Thursday, March 31, 2011

Penne a la vodka

This is one of my family fav's, so quick and easy and yummy!

2 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (see 3/29 post) if using jarred 1 jar is perfect
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound cooked penne

Heat the tomato sauce up in a medium sauce pot.
Add the vodka and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream, mix well and simmer for a few more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
Mix with the penne and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do you have a mug rug?

I just heard of these things and am already loving mine. It's like a little placemat for your morning coffee or tea.
Erin at Two More Seconds is all about mug rugs this week. Check out all the mug rug craizeeness at

Heres a pic of mine, I used Fresh Flowers by Deb Strain for Moda. It adds a little sunshine to my mornings :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you make your own sauce?

I spent Saturday morning teaching my son's girlfriend how to make a quick tomato sauce, which she was amazed to see how easy it was. Then I went to a quilters weekend and brought Penne a la vodka for the gals to eat. Thats when I realized that most of them never even made a pot of sauce. Dont be afraid of sauce, its so quick and easy to make and you control the amount of oil, sugars and spices in your sauce. Plus who doesn't love the smell of good food cooking on the stove? I know "something smells good" is one of my favorite things to hear. Hope you enjoy it, let me know how yours differs and how it comes out when you make it.


Quick Sauce (makes the same amount of sauce as 3 - 4 jars of sauce)

·         3 large cloves garlic minced (about 1T)
·         ¼ cup chopped onions
·         ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
·         2T fresh basil chopped
·         2T fresh parsley chopped
·         OR use 2T dried Italian seasoning for the parsley, basil and oregano
·         3T Olive oil
·         1t kosher salt
·         Pepper to taste
·         2 large cans tomato sauce
·         1 can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
·         2t sugar
·         1 small can tomato paste
·         ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1.      Heat the pot over med-high heat.
2.      Add the olive oil and heat a few seconds.
3.      Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring. Do not let the garlic brown (adjust heat if necessary)
4.      Add the fresh (or dried) herbs, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
5.      Add the sauce and tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes). Stir well.
6.      Bring to a slow boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.
7.      Simmer for 1 hour.
8.      Add the sugar and taste. Adjust the seasoning (add salt, pepper, dried herbs etc to your liking)
9.      This makes a thin marinara sauce. If you want a thinker sauce add tomato paste 1T at a time till you reach your desired consistency.
10.  Stir the parmesan cheese right before serving.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It was sew easy!

Yesterday while taking a weekend quilting class my old old old sewing machine broke, and I can say that I was not sad to see it go. Luckily, the store I was at sells Berninas so I walked away with a great deal on a new machine. Then I remembered that I had signed up for a zipper bag class at another local store. It was tons of fun and I learned lots about using my machine (like where the reverse button was...that one had us stumped for a while). Heres a pic of my new machine and the bag :)