Tomato, Tomahto: sauce with butter & onions

20 Mar

To be honest, I’ve never experimented with spaghetti sauce much. My father makes his own & I’ve always liked it so I usually grab some of his and keep it in the freezer. However, I’m all out of the sauce & I  wanted to try some different sauces. Which leads me to this recipe Tomato Sauce with Butter & Onions.

I saw it a couple years ago when Deb posted it and was excited to try it…and then I just didn’t. Until I started Weight Watchers and wanted something really simple with few ingredients. Enter the sauce!

I bought a can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes, 4 shallots(the yellow onion at my grocer looked less than appealing) and already had butter(I know, not very WW friendly – I will try olive oil next time). I was slightly unsure about the shallots but as soon as the mixture started to simmer, that faded. It smelled fantastic. It took about 45 minutes to complete, the butter melting, the shallots falling apart.

 2 cups of dry pasta(cooked) later, and I’ve a dish that will serve me at least 3 meals.

Smitten Kitchen suggests removing the onion halves but I decided to leave the shallot pieces in and they were delicious.The sauce itself is very tasty. I’m used to a fairly seasoned, thickened sauce – this was chunky, loose and not heavily seasoned. It was exactly the type of meal I needed last night. It was finished cooking right when I was just hungry enough to eat.

You could have a crusty bread with it but I needed vegetables, so I had a side salad.





Sock Knitting Ennui…Opinion Wanted!

9 Aug

I love knitting socks. Under most circumstances, they are quick, portable and fun to make. There are so many patterns, foot sizes and types of sock yarn out there, that I can’t get bored with them. Usually. Right now, I’m bored with the sock I was knitting. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern at all. I’ve made a pair using it before & I loved the results. I also love the designer.

I think the ennui stems from the fact that these were also the last pair of socks I made. They weren’t for me, so I thought, oh I’ll just make a pair for myself. Alas, they’ve been sitting & sitting. I got to a certain part & I realized, I don’t want to knit these anymore. I need something different.

With a slight wince, I cut the yarn & started over. I think I want to make another pair of Monkey socks…but I’m not sure. I’ve made these twice before, so I’m a bit worried that I’ll be bored again.

Or, do I start something completely new – with a different yarn altogether.
Papaver is another pattern I haven’t made yet & adore.  And I have the perfect pink/reddish yarn for it. When i got the yarn, this was the pattern I had in mind.

So, what do you think? Which sock should I make next?

Home Ec.

4 Aug

So, hey there. Instead of writing a big post(again) about how guilty I feel for neglecting the blog, how busy I am, etc., I thought I’d just jump back in. I’m surprised in a way that I’ve done this, but I’ve signed up for an online sewing class.

A little history: After my grandmother passed away, my dad found her sewing machine in a closet. He actually said to me that he was going to throw it out! I said “Don’t you dare!!” So, he kept it & every few months over the past 4 years since she’s been gone, I’d think “I really have to do something with that machine. It shouldn’t just be sitting there. Someone should be using it.” And I decided that someone should be me.

This July 4th weekend, I dragged Nana’s Kenmore Zig Zag 1410 sewing machine (pictures coming soon – it’s so cute!) out of the closet, set it up at the kitchen table and plugged it in. It just hummed, sort of. Then I stepped on the foot pedal. It reminded me of driving a car in a way, just not quite as scary. Then the needle of the machine started to move. It seems like it is in good shape.
In fact, I really don’t remember seeing Nana use it. I think she may have used it more for hemming & fixing some clothing, rather than quilting or making clothes. My mom & her mom are the hobby sewists and I sadly never thought of my father’s mother having much interest in this hobby. Anyway, online I’d been able to find out that the machine might have been produced by Sears sometime between the very late 1960s and mid 1970s. My dad has never paid much attention to this sort of thing, so he has no idea when Nana might have bought it.

Satisfied that it might suit my purposes, I stopped the machine & put it away. I’d been searching for YouTube tutorials about how to use a sewing machine, scouring Amazon for possible new machines(I was curious and at that point, not sure if my grandmother’s machine would work), and looking up books about sewing. Then I saw a tutorial by Leigh-Ann of FreckledNest, a blog I’d never read before. Leigh-Ann happened to be close to announcing an online sewing class. I sent her an email, asking for further details, and decided I would sign up.

