Tag Archives: recipe


How to Make Basic But Delicous Tomato Paste



I was surprised the first time I tried my hand at making tomato sauce on my own how pink it was even though I thought I took enough time to cook down and prepare my tomato sauce. Tomato paste provides your a flavor charge that also allows you to retain the traditional red color you come to know in your tomato sauce.

Ingredients for Your Basic But Delicious Tomato Paste

Don’t be intimidated by tomato sauce. It’s easy to make outside of the preparation of the tomatos. To purchase tomatoes in bulk, I recommend visiting your restaurant supply store, grown them yourselves, or work with your supermarket or farmer’s market to purchase them in bulk. Leaving the tomato skins your tomatoes will make them bitter. I like to save my tomato skins for later use in seasoning and flavoring my stock. You can find my recipe by clicking here.


60 blanched, cored and peeled large tomatoes

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons cracked pepper

10 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice

3 bay leaves


Make sure you blanch, core and prepare tomatoes. Add them to a large stock pot. Add ingredients to your pot with the exception of the bay leaves. Use your immersion blender to blend. Add your bay leaves and bring your pot to a boil. Let it cook and simmer down for 3-4 hours until it is extremely think. This recipe will make 64 ounces or 9 cups of tomato paste.

I like to use the tomato paste immediately in my tomato sauce or enchilada sauce. However, this can be canned, refrigerated and frozen for later use.


More Tomato and Canning Recipes

This recipe has taken inspiration from the Tomato Paste recipe in the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. 


How to Make the World’s Most Flavorful Tomato Sauce



My tomato sauce is very multi-purpose. It’s our almost weekly staple for our homemade pizza. You can click here to see my pizza dough recipe. I like to can the tomato sauce in advance as it’s great to use in spaghetti, casseroles and other recipes. I generally spend two weekends canning a year working on making tomato paste, tomato sauce, and enchilada sauce for use for the rest of the year. I’ll include links to the recipes at the end of the post.

This tomato sauce  recipe should make 10 quart size jars. I recommend canning these and sealing them instead of freezing just because they stay fresh longer. Special note, if you are not including the tomato paste in your sauce, make sure to include a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice in each of your quart jars. This makes sure that your sauce remains flavorful and fresh.




Flavorful Tomato Sauce Recipe


60 peeled, blanched and cored tomatoes

3 celery stalks chopped

1 1/2 cups of carrot juice (This makes your sauce sweet.)

4 medium sized yellow onions chopped

12 garlic cloves

2 cups of red wine (I prefer pinot noir or merlot.)

3 tablespoons oregano

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons cracked pepper

1 1/2 cups of basil

3 cups of tomato paste

3 bay leaves


The tomato sauce will have a bright red color from using the tomato paste. Add all your ingredients with the exception of the bay leaves. Using your immersion blender, blend everything together. Add your bay leaves and bring your sauce to a boil. Stir frequently. Let it reduce on medium high for 2-3 hours until it reaches the right think consistency and red color. Add additional spices and flavors to suite your taste and customizations.

Follow the basic canning rules sanitizing your jars, lids and rings. Add your sauce and then seal them. Make sure they are cooled before storing them in a cool and dry location.


More Tomato and Canning Recipes


Homemade Fresh Herb Pizza Dough Recipe


Pizza for our family is a family activity where we spend time together making homemade pizza together. Using our pizza stone we can bake or grill our pizza which I love. It made sense to try our hand at making pizza dough that incorporates our love of herbs in a yummy and easy recipe.

Dough or specifically my grandma’s Thanksgiving croissant rolls are really complicated which is why I was really nervous about trying my hand at pizza dough. One Thanksgiving I made them successfully but have failed miserably to replicate the yumminess ever since. I was surprised at how easy it was to make pizza dough.

I make a double batch of the dough with each batch making 3 dough balls for a large pizza and freeze the extra. This recipe is a slight alteration to Paula Dean’s.

5 cups of all purpose organic flour

2 packages of active dry yeast

2 cups of warm water

1 tablespoon of honey (Paula uses 2 tablespoons of sugar)

3 tablespoons of flavored olive oil (garlic and basil olive oils are my favorites)

3 teaspoons of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

4 tablespoons of assorted herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano)

Add your warm water and dry yeast to a large mixing bowl. Let your yeast sit for a few minutes until it’s foamy. While you wait, chop your fresh herbs. We pull these directly from our herb garden off of our patio (seen above in the cover photo).


Add in your honey, salt, pepper, herbs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once your yeast is foamy, add in your flour using your bread hook on your mixer. Add in small batches over time and knead together. Pick up your dough with your hands. Make sure it can be rolled into a ball. Add up to 1/4 cup of flour if needed, if the dough is still too sticky.


Once your dough is in a ball, coat it with the remaining olive oil to give it that additional blast of flavor. Place your dough back in your mixing bowl, cover it with a clean towel and leave it in a warm place for 1-2 hours allowing it to rise. We use our kitchen griddle and turn it on 150 degrees for 5 minutes allowing the bowl to get a little warm. It makes the dough rise higher and quicker.


Separate the dough into three sections. Each batch will make 3 large pizzas. I place the extras in plastic baggies and store them in the freezer for later use. This makes for quick and easy pizza making with your guests or family.

The honey is a great way to limit your sugar intake. I substitute it for sugar in things like our french toast and homemade smoothies.

We like to label our dough balls and have fun trying new herb combinations. Just this week we made a batch of garlic olive oil with basil, chives and thyme. It was so tasty!



