Monday, May 4, 2009

Who said you had to slave in the kitchen?

Ok, shh don't tell anyone but over the last few years I've become the laziest cook ever. Basically if it doesn't jump in the oven and heat itself it might as well not exist. Heh. Ok maybe I'm not that bad but it seems like it more weeks than not. I made Tacos a few weeks ago and actually chopped up and sauteed bell peppers and zucchini and minced it up really fine and added it to my meat and seasonings and the daddy person around here almost had a heart attack as it took me a good two hours to make dinner. The one thing I totally regret though is the fact that I haven't made homemade spaghetti, um since before Connor was born. That used to be my signature dish and I love spaghetti. I haven't even made spaghetti in general more than a dozen times in the last year partially because I really am always slightly disappointed in store bought sauces.

Ragu has two new flavors in their Ragu Old World Style Sauce that may just tempt me to get back on the spaghetti wagon. Mom Central sent over a coupon so we could try it ourselves and though it was a really hard choice between the Sweet Tomato Basil and the Margherita with pizza flavorings, and who said I had to choose at all.. lol I bought both. In the end it was the Ragu Old World Style Sweet Tomato Basil that won out, partially because I had a brilliant plan. My home made sauce's secret ingredient is fresh basil and a ton of garlic. The problem is it takes a good day to prepare and simmer so you end up making it one day and eating the next. I just don't have that sort of time. So needless to say my brilliant plan was to cook a pound of sweet Italian sausage and add some minced garlic to the meat. That wasn't so painful and it only took a few minutes to brown. Once I was done I took half the meat and froze it for another occasion and added the other half to the Sweet Tomato Basil Sauce. The end result would totally fool you into thinking I actually made my home made sauce. I think I'm actually a little disappointed that it came out so well as um... why do I spend a whole day making my sauce when I could spend 10 minutes?! Heh. With the addition of the meat the one jar of sauce actually almost doubled so I still ended up with half of what I made left over which I then froze so next time we can just take it out of the freezer microwave, boil the pasta, and tada dinner is done!

So I guess the moral of this story is, I don't need to be so critical of myself when it comes to the kitchen and I don't have to slave to make my family happy. I'm even positive that buying the Ragu sauce and adding my meat was actually cheaper than buying all my ingredients that I classically make my sauce with. Plus I still have 1/2 pound of the meat left that I can use in another dish. I'm thinking of possibly trying to use the Margherita sauce and the meat that's left over and making mini pizzas. What do you guys think?

Thanks Mom Central and Ragu for taking a little stress off my plate. The good news is this is my last week of class and I have ALL summer off. Wee. I may just break out my pots and pans and make something from scratch for my family. I think they'd have a heart attack at this point. heh.

Check out the Ragu website for recipes and meal ideas as well as learn more about the Old World Style sauces!


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