Food Talk Friday: The Best Spaghetti Sauce

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit several years ago. It’s morphed a bit, as I’ve made it and refined it to our tastes. But the basics never change.




It really is that simple. Sometimes Stud Muffin wants it made with olive oil or adds garlic. It doesn’t really matter. It’s all good.

The meatball recipe is very good, too, but I don’t really follow recipes for meatballs.

I like a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. I add an egg, some breadcrumbs, some parmesan, and some seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, basil).

Sometimes I cook the meatballs in the sauce. Sometimes we want a meatball with a bit more texture so we’ll roast the balls in the oven for fifteen or twenty minutes. When they have a nice color on the outside, then we pop them into the sauce. We often make lots of meatballs and freeze some to use later.

This is about the most delicious and simple recipe ever.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Such a cynic

The gas station we drive by on our way to town had gas this morning for $3.19. Someone at church mentioned this morning that Costco was down to $2.99.

My first thought (unspoken) was: How long will that last after the election in a week?

The Good Old Days
The Good Old Days

I didn’t have to say it though, because someone else did.

We laughed, and the conversation moved on.

But it made me a bit sad that our government has become so untrustworthy that anything good is suspect.

I still wonder: are gas prices being artificially lowered to lull voters into thinking things are good the way they are now, why vote for anything to change?

I’m interested in what others think about this. What say you?

Book Talk Tuesday: A Sneak Peek

I was supposed to do this last week, but I totally missed the boat. I was nominated by my friend, Brenda Hendricks. Check out her blog for her responses!

But, better late than never so here’s my answers:

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic?   Definitely fictional. Ginger Sanders is a successful radio psychologist in San Francisco. She’s finally achieved her dream: a syndicated show. But before she can savor her success, she accidentally tells a caller that her husband needs to beat a little sense into her. Quicker than you can say “Oops,” Ginger is fired. At home, she discovers that her husband left her. A week ago. And she was too busy to notice. All of a sudden, the woman with all the answers has none.

2) When and where is the story set? The story begins in San Francisco, California. When Ginger’s life falls apart, she heads to her hometown of Hart’s Leap, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, just south of Yosemite. Her mom is having surgery so she goes home to take care of Mom and figure out how her life went so wrong.

3) What should we know about him/her?  Ginger has always had an opinion and an answer for anything. When her life falls apart, she’s forced to accept that she’s not quite as together as she thought.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? Ginger herself messes up her life. She thinks she’s doing the right thing, but she’s waaaay off course. When Ginger discovers that her mother has become a hoarder, she orders the house cleaned out. This is not a good idea.

5) What is the personal goal of the character? Ginger wants her marriage and her family back.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? GINGER SNAPS BACK is my working title.

7) When can we expect the book to be published? Hopefully in 2015 or early 2016. God willing. Winking smile

And now, to continue the blog hop, I nominate : Cora Ramos and Beth Shriver. Thanks!


This is possibly the funniest show on television right now. I love it.

I tend to not watch shows until they’re at least a few months old, or even one to two years. I’ve been burned too many times by networks canceling something I loved too soon. So I want to be sure it’s going to be around for a while before I invest much time.

The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory

So I didn’t start watching Big Bang until the second season. I was immediately hooked.

The setup: Two Cal Tech geek/geniuses live across the hall from a beautiful but not especially brainy young woman. They forge friendships and even romantic entanglements. The story follows Leonard and Sheldon (the roomies), their friends Howard and Raj and the women they love.

I recently watched the first few episodes and enjoyed the look back. Sheldon wasn’t quite as socially inept as he became over the next seasons.

The current season though, I have to say, has been a disappointment. It appears the writers have run out of material. The setups are lame and the jokes are predictable.

Leonard and Penny’s relationship has evolved to the point where they need to get married and I

Leonard and Penny: The Big Bang Theory
Leonard and Penny: The Big Bang Theory

think this will open more possibilities.

All the usual newlywed adjustments could have some possibilities, not to mention Sheldon’s adjustments to losing Leonard and having to either live on his own or train a new roommate.

I still love the series. I’m still taping the series. But I don’t watch it as soon as it airs anymore. I get to it. In the next week or so.

I have hopes it will find its way again.

What shows do you feel have “jumped the shark”?

Book Talk Tuesday on a Thursday: Best Food Writing 2014

It’s been one of those weeks. But I’m getting in at least one post this week!

Best Food Writing 2014

It’s a bit daunting to offer a review of a book that is already self-proclaimed as “The Best.”

Good thing Best Food Writing 2014 lives up to its name.
A well curated collection of essays, profiles, and articles, each selection deserves its place in this annual compendium.

The articles range from serious examinations of current events (feeding families on food stamps and food bank handouts) to humorous (choosing homemade ketchup over a longtime friend). There are memories (tomato pie in Rhode Island) and commentaries (beyond the locavore to invasivore and free range gatherers).

I was surprised (although I shouldn’t have been) when what I was reading intersected my real life. I witnessed the lines at Hapa Ramen in San Francisco, shopped the farmers market there. After reading about $4 toast, I began seeing it.

For anyone who appreciates good food, whether it be as a home cook or diner at a fine restaurant, Best Food Writing 2014 has something for you to appreciate.

I received a free advanced e-copy of this book in return for a fair review. I ate it up and am grateful.