What are the recipes that NEVER come out of your meal rotation? We all have our tried and true favorites — ones we know everyone in the family will eat, can be prepared economically with ingredients we almost always have on hand and are quick and easy to get on the table. Spaghetti is one [...]
What are the recipes that NEVER come out of your meal rotation? We all have our tried and true favorites — ones we know everyone in the family will eat, can be prepared economically with ingredients we almost always have on hand and are quick and easy to get on the table. Spaghetti is one of mine. If you’re like me, though, sometimes you just have to shake things up! :) I not only get tired of cooking the same things over and over again, I get tired of eating them, too.
Springtime always seems to inspire me to get creative, expand the palates of my husband and kids, and lighten up some of our traditional recipes. Does that happen to you? I can’t be the only rebel who wants to put a new twist on a family favorite meal, once in a while. Last night, I not only “twisted” a traditional meal, I pretty much turned it upside down; and yet there were still a lot of familiar flavors, reminiscent of a typical spaghetti dinner. With the exception of a veggie-phobic twelve-year-old, my crew actually consumed my new creation with great enthusiasm and smacking of lips. No worries. I’m confident that lip smacking must surely be a socially acceptable compliment, somewhere in the world, right? So, I can now say that this dinner was elevated to new heights as a multi-cultural learning experience, besides being scrumptious. :) Who knew spaghetti could be so inspiring?
I did have just a little more inspiration for my “spring-y” new dish, as well. You know that feeling you get when you get a new dress or a haircut that turns out to be p.e.r.f.e.c.t. for you? – that lift in your spirit that makes you feel great, because you KNOW you look great? Well…I get that feeling from gorgeous new kitchen tools. :) Weird. I know. I’m not gonna lie, though. I’m not a jewelry, or candy and flowers kinda girl. I don’t swoon over expensive perfume. But…you walk through my front door with enameled stoneware casserole dishes, a high-powered stainless steel food processor, or new kitchen faucets….it’s all over. I’m putty in your hands. Just sayin’! I LOVE kitchen “stuff”. lol Plus, I challenge any of you not to be just a little giddy over this beautiful set of pots and pans from Farberware. Meet my Farberware New Traditions Cookware in Aqua. Yup! My dream kitchen color. These were maaaade for me. Love! Love! Love!
The trendy 12-Piece New Traditions Cookware set, from Farberware, is a Walmart exclusive and available in your choice of red or aqua. You can pick out your set online or at your local store. I think I mentioned in a post, earlier this year, that we are getting our house ready to sell, and hopefully making a move by the end of summer or early fall. This beautiful set of pots and pans will be the centerpiece of decorating inspiration for my new kitchen. They’re exactly the colors I’ve been waiting to put together in the room where I spend so much of my time!
The New Traditions Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set is high-performance cookware, featuring unique, bell-shaped pots with a beautiful, subtly shaped scallop design on their porcelain enameled exteriors. These are so pretty, you could easily carry them to the table and serve directly from them. The insides are covered in a scratch-resistant white nonstick surface for excellent food release and easy cleanup. The contrast of the bright white inside against the aqua blue outsides is so striking, and coupled with the unique shape, gives this set the “retro” feel I’m excited to incorporate into my next kitchen. I also love the shatter-resistant glass lids, that make what I’m cooking easily visible without removing the lid. I never have to worry about releasing important heat and steam. And the branding on the lid handles is a nice decorative touch. Farberware double-riveted the comfy, rubberized handles, on the lids and pots, so they are tough enough for my heavy workload, comfortable to grip and I can grab them without worrying about burnt fingers. One other neat feature, if you’re fortunate enough to have a pot-rack in your kitchen, is that the pans are designed so they can be hung. What a beautiful accent they would be hanging near your range!
Of course, I had to cook something in them imMEEEdiately. :) Putting my own modern twist on a family favorite recipe was my assignment from Farberware. I knew I wanted a dish that mimicked some of the traditional flavors of spaghetti, but I wanted it to be a little lighter; and I wanted it to be gluten-free. The familiar ingredients I chose were tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, olive oil and Italian seasoning. The spin on the pasta was to make zucchini spaghetti and instead of making a heavy sauce with beef, I decided to top the yummy “spaghetti” with a freshly grilled chicken breast. It was HEAVEN! And bonus….it’s easy! Enjoy!
One lucky Busy-at-Home winner will win their own Farberware New Traditions Aluminum Non-Stick 12-Piece Cookware Set in their choice of either red or aqua. Entering is as easy as choosing your color. Fill in your color choice in the empty space in the Rafflecopter form. Good luck!
