Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Mom's Spaghetti sauce

Ever since I was very small, my standard answer when asked what was my favorite food,  my Mom's spaghetti was always my answer. It would still be my answer today. In fact, every time I make her sauce, memories of her seem closer. I love how we can tie memories to smells and tastes. I think that is a gift from God- little reminders of someone who has passed.
Anyways, here is my very favorite spaghetti sauce recipe!

My Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
2  cans (12 oz) tomato paste
2 envelopes Italian style spaghetti sauce
3 cups water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf

Cook ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until meat is brown. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover; and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Japanese Chicken Fried Rice and Ginger Sauce- a Benihana knock-off

One of my family's very favorite places to eat is Beninhana- it is a Japanese restaurant that has the cook station at your table, and the chef comes out and turns your dinner into a show to watch. Our favorite thing to eat there is the Chicken Fried Rice. It is so yummy! I watched very carefully the last time that we went there and then came home and searched online for a recipe. So this version is a mash up of all the different recipes out there, and what I observed while at Benihanas. This came so very close to the real deal. It was inhaled by my family. We will be having this often!

Japanese Chicken Fried Rice and Ginger Sauce
3 cups uncooked Minute Rice, cooked and cooled
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2-3 carrots, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
5-6 green onions, finely diced
2-3 eggs, beaten
1-2 tsp minced garlic
Soy sauce
Sesame Seeds
One lemon- you will need to squeeze about 2 wedges over the rice

In a large frying pan over medium heat, scramble your eggs, add salt and pepper to taste. Chop them into tiny pieces as you are cooking. Remove from the heat. Add 1 Tbsp butter and cook your veggies until the onion is soft.  Add several Tbsp of butter, garlic, eggs, chicken and rice. Cook and stir until everything is heated through and thoroughly combined. Add the soy sauce and squeeze the lemon over the rice. I can't give a quantity of the soy sauce- it really is to taste. Some people are more sensitive to the saltiness than others. Remove from heat and shake the sesame seeds over the top before serving. We like to eat this with the Ginger sauce drizzled on top- it just adds so much flavor!

Ginger Sauce
1/2 onion
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
Place all in a food processor or blender and blend until you have a chunky sauce.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zucchini Bread

The past few years, I have been getting a lot of my new recipes from the internet- blogs and Pinterest, mainly. However, my very favorite way to get new recipes are from people that I know. Those are the best ones. You know the person and you can trust the outcome. This is from a friend of my husband. He is actually one of his co-workers, and he used to own a restaurant. Thank you to Al for sharing your recipe, and thank you to my dear friends, the Teaford family who shared from their garden this enormous zucchini!

Zucchini or Carrot Bread
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Combine and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together:
3 beaten eggs
1 cup melted margarine or oil- or 1/2 of each (I did 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup oil)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini or carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, until well combined. Preheat your oven to 350°. At this point, you can make your batter into a bundt, loaves or muffins. For a bundt and loaves- pour your batter into greased and floured pans. You will have enough batter for one bundt or two loaves. Bake for 60-70 minutes. For muffins- use paper liners, fill cups approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 35 minutes, makes about 2 1/2 dozen muffins.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Blanket- Faux Chennile

I found a tutorial at Aesthetic Nest for a faux chenille baby blanket that I fell in love with. I was just waiting for the perfect person to make one for. When my sister announced that she was pregnant, I knew that it was time to make this adorable blanket.

If you do make a faux chenille blanket, do your hands a big favor and buy a chenille cutting tool! It is so worth the money and time!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Alligator Baby Shower

My sister is having a boy this fall! This is their first child, and the entire family is super excited! I have been working on getting her shower together and making a sweet little baby blanket as a gift, that I haven't really thought much about the blog. Thankfully, life is slowing down a bit and I can share with you her alligator baby shower!
My sister-in-law and I made this awesome motorcycle diaper cake- it was very easy to put together, we just followed the tutorial at I couldn't find a large enough alligator to "drive" the motorcycle, so Mr. Lion got the job, and the biggest alligator that I could find got to ride on the back! I think it turned out really cute!

We made a clothesline full of onsies, one for each month of the baby's first year.
We made these individual veggie dip cups, which eliminated any double dipping, unless it was in your own cup!
We had these delicious cake pop's made by a very special friend.

She also made these cute owl favors!

We had so much fun celebrating the newest boy to be added to our family!