during the past week. All while Aaliyah played quietly on our bed. It’s one of my favorite parts of each week. We were discussing what our schedule was for this weekend, when I realized we had a birthday party on the next day. In a panic I scrambled to figure out what type of present I needed to get for the birthday girl. It was almost eight o’clock and I was too tired to think.

I jumped out of bed and asked my husband if he could watch Aaliyah so I could run over to Target real quick. Most of you are probably wondering why I didn’t just wait until the morning to go. And I will tell you why – I knew that Aaliyah and I would still be up for at least another four hours. She hadn’t been going to bed before midnight for over three weeks now. Plus, my plan was to try to sleep in the next morning since George didn’t have to get up early for work. And by sleep in, I mean wake up at 9:30 rather than the usual 7:30. So I was grabbing my cell phone and my wallet, when Aaliyah came charging across the bed reaching out for me. And all of a sudden she says, “Ma Ma Ma.” That’s right, my Baby Girl finally said Mama. I was so excited, because it was so expected. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I scooped her up and gave her the biggest hug and a kiss. Even George was amazed.

After that, I realized I couldn’t leave her behind. She had just made my week! I took her with me on my trip to Target. Part of me was hoping she might say Mama again!