Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and a Daregal Fresh Frozen Herbs Give Away

On October 1, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Our garden tomatoes were so delicious, this summer, and even though the last of them have been harvested, we’re still enjoying that fabulous, fresh taste.  With the more-than-we-could-eat excess, I was able to preserve some incredibly flavorful Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce and it was a key ingredient in this quick and easy homemade spaghetti sauce […]

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Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Our garden tomatoes were so delicious, this summer, and even though the last of them have been harvested, we’re still enjoying that fabulous, fresh taste.  With the more-than-we-could-eat excess, I was able to preserve some incredibly flavorful Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce and it was a key ingredient in this quick and easy homemade spaghetti sauce recipe.  The addition of a handful of equally fresh ingredients makes that tomato sauce into one of my family’s favorite meals and one of the simplest ones for me to prepare.  That’s definitely a “win!” on busy school nights!

I chose Daregal fresh frozen herbs to use in seasoning this easy family supper.  I’ve purchased fresh herbs in the produce department, before, but they spoil so quickly, I always end up wasting some. Plus, I don’t like paying for all those stems that I won’t be using.  Daregal herbs are processed from field to freezer in less than three hours, ensuring maximum freshness.  The leaves are washed, chopped and frozen so I save time and save money by not buying stems that are going to be thrown away.  Since fresh herbs lose up to 70% of their flavor in the first 24 hours after picking, I’m also assured of getting the most flavor for my money and what I don’t use, simply goes right back in the freezer, for my next recipe.

Daregal Fresh Frozen Herbs - Enter to Win a Gourmet Sampler in the Giveaway at Busy-at-Home!

I’ve been able to test Basil, Lemon Zest, Chives and Parsley. Since the company originates in France, some of the labels are teaching the kids and I a smattering of French (a fun added perk! :) ). They have a U.S. distribution center in New Jersey, but the packaging seems to be a mix of both languages. I love how neatly the packages all fit together in tight formation in my freezer.

Daregal herbs are preservative- and GMO-free.  Other frozen herbs on the market, contain added soybean oil, water, dextrose, corn starch and salt.  The refrigerated herb purees that can typically be purchased in the produce section of your local market are also packaged with salt and preservatives.  Daregal frozen herbs contain no additives – just the tender leaves of the fresh herbs. Fresh, flavor-packed seasonings were never so easy to use or economical.  Remove them from the freezer, give the box a quick shake to loosen the herbs then open the lid and pour out what you need. Place the unused portion back in the freezer.  You pay for only the leaves, harvested at the peak of flavor and packaged immediately.  Nothing is left to spoil, because what’s left goes back in the freezer for your next session in the kitchen.  This is an ingenious idea and I can definitely attest to the fabulous flavor!  They were perfect in my homemade spaghetti sauce, not to mention macaroni salad and I am anxious to give the grated lemon zest (Citron [I'm learning a little French along the way, as some of the labels are printed in French.]) in my baking and in vinaigrettes.

Daregal Frozen Chives

Daregal fresh frozen Chives were perfect in this pasta salad, over the weekend.

You can purchase Daregal Frozen Herbs on Amazon.  Daregal Gourmet herbs are also available in the Northeast at Stop n Shop, Giant Landover and Shaws.  On Amazon they are sold in sets of four and according to category groupings.  You can choose from Herbs for Fish (Dill, Lemon Zest, Onion and Parsley), Herbs for Salad (Lemon Zest, Salad Mix, Italian Mix and Chives),  Herbs for Italian Recipes and Pasta (Italian Mix, Garlic, Basil, Parsley), Top Selling Herbs (Basil, Garlic, Cilantro, Parsley), Herbs for Meat ( Cilantro , Garlic, Parsley, Tarragon), Herbs for Dips and Appetizers (Chives, Dill, Lemon Zest and Tzatziki), Herbs for Vegetables (Parsley, Cilantro, Parsley and Garlic Mix, Herb Mix) and Herbs for Potatoes (Chives, Parsley, Salad Mix and Garlic).  Daregal also sells fresh, frozen herbal teas that provide gloriously fresh and refreshing beverages, served hot or cold.  I brewed some mint tea over ice and it is heavenly!  There are three varieties of Daregal Herbal Tea and they are sold as a set (Peppermint, Lemon Thyme and Basil Thai).  I’m excited about the potential of these fantastic seasonings with all the holiday cooking and baking just around the corner.  Even in the dead of winter, here in Nebraska, I will be able to incorporate flavorful, fresh herbs into the dishes I’m making .  I’ve already ordered the Herbs for Dips and Appetizers Collection and I can’t wait to have some fresh Tzatziki Sauce!

