I am enjoying herbs this summer. I have some nice plants growing on my deck: oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Yesterday I needed to throw together a quick meal before my guys went off to work for the day. I had some great campanelle pasta in the cabinet, and some canned whole tomatoes and tomato sauce, so I browned some ground chuck (about 3/4 of a pound) with half a large white onion, chopped, and two cloves of fresh garlic, minced. I drained off the fat, then added the large can of whole tomatoes. I used my potato masher to smash them and release their juice into the meat. Then I added the big can of tomato sauce. Instead of opening the spice cabinet and using dried spices, I went out on the deck and snipped some oregano and basil. They looked so happy, sitting there in the sunshine in their warm little pots.
I washed the leaves, then chopped them up and dropped them into the sauce, along with a little sea salt. I always add a little pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes, too. It was simple and quick, and after boiling the campanelle for 12 minutes, my boys were enjoying a big bowl full of pasta and munching on garlic toast along with it.
I also made sweet tea. How sweet do you like yours? My family likes 1 2/3 cups of sugar per gallon of tea. Yes, that is sweet! I don’t drink sweet tea anymore, but it is requested at every meal at our house, so I make it anyway. I always have a gallon in the fridge (unless the boys have finished it off and put the empty pitcher back in the refrigerator….not cool.) 😉
Elsewhere on the food front, I have made a promise to my sons to bake a big batch of Whoopie Pies. You see, they have been helping us install new wood laminate floors in our living room, dining room, and kitchen, (no more carpet! So thrilled!) and it was a HUGE undertaking. They worked for three days on it, and we were all exhausted at 2am yesterday when we finished the project. I was so happy that I promised them I’d make them a batch of Whoopie Pies to thank them for their hard work. A trip to the grocery store is in order for me today to buy extra cocoa powder for the cookies. Yum! Pictures will be posted here soon!
I hope you have a lovely week, my friends. Recipes for Creme de Menthe cookies, and more, later this week!