3 Great Juicer Recipes to Add to Your Smoothies


For me, juicing is a great way to ensure that I get a healthy dose of my fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning. Juicing is something you can do in advance making the most of your precious time especially in those busy mornings when we are rushing off to work, meetings and school. Here are three of my go to juice and juicer recipes.


Juicer Recipe #1 – Green Juice


2 cups of spinach or kale

1 apple

1 pear

1 -2 cups of wheatgrass


I like to balance out the sometimes unpleasant taste of the spinach or kale with the sweet taste of an apple or pear. As I mentioned, I my recipe is pretty simple and I often juice in large quantities for the week. My juicer of choice, the Breville Juicer does take time to set up, clean and take down. I make a week or two worths of juicing in one fail swoop freezing the extras in canning jars and using them throughout the week in my breakfast smoothies.


Juicer Recipe #2 – Carrot Juice


6 carrots

4 stalks of celery

1 cup coconut water

Optional: 2-3 Roma tomatoes


I like to sneak in carrot juice into my smoothie as well, but sometimes the juice is a nice quick drink as I’m heading out the door. I like to sneak in the celery for an additional vegetable. The carrots are already pretty sweet but you can also add an apple or a pear. I like to add in the coconut water because sometimes the carrot juice can be a little too think for me.


Juicer Recipe #3 – Orange Mango Fruit Juice


5 Oranges

1-2 Mangos

Grated fresh ginger

1 cup coconut water

Optional: 2 cups of strawberries, pomegranates, pears or peaches


In California we had 2 orange trees in our yard. Regular old orange juice was overdone at our place. We started adding a few small touches like mangos, strawberries, and ginger as a great way to breathe new life into a juice recipe. Side note, this juice can also be used to make popsicles and I use it as a liquid to make smoothies less stiff. This juice also freezes well. I use a clean 1 quart canning jar and fill it 3/4 of the way full screwing on the lid and freezing. By filling 3/4 full, you avoid the glass shattering once the juice expands as it begins to freeze.

Juicing is fun especially from the experimentation standpoint. Check out how I used my juicer pulp to make vegetable and chicken stock that was so easy!


More Juicing Recipes & Resources



Homemade Chicken, Vegetable & Beef Stock Recipe


Whether it’s chicken, vegetable or beef stock, it’s a staple in my home and pantry. It’s also extremely expensive to purchase especially the low sodium organic variety. I find a lot of joy in making and creating things. This last year I’ve experimented with plum jam and orange marmalade. So it made complete sense that I would give a go at making stock from the items in my pantry.

Having received my new Breville Centrifugal Juicer, I had a lot of leftover carrots, celery and kale pulp that I didn’t want to go to waste. Normally, I toss them in my composter, but after purchasing yet another expensive container of chicken stock for our Christmas dinner, I wanted to try making my own stock and you can too. It is so satisfying, fun and easy.

But before I share the recipe, I recommend storing your extra stock in canning jars or plastic frozen containers. If you use canning jars, you will need to sanitize your canning jars and decide whether or not you are going to seal them or freeze them for future use and storage. For this batch of stock, I made the decision to freeze them. You can read more about the canning and sanitizing process by clicking here.


Homemade Chicken, Vegetable and/or Beef Stock Recipe


4 cups of vegetable and fruit pulp and scraps

Extra vegetables of your choosing

36 cups of water

2-3 bay leaves

assorted seasonings (sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic)

chicken, beef or pork bones (optional)

8 ~ 1 quart canning jars, large stock pot, strainer and ladle


In a large stockpot, add 4 cups of vegetable and fruit pulp and scraps from your juicer or chop and add vegetables of your own. This is a great way to utilize the veggie platter from your holiday party and meal. Add in 10 cups of water and an assortment of spices of your choosing. I used fresh rosemary from my planter garden and dried sage from my summer garden. I also added in salt, pepper, garlic powder and a few bay leaves along with some leftover frozen vegetables I had sitting around in my freezer. For this batch of stock, I added an assortment of peppers including mini bell peppers and jalapenos. You can add whatever favorite or leftover veggies you want. Onions and garlic are great options too. Then I added several pork bones I had from the hog we recently picked up from the butcher. You can add turkey, chicken or beef bones or make vegetarian stock. The choice is up to you.


Stir and set your stock pot to just below a boil. Cover with your lid to ensure your liquid doesn’t reduce too much. Let cook for 2-3 hours until the vegetable pulp is absorbed completely. While you are waiting for your stock to cook and absorb all the flavors, grab all the canning jars and lids you have handy. Because we seem to use stock in so much of our cooking, I recommend the 1 quart containers. In this batch, I set aside 8 one quart sized canning jars.


Using a strainer, ladle in the stock to remove the vegetable pulp and spices and add the broth into the jars. Leave a reasonable amount of empty space at the top of the jars especially if like me you are choosing to freeze your stock like me. This allows your frozen stock to expand without busting or breaking the jars. Allow your stock to sit 3-4 hours to cool before placing in the freezer. Otherwise, your glass cans will break.

Outside of the cost savings from making my own stock, I also have the peace of mind that our stock is not only low sodium but made in the most natural way. Once you open your stock, it can be stored in the refrigerator for use in rice, couscous and other culinary experiments you have cooking.


Broth Recipe Alternative: Soup


The homemade broth can also be made into a vegetable, beef, pork, turkey or chicken soup. Complete recipe as above. Cook your protein, shred and after straining your broth, add in new larger vegetable pieces and the shredded proteins like chicken, beef, turkey or pork. Add in rice too and even alphabet pasta. Cook for another 30-45 minutes before serving, canning or storing.

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