Tuesday, November 9, 2010

slow cooker = me not starving

Lately, every time I try to blog, I start saying things like "I am so busy, why am I so busy, it sucks, the house is a wreck, I'm behind on everything, the car looks like I'm driving a dumpster on wheels, I haven't eaten anything but Taco Bell/Arby's/Chick-Fil-A and stray cupcakes that cross my path for the past week, OMG AM PROBABLY GOING TO EXPLODE AT ANY SECOND."

I could probably write another post like that today, except that today included a rare morning of me waking up early, having my delicious pumpkin spice coffee while watching The Today Show, playing with my kittens, working on a project, and finally trolling the Taste of Home website for something I wanted to have for dinner. I even got to go to the grocery store for the first time in about two and a half weeks and actually plan a meal! That I will be at home to eat! Even if it will be at 8:30! It's better than 10:00!

Let me just say that if it weren't for my slow cooker lately, I would surely starve. Even cooking in that thing has been an achievement as of late. Not kidding, if it hasn't come from a lean cuisine box (on a good day) or a fast food bag (the norm), I pretty much haven't eaten it in the last month because of all this trial team mess.

So today's recipe from the Taste of Home gods (I have never had a bad ToH recipe) is slow cooker spaghetti sauce. I have been having a spaghetti craving, and not the old standby where I just make pasta and dump a jar of sauce on it and then nom it mindlessly while I stand over the sink. If you too have found yourself with no time and a serious spaghetti craving, here's what I recommend:


  • 1 pound ground beef or bulk Italian sausage (I used ground beef because it was on sale at Food Lion and also less calories, but I'm sure sausage would be delicious!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the kind with basil, oregano, and garlic included, but I still didn't skimp on the dried herbs and garlic - I figure you can't have too much.)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (super important, don't leave this out)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I didn't have any of this, but I just added plenty of the other stuff and I'm not missing it)
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 6-8 servings.
I'm serving it with Pepperidge Farm frozen five-cheese Texas toast, because it is THE BEST and because it's ready in 5 minutes and thus something PB can handle while I'm in class, and make salad to go along with it.

Happy Tuesday!

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