Summer Cravings

When the heat wave hit Portland (high 90’s) I decided I wanted to get one of those plastic kiddy pools for Bella. I searched everywhere and couldn’t find anything! I ended up going to 5 different stores and they were all sold out (or only had the inflatable pools that Bella would pop in one second).

One evening I was driving home from work through Sellwood and spotted a pool outside a hardware store. I immediately pulled over and ended up buying the last pool they had! It BARELY fit in my car. I was so excited! I took it home and couldn’t wait for Bella to frolic in the pool and cool down.

pool2

Yeah, I apparently just bought a giant water dish. That above photo is Bella drinking out of her pool. 😛 We keep trying to get her to play in it but she won’t. I don’t get it. It’s almost 100 degrees out and you’d think she’d love it. I sent a video of her drinking out of it to her foster mom, Jen. She promptly sent me a picture from last summer when Bella played in her pool! So I know she likes them, why won’t she get in our pool?!?

pool1

Maybe by the end of summer she’ll be into the pool. Anyways, on to dinner.

Despite it being a hot summer day and a cold salad or seafood would have been more appropriate, I was craving homemade marinara sauce and gnocchi. When I got home from work I started to simmer the sauce immediately. I added some fresh oregano and rosemary from my garden, too, with a splash of red wine. While the sauce was simmering, Michael and I took Bella for a long walk. It was stifling outside.

When we got back from the walk I cooked the beef with a chopped up onion and added that to the sauce. The recipe called for it to simmer for about 2 hours, or longer, and I’d say it cooked for about 1.5 hours before we ended up eating. Here is the recipe for the sauce:

While I liked the sauce a lot (it was thick and creamy), it could have used some more garlic and maybe some more salt. Other than that I enjoyed it. I made some gluten free spaghetti for Michael and I had gnocchi from Trader Joe’s (I love that stuff).

While everything was finishing up I made a salad and dressing from scratch. I know that’s not a big deal but I rarely make my own dressing and I really want to try and do this more often. It’s pretty easy and you can make it any way you want, really.

dressing

I mixed up this dressing, using a Pomegranate balsamic in the recipe. It made enough for both of us to have a salad and there’s some leftover for maybe two more salads. Here is the recipe:

Balsamic Dressing
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup balsamic
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or agave
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a tightly closed bottle and shake thoroughly. Shake before each use.

Salad was greens, grape tomatoes and orange peppers. I loved the dressing. It was mild and delicious. I’m definitely going to experiment with more homemade dressings. I found a few that sounded really good on Pinterest using Greek yogurt as a base.

salad1

 

Dinner was served! I topped the sauce with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I love gnocchi. I’m not a huge pasta eater but gnocchi is fantastic! (One of these days I will try and make my own…) I opened a bottle of Claret wine to go with dinner and it a nice combination.

spaghetti1

 

claret

There was enough pasta sauce leftover that I have enough for some leftovers and then I froze the rest for another evening when I crave this but don’t have 2 hours in me to cook…

What is your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

6 thoughts on “Summer Cravings”

  1. My favorite pasta sauce is SO EASY – it was internet-famous for a while so you might know it. It’s Marcella Hazan’s four-ingredient effortless sauce.

    Here’s a nice write-up: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2013/09/marcella-hazans-immortal-tomato-sauce-recipe.html

    and this is the same recipe but also touches on using fresh tomatoes:
    http://food52.com/recipes/13722-marcella-hazan-s-tomato-sauce-with-onion-and-butter

    Last time I made it I froze a jar, and just thawed and used it this week. So so delicious
    bethh recently posted..On being particular

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