I’m lucky enough to be hosting a giveaway for a sampler collection of Daregal herbs!  One of you is going to get to test them out in your own kitchen, for free!  Be sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form, below.  In the meantime, check out this easy and delicious Spaghetti Sauce.  You and your family will enjoy the fresh flavors and the quick assembly that makes it a natural for weeknight suppers.

Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 6 cups Homemade Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce (or your favorite tomato sauce)
  • 1 large tomato, diced with seeds and skin
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup minced bell pepper
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, seasoning well with salt and pepper. (We have found a local farmer where we can purchase organic, grass-fed beef. If you have the opportunity, the flavor is phenomenal and really adds to this dish.)
  2. Drain any fat from the beef and put it in a large sauce pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the beef and simmer over medium low heat to allow flavors to meld and sauce to heat through.
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta. Spaghetti is always at the top of our list.
  5. A little freshly grated Parmesan and a green salad and a 30 minute supper looks pretty fabulous. You'll be crowned queen of your kitchen and enjoy culinary accolades from all over the house!
  6. Enjoy!
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You’ll love the freshness and flavors that Daregal Gourmet Fresh Frozen Herbs bring to your favorite recipes!  Which do you think would be most excited to try?  Would you use them in your holiday cooking and baking?

And, now for the giveaway rules.  You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter.  The mandatory entry must be completed before any optional entries will count.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing from all qualifying entries.  The giveaway is administered by Busy-at-Home and prize fulfillment is by Daregal.

Enter the GIVEAWAY:  Entering is super easy!  In a comment on this blog post, tell me your favorite way to use fresh herbs.  Once you leave your comment, use the Rafflecopter form to register your entry and open several additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The BEST Baked Spaghetti: It’s NOT Your Grandma’s Pasta!

On July 11, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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I’m definitely a Grandma, but I’m not Italian.  So, I’ll never pass for a little Italian Grandma with all the cooking skill and wisdom of the ages.  However, I have stumbled onto a happy, not-so-traditional spin on a classic Italian dish and it’s started making a regular appearance on our dinner table.  This simple, delicious […]

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I’m definitely a Grandma, but I’m not Italian.  So, I’ll never pass for a little Italian Grandma with all the cooking skill and wisdom of the ages.  However, I have stumbled onto a happy, not-so-traditional spin on a classic Italian dish and it’s started making a regular appearance on our dinner table.  This simple, delicious casserole is a family favorite that beats out even a traditional spaghetti supper.  If you’re fortunate enough to have leftovers, they reheat easily; and Baked Spaghetti freezes well, so the recipe can be doubled to have one for the freezer and one for dinner.   It would be perfect to take along to a potluck or as a dish for a family with a new baby.  This recipe makes a 9 x 13 pan and generously feeds 10  - 12.  A fresh green salad and some cheesy garlic bread and you’ll think you’re eating out!  Enjoy!

Baked Spaghetti Recipe from Busy-at-Home

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Best Baked Spaghetti

Best Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, divided
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, fine diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 2-3 cups Mozzarrella or Monterey Jack Cheese

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.brown and drain ground beef. Set aside.
  3. Boil spaghetti according to package directions. Drain it, but DO NOT rinse.
  4. Add the cream cheese. heavy cream and sour cream to the pan with the hot noodles.
  5. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning.
  6. Toss to combine and to thoroughly coat the noodles as the cream cheese melts.
  7. Pour the coated noodles into the greased baking dish and spread in an even layer.
  8. Dice the pepper and onions.
  9. In a mixing bowl (or the now empty spaghetti pan), mix together the spaghetti sauce, browned ground beef, 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning, bell pepper and green onion.
  10. Spread the meat sauce over the noodle layer in the 9 x 13 baking dish.
  11. Spread shredded cheese over the meat sauce layer. (I normally use Mozzarella, but was out and Monterey Jack worked perfectly. So use what you have.)
  12. Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the top of the casserole.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.
  14. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad for a meal your family and friends will rave over!
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This recipe is linked to Weekend Potluck.

