my first crack at making tomato sauce

In last week’s blog, I mentioned that I was about to attempt to make Heirloom Tomato Sauce. I did, in fact, attempt it, and I have to say: it turned out pretty damn good. I definitely made some mistakes, and I need to tweak the recipe for next time. I used this recipe as a base, but I made a lot of revisions, since I only had about three pounds of tomatoes (heirloom and roma, instead of all heirloom – like it calls for). Next time, I’m going to follow whatever recipe I use more accurately, since I only yielded one pint of sauce, and it was just too much work for one meal’s worth. But in all fairness, I’ve never made, or watched anyone make, tomato sauce. I now get why you make and freeze so much. I finally get it, you guys.

I will say it turned out delicious, although there wasn’t a ton. The fiancé didn’t care for it as much because, as he put it, he “doesn’t like tomato sauce to be too chunky”. Way to tell me that after I slave over a stove for three hours, hun. So next time, I’m going to find a recipe that uses a food processor to make the sauce smoother. Luckily for him, I’m an accommodating chef.

tomato saucedoesn’t this look great? it was. anyone who says differently is a fool.

Ingredients (altered from original recipe):

3lbs heirloom and roma tomatoes, washed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8-10 small cloves garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
olive oil
2 stalks fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

For instructions, visit: Mountain Mama Cooks Recipe – I’m loving her recipes, and her canning tips. As someone who is eager to get into canning, I’m definitely plan to use her blog as a resource for other recipes.

Anyone know another sauce recipes that I should take a crack at?


The Simple Way To Make Lamb Stew

Okay, so this recipe isn’t super simple – but it’s easy enough that anyone can make it. It just takes little more time. I also don’t have tons of pictures of this during the cook process because I honestly thought it was going to turn out bad. I was extremely surprised that it was delicious!

Lamb Stew3

My Yiayia (grandmother in Greek) has made this regularly since I was a little girl, and it’s a family favorite, so I’m thrilled that I was able to make it myself. I’ll admit, this isn’t as good as my Yiayia’s, but it’s pretty damn close.


– Two pounds boneless leg of lamb (or lamb shoulder)

– Two sticks of celery

– Half bag of baby carrots

– One small onion

– One 15-oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce

– One 15- oz can of Chicken Broth

– Ten small red potatoes

– Handful of green beans, fresh

– Lemon juice

– Oregano/Salt/Pepper

1. Chop up celery, carrots, and onion and put into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Chopped the lamb up into cubes and put into another large bowl. Season with salt/pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Mix together.

Lamb Cubes Seasoned

Lamb Cubes Seasoned

3. Let olive oil heat up in a large skillet, then sear the lamb cubes until they are browned on all sides.

4. Remove the lamb cubes with a slotted spoon and put in a casserole dish. Use the leftover oils in the skillet, and saute the celery/carrot/onion mix.

My grandmother leaves the baby carrots whole and doesn't chop the celery as much. Chop however you prefer for your stew!

My grandmother leaves the baby carrots whole and doesn’t chop the celery as much. Chop however you prefer for your stew!

5. As the vegetables are searing on the skillet, cut the potatoes in half and put them in the casserole dish with the lamb.

6. Add the seared celery/carrot/onion mix and the oils and scrapings on the bottom of the skillet into the casserole dish with the lamb and potatoes.Then add the tomato sauce and the chicken broth. Mix.

7. Cover the casserole dish and put in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour

8. While that is in the oven, cook the green beans in boiling water. Strain and let sit.

9. After the hour in the oven, remove the stew and mix. Add the green beans and put back in the oven for 30 minutes.

10. Serve hot and enjoy!!



If I could do anything differently, I may try to sear the outside of the lamb leg before cutting it into cubes or try to slow cook the lamb in the crock pot before adding into the stew, to make it a little juicier and tender. Other than that, it was fantastic!

Do you have any family recipes you’re learning to perfect?