Getting my Italian on! Because I am.

I’m heading away to the mountains with friends this weekend and decided to make my homemade pasta sauce with meatballs for everyone. It’s always a crowd pleaser and enjoyable to make!

These recipes are without measurements which makes them even more special as even though they’re always different, the end result is always the same – delicious! Made from the heart and past down from Great Grandma, to Grandma, to Mom and then me.

Here are the sauce basics:
Crushed tomatoes
Garlic
Onion
EVOO
Salt
Chili flakes
Oregano
Truffle oil to finish
Pasta noodle of choice

And the meatball basics:
Fresh ground pork and beef
Egg
Garlic
Salt
Oregano
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

The rest is up to you. I hope you’re inspired to create your own delicious meal from the heart.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Sautee onions, garlic in EVOO

Saute onions, garlic in EVOO

Add the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes

Simmer. The longer the better

Simmer. The longer the better

Combine the goods for the meat mixture

Combine the goods for the meat mixture

Portion out and place on baking sheet

Portion out and place on baking sheet

Bake for 20 mins at 400 degrees

Bake for 20 mins at 400 degrees

Baking makes for simple clean up

Baking makes for simple clean up

Advertisements

Dad’s homemade split pea & ham soup

Waking up to a bed of fluffy white snowflakes this morning brought me back to chilly winter days growing up back home and the house filled with a delicious scent from one of Dad’s homemade meals. Split pea & ham soup being my favorite!

What you’ll need:
1-1lb smoked ham hock
1 tbsp EVOO
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp each of S&P
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 cups dry green or yellow split peas
3 green onions, thinly sliced

What you’ll do:
Using a knife, peel off any skin from the ham and discard. Trim off and discard of any fat. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and ham hock. Stir occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock, split peas and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, skimming off any foam. Cover pot and simmer over medium low heat until peas break down and meat is tender to a forks touch, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham hock. Pulling off and shredding the meat. Set meat aside. Discard of ham bone and remove bay leaves from the pot. Return meat to the rest of the soup, garnish with green onions and enjoy!

IMG_7814-2.JPG

IMG_7822-1.JPG

40 days of summer

IMG_6625

IMG_6627

image

I want this summer to be jam-packed with new memories. So I’ve decided to create a list of things to do to help make this summer action packed and full of fun. The list isn’t complete by any means and chances are, I will add to the list and make changes as I see fit and that’s ok. Part of the excitement of summer is doing things spontaneously! And I hope to take advantage of  the long days to the fullest.

I want more days away from the city. Either camping or road tripping to an unknown destination. More time at a lake is a must. I love my city, but would love it even more if there were more lakes that were of welcoming temperature rather than glacier runoff. I want weekend getaways to new cities for baseball games, strolls through downtown at night, bike rides through downtown at night and there’s nothing like an outdoor concert.

The first thing that was crossed off the list was a girls cottage getaway and that all went down last weekend. Myself and 3 lovely friends took advantage of Ontario’s beautiful climate for a weekend adventure at Stoney Lake. We rented a cute little cottage right on the water at Viamede Resort located in the Kwarthas. This place was made for summertime fun.  Picture the movie dirty dancing and this was the setting of our weekend. Only with a little less dancing and little less Swayze. The whole weekend was full of firsts and wonderful memories shared with friends. It’s a beautiful country we live in and summer is the best time explore!

I hope I encourage you to make your own list of adventures and share with all near and far.

Happy Sunday.

A weekend of firsts

This weekend one of my closest friends is getting married. The wedding will be the first of a friends that I attend as a guest and not as part of the bridal party. I’m looking forward to seeing it all go down from the other side. This is also the first guy friend wedding, so it’s quite different as far as emotions go. Usually females are constantly talking about the details, and sharing their feelings and excitement. That’s not the case when it’s a guy pal that’s having the big day. For my girlfriends I typically write a nice letter or in a card, my hopes to come for the couple which often brings some tears. Females love receiving little memorabilia items on any occasion. On the other hand, I don’t believe that guys do. Do I give him a hug and a cigar, and call it a day? Would guys appreciate a mushy card from one of their life long girlfriends? I’m doubtful. It’s not about that, I know. But I can’t help to feel inclined to do something special for someone close to me. I have a few days to decide on getting all mushy, or keeping it cool for his sake. Whatever the outcome, I’m looking forward to being apart of this special occasion.  This weekend of firsts is bound to be memorable all on its own.