Pasta Night Extraordinaire with Bove’s Pasta Sauces!: A Review & Giveaway

On April 23, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?  My family just had the opportunity to test four delicious pasta sauces from Bove’s.  Bove’s started three generations back in a family-run, Italian restaurant, in Vermont.  They attribute their great success to high quality, all natural ingredients, cooking only in small, quality-controlled batches and […]

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It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?  My family just had the opportunity to test four delicious pasta sauces from Bove’s.  Bove’s started three generations back in a family-run, Italian restaurant, in Vermont.  They attribute their great success to high quality, all natural ingredients, cooking only in small, quality-controlled batches and staying true to their time-tested, family recipes.  Their business has grown over the years to include producing frozen lasagnas, frozen meatballs and jarred pasta sauces, while still adhering to those original principles.

The four yummy Bove's pasta sauces we were fortunate enough to review.

You may not realize that April is National Garlic month, but in honor of this great celebration, we were offered the chance to review Bove’s Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce; (which, incidently, is going to be featured on The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”) .  Never one to miss the chance for a celebration OR spaghetti, I happily accepted, and what a great surprise when the box arrived, to find four different flavors to test!  Not only did we have Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, but we also received Basil Pasta Sauce, Vodka Pasta Sauce and Marinara Sauce.  As it turns out, the Roasted Garlic and Basil Pasta Sauces ended up in a dead-heat tie for first place in our testing, with Vodka Pasta Sauce coming in second and the Marinara, third.

Our own personal pasta bar and happy faces of anticipation!

Instead of adding ground beef directly to the sauce, I just browned it up and left it to each person to add what they liked.  We made a lovely salad, some garlic bread, served tons of freshly grated Parmesan to top the pasta and made lots and lots of noodles, then left everyone to taste and try the sauces, as they wished.  Our grandbabies even got in on the act!  They are spaghetti experts extraordinaire!  Truly!  They’re so serious about their pasta sauce, they’ve even been known to WEAR it.  :)


Our grandson, happily displaying the remnants of his spaghetti dinner!


Our second granddaughter, not to be outdone, happily showing HER spaghetti face!

Each sauce had rich tomatoey flavor and they were THICK, the way we like our sauce — clinging to every noodle.  All are sugar-free, and I must confess that I added 2 Tablespoons of sugar to each jar, to cut the acid of the tomatoes a bit and appease my husband, who must always have a little sweet in his pasta sauce.  Those of you on sugar restricted diets will love the all-natural approach to these sauces, though.  I loved looking at the labels and finding an ingredient list of very familiar food products with names I could pronounce.  Every ingredient on the jar was something I could pull from my own pantry or refrigerator!  Without a doubt, we loved Bove’s pasta sauces, as was evidenced by the cleaned plates and happy smiles.  What a yummy dinner!

Note that the only thing left on these plates is the salad. Those tummy's are full of spaghetti and Bove's pasta sauces! :)

If you would love to serve Bove’s for your own National Garlic month celebration, or just for a fabulous fun spaghetti dinner, stop by their online store and order your favorite varieties!  Bove’s also has their own blog with tons of news and yummy meal ideas.  They even have a recipe section with 10 delicious dishes for you to try.

Our family will be enjoying Bove’s pasta sauces, again!  I’m sure that the Roasted Garlic and the Basil are in our immediate future.  One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will have the same opportunity!  Boves is generously sponsoring a giveaway of one jar of their delicious sauce for a Busy-at-Home reader.

Giveaway Rules:

Entrants must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. Mandatory entry must be completed for any additional entries to be counted.  Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, May 8, 2011. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment below, telling me which of the six flavors of Bove’s pasta sauce you would most like to try, if you’re the winner.  If you don’t remember all the varieties, you can find them listed in the Bove’s store.

Additional Optional Entries:

  1. Like Bove’s on Facebook and leave a comment below with your Facebook name, letting me know you did.
  2. Like Bove’s on Twitter and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle, letting me know you did.
  3. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  4. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect.  Use the “Join” button in the right-hand sidebar.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  6. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link (or in the right-hand sidebar).  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  7. Post this giveaway on your Facebook pageEnter to win a jar of Bove’s pasta sauce at Busy-at-Home.  Bove’s sauces have been featured on The Food Network and their sugar-free, all-natural sauce is delicious! http://bit.ly/eWKOnO Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
  8. Tweet this giveaway (1x daily) : http://bit.ly/eWKOnO Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.

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I received four jars of Bove’s pasta sauce, in different varieties, in order to conduct this review.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. Boves will ship a FREE jar directly to the giveaway winner.

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