How to Make My Mother’s Pasta Sauce

They say that smell is one of the best memory makers for the human mind. A smell can take us back to our childhoods in an instant. Rain in the woods can remind me of camp, bleach reminds me of the pool at the health center where I use to take Tae Kwon Do as a child, and the smell of suntan lotion, of course, brings me back to playing on Florida’s soft sandy beaches. One smell that I cherish though is my mother’s pasta sauce recipe.

I feel like everyone has that one “family recipe” that they just love and pass down and this is one of my favorites. I can remember being a child and laying on the floor of my living room watching TV while the smell of this sauce floated in from the kitchen. I love it now because it reminds me of my mother, and it’s easy to make, freezes well and can be used not just in spaghetti dishes, but in lasagna too! I hope you love it as much as I do and that it becomes a staple in your home as well.

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How to Make Hell’s Kitchen Lobster Risotto for Your Valentine

This Valentines’s you don’t need to get on a reality show and be verbally abused in order to learn how to make this very iconic dish from Hell’s Kitchen. Nor do you have to make the journey to Las Vegas to eat at Hell’s Kitchen in the Ceasar’s Palace. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can make this risotto in the comfort (and safety) of your own home with only your spouse to yell at you…if you’re into that kind of thing (no judgment). I got this copy cat recipe from Bake It With Love.

First, I think it would be obvious, but if your significant other has a shellfish allergy, and you don’t want to kill them, then it would be best to find something else to cook. Shellfish allergies can be extremely serious and you don’t want to spend your romantic evening in a hospital (or worse).

Secondly, for those of you wondering what it tastes like, I’ll do my best to describe. The wine that is used adds a subtle flavor and the alcohol is cooked off early on in the process (so it’s safe to feed kids). The addition to lemon and chive added at the end seems to enhance the flavor of the lobster meat, and the risotto has spent a lot of time cooking in the lobster stock juices which means not only is it tender, but really full of flavor. It was a serious win in my book and didn’t really take long to make once all the ingredients where assembled.

Thirdly, on that note, make sure to assemble your ingredients BEFOREHAND. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find measuring cups and praying that your risotto isn’t burning. I did mine in sections. So while my stock was simmering I was prepping the ingredients for the risotto.

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Luxurious Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

I really can’t express how much I hate winter in Massachusetts. I know I’ve said this before, but truly, it’s not even the snow, it’s the icy wind and just the frigidness of it all. To be honest, I actually deal with a subtle form of depression during the winter because things slow down and it’s like everyone is hibernating. I get extremely lazy during the winter, so cooking dinner is usually a struggle, which is why I love this recipe so much.

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Better than Take Out Fried Rice!

I always feel bad throwing out leftover cooked rice that as gotten hard. You know the type. Maybe you ordered take out and while leftovers for the next day seem fine, the rice is hard as a rock and no matter how much you microwave it, it never comes back to what it once was? This recipe uses that to make something absolutely delicious and once you prep everything it’s super easy to assemble. It easily serves four people and at 394 calories for a big bowl, this is a winning recipe for me.

I also used a little metal sakura flower cut out to make the bigger pieces of carrot look cute. This is a nice trick to try if you have little ones who are prone to not wanting to eat their veggies.

I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven if you want to view the original recipe, and this post also contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one and purchase something, I get a small commission. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Read more

Super Easy and Delicious Lemon Chicken Picatta

I am not a fan of chicken. I don’t know why, maybe because everything tastes like chicken, or because it’s one of the few animals in America where you can buy a whole one at the grocery store and disassemble it yourself which my mother often did and it freaked me out. Whatever the reason, it’s just not my favorite thing to eat. I mean I will, if that’s the only thing on the menu, but it’s not my first choices. All that to say, if I’m putting a chicken recipe on my blog, you better believe that I found it to be mind-blowing. So I am very happy to bring you this Easy Lemon Chicken Piccatta which I found on Chunky Chef.

