Kay Scarpetta, you’ve done it again!

I woke up around 6:00 AM Sunday morning thirsty and wanting to continue the book I fell asleep reading. By 8:30 AM I am several chapters in, hungry, and run across a recipe list that I am itching to try.

I am currently reading the book Dust, by Patricia Cornwell. It is the 21st book in the Scarpetta series. I am a little behind considering there are currently 24 books out in the series and she’s writing the 25th.

I picked up my first Scarpetta novel when I was 13 simply because the main characters name was Kay. I immediately fell in love the with the characters and the fast paced style of the thriller. In addition to the amazing story line, Cornwell incorporates ingredient list to Italian recipes that Kay puts together after a long day of investigation. Who wouldn’t fall in love with these books?! The lead character is an amazing woman who fights crime, survives harrowing situations, and still finds time to cook dinner.

In my excitement over the idea of making this recipe I tweet about it as well as post on Instagram. After social media shares, I fall into the hashtag rabbit hole and discover that Patricia Cornwell has not one but TWO COOKBOOKS!!! How did I not know this?! I need to figure out how to get my hands on these cookbooks. For now, I will have concentrate on cooking while I drop hints to my husband to find these cookbooks for me.

For this recipe I have everything except the veal, asparagus, and mushrooms. I think I will skip the veal and mushrooms and substitute green beans for the asparagus. This afternoon I plan on putting this in the slow cooker. I will update everyone on how it turned out and what measurements I used.

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I’d Like Some Pasta Sauce With My Wine Please

Today was a brutal day at work. I believe the only thing that got me through it was the fact that there was a bottle of beautiful dark wine in the fridge, beckoning for me to come home. I could almost hear it calling my name….Never mind, that was my children asking me when I would be home to cook dinner. Now that I was awoken from my daydream it was time for me to go home and get to cooking.


When I arrived home, I had to get going on the ingredients quick. I was really in the mood for pasta, and the sauce tends to take a little while. After pulling the wine out of the fridge, I had to remind myself what I got in there for. I really needed tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, and onions. Whenever I make pasta sauce I wrestle with the dilemma that I know we all face, “Do I want to drink the wine or cook with it?” For me, it boils down to whether or not I have enough for both. Today I do, so pasta sauce with wine it is!

I really like the flavor of a good homemade sauce. If it has wine in it, then I love it more, the more intense, the better. Before I get started, I put on the 80’s music and pour my first glass of wine. My kids respond well to the music, even singing along to some it (of course, they would never admit that to their friends).

For my sauce, I always start out with my tomatoes. I need them to be skinless. I do this by boiling them for a few minutes. The skin starts to crack and get wrinkly. When this happens, I toss them in some ice water to stop the cooking process.


While this is going on, I chop my green peppers and onions. I cut mine a little thick because I like my sauce so chunky it could be a dish all its own. I add the onions to some olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and cook them for a few minutes before adding the green pepper and garlic.

When I have added all the ingredients, and they have cooked until tender, I add wine to the mix. I cook the wine down, then I add more. I repeat this a few more times. I like my sauces to have an intense flavor of a good wine. The amount you add will be based on how intense of taste you desire.


Continue reading I’d Like Some Pasta Sauce With My Wine Please

Documentaries, Food, and the Sweet Promises of Pasta sauce

I enjoy watching documentaries, especially ones about food. I started watching them a few years ago when my eating habits became horrible. I knew I wanted to change but did not know how.

Even though I had a solid foundation in my cooking skills growing up, the 50-70 hour work weeks took their toll on me. Leaving the house at 7 in the morning  and not getting home until six or seven in the evening made my motivation for meal planning non existent. Instead of quick dinners and pizza becoming the exception, they became our go to. Processed foods are cheap, easy, and eventually my mind and taste buds tricked me into thinking it was the best tasting thing in the world.

Fast forward several years and 100 pounds later I was tired of being tired. The first documentary scared the *insert expletive* out of me. In reaction to this, I became a vegan for a year. Not a day, A. WHOLE. FREAKING. YEAR! Now being vegan wasn’t really the lifestyle for me. I literally dreamed about cheese for the first couple of months. It did get easier,but I never lost my desire for dairy. I did really well until one drunken night I found myself ordering the most glorious cheese pizza I have ever tasted in my entire life (at least that what the wine made me believe). Then came the guilt. I remembered the baby cows from the documentary being pulled from their mothers. After a few days of beating myself up I realized, food should never be about guilt.

After my realization, I started seeking out provocative documentaries that made me think about where my food comes from. I wanted vindication for my beliefs and  to celebrate food. I wanted to eat to live, instead of…you know the rest.

I am now very passionate about what I feed my family and where the food comes from. I am not going to be a hypocrite and say that “I only eat organic and all my meat is pasture raised.” I have two teenagers and a husband who eat me out of house and home, I would go broke. I do however, make sure the meat is not treated with hormones and if pasture raised is on sale, I buy it.

Continue reading Documentaries, Food, and the Sweet Promises of Pasta sauce

My Kitchen

I love to cook, more importantly, I love to cook for other people. Cooking is how I show appreciation for a job well done with coworkers. It’s  how I show my husband and two children that I love and care about them. Cooking has become a way for me to express myself emotionally and artistically.

I decided to start a blog because in addition to enjoying spending time in the kitchen I also love to write about, and take pictures of the food I create. It is my way of showing others the cooking skills I learned. My mom taught me how to cook when I was younger, and she did it all without the use of measuring cups or spoons. When I learned how to bake a cake from scratch, I asked “how much of each ingredient?” she would then pour the flour into a bowl then pour a little sugar over the top, then an even smaller amount of cocoa over that. She would explain the correct “parts” the whole way through. Her cakes always turned out amazing using this method. This has been my approach to cooking ever since. I have made some god awful concoctions but eventually learned how to make some wonderful meals.

Twenty-five years later I still use this unconventional cooking method to teach my children their way around the kitchen. I show my children that cooking comes from the soul, it’s a form of art. It is meant to be created and shared with the world.

Starting tomorrow, I will share some of my favorite recipes that I have come up with. I like to add a lot of color to my food with fresh fruits and Vegetables. I only use fresh or minimally processed ingredients in my cooking.

 

First blog postBeef and veggies