Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil, Chopped Vegetables, Rosemary, and Pancetta

It’s fun looking through my Marcella Hazan cookbook and finding new simple recipes to make that taste good. This one has vegetables built in, and because they are chopped rather than diced, they remain fresh tasting in the sauce. The pancetta adds a bit of flavor and meat to the dish, if you or your family members (ahem, K) require that in a meal. If not, you can make the same dish without the pancetta. This dish is also toddler-friendly with the fun pasta shapes and easy to chew vegetables.

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: Leaf Painting (and more)

Something simple for today. Obviously we are in Winter and there aren’t leaves all around to do this now. Sooo, this will have to be something you save. Or you could use other objects and do the same idea. Basically, the Fudgelet and I picked up some leaves on our way home from a walk (we had gone to a toddler activity in the neighborhood). I wrapped them in plastic wrap to keep them a bit fresh and flat until we were ready to use them.

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And then…

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Coffee Cake Muffins

Just a short post to show a new option for a coffee cake recipe I’ve already shared. Basically, I made the recipe exactly as written, but wanted to let K have a little. How do you make a coffee cake to give away and keep some for yourself? Well, I stole a little of the batter and put it in a ramekin. Turns out, it makes a good giant muffin. I also saved a little topping and a little filling to complete it.

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Shortbread (via Bouchon Bakery)

It seems boring. Why should you make this treat with no chocolate? It also seems fussy at first glance. Again, do I have time for that with a kid around? Well, actually, it isn’t boring but deliciously buttery and vanilla-y, and it isn’t super fussy unless you want to make it that way.

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Basic Pancakes

When I got an apartment in college, my parents (specifically my mom) made sure I had a few cookbooks to get started. One of them was the Betty Crocker cookbook I referenced for these pancakes. She wrote an inscription wishing me a “Happy apartment and cooking!” which is still nice to see. I have so many bookmarks in this spiral book. Many of the bookmarks are recipes I’ve pulled from magazines, etc. Sometimes, the simplest recipes are the best.

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Aunt Lulu’s Baked Ziti

My Aunt Lulu always makes baked ziti for our family functions. It is a tradition for everything: Thanksgiving, Christmas, family dinners, you name it. I think part of the reason is we are Italian, but the other reason is that we love it so much. It is simple, but so tasty! I finally asked her for the recipe this past Thanksgiving. I made it as soon as I got home. Next time I need to add more sauce. I was being frugal because I needed to save some for meatballs I made. Oh well. It was still good. I also plan on adding more cheese, which is why I made sure to note the amounts in the recipe below. My aunt’s directions were a bit more “a little of this and a little of that” because she can make it by memory.
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Simple Blueberry Bars

As mentioned in the soup post on Wednesday, we have been having gorgeous weather, and the July 4th weekend was particularly lovely. We had a bit of a staycation–we went to an island the one day, had a party another day, and went blueberry picking on a different day. Naturally we picked way too many (at $2 a pound, how can you resist?) and I had to come up with a few uses for them besides general snacking. The first recipe was for these bars. Dorie calls it a cake, but really it works well as breakfast blueberry bars….so that is how I am filing this.

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