June's Spaghetti Sauce

June's Spaghetti Sauce

It's May 15th and I'm sitting here in my Zen room seeing snowflakes outside my window. Crazy. Good thing I made a huge batch of this spaghetti sauce last night. Perfect leftovers for this freezing day. June was my stepmom. She was a fab cook. I spent many years enjoying her cooking and she made some awesome creations. Her spaghetti sauce though was legendary. I have great memories of my dad standing over the pot with a hunk of bread, dipping it into the stock pot of sauce, eating it over the stove - and June saying "Now Jim just wait until dinner!" But he never did - it was that good -  and he'd pass me a hunk of bread with sauce. I haven't made it in years but my sisters were up for the weekend. And yup, it is just as awesome as we all remembered. It's even better the next day.  

June's Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 pounds Ground¬†Round
  • 1 pound ground Italian Sausage
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
  • 2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Broth (you can use beef or vegetable)*
  • 3 cans of 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp.Fangboner Farms Italian Blend (you can use 1 tsp oregano if you don't have any)
  • 1 tsp ¬†Fangboner Farms Thyme
  • 4 whole Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbs¬†Sugar
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (you don't have to use them but they do give a nice little zing)
  • Parmesan Cheese - I prefer shaved but you can use grated for the top

*If you like and you have some sitting around, you can replace some or all of the broth with wine -red will give it a deeper flavor, white just a bit sweeter.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and Italian Sausage until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute. Pour in the broth and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine, then add Italian Blend, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir, then add cooked ground beef and Italian Sausage and stir to combine.

Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or broth if it needs more liquid Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve it over cooked spaghetti (or I eat mine over cooked quinoa because noodles just don't agree with me) and top with the Parmesan cheese. Double dog dare you to NOT eat it out of the pot with some nice crusty bread. . .

Quinoa and Beet Salad

I tried a new salad today. Had some folks over for Tea so it seemed like time to try something new. I know a lot of people get turned off by quinoa - but it is a wonderful grain and really takes on the flavor of whatever you mix it with. This turned out yummy. Quick, easy and you can change it up it if the mood strikes. It was a big hit here. Well except for Roland - he won't try anything he can't pronounce.  


Quinoa & Beet Salad

  • 1 15 oz. can sliced beets shoestring sliced, drained
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • ¬†1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¬†1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 ounces fresh salad greens, chopped
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Bring quinoa and 2 cups water a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Remove quinoa from heat, then immediately add half of the vinegar dressing while fluffing the quinoa with a fork; reserve remaining dressing. Cover and refrigerate quinoa until cool, at least 1 hour. Stir green onions, arugula, beets, greens and remaining dressing into cooled quinoa mixture. Toss lightly before serving. Top with goat cheese.

Mushroom & Veggie Melts

This is the simplest appetizer and it looks like you really spent some time making it. And it tastes out of this world. The first time I made these, Roland's son was over for dinner with his wife for his birthday. He ate these like they were the main course - and wanted more. Bake them up for your next get together. Quick, easy and oh so yummy.
Mushroom Veggie Melts
Mushroom & Veggie Melts
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • I clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Fangboner Farms Italian Blend¬†
  • 3 Tbs.Olive Oil + 1 Tbs.reserved for drizzling
  • 3 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar ( I love Blueberry flavored)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese grated ( I also like to add in some swiss for a sharper taste)
  • 1 small loaf Italian bread, sliced*

Preheat oven to 375

Slice the first 3 ingredients. Heat a skillet with the olive oil and saute the veggies, garlic and onions. Add in the Fangboner Farms Italian Blend and saute until tender, about 5 minutes

Line up the bread slices on a cookie sheet (I line mine with foil to avoid sticking and quick cleanup). Top each slice with the veggies. Drizzle with the Olive Oil and the Balsamic. Top with the cheese.

Bake about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.


    *If you want to make this a low-carb appetizer, just use thinly sliced eggplant. You could dip the eggplant in egg and then coat with ground pork rinds. Bake the eggplant without the topping, just drizzled with some olive oil for about 7-8 minutes to soften. Then top as directed above and bake.