Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

So I have a confession: I am slightly obsessed with Jen Hatmaker’s writings: her blogs, her books, and now… her recipes. For those of you may not know of this awesome woman, you can read her blog and become obsessed as well. Her first book that I read was 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  She has a way with words: humorous, raw, authentic, and her writing will touch your soul (and now tastebuds). Go check her out at jenhatmaker.com and you can thank me later.

Anyho, this tomato sauce recipe came from her website and I just tweaked it to my preferences. This is a big batch of sauce (enough for 4 pizzas or multiple pasta dishes) so you can use some now and freeze the rest for later. Also, it’s so versatile you can use it for any dish calling for a tomato sauce: pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti… Are you hungry yet?! Seriously, try this sauce out and I guarantee you’ll always keep your house stocked with it!

Ingredients:
• ½ cup olive oil
• 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
• Entire head of garlic, grated
• ½ red onion, minced
• 28 ounce can of organic tomato puree
• 15 ounce can of organic crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted, yum!)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
• Salt and pepper to taste

tomsauceing

Directions:
• In a medium sized pot on low heat warm the olive oil, red pepper flakes, onion and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes. Your nose will know when it’s done, it smells so good!
• Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until the olive oil is incorporated.
• On low heat, let the sauce simmer for at least an hour.
• Taste throughout the hour and add more seasoning, if needed.
• After an hour feel free to use on the Italian dish of your choice!

tomsaucestove

Notes:
• This first note, I’m taking directly from Jen Hatmaker because she words it so perfectly. “First, a word about the tomatoes. I use Muir Glen, and there is really nothing you can ever say to make me change my mind. DO NOT GET SOME JANKY TOMATO SAUCE FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF. I am so serious. This sauce is only as good as the ‘maters. Cento is a 2nd place brand if my store punks out on the Muir Glen. Fresh, homegrown peeled tomatoes are the Prom Queen of this recipe in the summer obvs, but how many of us are going to boil and peel 20 tomatoes when we could open a can?” (I know, you love her now too!)
• I learned while making this dish balsamic vinegar has different leaf ratings. When I was buying the ingredients, I just got the 1 leaf because it was cheaper, but I came with a sample for 4 leaf… Y’all, I could drink that 4 leaf out of the bottle… But I didn’t, mainly because I only had a sample which I used for the recipe. I gotta tell ya, after sampling the 4 leaf that is all I am going to use from now on. Try it!
• I only used 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, but the original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon. I strongly suggest if you’re not worried about burning your little toddlers tongues to use the whole tablespoon.
• In my picture, next to the sauce there’s my homemade dough rising, also from jenhatmaker.com. I followed that recipe exactly so if you’re looking for a pizza dough recipe to go along with the sauce, check out her website.
• Again, this is super basic and versatile. You can adjust it to the dish you’re making or add your favorite herbs and seasonings to come along for the ride.  Here’s a picture of the pizza I made.  It was AMAZING.

pizza

Have you been looking for an amazing pizza sauce recipe? What other recipes could benefit from this sauce?

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Homemade All Natural Deodorant

So I took the plunge and made my own deodorant. I hate spending grocery money on toiletry items. This is how my mind works when I have to do that: shampoo+conditioner around $6 = A pineapple, kale, and bananas. Deodorant around $3 = Organic potatoes. Not to mention all the chemicals in those products! So I decided to make my own deodorant. I got the recipe from wellnessmama.com and did my own tinkering to it. I’ve been using this deodorant for a few days and really like it. I think what I like most is that I know exactly the ingredients in it, and not to mention it works!

deo

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup of cocoa butter
• ¼ cup beeswax
• ¼ cup coconut oil
• ¼ cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch will work here too)
• 1 tablespoon of baking soda
• 5 drops of melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
• 5 drops other essential oils for scent (optional)

Directions:
1. Melt cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut oils together in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
2. Once melted, take the bowl off of the heat and add the arrowroot powder and baking soda. Mix well.
3. Add the essential oils and mix well.
4. Pour into an empty and clean deodorant container. This recipe makes one bar of deodorant and a little extra. Pour the extra in a baking cup, or soap mold and use it as a travel deodorant.
5. Let it cool and set overnight before using.
6. Use the next day with the joy of knowing you know exactly what you are putting on your body: pure goodness.

Notes:
• This recipe is a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant. So this will help with the stink, but you will still sweat. That’s okay, sweating is good for your body!
• I have used this recipe this week while working VBS all morning and working out in the afternoon, and I have had great results.
• You can replace the cocoa butter with other body butters, such as shea or mango butter.
• You can usually find arrowroot powder in any whole foods type of store.
• Melaleuca is great to use because of its cleansing and purifying properties, so I wouldn’t omit this oil. While citrus oils do have similar properties, they are photosensitive, so if you want to add citrus oils I recommend waiting until winter time when you’re not in tank tops anymore.

Have you made your own deodorant before? What’s your reason you would like to make the switch from store bought to homemade deodorant?

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been getting many people ask about a homemade laundry detergent, so for those interested, here is the one I have used for over 2 years.  Again, this is a repost of my previous blog. This is so cheap and has no chemicals!

Ingredients:
1 large container for mixing and storing
1 box Borax (76 oz.)
1 box Baking Soda (64 oz.)
1 box Washing Soda (55 oz.)
3 bars mild (preferably homemade) soap, finely grated

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and stir well.
Store in a tightly shut container away from the kid-os.
For HE washing machines, as well as homes with soft water, use 1 tablespoon per load.
For homes with hard water (like myself) use 2 tablespoons per load.
For cloth diapers, use half of the amount of detergent you would normally use.

Tips and Sidenotes:
I store my detergent in a 5 gallon bucket I got for free at my usual grocery store. In the bakery section of many grocery stores they will give these to you for free, all you have to do is ask… And then clean the bucket… And also smell frosting the entire drive home while trying to convince yourself not to turn around to buy a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing… Luckily I only live 5 minutes away!

This is an unscented detergent so don’t expect the same smell as you would with your normal detergent. The “clean” smell we associate with laundry is usually the chemicals. Now, the clothes do not come out smelling dirty, they just smell like, well nothing really. By all means feel free to experiment with essential oils, but that will raise the price, of course. You can also buy a laundry “booster” from the store, but just be aware that those are not all natural and you may not want to use that for children and certainly not cloth diapers. I actually do that for option my hubby… Compromise is a beautiful thing in a marriage people.

For cloth diapers, try using melaleuca to keep the smell away.  Also, experiment with lavender or citrus oils for a refreshing scent.  Lemon essential oil can be used to take the “stink” out of towels you forgot you left in the washer 3 days ago.  I love dōTERRA essential oils and you can order them at http://www.mydoterra.com/amandagerber 🙂

This detergent usually lasts my family of 5 about 5 months and costs around $15.

What are your thoughts on homemade detergent? Do you have a recipe or laundry tip you would like to share?