Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Whine and . . . Back to Work

I'd been away from the crash  pad for a couple of weeks, to where it felt strange coming back to go on duty yesterday, especially without my back seat driver on the long drive.

But I got through the day, some good news from a good friend regarding an upcoming adoption made my day, and warm weather after a chilly morning made for a  jog when I got home. Then I realized I'd worked through lunch. The house is much too quiet, and there's no words in me tonight, just a need to be busy.  So for tonight, I will leave you with just a simple supper, you can put together in short time. For some days, if you can't get a warm snuggle, you'll settle for pasta and bread
Easy Weeknight Meat Sauce with Fettuccini (serves 4-5 and is great as  leftovers)

In a large pan saute a chopped sweet onion and 2 heaping teaspoons of jarred minced garlic in a little olive oil til softened.  Add 1 pound ground meat, a couple of dashes of salt and a generous grind or two of fresh pepper and cook the meat.  Drain the meat, but do not rinse.

Pasta  sauce is an art, not a science experiment, so feel free to play with amounts  What is posted is just for basic guidance.  But you can make enough sauce for multiple meals at half the cost of the jarred stuff

To Meat Add:

1 can whole tomatoes, NOT drained
1 can tomato sauce (both of these cans are  the 14 and 1/2 ounce ones)
1 small can tomato paste
1 generous teaspoon honey
a generous 1/2  teaspoon dried basil  (meaning it doesn't have to be leveled off)
a generous 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
a pinch or two of crushed fennel (or substitute a pinch or two of rosemary if you don't have any fennel)
2 pinches of crushed red pepper (up to 1/4 tsp. if you like it spicy)
and a nice splash of red wine (splash some into the cook while you're at it)

Simmer on medium/low, stirring occasionally to break up the whole tomatoes while you get the biscuits going. Put on water on for a small package of pasta (I cooked it all up and made small containers to freeze of pasta and sauce for quick meals)

7 -Up Biscuits.  It's  a recipe that's been around the block and back, appearing all over the Internet and it's surprisingly good.   The sweetness is oh so subtle, and they're incredibly light, moist and tender.

I know more than one person who has burned their lips snarfing down a couple three of them out of the oven when they're fresh.  Easy to double, this recipe makes enough for one meal for a small family or a serving and leftovers for just one or two people (maybe)

2 cups Bisquick style Baking Mix  (or save money by making your own Homemade Baking Mix. )
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup lemon lime soda (I used cheap generic, not 7-Up, still as good, but "cheap ass generic soda  biscuits" didn't sound as enticing).
1/4 cup salted butter, melted.

Mix biscuit mix, sour cream and lemon-lime soda, just until it holds together (it will be very soft and look a fairly shaggy).  Sprinkle  1/3 to 1/2 cup of baking mix onto a clean work surface and plop the dough down and gently and lightly knead about 3-5 times, JUST until the outside is lightly dusted with baking mix and it's holding together.

Pat out in a square about 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches tall  Cut through into square serving sizes, but do NOT separate biscuits all the way: if the sides touch they will rise higher

Pour melted butter in 8 x 8 inch pan and place biscuits on top (sliding the biscuits to a plate, then transferring works pretty well).  If you like, melt another teaspoon or two of butter and brush on the top (you're eating these as comfort food, not as part of a diet pan)

 Bake in a preheated 425 F oven for  12-16 minutes (depends on how tall you make them).