I’m a bit nervous to start. I’ve got my supply list printed & want to buy some fabric this weekend. The first project is Cloth Napkins.  I’m going to give it a try, following the tutorials about getting to know the machine. I’m excited about it and hopeful.

Wish me luck!

Relief/New Motivation

7 Dec

There’s not much to say right now. I’m done with class for the semester & not starting up again until February, so the past month has been a little weird(what to do with my free time? Facebook! Twitter! reading books for fun!), but stress-free in some ways, worrisome in others. Recently, I’ve been reading blog posts from Not Martha, The Fat Nutritionist, and Bodies in Motivation and have found real inspiration.

Last week, I went for three 45-minute walks – Tuesday through Thursday. My iPod was handy for distracting  me from “yes, you are walking” and “OMG, my calves hurt.” In addition, I went for my annual physical on Friday. I used to see an MD., but he since moved to Philadelphia three years ago, I’ve been treated by the APRN in the office. She’s a really lovely person who, even though I’m totally not in the best shape ever(even though round is totally a shape!), never makes me feel bad about myself. I really like her so much – we are building a rapport & I trust her(but I can’t lie – I really miss my MD who moved. I loved that guy!).

I know I could/should be healthier. What was wonderful to find out during this visit was that I actually am healthy. My blood pressure is completely normal(124/76), my fasting glucose levels are great(can’t remember that number), and my “bad” cholesterol is 99.

When we discussed my concerns, I mentioned that I  sometimes feel a weird tightness in my chest, sort of a sharp pain but it always ends fairly quickly. So I had a quick ECG to find out if anything is wrong. Turns out, nothing is. It turned out “beautiful” – direct quote. So I’ve been feeling lots of relief. APRN thinks that I have acid reflux. Which, the more I thought about it, completely makes sense. I have some of these symptoms.

I’ve had lots of time to think lately about where I want my life to go, what my career goals are, and yes, how my body & brain will help me achieve them. It’s only fair of me to treat them kindly. So my plan is to take more walks, use some exercise DVDs, and change some eating habits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a baker & I will love food forever. I cannot give it up. Nor should I – but I need to modify and be sensible.

We’ll see where this takes me.

New blog!

24 Jul

I’m excited to announce that I started a reader/reviewer blog. It’s called (library)Liz Reads.

I hope to review YA novels, post some book news, and things of that nature, but I because I read more than YA, I may review more than YA. Basically, if I’ve read it, I want to review it there.

Please email me with any comments! Thanks for reading!


18 Jun

Reading and knitting are my favorite hobbies. Something I’ve noticed is that I tend to knit the same patterns or same types of patterns over and over. And I tend to re-read the same books over and over.  This habit began for me in childhood. I lived in a very tiny town(fewer than 1,000 people) and it had one very tiny library. I read every age-appropriate book in it by the fourth grade, if it even took me that long. I devoured the books lying around the house, age-appropriate or not, so I learned what quaaludes were when I read Elvis and Me at age 9.

I also didn’t own many books. I distinctly remember when my dad bought me A Wrinkle in Time at Caldor (it passed his test because it was a Newbery winner), and I remember reading it but not really understanding it. Other than that, I owned The Velveteen Rabbit, Anne of Green Gables, and a few others that I can’t recall right now. But I’d read them over & over, also borrowing books from my teacher’s library at school, and working those into the rotation.

Now that it’s summer, even though I’m enrolled in a class, it has me wanting to re-read all my books. I’ve already started with the teen section. I finished Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen this morning. I know Along For the Ride was just published on Tuesday but while waiting for my library to acquire it, I needed to keep myself busy.

I’ll be reviewing Keeping the Moon for the blog shortly! It’s my favorite Sarah Dessen novel and the one that I think gets the least attention.


10 May

My class has finished & the next one starts on June 6th, so until then, I plan on reading, sleeping, & knitting some fun stuff!

I’m way late on this one but Jellicoe Road has been sitting on my shelves for awhile and I’ve been feeling guilty. Now that I have some free time, I’m turning pages like a hurricane. Can’t wait to finish!

Also, changed to SpringLoaded theme b/c it’s fresh and fancy.  I swear, this blog’s appearance could change weekly, I’m so indecisive. But this one’s a keeper for now. The perfect mix of dark & light.

One more thing…I’ve been playing with Picnik, a photography application. It’s really fun. Here’s a before & after of Mia: