Winston Churchill

Monday, October 31, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Happy Halloween!  It's been such a good weekend - a fun family Halloween party on Saturday and pumpkin carving with our boys on Sunday.  To me, Halloween is the kickoff for the holidays.

Even though summer is my favorite season of the year (I'm a warm weather girl) I do love this time of year as well.  One of my favorite things to make with the abundant supply of ripe tomatoes is fresh homemade spaghetti sauce.

My mom gave me a basic recipe when Brad and I were first married.  Over the years I've modified the original recipe a little bit and this has become a family favorite of ours.  I love the way our home smells when I have a pot of this wonderful sauce simmering on the stove. 

1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/4 cup finely diced onions
6-8 garlic cloves, crushed and diced (to taste)
8-12 ripe tomatoes, diced or pureed in a blender to desired consistency (may also use 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes without flavorings added)
4 Tbs oregano leaves
3 Tbs Basil leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
additional 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil

In a large sauce pan, cook diced onions until they're soft.  Add crushed garlic and Italian sausage and cook until browned.
Add diced or pureed tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes stirring occasionaly - this causes a chemical change in the tomatoes and cooks off extra liquid.  Stir in remaining olive oil immediately before serving and serve over hot pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.  This Garlic Bread Recipe from a previous post goes great with this spaghetti.  Mmmm!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Love this Quote

I saw this quote on Pinterest - which if you haven't heard of Pinterest yet it's become my new favorite pastime.  It's a site that allows you to post favorite web pages, pictures, sayings, recipes, etc - like an online bulletin board - and you can follow the pins from others too.  It's full of fun and fabulous things. 

Anyway, back to this amazing quote.  I'd love to have this hanging in my home - what a great attitude and philosophy to have.  I'd never heard of William Arthur Ward before so I googled his name and there's a bunch of information about him out there - he's on of the most quoted American authors of inspirational writing.

He's written a bunch of newspaper and magazine articles, poems and stories.  Here's a link to one site listing many other famous quotes by William Arthur Ward and here's another link to his official website.  I love his positive and motivating take on life.  I thought I'd share a few more quotes of his that I really liked:

Lose yourself in generous service and every day can be a most unusual day, a triumphant day, an abundantly rewarding day!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. 

When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Birthday Pics

This one is a catch up post.  I spent so much time training for the half marathon I ran back in August that I didn't do much posting during the summer months.  Winston had his 5th birthday last month - I can't believe he's five already!  He's come so far and is growing so fast.
Winston wanted a birthday party so we put one together for him with a few of his friends and his cousins. We did a sports themed party - Brad and I came up with a few games and we had it at the park.

Here's Winston with a couple of his best buddies.

This game was Throw the football through the hoop.
We also had a water balloon race - they had to carry the balloon on a large spoon without dropping it.
Of course, we had a pinata - shaped like a football.  :)
The mad scramble for the goodies.
The birthday boy opening his presents.
Mmmm.  Birthday cake!  (I ate way too much of this.)
Make a wish and blow out the candles.  All in all a fun time with family and friends. Our little guy is growing up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Recipes - Red Hot Cinnamon Cider

With the weather getting colder - the leaves are changing in the mountains and the local apple orchards are ripening up.  They'll be ready soon - don't you just love those first crop fresh picked apples?  They're so crisp and juicy.  Mmmm!

 One of my favorite apple recipes has only two ingredients and is so easy to make - cinnamon apple cider!  I got this recipe from a friend - she serves it every year at our cookie exchange party and I always look forward to having a few glasses of this yummy drink.  Here's the supper simple and delicious recipe.  :)
4 c. (1 qt.) apple cider or juice
¼ c. cinnamon red hot candies

In 1 quart saucepan, combine cider or juice and candies; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until candies dissolve. Serve hot or cold. If desired, garnish with apple wedge or cinnamon stick stirrer. Yield 8 (1/2 cup) servings.