Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The best pasta sauce!

I have discovered the best pasta sauce for lasagna, spaghetti, etc.! I came across it while searching for lasagna recipes and it is my magical sauce now. The best part is that I can make a big batch of it and freeze the serving sizes for future meals.

Ok, let's get down to the details on how to make this yummy recipe:

You will need -
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 to 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

~ In a dutch oven or whatever big pot you have, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.


I used a big onion which probably ended up being a bit more than 1 cup. I kept the garlic at two cloves but since we love garlic, I think I will up that a bit next time.

We have cooked ground beef in our freeze and I forgot to let it sit out before I started cooking so , yes, that is a big hunk of ground beef you see in there.


It smells so good!

~ Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.

I thought I had a big can of crushed tomatoes but I only had diced. Nothing the blender cannot solve.


You want to know what sucks? This can opener. It took some serious muscle to get these cans opened enough to pour out the contents. Look at how jacked up the lids are.

We bought a new one.


~Season with sugar, basil,  Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.


~Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Your house is going to smell so good after this is done!

If I am going to freeze the batch, I let it cool completely then measure out the serving sizes into Ziplock Freezer bags.

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Day Window Box Bouquet

Oh, Valentine's Day - a day of sharing your love and affection to those close to you, flowers, candy......... and classroom Valentine's for your child(ren). This year I had a nifty idea that was a lot of fun for me and Leah to put together. Ok, ok so it was mostly me but it was such a cute idea! You'll see......

I found the templates for the flower and leaf at Skip to my Lou. I took colored card stock, printed the templates and cut them out. Make a tiny hold in the center of the flower and push the lollipop through.

I bought Valentine Blow Pops for this project.

I taped the leaf around the stem and there you have it folks. Seriously, easy.

Earlier in the day I bought an 18 inch Coco lined window box and a 16x5 styrofoam piece. The styrofoam fit perfectly in the window box.

I stuck the 'stem' into the styrofoam. Then I did it with 19 more 'flowers'.

And here is the finished product! Is it just the cutest?!

Once again I have fullfilled my motherly duty by provided Valentine's for my daughter's class. Woot!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coupons: My first "big" savings weekend

Earlier in the blog I posted how I was going to do the coupon thing again and I am happy to report that I am seeing results. Woot! I have been collecting coupon flyer's from the Sunday paper (I am buying 2 papers) and we get coupons in our free Thursday paper that gets tossed in the driveway. In other words, I have a lot of coupon flyer's.

This week I shopped at Publix. Every week they have lots of BOGO free items and this time they had some good ones. I circled all the items I wanted and jumped on Couponmom to search the database of all the Publix deals and the coupons that correspond. Again, this site is a huge time saver.

I also had some target coupons that I printed because my friend, Jennifer, told me that they accept competitors coupons and I was able to stack those with coupons I had. I got those items for just pennies!

**In total, I had $42.44 in coupons (Publix automatically doubles coupons up to $.50) and if I did not have a coupon for an item it was BOGO so it was half price. They also had good sales on several items I frequently buy (and I had coupons for them) so my 'special price savings' came up to $55.86.

In all I saved $98.30! I was able to get almost every item on my list at Publix and I got a deal on each item!

Presto, indeed!

Also, if you spent $100 they gave you a $10 Publix gift card so I have that to put towards next weeks list.

Every item I bought was an item we use. I did not buy any items that we would not use just because I was going to get it for dirt cheap. I don't have the storage room for that....yet. LOL!