Monthly Archives: January 2014

Spaghetti Sauce is Better Fresh

In my quest to overhaul my families diet, one of the very first things I chose to tackle was Spaghetti Sauce.  It’s one of my families favorite go to meals, but I had never tried to forgo the bottled stuff and make home-made before.  (if I haven’t mentioned it before, I am very um -let’s just say the kitchen is not my natural habitat- and any success in this area is a HUGE victory for me)  But I was amazed at how easy this was.  I have decided that stove-top cooking is my thing.  At first, I would add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, to match the taste of the store-bought brands, then gradually I decreased the amount until  I fully weaned them off the added sugar.  Now, I get the highest compliment of them asking for home-made, even my oldest when inviting friends over for diner says “Can you make some of your Healthy Spaghetti sauce?”  🙂

Shard’s Simple Marinara type sauce to use with all sorts of things….


  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I like the petite diced) or fresh tomatoes, chopped to make almost 2 cups
  • 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
 (not needed if cooking with hamburger)
  • 1 Tablespoon onion, diced
 (fresh or dried)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, if desired, to taste
  • clove garlic, minced, or dried garlic, as available
- to taste (I am very light with this, for the benefit of sensitive stomachs)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired
  • ¾ tsp. dried Italian seasoning  (mostly Thyme, with a little Oregano, and Basil


Heat the oil in a large cast iron (or non-stick) skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, salt, and pepper and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally till tender.  Mix in the tomatoes, and seasonings and cook just until fragrant, and heated through (for fresh tomatoes, cook a bit longer till skin starts to wrinkle)

Spaghetti with Veggies
Additional Ingredients

  • 2 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup summer squash or zuchini, diced
  • 1/4 C shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw if desired
  • 1 lb, Hamburger (or other meat, such as ground or canned turkey, as available)
  • Spaghetti noodles (figure a bunch of dry noodles about the thickness of your thumb for every person)

Start the water for the noodles first/ add the noodles when the water is boiling. Cook about 10 minutes, till tender.
While noodles are cooking; brown the hamburger, make the marinara sauce in the same pan, adding  the veggies at the onion stage, cook it all together till tender- continue as directed.  Serve over noodles.

(note–there are some great GF noodles now available, my family especially likes the qinoa and corn versions, but they need LOTS more stirring)

Variation– serve over buns for Sloppy Joes!

Skillet Lasagna
Additional Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, crumbled or  ground turkey, or ground beef
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. minced fresh basil (optional)

Brown the meat and make the sauce without the vegetables.   Scatter the lasagna noodles in the skillet.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cover.  Let cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is nearly tender, add any desired veggies, finish cooking till pasta is tender (about 20 mins.)
When the pasta is tender, turn heat down to med.  Stir in cheeses.  Cook until the cheese is bubbling, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Glimpses into the Awesome side of Hard


We went thru the Gilbert Temple tour today… yes I still had to coach and guide and answer non-stop questions whispered the whole time;  but when I whispered to my son to help the older lady behind us climb the stairs, he happily did.  And when she said thanks, and asked if he was a Mormon; he calmly and maturely said simply “yes” and kept helping. Nice huh?  As a side note- they paid attention and enjoyed the tour, but the crowds made it hard to feel any spirit for them, but the waterfalls and rills outside completely fixed it all.  I let them stay as long as they wanted (quite some time) and they want to go back and feel the peace there again.  🙂


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So tired today- needed a courage quote.


“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie

Romans 4:12, 18

… also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham,…

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 15:13

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

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Friday Night Courage quote


“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
Aristotle Onassis

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Just for fun

Do you need something cheerful today to start the new year off right?  I did.  Here’s a cute little one minute video.

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A Saturday Scripture


D&C 38

7 But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me;

8 But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent…

9 Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome….

15 Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours.

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