Category Archives: Sauce

Quick Tomato Sauce

I have a basil plant this summer and it is still alive.  I tell you this because, until this summer, the only living thing I have managed to keep alive for any length of time has been children. Well, this pasta sauce has given me great incentive to keep my little basil plant alive. It was so good and so easy, I could eat it once a week. And, as a big bonus, both of my kiddos liked it too. The great thing about this sauce is that, with the exception of the basil, all of the ingredients are things I always keep in my pantry. The whole meal came together in about 30 minutes. That was 30 minutes with my precious children running around like maniacs.  I’d say that ain’t too shabby for a weeknight dinner. This one is going in the keeper file. I hope it goes in yours too.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Cook’s Country 2/2005

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar

1. Cook the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the basil and sugar. Season with salt to taste. When tossing the sauce with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the sauce.


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Filed under Sauce, Spicy

Chocolate Syrup

My kids drink quite a bit of chocolate milk. I know I should probably feel guilty about that, but I don’t. I do,  however, feel guilty when I buy the chocolate syrup with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS) in it. I haven’t found ANY chocolate syrup at the regular grocery store that doesn’t have HCFS in it so, I have been buying it at Trader Joe’s. It is good, but we don’t live super close to a TJ’s and I really wanted an alternative that I could easily make at home. Friends, I have found it. This chocolate syrup is so stinkin’ good, that it makes your milk sing!!! I always worry when I make homemade versions of storebought stuff because usually my kiddos will turn their noses up at it (can you say homemade graham crackers?). But this stuff they have been snarfing down like there is no tomorrow. Hooray!!! Go make this. You will be a hero to your kids.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Recipe added by oneordinaryday on

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Whisk cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a pot until combined. Add water and whisk or stir until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove syrup from heat and allow to cool.

2. When cooled completely, stir in vanilla extract until well combined. Pour syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate.

3. Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups of syrup and will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. (It’ll never last that long though!)

Use 1 tablespoon per glass of chocolate milk.


Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Sauce

Fried Pickles

Yes, you read that right. If you are reading this and you aren’t from the South, you are probably thinking, “Ewwww, why would someone fry a pickle????” Well, we here in the South fry all manor of things, but fried pickles are the BEST. We even have a restaurant near here called the Fickle Pickle that is famous for their fried pickles. These are pretty much as good as those. The sauce recipe comes from another restaurant called Smokejack that also has awesome fried pickles with a spicy sauce. I have made that recipe before, but it is a bit more involved than these and I think these are just as good. So, if you are having friends over and are feeling adventurous, make these pickles. They will LOVE you for it.

Fried Dill Pickles

from Food Network

  • 1 pint sliced dill pickles, undrained
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ c. yellow cornmeal (this is my addition and I love it!)
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Drain pickles, reserving 2/3-cup pickle juice. Press pickles between paper towels. Combine 2/3 cup pickle juice, egg, 1 tablespoon flour, and hot sauce. Stir well and set aside.

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika.       Blend   well.

3. Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry coated pickles in 375-degree oil until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Hot Pink Dipping Sauce

Recipe from Smokejack Restaurant

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce (We used WAY more than 1/2 TBS)

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the Sriracha and mix well.

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Filed under Appetizer, Sauce, Spicy

French Dip Sandwiches

I know that ya’ll are probably thinking that I have either abandoned this blog or that I have been feeding my family McDonald’s for the last month.  Things have been super hectic here and while I have been cooking quite a bit, I haven’t found the time to blog. I promise that I have quite a few yummy recipes to share, so don’t give up on me.

One of my favorite types of shows are the ones where a guy goes around to different places and restaurants and eats the most awesome food on the planet. One of those shows that we love to watch is Man VS Food. Despite the fact that most of the challenges that Adam does would make me ralph in a heartbeat (can you say 72 oz. steak or 180 oysters?????), he does get to travel to cool places and eat some good chow. He visited a place in Brooklyn that was famous for their French Dip sandwiches and ever since Ren and I watched that, I have been obsessed with making one. So, we made them this weekend. I’ll tell ya, the only thing that wasn’t good about these is that there wasn’t enough. Now, I know some folks don’t like their bread soggy and if that is you, just don’t dip the sandwich in the au jus. But, if you like a yummy, soft, meaty, cheesy good sandwich, make this tonight. For real.

