November 7, 2014

I Cooked!!

After attending a blogger cooking class at Whole Foods the other Sunday, I was inspired to do a little cooking at home.  For those of you who know me IRL, you are probably picking your jaws up off the floor.  It's true though, I voluntarily spend my Saturday evening cooking!  After loving the vegetable marinara sauce we made at Whole Foods, I decided to try making it at home.

One change I made to the sauce was to add a small zucchini and a small yellow squash.  Since I subscribe to the "the more veggies the better!" philosophy, I loved this addition.  I just diced the squash and zucchini and added them to the sauce when I added the other veggies.

Other than the additions, I followed the recipe that we used at the cooking class (see below).  This included a whole bunch of fresh, diced tomatoes.  They were yummy, but cutting them was a lot of work!  The next time I make this sauce, I will most likely used canned tomatoes or at the very least a mix of fresh and canned. 
The sauce turned out great, and the extra veggies were a great addition.  I did think that it could have used a little bit of heat, though.  Who doesn't love a spicy marinara sauce?  I will try adding some crushed red pepper next time too.  And there will definitely be a next time! 
And now for the full recipe, courtesy of Chef Sarah Kurysz and Whole Foods Market Northbrook:
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful spinach, chopped
  • 8 tomatoes, diced including all juices
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place diced onion with olive oil in a medium sauce pan.  Saute until translucent and turning brown.  Add diced garlic and continue to saute until dark brown and very soft.  If it gets too dry, add water to keep everything moist.

Add all remaining ingredients except for salt and pepper, and 1 cup water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Cook on high until carrots are soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove cover and allow sauce to cook down and thicken.  Taste, and add salt and pepepr as necessary.

Serve as is, with vegetable chunks, or puree using a blender.

Thanks again, Chef Sarah, for hosting our cooking class and for allowing me to share this tasty recipe!

November 4, 2014

Take Time Tuesday

Hi friends!  I'm linking up with Katie today to take the time to share a few things I'm thankful for today!  

First, I'm thankful for a rare free and productive afternoon, especially for the time to sit down and write this post!
I had to dash out of school for a dentist appointment today, and made it home earlier than expected.  I took the time to give my apartment a (much needed) quick cleaning, put away some laundry that was lingering from the weekend, and took the time to catch my breath while writing this post with a cup of mint tea.  Happy sigh. :)

I'm thankful for the chance to run one last fall 5K Saturday, even if it was freezing.
I ran the Carerra de los Muertos 5K in Chicago Saturday morning.  While I was going on 3 hours of sleep after enjoying Halloween festivities the night before, and while it was in the 30s, I had a great time and a surprisingly decent race.  But heading into the warmth of a restaurant for breakfast after was the best part. 

I'm thankful for my phenomenal family.
I got to catch up with my brother, sister in law, and sweet niece and nephew via Skype Saturday afternoon, and spent Sunday with the rest of my family playing our favorite board game and enjoying a delicious dinner.

I'm thankful for these beautiful flowers that showed up for me as a surprise at school last week and continue to brighten my days.

I'm thankful for my wonderful, inquisitive, kind group of students.
In the midst of a year of what feels like endless pressure, high stakes, and at times micromanaging, I am endlessly grateful for a class of kids who make it all worth it.

What are you taking the time to be thankful for today?
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