Category Archives: Recipes

Homemade Meaty Pasta Sauce Recipe

Hey there! I hope you all had fabulous weekends. We spent our weekend sweating….because it’s freaking 80 DEGREES IN OCTOBER!!! 😦 I’m not happy about this at all. But the weather was beautiful despite it being way too hot for this time of year.

I have a new recipe for you tonight! It’s a homemade pasta sauce recipe for the lazy gal that has no idea when it comes to making homemade sauces and such. I thought this was going to turn out terrible, but luckily I was wrong and it was awesome for my first homemade sauce!

This sauce can be used for plain ole spaghetti or something fancier like lasagna! I chose to do the latter with my big batch of sauce. IMG_5255

Nick enjoyed this extra meaty and cheesy lasagna without me because, let’s be honest, my lactose intolerance is only getting worse! But let’s get back to the star of this lasagna…the sauce!

Homemade Meaty Pasta Sauce Recipe


  • Parsley flakes (1 TB)
  • Honey (1 TB)
  • Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Minced onions (1/4 cup)
  • Garlic salt (1 TB)
  • Onion powder (1 tsp)
  • Oregano (3/4 TB)
  • 52 oz. Strained tomatoes (or diced, crushed, etc) – Use all the juice!
  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef or turkey

What to do:

Start by browning the meat and straining off any extra excess fat.

IMG_5243Next, add in your tomatoes and mix well. Keep the heat on low.IMG_5245Special thanks to the people at Pomi who sent me some awesome tomatoes to try out!

IMG_5240 IMG_5241 IMG_5242Pomi is known for their strained tomatoes that come direct from Italy. Check them out! My favorite thing about this product? The only ingredient on the package is Tomatoes. That’s it! Nothing artificial or weird!

Next you are ready to add in all the seasonings! Now, if you have basil on hand, add some. But, I’m a real person that doesn’t keep a ton of fancy stuff in my pantry so I didn’t have any basil, and my sauce still turned out great with the ingredients I listed above.

IMG_5246 IMG_5248Give your sauce a taste to make sure your seasonings are perfect. Now cover it let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes (or less if you don’t have time!)

And viola! Your sauce is ready and beautiful and homemade and everything you ever wanted it to be… 🙂IMG_5249YUM! All sarcasm aside, I made my sauce a little too salty, so I had to add water and a little extra honey. Then I had to let mine simmer a little longer to compensate for the extra water. But it still turned out! This is why we need to add spices slowly and taste test as we go to make it just right.

How do you use homemade pasta sauce? For lasagna? Manicotti? Let me know in the comments!!


Disclaimer: Pomi sent me samples to try out their product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.










Meaty Lasagna Recipe

Happy Monday to ya! Hope your week is off to a great start. Mine was slightly better than normal because I had some awesome leftovers to look forward to during my lunch break!


I got semi-crafty in my kitchen yesterday afternoon, and decided that it had been far too long since I made lasagna. So I made sure to pick up some lasagna noodles while grocery shopping, and whipped this baby up!

Meaty Lasagna Recipe

IMG_3381 IMG_3384Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. ground beef (or turkey!)
  • 3/4 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • Garlic salt
  • 1 jar pasta sauce/marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 oz. container Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp. parsley (chopped if fresh)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • Salt & pepper

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meats together in a large sauce pan.

IMG_3380Drain off extra grease, add a couple hearty sprinkles of garlic salt, marinara sauce, and water. Let this meaty sauce mixture simmer on low while you prepare the cheese mixture. Stir it occasionally and don’t let it stick!

IMG_3382In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parsley, 2 eggs, and salt and pepper (around 2 tsp. of each).

IMG_3385Avoid the urge to taste this cheesy concoction – there’s lots of raw egg in there! Now you can start layering the lasagna into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Turn off the heat to the meat sauce if you haven’t already. Begin by pouring about 1 cup meat sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

IMG_3387Next place 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise on top of the sauce followed by adding 1/2 of the cheesy mixture on top of the noodles, spread evenly.

IMG_3388It’ll look kinda like that! Now do the sauce, noodle, cheese layers one more time. On top of the last layer of cheese add one more layer of noodles followed by the remaining pasta sauce.

IMG_3389Mmm look at those layers!

Once everything is spread evenly, layer the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the top.

IMG_3392Now cover the top with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. OR you can cover it and refrigerate it for a few hours until you’re ready to start baking – this is what I did! After it bakes for 45 minutes, remove the foil and let it continue baking for an additional 10 minutes. Don’t overbake it because your noodles will start to get mushy!

