Day 10 of 20 (4/20 Foods) – Ranch Dip and everything that offers

Ranch

Ranch! Who doesn’t love Ranch? Well actually, if I’m (Marlee) being perfectly honest, I used to HATE ranch. I thought ranch was the most disgusting sauce there was. And then one day, Christie, decided that we should make our own, and then she forced me to taste it and lo and behold, I didn’t hate it. Shocker.

From there on out, it opened a whole new door of flavor and dipping sauce possibilities. You can use this with carrots, french fries, chicken tenders, burgers, fried pickles, salads, sandwich spreads, just about anything. While the ingredients definitely scared me at first, once it’s mixed together, it becomes a magically delicious sauce that you could literally eat by the spoonful.

We gladly dedicate this recipe to our sweet little Marin, who absolutely LOVES ranch.

 

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Spicy Picnic Sauce

Happy Sunday! Today’s recipe is super easy, super delicious and you can put on just about anything. Fires, burgers, hot dogs, chips, sandwiches, a vegetable dip, you can eat it with a spoon if you’re feeling saucy…

Ha ha, see what we did there? We’re so funny. No, but seriously, this dip is pretty damn incredible. It’s basically our own version of In-N-Outs special sauce. Click below for this recipe. IF you enjoy our recipes, don’t forget to subscribe, share and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Easy Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese

If you didn’t already know, we love pasta. We could cook and eat pasta until we’re blue in the face, and if you didn’t guess, one of our favorite sauces is bolognese.

Most bolognese recipes take a lot of time and when you’re in a pinch the last thing you want to do is wait 3+ hours for dinner and a sauce. What’s great about our Easy Weeknight Bolognese is that you get the wonderful flavors of a classic bolognese in half the time!

And most of the ingredients are things you already have in your fridge at home. And if you’re super lazy, and don’t want to chop, you can buy those prepackaged mirepoix (meer-quaw) mixes, that include diced onion, celery, and carrots!

Now, don’t be alarmed by the amount of ingredients, those are what make this recipe great and delicious!

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Chopped Onions
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef (Or any other meat)
  • 1 Jar Your Favorite Canned Marinara Sauce (24oz)
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic (Minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan (Grated)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1: 

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is “dancing” add the ground meat, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

(Sidenote, ground meat does not photograph well…)

“De-fat” if necessary.

Step 2: 

While the meat is browning, heat one tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Again, when the oil is “dancing” and hot, add the onion and sauté for three to four minutes.

Step 3: 

Next add the carrot and sauté for another two to three minutes. If needed add a little more olive oil. Then add the celery and garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Step 4: 

When the garlic is fragrant, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic back to the meat. Stir until combined.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Step 5: 

Add the wine and beef stock and raise the temperature to high. Allow the mixture to cook on high for about 15 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has cooked down.

Step 6: 

Once the liquid is cooked down, add your jar of marinara sauce and stir together. Lower the temperature to low.

We highly recommend Rao’s Homemade Sauces. Super delicious and you can read all the ingredients! But really, just pick any sauce that has the least amount of ingredients, and you know is super delicious.

Step 7: 

Next, add the tomato paste, bay leaves, parmesan, and dried basil. Stir together. Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with your favorite pasta and top with freshly chopped basil.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Pesto! Who doesn’t love Pesto? A simple dish that originated from Genoa, Italy where originally a paste was made from crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together.

This technique was called moretum which was more of a spread than a sauce like traditional pesto is seen today. The ancient Romans would eat this spread traditionally on bread and it was actually made in a mortar and pestle, hence the name!

In Liguria Italy (a city in Genoa) basil was a very common herb, so using it was a no brainer. There is where they added the addition of crushed pine nuts and a touch of olive oil to make more of a sauce as opposed to a spread.

In Provence, France they add fresh parsley and take out the pine nuts. This variation, is called Pistou. What’s great about pesto is all the variations there are and what you can as you make it. You can add parsley or mint to really liven up the  flavors, but today we are focusing on just simple and classy pesto.

The trick to keeping pesto green and not oxidizing, is blanching the herbs that you put in. So if you want to add parsley or mint, add them to the blanching process of Step 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Basil Leaves (packed)
  • 1 Cup Pine Nuts (toasted)
  • 6 Teaspoons Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cups Grated Parmesan

Simplistic Pesto

Step 1:

Prepare a bowl of ice water, set aside.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. When the water is boiling add a liberal amount of salt.

Step 2:

Using a fine mesh sieve, put the basil into the sieve in two batches. Lower the first batch into the boiling water and let them blanch evenly for 15 seconds. Plunge the basil into the ice water, repeat with the second batch.

