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Busy Weekend

Speed Racer and I had a very busy weekend.  Although there was some down time (like when I took a nap because, let’s just face it, there was no way I could stay awake anymore) in between everything going on.  Mostly we worked on our house and yard.  What most people don’t realize is that with both of us being primarily freelance, our weekends often get taken up with work, so when we have a free weekend, we have to catch up on maintenance and improvements on the house. 

To catch up on all the updates, improvements, and messes we’ve made (and haven’t posted about since November, eek!) click here.

I was also in a baking mood…and when I get in a baking mood there is no stopping me.  On Thursday night I baked a cherry pie, on Friday I made homemade spaghetti sauce (a recipe I’m going to share with you, hooray for you!), and then Saturday morning I baked two blueberry pies (with made from scratch crust of course) before we started the days work.

Now some of you may think “Wow, that’s great that you baked all that stuff, you must be really motivated!” But for those of you who know me, baking is always therapy in some way…a way to stay busy.  Right now I find myself in an interesting employment situation, I am part time employed by another photographer, Rebecca Claire Photography.  I am also trying do some of my own photography on the side, and due to the summer turning out differently than planned and the financial status of just about everything right now, I am also looking for a part time job for some extra cash in my pocket.  Although I would not say I have a lot of down time, between photo shoots, editing, marketing, and filling out applications.  I have had some at home time however,  to realize how big a job budgeting, looking for deals, and cooking from scratch can be.  I am both busy all the time and not employed all the time.  It’s a weird situation to be in, and can be discouraging sometimes.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is, my hat’s off to you home makers out there!  It’s a full time job and I don’t even have little munchkins to distract me.  And it’s an important job, and a harder job than you think.

On a lighter note:  Here is my recipe for home made spaghetti sauce!  I like to take snippets from other recipes until I can combine something that I like.  This is what I came up with.

What you’ll need: 6 med tomatoes peeled and chopped, 2 green onions minced, 1/2 white onion, minced, 3 Tbsp minced parsley (I used dried), 2 tsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. sugar,  or 1/2 tbsp. dried basil, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1 (4 oz.) mushrooms, 1/4c. flour and of course Spaghetti!

First you will want to peel and chop the tomatoes.  If you haven’t done this before, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.  Prepare a bowl with ice water and ice cubes in it.  Then boil another pot of water.  While your water is starting to boil core your tomatoes and on the underside score them with an “X”.  This just provides an easy place to start to peel the skin.  Once your water is boiling, add your tomatoes.  Leave them in the boiling water for about 20 secs, then move them into the ice water for another 20 secs, repeat one more time with each.  After they have cooled in the ice water you should see the skin start to crinkle, at that point it’s very easy to just peel off.

Chop your garlic, green onions, white onion, and tomatoes.  I sauteed the onions and garlic first in some olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan.  Then I turned the heat off, added the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients except for the flour, mushrooms, and spaghetti.

I let this sit, unheated for about 2 hours to let the flavors mix.  Then about an hour and a half before I wanted to serve, I cut it on high until it began to bubble, then turned it down to low to simmer uncovered for the rest of the time.

I had some trouble with mine thickening up, so I sprinkled in some flour.  You may want to sprinkle some, mix, wait a little while and then add some more until you get yours to your desired thickness.  This is definitely a personal thing.  Some people like theirs runny, some people like their sauce thick.  About a half hour before dinner time, I added the mushrooms and of course got started on the spaghetti noodles.

Then, presto!  You’ve got yourself some spaghetti with fresh spaghetti sauce.  This made just enough for Speed Racer and I so you may want to double the recipe if you’ve got a bigger family.  It turned out pretty fabulous if I do say so myself, but the real cause for that was the fantastic tomatoes that our neighbors provided us with.  They were soooo tangy!  So make sure you choose your tomatoes wisely, my friends.

Now I’m off for another week of photos, editing, applications, house work, house maintenance, cooking, and who knows what else.  Happy Monday.

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