Thursday, May 2, 2013


Picking something I’m ‘good’ at feels a little odd…. So it seems silly to write about. But here’s to day 2 of the #BlogEveryDayinMay challenge!

I like to think I have been blessed with the gift of pulling a meal together from scratch without following a recipe. It sounds silly and simple, but if you have the basics in your pantry I’m pretty dang confident I could whip up something yummy in no time. Growing up in Germany, where the grocer would close every night at 6pm during the week, close at 1pm on Saturdays and not open again until Monday morning meant you had to plan your meals in advance or always keep the pantry stocked with the basics…. My mom was already (still is) great at keeping a full pantry and her cooking skills are still the best around.

Now with my boyfriend living on a ranch, where the closes store is 35 minutes away I have learned to keep the basics on hand there as well. If I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before, it helps that he loves anything I cook :)

When the produce is gone, you need something quick, yummy and easy for dinner, this meat sauce with pasta has become my go-to.
I started writing down the basics I like to have on hand, so that I know I can get the general idea done. But there are always add-ons and changes giving the condition of the pantry and refrigerator.

Here are the basics:
½ of a large onion, diced
2 gloves of garlic, minced
Ground Beef (start with 1lbs)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsps ground thyme
2 cans petit diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese
Pasta (any kind will do)

Optional add-ons/substitutions:
-Fresh or jared or even garlic powder will do in a pinch
-Italian seasoning or a mix of whats in your pantry will do too (parsley, oregano, paprika, etc. start with small amounts, you can always add more
-any kind of canned tomatoes will do
-omit tomato sauce if you don’t have any
-any type of grated cheese in the fridge will do
-I’ve thrown in (food processor first) carrots, zucchini on its last leg.. you name it
**the sauce freezes really well for several months- so dont be shy on cooking this with leftovers in mind!

Source and side note: since I make this sauce a lot, I've never stopped to  take pictures of the process or the outcome, so here's one from the tastykitchen for now. Next time I make this sauce I will have to take pictures! 

If you follow my blog outside of this cool challenge, then you have seen a lot of food appearances lately.  These were some of my recent favorites: here, here and here


  1. I'm a vegetarian, so I can't make this meat sauce, but I did enjoy your story about keeping the basics on-hand and modifying meals to fit whatever you had in the pantry. Also: 35 minutes away? YOWZA!!!

    Blog Every Day in May Challenge

  2. Erika- thank you for your kind comment! i'm sure the sauce would work without meat as well- its the flavoring that counts!

  3. Great post honey! You've learned well :) This is very easy to convert over to vegetarian and gluten free - just dice the veggies instead of puree (and double the amount of them) and stock up on gluten free pasta....Viola`. xo