Drain the basil immediately, and squeeze the excess water out of the leaves. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Simplistic Pesto

Step 3:

Roughly chop the basil and place in a food processor. Next, add the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and cheese. Pulse until blended together.

Simplistic Pesto

If you can buy this cheese, it’s really the best. It’s so smooth and velvety, perfect for giving your pesto a creamy and silky texture. 

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Step 4:

Before adding the oil, remember to scrape down the sides. With the food processor on, slowly add the olive oil and allow to come together.

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Can serve over your favorite vegetables, pasta, chicken, or as a dip.

Pesto is best served at room temperature and if served with pasta, toss the pasta and pesto immediately. No need to heat the pesto separately. 

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

We love BBQ sauce. You might say we’re addicted to it, every time we see a new BBQ sauce we end up buying it. We don’t mean to, but we love it! One BBQ sauce we love is from a chain restaurant, called Wood Ranch. And they have this amazing Cherry Chipotle BBQ sauce and it is to die for.

It’s sweet, it’s smokey, and has the most wonderful kick that hits you right at the end. If you’re not a fan of chipotles, you can definitely cut them down and bump up the cherries. But we promise, this is a great BBQ sauce that almost everyone will love.

You can use it on ribs, chicken, as a dipping sauce, in baked beans, basically on anything.

Happy Cooking!

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup Onion (Roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Teaspoons Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Fresh Cherries (Pitted and Chopped)
  • 3 to 4 Chipotle Peppers (In Adobo Sauce)
  • 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave or Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Syrup (Dark)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Adobo Sauce (from the can)
  • Kosher Salt

Beautiful fresh cherries, that took FOREVER to cut and pit.

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Step 1: 

In a medium or large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Step 2: 

When the butter is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent. About two to three minutes.

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Step 3: 

Add the chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant. No more than one minute.

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Step 4: 

Finally, add the cherries, chipotles, tomato sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, vinegar, agave, corn syrup, dry mustard, adobo sauce, and salt and stir until combined then bring to a boil.

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Step 5: 

Once the sauce has come to a boil, lower the heat to low and let simmer for 45-50 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally.

Step 6: 

When the sauce has simmered and thicken remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. In batches, transfer to a blender and purée until smooth.

Remember to be very careful when blending the sauce! Always use the top of your blender and dish towel to prevent a huge mess!

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Our recipe has been adapted from Get Me Cooking!

Grandpa Parrish’s Sausage Gravy

A couple of weeks ago we posted a recipe for Easy Homemade Biscuit. After making them, we realized, what could we do with all these tasty biscuits? Make sausage gravy of course.

Making sausage gravy is super simple, all you really need is sausage, milk, and flour. We of course added a couple of other things to really give the gravy a little bit more depth of flavor.

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits is a super hardy meal, and will keep you going for hours. It’s a not a light meal and should only be made once in awhile…. 😉

Grandpa Parrish's Sausage Gravy

Grandpa Parrish's Sausage Gravy

Sausage Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of breakfast sausage (spicy or mild)
  • 1/4 cup of AP flour
  • 1.5 to 2 cups milk (2%)
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • 3 hefty dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Step 1: 

Using your fingers, break the sausage into bite sized pieces. Using a cast iron skillet, brown the sausage over a medium-high heat until the sausage is no longer pink.

Step 2: 

Lower the heat to medium-low, slowly sprinkle about half the flour mixture on the sausage and allow it to absorb, then add a little bit more. Stir and allow to cook for another minute (or two).

Step 3: 

Over low heat, slowly pour in the milk and stir constantly until combined.

Step 4

Cook the gravy over medium-low heat, stir constantly until it thickens. At this point stir in the season salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. It’s okay if it gets too thick, just add a splash of milk or water.

Step 5: 

Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve the gravy with warm biscuits and enjoy!

Grandpa Parrish's Sausage Gravy

Here’s Grandpa Parrish (Marlee’s Grandpa) who loved his biscuits and sausage gravy. grandpa

Velvety Marinara Sauce

It’s Saturday and you know what you should make? Our classic and delicious marinara sauce. We know traditionally, most Italian’s make their sauce (or gravy) on Sundays but here at TYL, we’re a little non traditional so Saturdays are marinara day!

Besides, any good chef (or home cook) knows that a sauce, gravy, chili, stew, etc. tastes better the next day…so break out of the norm and make this sauce today!

There are many theories as to the origins of marinara sauce.  Most people would just assume that the moment Italy was formed BAM! there was marinara sauce, but no! It first appeared in an Italian cookbook in 1692.  Apparently the tomato was a fruit of the New World, and according to some theories, were brought over by Spanish explorers to Naples, a major port city.  Marinara means mariner or sailor, so some believe that tomato sauce was something that the sailor’s wives made when their husbands returned from sea to feed them.