IMG_3394And voila! After those final 10 minutes, you are all done! And your house should be smelling mighty fine. 🙂

IMG_3395Yummo! Nick and I both had seconds….and yes, I took my Lactaid to help my tummy digest ALL the dairy!

IMG_3397And now we have leftovers for days. I love it! It will make lunch prep super fast and easy for the week..or maybe the first part of the week at least.

Well now I hope I’ve inspired you to make a semi-homemade lasagna for your family in the near future. It took less than 30 minutes to put together and was a big hit!

Have a great evening! Nighty night. 🙂

20 Miles & Super Bowl Jazzercise

Hey everyone! I hope you are enjoying the weekend. The weather has gone from rainy to snowy here, but it’s nothing us Missourians can’t handle!

20 Miles and Cookies

Yesterday morning started with my long run. I peeked out my window to see if the rain was too much to handle. It looked barely drizzly, so I bundled up in my normal running attire + my running rain jacket. I was determined to get this 20-miler out of the way if at all possible!

The first 4 miles were terrible. I really thought I was going to turn around and go home. It almost immediately started raining a little harder when I stepped outside, and the 40 degree temps made the rain pretty miserable! By the time I made my first 4 mile loop (my usual starting point), the sun was starting to come up and it made me hopeful the rain would pass.

Well I was wrong. It didn’t pass. And I ran in the drizzle with spurts of heavier rain for over 3 hours. 3 freakin’ hours. Holy moly. I stopped at 14 miles, or around the 2 hour mark, for a pit stop and a change of dry clothes. I didn’t realize how wet I was until I changed. My running tights were dripping like I had just jumped in a pool! The dry clothes felt amazing and it made my last hour and 6 miles much more manageable. I was tired and my mind was hazy, but my booty was dry and that’s what I needed at the time! Mile 18-20 were my fastest on my splits, and I chalk this up to my pit stop.

20140202-160851.jpgThis run was painful and mentally challenging. But it makes me so hopeful that I can make it through my marathon without a hitch. Usually people hit ‘the wall’ right around mile 20, but if I keep up my water and fueling, I know I can do it! Bring it on, Little Rock!!

After those 20 miles, I was obviously a little low on calories for the day. I only had Gu’s and water in my tummy. Nick was sweet enough to take me out for a nice lunch (where I ate a burger the size of my face!). When we arrived home, I was still hungry and needed sugar. Peanut butter cookies were calling my name!

Yum!! And so simple. I combined 2 cups creamy, reduced fat peanut butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, and a large handful of mini chocolate chips to make these babies. Easy peasy!

Stir them all up, roll into balls, and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. As soon as you take them out, smash them down a little with a spoon. Otherwise they will stay in the nice ball shape. 🙂

I’ve eaten over half of these babies and even took a few to Jazzercise this morning. My students didn’t mind!

And speaking of Jazzercise, I put together a Super Bowl themed song set for this morning’s class to put everyone in the mood for the big game tonight. The songs ranged from Bruno Mars classics (tonight’s halftime performer!), to songs that seem appropriate for a pep rally, to songs that include moves that are footballesque.

Some of my favorites from this morning included Push and Shove by No Doubt, Work hard Play Hard by David Guetta, Work Work by Britney Spears, and Undefeated by Jason Derulo. It was a fun class! I tried to make every song somewhat relatable to the game tonight. I’m not a football fan, but themed class sets always make things more fun. We may have to keep the football set going all week!

The evening classes today combined for a Jazzercise Plus class at 1 pm. Jazzercise Plus is a 90 minute class usually used for special occasions. It looks like those ladies had a great time! If my quads would have allowed it, I would have gone for an extra workout today. My legs just cannot stand the thought of getting off this couch after my 20 miles though!

After my class this morning, I rushed around to get some groceries before the snow started. I also wanted to get this baby in the Crockpot.

This 8 pound turkey breast caused me some grief this morning, but I’m happy to say that it is now cooperating.


I couldn’t get the lid to fit. My turkey was too big! I covered it up with foil the best I could, but I was happy this afternoon when it finally cooked down enough to let the lid sit all the way down like it should. 🙂 We’re going to have quite the little Super Bowl feast tonight! I can’t wait! And FYI, it’s no special occasion for the turkey. I just decided to cook it since it’s been taking up precious real estate in my tiny freezer for over 2 months now!

Have a great night everyone! Enjoy the game and some chips and queso. It’s just not the Super Bowl without some unhealthy snacks. See ya later!