Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. Jon Hamm is on Saturday Night Live this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, this is a very busy and social time for our family! We attended numerous festivities this past weekend, each with a special and distinctive culinary vibe. It brought to light how one can create a mood not only by the food that is served, but by how it is presented:
We started at a Halloween party with a huge array of dinner foods, made by the hostess. The foods were not particularly Halloweeny, but they were accompanied by scary name tags like “Monster bread”. Also,the dips were made festive by placing plastic bugs in them. Kind of gross,but the kids loved it and the dips were good.
Our next adventure was at a lovely and fancy cocktail party where adorable tiny hamburgers in buns were served on toothpicks-very cute and retro and served with style.
The next day, we went to my old friend’s house in Upstate NY for our yearly apple picking extravaganza. Because we shared a special time working together in Seville, Spain more than 15 years ago, she likes to summon up the Spanish memories by serving typical Spanish dishes and cheeses by a fire. Very cozy….
We then returned home to go to our first Sukkah party ever where we dined under a wooden planked roof to eat lasagna and soup out of mugs. It was cold but educational (you know, being Jewish and all). I also almost burned down the Sukkah by allowing a hand towel to catch fire from a candle. Whoops.
I think I gained 5 lbs this weekend.
All of these homey parties inspired me to finally document my Fall and Winter inspired red sauce. I feel it is a warm and cozy process to simmer a sauce and make your house smell good (and it helps heat the house since my husband is freezing us out of here because of the price of oil-just kidding). Anyhoo, here is my light and flavorful red sauce that will use up all my big tomatoes from my vegetable co-op.
Tomatoes are great to combat cancer which reminds me…Feel free to watch the video below to see how I am cooking, rehearsing for this weekend’s Goddess Rock show at the Diva lounge to benefit Breast Cancer Research (www.parentswhorock.com) with my friend Jo, AND getting her to babysit without her even knowing it (the baby looks like she is being tortured but she’s fine-don’t worry!…
Light and Flavorful Red sauce:
6 very large , ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 minced, large cloves of garlic
1 large, chopped onion
3 TBS olive oil
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
optional red pepper flakes, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and cooked pasta, of course!
In a big saucepan on medium heat, pour in oil. When it gets hot, add garlic and onions and stir for a few minutes until onions are translucent (clear). Add tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook on medium to high flame, stirring periodically, for about 1/2 hour until it reduces and is to the consistency that you would like your sauce. Add some fresh ground pepper and red pepper flakes if you like. Enjoy over pasta with grated parmesan cheese, some toasted pine nuts or whatever else you like.
P.S. In addition to attending these parties, I learned a great tip about thank you notes for parties and gifts. My friend Julie emailed me to tell me that her friend just had a baby shower. Julie knows I have little tolerance for new mothers (and all mothers, by the way) having to write thank you notes. Believe me, they have a lot more important things to do. At this shower, the hostess of the party had everyone attending write their own thank you note to themselves for attending the party and the hostess would then send them out. There was a table set up with stationary and after writing the notes, they then all read their own thank you notes aloud. Some people wrote about how great it was to see themselves and how thin and attractive they looked at the party! What do you all say? Can we all start this in motion??? I LOVE that idea.