Others believe that the sailors themselves made the sauce to bring with them to sea because the high acid content kept the food edible longer. One last theory is that tomatoes were used in place of a different fruit that might have been previously used in a pasta sauce, such as figs or apricots. Weird to think that tomato sauce is actually a savory fruit sauce!

Also, one possibility as to why some people call it tomato gravy, is because of the mother sauce tomate, where a roux is used to start the sauce.  A roux is traditionally used to make a gravy, hence, tomato gravy! Soon we’ll do an entire post just about the mother sauces, so stay tuned for that!

Velvety Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small red onion, mined
  • 1-28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Grated Parmesan

Step 1: 

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.  Cut Roma tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl together, pour some olive oil on top and season with garlic salt and pepper. Toss them around until all the tomatoes are coated. Place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Put smashed garlic into the oil until you can smell it, about 2 minutes. Then take it out of the oil and keep it until later. Add the onions and season with salt, dried basil and dried oregano. (add some rosemary salt if you want! Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3:

Open the can of crushed tomatoes and add it to the pot with the onions. Use a swish of red wine to clean out everything in the can. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4:

Add 1 cup of red wine, but we always follow Queen Ina’s philosophy of there could never be enough wine! But if you aren’t as big of a fan of wine as Ina Garten, then feel free to omit it, and add more tomato paste in it’s place. Let it simmer again for 10 minutes.

Step 5:

Now that the Roma tomatoes are out of the oven, with a spatula transfer the tomatoes to the pot. Also, add the smashed garlic that you save from the beginning. Let them all party in the hot tub for another 10-15 minutes.

Step 6:

Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Grab the blender, and blend the sauce mixture in batches. Return to the pot, taste, add grated parmesan to your liking and any seasonings you feel need to be there. Enjoy!

Velvety Marinara Sauce

Classy Bolognese Sauce

One of our favorite dishes to make is Pasta Bolognese. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve made different variations of this dish, but we never tire of making it. For the first time we made our own version of Pasta Bolognese. That’s right, no recipe. We just did it straight from our brains. And it turned out pretty fucking great.

This recipe is a no frills kind of recipe, just classically beautiful, like two young ladies should be!

Classy Bolognese 

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Celery (About 4 Stalks, finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Carrots (3 Large, finely diced)
  • 1 Medium Onion (finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms (About 9 mushrooms), finely diced)
  • Meat Trio 1lb Each (Beef, Pork, Veal, Italian Sausage, it’s really up to you which ones you use)
  • Garlic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 2/3 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 28oz Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Basil Leaves ( Cut into Ribbons)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Peppers
  • Few Chunks of a Parmesan Rind
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Classy Bolognese

Step 1: 

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.

Step 2: 

When the oil is shimmering add the diced onions, mushrooms and shallot. Sauté for two to three minutes.

See how the oil dances?

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Step 3: 

Add the carrots and sauté for another three minutes. Finally, add the celery and continue cooking for at least 1 minute.

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Celery has a lot of water, so adding it last is a must!

Classy Bolognese

Step 4: 

If needed, at a little more oil, and then add your Meat Trio. Season liberally with Kosher salt and pepper. Break and brown the meat until the meat is just barely pink.

Classy Bolognese

Step 5: 

Next, add your red wine and raise the heat to high. Cook until all the liquid has cooked off, about 3 to 5 minutes.

It’s okay if it takes longer, we all have different stoves, so don’t be alarmed!

Step 6: 

Once the wine has been cooked off, lower the heat to medium and add the milk. Cook until most of the liquid is gone, this can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.

Classy Bolognese

Step 7: 

Add the tomato paste in and mix well.

Classy Bolognese

Step 8: 

If you haven’t, squish your whole tomatoes in a separate bowl, you can do it in the pot, but you run the risk of hot splatter, and we don’t think anyone wants that.

Pour your tomatoes in the pot and stir until combined. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. At this point you can add a splash of red wine.

Classy Bolognese

Step 9: 

Stir in the basil, bay leaf, onion powder, garlic powder, parmesan rinds and red peppers. Taste and season accordingly, if it needs more salt or pepper or any seasoning…add it!

Lower the heat and cook un-covered for 1.5 hours.

Classy Bolognese

Step 10: 

After 1.5 hours of cooking, add 1 hearing tablespoon of chopped garlic. Continue cooking un-covered for 2 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Again, at this point, taste and season accordingly. But go easy on the salt, the rinds have a really nice salty flavor, and release the salt flavor as they melt.

