Our life in B-town

Attempting family life that is frugal, organic and eco-friendly

Spaghetti Sauce September 16, 2012

Filed under: Eco friendly,Frugal,recipes,Self sufficiency — rorosarahbeth @ 8:52 pm

I had a mamma ask me how to make spaghetti sauce home made. It’s SUPER easy and there is TONS of room for experimentation and customization! My mother makes it with mushrooms in it but I hate mushrooms so I leave them out.  Are you a vegetarian? Just use veggie stock instead of chicken!

Anyway here is my personal recipe. Be warned this makes a HUGE batch. I have enough for 4-5 large meals easily.

  • 4 (28 ounce cans) of tomato paste
  • 2 (28 ounce cans) of tomato puree/sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce cans) of stewed tomatoes
  • 2 (28 ounce cans) of peeled ground tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper (I like to use a little of each color but you can use just green or any other color)
  • 1 quart of chicken broth or stock (I have used both veggie and beef as well, both work but change the flavor slightly, I just usually have chicken stock more then the other two)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Basil 2 tbsp of fresh/frozen basil- I buy the tube in the produce section and freeze it to use as needed. Dried basil just doesn’t cut it for me. (Here is the tube I get from Haggen)
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of parsley
  • 1 tsp of rosemary

Put everything into a VERY large pot and mix together well. Cook on stove on LOW all day. Store overnight in the fridge and bag up into plastic bags or mason jars based on what your family will eat in a sitting and freeze.  Stores very well for 2-3 months in a freezer. This batch usually lasts my family about a month!



Brenda’s Italian White Bean Soup/Stew August 14, 2012

Filed under: Doing for others,recipes,Sean,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 1:11 am

I made this last week and I had been meaning to post it but I had other things I wanted to post too!

  • 1 lb Dried great northern beans (or other white, mild flavored beans -I used White Lima beans)
  • 4 Chicken or veggie bullion cubes (Or about 1 quart of broth-I used home-made chicken broth)
  • 1 quart of water to cook beans (Omit if you use broth, you can always add extra water if the beans soak it all up)
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning (I omitted because I used home-made spaghetti which was already spiced to my liking)
  • 2.5ish cups spaghetti sauce (or one of the cans from the dollar store -I used home-made I had in the freezer)
  • 1 bunch spinach or half block frozen chopped spinach

*Optional* None of these things are required for the recipe to turn out but I will comment on what I added to mine. 🙂

  • Up to 1 lb  ground beef or Italian sausage ( I used sweet Italian sausage links)
  • Dried or fresh garlic to taste
  • 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini (I had some in the freezer so I tossed it in)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced carrots (I had some shredded in the freezer so I added that)
  • 1/2 cup of Sliced green, yellow, orange or red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup of sliced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/2 olive slices

Put beans, water, bullion (or broth), seasoning and sauce and garlic if using in pot or crock pot. Cook until beans are soft. If you are adding sausage or beef, brown that and add now. Chop spinach (and other veggies) and add to soup and bring back up to simmer. More water/broth makes it more like soup, and  less water like a thick stew or chilli texture. This makes a TON of food. Definitely enough for leftovers several times though!

My yummy bowl of soup!

My family LOVED this recipe and even my pickiest (Sean!) said we should make it again. It was an easy throw together dinner that is good for everyone. Zephaniah was the only one who couldn’t eat it because he is sensitive to tomatoes and gets a rash but it wasn’t a big deal to boil a few beans and veggies into his own little soup though. I am sending part of the left overs over to a friend that just had a baby along with lasagna, blueberry muffins and vegetarian chilli. Perhaps a few other things too but we shall see how ambitious I am!


I did not want to cook tonight! August 6, 2012

Filed under: Johnathon,recipes,Sean,Self sufficiency,Solomon,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 11:00 pm

So I guess I will make crock pot mac and cheese. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is the best and easiest one I have found! You don’t even have to cook the noodles!  I do pop it into the oven and add a crumb topping . The original recipe is here. I find this is a great recipe for sneaking veggies into! Tonight I added shredded zucchini and summer squash and even Sean couldn’t tell! I mean yeah he knew it was in there since it was greenish but he could barely taste it!  Johnathon thought I was super cool for making GREEN in the Mac and Cheese! He is pretty good at veggies but it is always good to sneak in a few more!

2 cups  milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Or a little more if you like it cheesy!)
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 grated summer squash
1/2 grated zucchini
Salt and pepper to taste (my family is not really a fan of either so I don’t add any to the pot and each adds their own)
Crumb topping(optional)
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of wheat germ
2 tbsp of butter
Grease or spray your crock pot really well. Then just put everything into your crock pot and mix well. Don’t cook the noodles before adding them! Turn the pot on LOW and cook for 3-4 hours. I like the slightly browned crisp edges so I usually cook it for closer to the 4 hour mark.If desired then mix the bread crumbs and wheat germ and melt the butter, mix this all together and put on the top of the finished macaroni and cheese and pop into the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350 or until the crumbs are slightly browned. This feeds my family as a main dish easily and has enough for left overs.

Mac and Cheese crock pot style!

With the crumb topping!

My bowl of yuminess!


Snowda’s Om Nom Nom Cookies July 24, 2012

Filed under: Birth,recipes,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 6:58 am
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My dear friend brought me these cookies right after I delivered Zephaniah. They were so nummy I just made them ‘In remembrance” of that day. Seriously one of my favorite cookies!
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
•1/2 cup of  raisins
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

P.S. The trick for baking with raisins is to boil them first either on the stove or in the microwave for a very short time. It plumps the raisins and releases the stems so they are not in the raisins in case a few were retained in the drying process.