Sunday, January 24, 2010

Call Me Susy Homemaker

What a weekend we've had at the Neinast household. While we didn't plan on it, it seems that Productivity came home with us after work on Friday and inspired us to get a lot of things accomplished this weekend.

I decided to go grocery shopping on Friday evening around 7:30. I know. Livin' the wild life. I can't guarantee that I'll be able go shopping every Friday night, but I will chose it over a Saturday afternoon any day! It was empty and easy to get around the store- it was so wonderful!

It was probably 9:00 by the time I made it home from Walmart but I wasn't ready to wind down for the day. Several of the blogs I read that offer frugal living tips talk about how making your own spaghetti sauce is a great way to save money and is super easy. I've held on to several recipes and finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and make it. I kinda, sorta, teeny bit followed a recipe. But really, I used Paula Dean as a guide and said, "What the heck!" While I've heard homemade sauce is the best, I wasn't putting a lot of faith in mine!

Here's the cast of characters:

48 oz. diced tomatoes (No Salt Added for the sodium conscious!)

Garlic - I used about 2 full spoons.
2 onions

Not pictured - Spices!

Of course, I needed some motivation to keep me going:And a helper, since Cody wasn't interested in cooking.

I started by chopping two onions in a food processor, then put the onion, garlic and a little olive oil in a pan to saute.

Huge note to self - two onions was WAY TOO MANY. Next time I will definitely use a small one.
For the sake of being true to the blog, I took this picture. This was taken after I had sauteed the onions and added the tomatoes. The smell was THAT strong.
Do you see the tears welling up in my eyes? Cody had a nice time laughing at me.

Next you add the tomatoes (undrained) and any spices you want. I added two spoonfuls of sugar, black pepper, crushed red pepper, a tiny bit of salt, and lots of Italian seasoning. I didn't measure, just covered most of the top.

After adding that, you bring it to a quick boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. I tasted it a few times and added spices as I felt needed.

My mom asked me if it was really worth all of the work when it's really not that expensive to buy spaghetti sauce, but it cost me about $2 to make this and I got this much out of it:
I will not say this is the greatest sauce I've ever tasted, as you get a LOT of onion with every bit you take, but the flavor is pretty good and I'm proud to know I can make it. I really feel like this is the first time I've just cooked and not necessarily had to follow a recipe to a t.

I froze the two full jars to use for later and we're using the small jar for pizza this week. I'll share my homemade pizza crust recipe later this week!

The spaghetti sauce was only the tip of our productivity: Cody dug up a ton of stickers from the backyard, he hung our organization board and the shower rod in our bathroom, we put up all of the laundry in our room (which I'm embarrassed to say was a lot!!), the house is vacuumed, the bathrooms are clean, and the kitchen is spotless. Seriously, I cleaned the oven burners and the bowl things that are underneath them. I'm not really kidding when I tell Cody we have to eat out all this week so that we don't dirty up the kitchen. On top of all of this, I also made two loaves of Banana Nut Bread and homemade pizza dough. Shocking, I know. We are certainly not used to having Productivity as our friend!

Ok, I didn't get a nap today and this weekend wore me out! Hope you have a fabulous week!


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