Classic Marinara Sauce for Two!

Hi blog friends! Thanks for stopping by again. Today, I want to share a quick and simple recipe that I think everyone should know how to make — Marinara Sauce! This sauce can be served with pasta, meatballs, on pizza, eggplant parm, chicken parm and so much more. I use this recipe as a base to all red sauces I make too. Like many of the dishes I make, this one starts with olive oil, garlic and onions. I really believe that if you always have these three ingredients, you can whip up a tasty meal with whatever else you have in your kitchen.

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Tea Kettle / Stand Mixer / Spoon Rest (similar)/ Pot/ Mason Jar (similar)/ Backsplash

I first started making my own sauce my junior year of college. I could often be found making a pot of sauce and baked ziti before my 8am class. Although I didn’t do very much meal prep in college, I did find it easy to make a head some dinner here and there so I could heat them up quickly after late classes. A girls’ gotta eat, right?

One of my first blogs ever was about my homemade sauce {check it out here} and reading that blog now is kind of funny. In that post I mention that oregano was my least favorite dried seasoning, but now I would say that I love oregano and don’t care for parsley. Sometimes I even leave parsley out. I also find it really funny that I mentioned I was making Mike {who is now my husband} strawberry shortcakes with homemade whip cream. He was the pickiest eater in college! I totally forgot that there was a time he ‘hated’ strawberries until I re-read that blog. Boy have times changed!

Now that I’ve taken you on a trip down memory lane, let’s get back to my current recipe! Although I haven’t changed much since I first started making sauce there is one change that I think was for the better. I almost always add very finely chopped or grated carrots. Carrots really cut down on the acidity of red sauce. I am a bit prone to heartburn and acid reflux. I have found that when I add carrots to my sauce it is much less likely upset my stomach. If you’re in the same boat, I definitely suggest you give carrots a try!

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

Classic Marinara Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2-3 small garlic cloves, finely minced
2-3 tbsp carrot, finely grated
14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes, unsalted*
8oz can tomato sauce, unsalted*
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
*Can substitute 1 28oz can of unsalted tomato sauce/puree

Directions

-Saute onions in olive oil over medium/low heat until they’re fragrant and translucent, about 5-7 minutes
-Add carrots and saute for another 5-7 minutes
-Add garlic and sautee for about 3 minutes
-Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings
-Once sauce starts to bubble, bring down to a simmer for 30 minutes or up to two hours.

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Easy Boneless Pork Chops

Hi friends! Thanks for stopping by my blog again. Today I am sharing a dinner recipe that I have actually been avoiding for quite some time. One of my husband’s favorite dinners is pork chops which happens to be one of my least favorite. Pork chops are one food that always stand out in my mind as bland and dry. My mom is the best cook I know, but growing up I always cringed when she said she was making pork chops!

College was the first time I really started experimenting in the kitchen. I was always interested in trying new recipes and let’s face it, I had plenty of time to do so. I made pork chops for Mike a few times in college. I believe one was in a fancy blackberry reduction. I can’t even say I was really trying to win him over because back then he was a total plain Jane in the food department!

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For the last few months Mike has been asking me to make pork chops. I finally caved-in because I was running out of ideas for new recipes to try and found myself staring at the meat/poultry display at the food store. I decided to buy a 3 pack of organic, boneless pork chops from Stop and Shop. When I got home I did a little bit of research on how to cook pork chops. I find most of my recipe inspiration from magazines or Pinterest photos (not usually the recipes themselves). Once I see a picture I like to try to figure out what the ingredients might be or how I can use that photo as my starting point.

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For this specific dinner I kept the ingredients simple. I also decided to cook these pork chops the same way I have cooked filet mignon. Sear both sides on the stove top then pop the pan in the oven. It’s super important that to use a good quality, oven safe pan for easy transfer from the stove top to oven. It’s easy to forget that a pan was in a very hot oven and reach for the handle. I have burned my hand really bad by accidentally grabbing the handle. To prevent that from happening again I put a “pot holder” on the pan handle right after it comes out of the oven (similar to this).

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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I love sweet potatoes and I have finally perfected what I think is the best seasoning ever. Cut up the potatoes however you like (cubes, discs, slices) then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika and herb de Provence. THE BEST!

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Pan-seared Boneless Pork Chops

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

3 boneless pork chops, about 1-1 1/2 inch thick
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more to oil pan)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed

Directions

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-In a zip-top bag, marinate pork chops with EVOO, garlic and seasonings for 20/30 minutes.
– Heat no more than 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO in an oven safe pan (pork chops will be well coated in oil to begin with) over medium heat
– Sear pork chops for 4-5 minutes per side (if your pork chops are thicker than 1-1 1/2in you will probably need to increase the time).
– Transfer pan to oven for 10 minutes

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Brown Butter Cream Sauce

Hi friends! Before I share today’s recipe, I thought I would share a little bit about why I started this blog. I actually started my first blog in college when I started cooking for myself for the first time. I had a lot of fun trying out new recipes and cooking for my friends – including my now hubby! Maybe it was my cooking that actually won him over? I don’t claim to be a blogging expert (I am still trying to figure it out), but back then I had zero clue about blogging. I didn’t know anyone who had a blog and I didn’t follow any blogs. I just liked to cook and wanted to share my excitement for cooking somewhere. If I knew blogging and social media would become a huge industry I probably would have focused on my blog much sooner. Let’s face it, back then I had tons of free time (even if I didn’t realize it).

After college I started my gluten-free journey and thought my blog would be the perfect place to share my experience. I eventually decided to switch from Blogspot to WordPress.com (not realizing it was different from WordPress.org) and later created a second then a third blog. When you start a blog, you can blog about anything you want because it’s your space. For someone like me who is in a profession that requires close to zero creativity, a blog is a great way to actually be creative. I dabbled in some beauty blogging as I was on the search for a good skincare routine and had a few outfit posts, but I quickly learned that it’s important for your blog to have a focus in order to build a consistent following. Although I have posts about other topics from time to time, I’ve decided to focus on what I enjoy most…cooking! I’m not even sure my mom reads all of my blogs, so if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!

Now on to today’s recipe…

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For Valentine’s Day I made this pasta dish inspired by a cooking class I took at Sur la Table. As I have mentioned in previous posts and on Instagram, I love to use a recipe or photo as my inspiration and create my own dish. The dish I made at Sur la Table was delicious, but super rich and creamy. That dish is a bit heavy to make on a regular basis, so I thought I would try to create something similar, but a bit lighter. This dinner turned out great. I especially love the flavor of the fresh sage! I haven’t cooked with sage much, but now I can’t get enough. I served this sauce with my favorite chickpea pasta I have been loving this pasta because it has protein and is much more filling than traditional pasta.

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Fresh garlic, onions and olive oil are staples in my kitchen. I’m convinced that if you have these three ingredients, you can make any meal taste delicious. Just like this one!

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I don’t personally love dark meat, but I think this could be a great dish to try with chicken thighs. The dark meat would also add some more flavor.

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Brown Butter Cream Sauce with Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup white wine (such as pinot grigio)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 tsp gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • fresh sage

Directions

  • Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic and cut into bite sized pieces
  • Melt butter in olive oil over medium heat then add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken to the same pan, browning on both sides and cooking through, about 10 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with white wine and let it reduce by about half.
  • Mix-in flour, chicken broth and heavy cream. Continue stirring until sauce thickens (you can add more flour if you would like a heavier, thicker sauce)
  • Add garlic and frozen peas, stirring occasionally until peas have cooked through
  • Stir in fresh sage
  • Serve over your favorite pasta

 

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

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