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What are the reasons you might change one of your family’s favorite dishes and create something completely new? What are some of the easiest dishes for you to put your own “twist” on? What would you make? Do you have a dish you would like to see us “make over” on Busy-at-Home? I would LOVE for you to share some of your fantastic ideas in a comment. below!
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 [...]
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 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.
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.
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!
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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 [...]
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!
This recipe is linked to Weekend Potluck.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- Like Bove’s on Facebook and leave a comment below with your Facebook name, letting me know you did.
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Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Enter 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.
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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.
Birthdays are one of the few times our kids get to choose the menu. Our youngest turned eight years old on the 24th; and we celebrated with family and a delicious meal on the 22nd. The birthday dinner requested was Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs. I was completely out of ground turkey and so I decided [...]
Birthdays are one of the few times our kids get to choose the menu. Our youngest turned eight years old on the 24th; and we celebrated with family and a delicious meal on the 22nd. The birthday dinner requested was Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs. I was completely out of ground turkey and so I decided to use up some of the hamburger I had on hand in the freezer. I checked the web for specific recipes and found several that had ingredients we like, but I didn’t have everything needed to make them. I found a couple that included ingredients we definitely don’t care for, so I looked for the ingredients that were “core essentials” in all of them and from there we built our own recipe. It was a smash hit and will be the “go-to” recipe for meatballs in the future!
This recipe made 132 meatballs. Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a zip-top freezer bag to use for quick meals in the future if you won’t be needing all of them at one sitting. – lol – We fed everyone at the birthday party, ate leftovers for lunch the next day and froze half for another time. You will be so happy to be able to pull these out of the freezer for a quick delicious meal! Yum!
Glenda’s Spicy Meatballs
- 4¼ lbs 93% lean ground beef
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1 Tbl red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbl Spike Seasoning
- 1/3 cup dried parsley
- 1/3 cup dried basil
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbl salt
- 1 Tbl black pepper
Mix the hamburger, Worcestershire sauce, milk and eggs.
Add the minced onions and garlic, bread crumbs, pepper flakes, Spike Seasoning, parsley, basil, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. I would like to tell you I am very delicate and mix this with a wooden spoon or fork, but it just isn’t very practical. For this one, you will need to get your hands dirty. It’s the fastest easiest way to incorporate all the ingredients. And for our oldest daughter, “Yes, Sweetie, this time I really mean mix it by hand.” – lol (That is in reference to the lemon bar fiasco of 1996 and taking the instruction to mix them by hand, very literally.)
Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated, I use a cookie dough scoop to shape the meatballs in uniform sizes. The shaped meatballs should be placed on a cookie sheet, leaving just enough space between them for air to circulate. I actually got 54 meatballs to a sheet.
Bake them in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.
Okay, when these come out of the oven you will need some big sticks handy, to keep back the milling throng if you ever want these meatballs to see spaghetti sauce! They are addictively delicious and once they pop one, hot, delectable little sphere into their mouths, your family will want them all! Luckily, it’s a big batch so you have some wiggle room, but proceed with caution. – lol
Glenda’s Spaghetti Sauce
This is the point where honesty gets a little sticky. Spaghetti sauce recipes should be long and laborious and top secret passed down from generation to generation, right? Mine, not so much! It’s easy, fast and absolutely delicious. I have diced fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and all the herbs and seasonings required for perfect, chef-quality sauces, cooked them over low heat for hours and hours and produced yummy sauces that are frankly not much different than what I am about to share with you. So, don’t think I am casting aspersions on your homemade sauces, I’m not. I love cooking from scratch and making things that could never be the same from a mix or a box. I just don’t have that kind of time or cash, when a good alternative is available. Here’s what we do.
- 2 cans of the least expensive canned spaghetti sauce available, (brand varies by what’s on sale, but usually Hunts)
- (1) 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of sugar, (adjust this to your own taste)
- 1 Tbl of dried Italian seasoning
Mix your sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the desired number of meatballs, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let the meatballs heat in the sauce for 15 or 20 minutes.
It’s not scientific or beautifully “chef’s kitchen”, but it is delicious and one of our family favorites. It’s a perfect quick fix when you’re in a hurry to get supper on the table! Serve over your favorite pasta. I also use this same sauce, minus the meatballs, when I make lasagna.
Of course, as usual, I always forget to take a final product picture for you, but since I had leftovers in the freezer I was able to snap a quick picture the next time we served this delicious main course. Notice the cranberry salad leftover from Thanksgiving? Yum!