No More Jarred Spaghetti Sauce

I used to make pretty good weeknight spaghetti using Prego as a base and adding sauteed onions and ground beef. I would also doctor it up a bit with some Italian seasoning, garlic, a dash of cloves, and a bay leaf or two. But now that I’ve greatly reduced the amount of ground beef we eat and am trying to eliminate processed foods, no more Prego/jarred sauce! I needed a quick red sauce for those weeknights when I crave pasta. Sometimes I have a good sauce in the freezer from a weekend “all day in the pot” adventure, but not always. Last night I tried this easy variation, and Tim pronounced it “the best sauce you’ve ever made.” He might have just been really hungry. Anyway, here it is. If you Italians have a better one, I’d love to try it (30 min. or less, please!). 

1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

15 oz tomato sauce (I try to buy this in the carton as the cans can leach yucky stuff into the tomatoes.)

6 oz tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons sugar (adjust to your taste)

1/2 teaspoon basil 

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I always use too much; it was spicy!) Adjust to your taste. 

Can substitute a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for herbs. 

Simmer in a pot for 20-30 minutes. Season again to taste. 

Orange, White and not so Gold

I am a wee bit obsessed with a white and gold color scheme lately! I just can’t get my hands on enough gold accessories. I recently found a great gold mirror on Craigslist that I thought would be perfect above Grace’s new white, orange and gold dresser I just finished painting. She didn’t think it was so great. In fact her exact words were. . . “I don’t like that. I hope you are planning on painting. If not, you can have it back.” CRUSHED! 😦 I suppose she will not like the brass chandelier I have my eye on, either. Oh, well. I couldn’t let the mirror go to waste, so out to the garage to paint my beautiful gold mirror….boo!

New dresser for Grace.  It was my favorite “find” yet.  20 dollars for this beauty!


Some things I have learned.

1. Enjoy decorating your children’s rooms BEFORE they start to have an opinion. I loved my gold accessories idea for Grace’s room and am just so bummed that she doesn’t love it as much as I do. Actually she hates it.

2. Always match your manicure to the color of the piece you are currently painting! This is a big one. Inevitably I will get a fresh manicure only to have splatters of some crazy paint color all over it. I am learning and this is a great tip, I tell ya!


3. Never EVER spill paint in the garage! The Hubs hates this. I thought the garage was for spilling paint, but apparently the concrete in the garage is as valuable as expensive hardwood floors to a man. My husband gripes at me everytime he walks into the garage. He can’t let it go.

4. Don’t be in such a hurry that you knock over the most expensive paint on the planet. I HATE THIS! It doesn’t go back in the can very easily, either.


5.  Purchase white bedding for your children’s bedrooms and accent in colors they love.  My kids really know how to trash their bedding.  I can never get the marker, clay, hair dye, etc out.  I am done with colored bedding.  All bedding will be white from now on and I will always have a bottle of bleach on hand!


And finally a mirror Grace and I can both agree on.  A little bit of white and a little bit of gold.

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