The first thing going for this is that it’s a pasta recipe, and I’m a fan of all things carbs. The next thing is the spices that go into this chicken are delicious and lemony which is perfect for a summertime dish. Next, it uses capers which is a new food I realized I really enjoy, and it pairs extremely well with even a cheap bottle of chardonnay which is mostly what I get. Lastly, the leftovers even taste great! So this is an all-around win!

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The Most Amazing Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Cream

I feel like seafood and summer go hand in hand. When I think of summer, I actually don’t think of burgers right away. Instead, I think of margaritas with fish and lemon, or shrimp and pasta. I also think of Mexican food which probably comes from my Florida roots. This recipe featured on the food blog Garnish with Lemon.

The recipe is fairly simple to make. The only thing that takes time is the sauce which needs to sit in the fridge for an hour, but that can be assembled early in the day and forgot about. I use frozen shrimp for convenience, but you can of course always use fresh. If you’re looking to bulk out your tacos a bit, I’d suggest cheese, and lettuce, though I personally think they taste great just as they are.

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The Best Grilled Jalapeno and Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers!

When I was a child I loved The 4th of July. Even now I can remember my mother setting up a small pool in the back yard, and it felt like hours for the garden hose to fill it up. I remember swimming and smelling her grilling up burgers that she made. The smell of a charcoal grill brings back those memories so fast.

I am picky with spicy things. I like warm, but not hot and I am pleased to say that if you’re the same, then you’ll like these burgers. They have the jalapenos mixed in and the pepper jack gives it a little extra something. I like this recipe because you can adjust the heat to your level of liking by adding more or less jalapenos or leaving in seeds. My husband absolutely loved this and I hope you and your family does as well!

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Ham and Split Pea Slow Cooker Soup Recipe

Growing up I LOVED Easter! It was so much fun! I remember all the cool candy I’d get in my Easter basket, but one thing I absolutely adored was the food. My mother would make egg sandwiches with the hardboiled eggs my sisters and I dyed and we would have an Easter ham. Now personally, I’m not a fan of having the same protein every day for a week, I remembered discovering how much I didn’t really like Turkey past Thanksgiving (and even then I was never really into poultry). My mother was a leftover mastermind though. She was one of those people who could pull random things out of the fridge and somehow reinvent it and it would 9 out of 10 be amazing. One thing I looked forward to was her split pea soup! Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe for what she made, BUT I found this recipe which tastes exactly the same AND it’s a crock pot recipes which means you can set it and forget it while you go about your day!

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Penna Alla Vodka to make You Look like a Pro

My husband and I got a book called “The Gourmet Cookbook” by Ruth Reichl. We got it mostly for the really interesting (and expensive) recipes, because, well it’s fun to read about how to cook escargot.

In the pasta section, there was an affordable gem that Amin and I now make regularly. It’s called Penne Alla Vodka and I swear you’ll never go back to eating jarred pasta again once to see how crazy easy it is to make and how absolutely pro chef it tastes. Below, not only will I walk you through it, but I’ll give you a video to watch to see how it’s done first hand!

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The Best Chili Mac for a Cold Winter Day

My husband and I got married at the age of 22. I know it was young, but honestly, we had been dating for five years at that time and we REALLY just wanted to be married. After the honeymoon when Amin and I were opening our wedding gifts, one of the people I had invited had got me the Betty Crocker “Bridal Edition” Cookbook.

I can honestly say that besides the silverware that someone else got me, it’s been one of the most used gifts. 11 years later, I still pull it out. It taught me everything from how to devein shrimp to how to make chicken broth for chicken soup when Amin had a cold. The recipes were also fairly cheap to make which was a plus since after we returned home from our honeymoon we endured some serious poverty.

While I’ve moved on to some more challenging recipes lately, I usually pull out this book Every November when I’m doing batch freezer meals for the winter. One of our absolute favorite meals is a chili which I throw over pasta and add cheese and sour cream too. It freezes amazingly well and I often cook it in bulk. I can’t tell you how comforting it is after a day of shoveling snow to be able to pull this out and warm it up and dinner is made. It’s also cheap so you have more cash for your holiday shopping!

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