March 22, 2013

Tomatoes, Knitting and Service Dogs - What do They Have in Common?

I visited a blog called Dining Room Empire recently and saw a picture of what I initially thought was Veal Parmigiana with a huge amount of melted cheese.  It looked scrumptious.

Here, I have deliberately posted a small picture of said dish, so you can be confused too.  (If you click on it, you can get a larger view).

I am masquerading as veal.

As it turns out, the "veal" was actually poached eggs on brown toast drizzled in tomato sauce, or as Tony Soprano calls it, "gravy".  I am not a fan of a quivery, gelatinous poached egg, but this dish looked good.  I wasn't about to poach eggs or make veal parmi, but I did want to know the secrets of the simplest butter tomato sauce that the writer extolled.  I clicked.  So glad that I did.  I love an easy sauce and I have a few that are in heavy rotation on Bruce Street, which I will share in the latter part of this post.


This butter tomato sauce is RIDICULOUSLY easy and RIDICULOUSLY delicious. I have been eating it for most of the week.  Tomatoes, onions and butter - how can you go wrong? I know it seems kind of boring and it only has four ingredients (I'm usually wary of recipes with only a few ingredients), but it is an amazing sauce. Trust me!

You will need:
  • a large can of diced / crushed tomatoes with the juice
  • a biggish onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1 tsp of salt
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to bubble.  Lower heat to simmer, and stir every 15 mins.  Sauce is done when butter has separated from tomatoes and sauce has thickened - around an hour.  That it must be served with a giant mound of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano goes without saying. 

I added a chopped red pepper to my sauce's ingredients because I had one in the fridge that I needed to use.  The sauce was VERY tasty.

Here is the plate of leftover sauce and spagettini that I just ingested.  I am thinking of becoming a food stylist.  It doesn't look like there is THAT MUCH cheese on the gravy; however, that is because I do a sneaky little thing where I hide the cheese under the gravy so that it's all melty and gooey.


That last sentence really needed its own full line of mmm's.
Oh and my apologies to the gluten-free crowd for my forbidden food porn.

eat me!

My other go-to pasta sauce recipe is this one:

Take a 9 by 13 baking dish and dump in some fresh tomatoes (any kind will do - plum/ grape/ heirloom/ Kumatoes or a mixture of all the preceding and if some of them are from the reduced rack - even better!).  Throwins (as many or as few as you like):  a pkg of sliced mushrooms; a bunch of cloves of peeled garlic; leeks or shallots.  Add generous amounts of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste and a spoonful of sugar.  Roast in a 425 degree oven for around an hour.  You can puree the sauce or just dump it on pasta. Don't forget the parmi!  Duh just realized that I forgot the basil - very important! Fresh if you can get it, if not don't despair, dry will do.  

Here's the link to the original Tomato Butter Sauce .


And now, what all the knitters have been waiting for... if you're not a knitter and don't give a shiz about knitting and knitters in general, scroll down a few paragraphs.

What the hell is this thing anyhow?

Wait... is that a UFO?  ha ha.

Okay, I'm kidding.  The UFO is a skirt that I am making for my daughter - The Lanesplitter Skirt. You can find it on Ravelry.   I realize that this is hardly the knitter's dream that you came here for.  What I actually want to share with you is the knitting podcast that I found when I googled "knitting and podcast".  How awesome is it that Brenda Dayne has been recording a knitting podcast since 2005 and that it's still running?  I am so EXCITED to listen to the 120+ episodes before I catch up; I am in fact elated!

Here is the link to Brenda's marvelous CAST ON.  Knitters rejoice!

Oh and here, thanks to the marvels of technology, is the finished skirt (which I finished two weeks after I wrote this post):

My family is participating in the National Service Dogs Egg Hunt for Dogs on Good Friday.  This fantastic event helps children and adults living with autism and special needs. If you would like to sponsor Team Django, you can click right here:  Team Django! 

Here we are, in all our Christmas glory.  We will NOT be dressed like this at the Egg Hunt!  I am thinking rubber boots will be de rigeur.

This pictures makes me a little ill because we look so good.  If I didn't actually belong to this family, I might hate us.   What you don't see - Nathaniel HATING that bowtie and refusal to wear it until I threatened permanent grounding from Minecraft / Mindcrap, Richard's wet hair that looks greasy, Gwen's burned ear from hair straightening (not my idea) and my pot belly (sucked in by fierce constriction of abdominals and support hose).   Oh and the dog smells. 
Last but not least, the fierce hunter who will be sniffing out eggs like they're truffles:

Djing-Djang, the wild poodle.

Okay so remember, you're gonna sponsor us right?  C'mon even five bucks helps!  And remember all those times I sponsored you, people?  Yeah, that's right, I sponsor you whenever you ask!  NO ONE pays me to write this crap, but I KNOW you read it... and all I am asking for is a little love for the dogs, kids and special needs folks (heh heh, I laughed after I read that. oh I am good at pouring on the guilt!). Seriously though, I would be so happy if you sponsored me.  I sponsored myself $50!

Here's that easy-peasy link to Team Django, clickety-click, Barba trick :

Thank you, friends.  Doei! (pronounced "dooey"; it's Dutch for goodbye and needs to be yelled in a high, singsong voice, so saith me).