As I've mentioned before in the last month or so, things have been crazy for me.
My life has changed yet again. A temporary but drastic change has come over my household and although we're all doing well, this change comes with it's intense challenges.
On top of which, we've had family in town, we've made trips to see family, I'm training for my half marathon in the beginning of September (I'm up to 9 miles), we've celebrated both of our girls' birthdays (4 and 2) and I'm doing my best to enjoy the long days of summer and the incredible neighborhood that God has placed me in.
My girls have handled all of this well, for the most part. Eva has been a little extra whiney and needy but other than that, she's a little trooper. Izzy, well nothing really seems to phase Izzy. She's a laid back chick and you really have to work hard to get her feathers ruffled. But when they do finally get ruffled...watch out! She's become quite the little hair puller.
But even amongst this very busy season in my life, I've tried hard to take time and enjoy the people around me.
One such person is Shelby. Shelby and her husband Alex have become a highlight to many of my days. I can be dead on my feet and ready to lock myself in the bathroom but when I see them out in the front yard, walking towards me to greet me with their sweet baby Olivia in tow, something in my heart lightens. I enjoy them.
Shelby and Alex grew their own tomatoes and onions this year in their front yard and the other night, Shelby showed up at my front door with a paper grocery bag full of them! Huge, red, sweet beefsteak tomatoes with a few crisp and tight onions thrown in. The first thing that came to mind...Marinara!
Here's my recipe for homemade marinara:
7-8 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded (directions below)
2 small yellow onions, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of dried Oregano or Italian seasoning
2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup of red wine
Salt, Pepper and Roasted Red Pepper flakes to taste
Directions for Peeled and Seeded Tomatoes (if you already know how to do this, feel free to skip this part):
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Prepare a large bowl of iced water.
Hole each tomato by taking a paring knife and running it around the top of the tomato around the stem at an angle.
Once all the tomatoes are holed, drop each one into the pot of boiling water using a slotted spoon (to minimize splashing).
Boil the tomatoes until the skin begins to wrinkle and peel away from the top (about 15-20 seconds)
Immediately drop into the iced water for another 15-20 seconds to stop the cooking process.
Pull the tomatoes out the gently peel the skin away from the flesh of the tomatoes. This should take very little effort.
Once all the tomatoes are peeled, you'll need to seed them. Do this by placing a strainer over a bowl and squeezing the tomatoes over the strainer. You won't be able to get every single seed, but the strainer should catch most of them. Make sure you're seeding them into a bowl as you will need the juice later.
Once all the tomatoes have been seeded, remove the strainer from the bowl and poor the juice back over the seeded tomatoes.
Now you have peeled and seeded tomatoes. You may proceed to making your Marinara :)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.
Add the onions and saute them until golden brown
Next add, the garlic and oregano.
When the garlic begins to brown, add the red wine to deglaze the saucepan and use your wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits that have stuck to the bottom.
(I don't have pics of this part because well, I get a little silly whenever wine is involved ;p)
Then, add the peeled and seeded tomatoes along with their juice and give the whole concoction a nice stir.
Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 2 hours.
Once it's cooked down a bit, add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to your liking. You can even add a little parmasean cheese if you'd like :)
Once I was done making this yummy sauce, who do you think I called?
And I was glad to have her,
and her tomatoes ;)