Call Me Mrs. Prego

Ok, first of all, thats Prego the sauce brand…not "prego" as in pregnant! 

Saturday I woke up with a huge craving for some good spaghetti--no meat sauce, just marinara and noodles. Here in Midland the options are limited for real homemade Italian food. I do not count Olive Garden or Carino's in that category. So I went to the store and decided I was going to play around with making my own red sauce. It turned out wonderful! I took some next door to my Aunt and Uncle and they both loved it too, which made me feel good. 



Ingredients:

A can each of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. I like the brand Red Gold, personally. If you want more tomato chunks go with a can of diced tomatoes instead of the crushed. I like them a little less obvious.

Half of a yellow onion, diced. **Sauté it in olive oil briefly before adding tomato and seasonings! 

The rest of the ingredients I use purely to taste and continue to add a little more as it cooks but the flavors I include are:

Italian Seasoning, Basil and Garlic (<--I love this spice, its by McCormick's and is one of their "Perfect Pinch" seasonings, Basil Leaves, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Merlot.

I go fairly heavy on the garlic powder, pepper, and basil and garlic combo. I like garlic. If you don't you will obviously use less. I also like a little bite to my sauce so I go very heavy on the pepper. I use the sugar to cut the tomato flavor just a bit. I do not use a lot, maybe 1/4 tsp. 

I use about 1/2 cup of wine and then add more seasonings to cut the wine taste. The Merlot leaves a bit of a peppery bite to it which I like. Side note* Messina Hof is made in my hometown, Bryan, Texas, so I use it. I do not really enjoy drinking this particular wine though. It tastes great in the sauce however! 

I cook it on medium/low heat the whole time I am boiling water and cooking the noodles. Just before I get ready to drain the pasta I add a good handful of shredded parmesan cheese to the sauce and let it get melted in while I'm prepping the noodles. Then just add them to the sauce and serve! 

Enjoy! 

Be Mine...

Oh my wow! I have taken quite the little break from this. I probably sound like a broken record by now, but honestly when my brain is just on a lull I would rather not spam y'all with boring posts. I just come back when I have something worth reading (well, kind of) to write. It has been about a month since we last talked so let me fill you in on my last 30 days. I am recovering really well from surgery, a little concerned with the results though, as I think I may not have had enough taken out…I guess now its on to plan B and losing 10 lbs or so…great. My boyfriend and I went through a rocky patch but came back better than ever. I think we needed to see what it would be like to possibly lose each other to realize that it not what either of us wanted. As of now, I couldn’t be happier in that department. Work has actually been really slow, which in my case means a lot less computer time, hence part of the blame for my blogging absence. Aaaand now you’re pretty up to speed on my last month.

Today in honor of one of my favorite holidays (Valentine’s Day) approaching I want to share an idea for the men in your life, especially one you have been dating for less that 6 months. Tricky right? You don’t want to seem like a "stage 5 clinger", but you also want him to know you care. I think homemade gifts are best no matter where your are in your relationship, however in a fairly new one they are perfect. It shows thoughtfulness but that you’re not quite ready to buy him that $600 Yeti either.

After browsing Pinterest only to come up with lovey dovey emotional stuff, which is still cute but waaaay to clingy for this early on in a relationship, I decided to take it high school style. If your school was anything like mine you had Sadie Hawkins dance. The girls ask the guys out and made them a “bucket” filled with their favorite candy and such. Some girls used coolers, etc. My boyfriend is one of those guys who doesn’t want a lot, but the things he has his eye on are pricey, i.e. guns, hunting gear, etc…well while one day those will make it easy to shop for him, right now, after dating since September it’s a little too much.

I wanted a gift that says “I love you” but I know where we are at the moment. I am not expecting anything more than flowers and a great evening and that is perfectly perfect for me. (More on our weekend plans later.)


Anyway here is the final product, and I am so pleased with my handy work:




The "basket" is just a little lockable tool box from Academy. I originally wanted to use a cooler, but this guy has PLENTY of those and what man doesn't need an extra tool box?

Inside: 

Cruzan- his favorite Rum and Tito's because he likes vodka and Redbull. Not pictured are the few cans of Redbull and Diet Coke I am going to add in for mixers. 

3 cans of his Skoal

Some scratch off lottery tickets

5 Hour Energy

A new pair of camo Crocs. Yes, he wears Crocs and somehow makes them look sexy. His current pair is the tan camo, so I figured these can be his "dress Crocs". Oooooh yeah.

The container with "I Love You" on it has "homemade" granola in it. I will share that recipe at a later time but its YUM! 

Rifle lighter--I haven't been able to make it work but its cute nonetheless.

Magellan stainless coffee tumbler

Moose Driver Cover--this is my absolute favorite part. He is not a huge golfer but he plays around with it and is a member of the Country Club, but the real meaning is because his dog's name is Moose. This dog is his baby. I always joke that if someone said it's the girl or the dog he'd say take the girl. Understandable--they've been together 11 years, us only 7 months. 

Also not pictured are some Little Debbie heart shaped cakes, some peppermint shower tabs that he likes, and some candy. 

I was on the hunt for a box of ammo for his new .380 but the stores here are fresh out. All in all this gift cost me about $100, but there are ways to of course make it cheaper. The moose was $30 but made the gift so it was worth it! 

Pretty much everything came from Academy except for the liquor and my granola!

Who else loves Valentines? What are y'all doing for the loved ones in your life? Anything special? Even if you're not in a relationship use the day to show love. A Facebook friend of mine posted this today and I thought it was great, and loved her message about applying this to the 14th:



Glad to be back! Have a wonderful week! 

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