Slow Cooker French Dip

4 pounds rump roast

1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth

1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French Onion Soup

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

6 French rolls

2 tablespoons butter

**We put a couple of slices of provolone cheese on ours and melted it in the oven. OH YEAH.

1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on Low setting for 7 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

3. Split French rolls, and spread with butter. Bake 10 minutes, or until heated through.

4. Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls. Serve the sauce for dipping.


Filed under Sandwiches, Sauce

Awesome Chicken Satay

Last night, Ren and I had one of the most awesome dinners we have had in a long time. I absolutely adore Chicken Satay and I could probably drink the peanut sauce that it is served with. I have had this countless times at different Thai restaurants, but for some reason, never made it at home. But, I can assure you, this won’t be the last time we make this. It was outstanding and pretty easy to do. I served this with a wonderful Asian slaw that Ren devoured. I mean, he seriously devoured it. So, if you want a yummy meal to serve your family over Spring Break, try this one. You will be happy you did.

Chicken Satay

From Everyday Food

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 strips

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  1. In a bowl, toss chicken with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and teaspoon red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Thread each chicken strip lengthwise onto a skewer.
  2. Grill chicken on a grill pan or grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve with spicy peanut dipping sauce.

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

½  C. smooth peanut butter

¼ C. hot water, plus more if needed

2 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS lime juice (I should tell you to use fresh, but I didn’t)

2 TBS Asian chili sauce (Sriracha sauce)

1 TBS dark sesame oil (I probably used more than this since the original recipe didn’t even call for it, but I LOVE IT)

1 TBS dark brown sugar

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1. Whisk the peanut butter and hot water together in a medium bowl.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients.

**The original recipe only called for ¼ cup of hot water, but I like  my sauce a little more thinned out, so I added a little bit more.

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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken, Sauce, Spicy

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I adore pulled pork sandwiches. I am, after all, a good Southern girl. We Southerners take our barbecue very seriously. In fact, I can name at least 5 barbecue joints within a 5 mile radius of my house. My favorite thing to get is a pulled pork sandwich and put coleslaw on top of it. Now, to the uninitiated this probably sounds revolting, but trust me, it rocks. You must try it at least once. Even my cabbage-hating hubby loves his sandwiches this way. The other thing that makes this sandwich kick butt is the Coke BBQ sauce. I am from ATLANTA, home of Coca-Cola, so I only use Coca-Cola. Coke. The Real Thing. Please, for the love of all things good and holy, do not use Pepsi. If you must, do not tell me about it.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork

Adapted from Southern Living magazine

1 (3-4 lb) boneless pork picnic roast

1 can of Coca-Cola (do NOT use diet!)

1 bottle of cheap barbecue sauce (do not spend money on the good stuff, save that for the sandwich)

  1. Place pork in 6 qt. slow cooker; pour barbecue sauce and Coke over roast. Cook on high 6 to 7 hours or until meat is tender and shreds easily.
  2. Remove pork from cooker and shred with 2 forks. After shredding you can add a little of the juices from the slow cooker to keep the meat super moist, but this isn’t imperative.
  3. Serve on buns with good barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Coke BBQ sauce

From Steven Raichlen

1 C. Coca-Cola  (Do not use diet)

1 C. Ketchup

¼ C. Worcestershire sauce (I always use Lea and Perrins)

¼ C. A-1 steak sauce (I used Bold and Spicy A-1)

½ tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.   Reduce heat to gentle simmer and simmer until reduced by ¼, about 6 to 8 mins.

Creamy Spiced Coleslaw

Adapted from

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons hot sauce, if desired

1 (16 ounce) package shredded

coleslaw mix (If you use an angel hair type of slaw, grate up some carrot into the mix)

1. In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder and cider vinegar. Toss coleslaw mix with dressing to coat. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

***I usually halve the amount of dressing because I don’t like my coleslaw too creamy or soupy.


Filed under Pork, Sandwiches, Sauce, Spicy