Step 11: 

During the last hour of cooking, you can slowly start to defeat your sauce. This step isn’t necessary but we always defat in the last hour.

Classy Bolognese

Step 12: 

When the sauce is ready, cook your pasta and toss the sauce and pasta together.

*We always reserve at least a cup and half of our pasta water (after the pasta is cooked, but before you drain) and use to toss with the pasta and the sauce.

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Bumped Up Red Sauce

We obviously love to cook, and we have no problems spending hours doing so, but some days we’re so incredibly lazy and all we want to do is have a quick and easy dinner.

One of our favorite no fuss dinners is taking a jar of marinara sauce and bumping it up to its full potential. The first thing you want to do is find a marinara sauce with as few ingredients as possible, and you want to be able to pronounce everything in the sauce (tomato, garlic, olive oil, salt, etc).

Bumped Up Marinara

This is one of our favorite sauces to use. Incredibly flavorful and you can read all the ingredients! AMAZING! `


Bumped Up Marinara Sauce 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Jar Marinara Sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Half of a Red Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • Red Wine (an Ina splash=as much as you like)

Step 1: 

In a saucepan, drizzle about 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat until the oil starts to “dance”.

Step 2: 

When the oil is good and hot, drop the onions in the pot and sauté until tender.

Step 3: 

Before you add the garlic to the onions, and a tiny bit more olive oil and then add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant or about 1 minute. If there are brown bits at the bottom of the pot, don’t fear!

Step 4: 

Once the garlic is nice an fragrant add a couple of splashes of red wine and let simmer for a few minutes. Once that has reduced slightly add your marinara sauce, turn the heat to low and simmer until heated through.

Step 5: 

Mix with your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!

Today’s dish was inspired by One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes from Pinch of Yum. It was one of those recipes that we made, and EVERYONE loved. And every time we’ve made it since, it becomes more and more popular.

It’s a rather simple dish, and so full of flavor. And did we say it was really easy to make? Because it is! You don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to make this, we promise. YOU CAN DO THIS!

For really developed flavors, make the sauce part of the dish first, and the following evening make the chicken and potatoes portion.

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!


Ingredients

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!

For the Sauce:

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1 large sliced yellow onion
  • 4-6 tbsp garlic (or 3 elephant garlic gloves) we love garlic too much
  • 5 vine-ripe tomatos, cut in half and roasted
  • 1 medium to large eggplant or as we prefer Aubergine (skin peeled and diced)
  •  Season salt (We use Lawry’s) and pepper to taste
  • Smoked paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Approx. 1 cup chicken stock

For the chicken and friends:

  • 1½ lbs. chicken breast meat
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 large Russet potato, sliced
  • crusty bread or rice for serving

Step 1:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Slice tomatoes in half and toss with some olive oil, enough to coat them, and some salt and pepper. Put tomatoes on a cookie sheet and let it roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!

Step 2:

Sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, then add in the eggplant. Continue to sauté until eggplant is melding (getting soft sounds…awkward).

Step 3:

When the tomatoes are done, CAREFULLY move them into the pot open face down or butt side up, however you want to look at it. Let them simmer together for    5 minutes.

Step 4:

Break up the tomatoes and give it a good mix together. Transfer in batches to a blender, please don’t put it all together, you will have a hot explosion of (painfully hot) goodness, and as wonderful as that sounds…it’s not. Add in chicken stock while blending to get your desired consistancy. Add salt and pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper. We like to start with a few shakes of each and adjust to your own liking. This it the point in the cooking where we put the spices into small prep bowls and pretend we’re Emeril, BAM!

Step 5 (optional):

After the sauce has cooled put it into tupperware, and let it get busy with itself overnight. I personally think this sauce is best the next day. But if you need it like RIGHT NOW, please go on to the next step immediately.

Step 6:

Slice the potatoes into discs, I used a mandolin to make sure they were all the same thickness. You can parboil the potatoes for a few minutes if you want, or just put them into the sauce a few minutes before the chicken. (If you gave your sauce “a break” overnight: heat it up in a separate pot first).

Step 7:

Slice your chicken into chunks or bite size pieces. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil of your choosing. We’re fans of olive oil and coconut oil. Once chicken is coated in oil season with salt, pepper and paprika. Remember, you don’t have to use those, those are just what we chose for this dish.

Step 8:

Place frying pan on the stove, and turn the heat to medium high. When the pan is hot, put the chicken in and brown. Once the chicken is brown, transfer to the pot with the sauce. You can also sauté the potatoes in the same pan as the chicken and add them to the pot with the sauce.

Step 9:

Cover the sauce, and simmer until the chicken is cooked. About 10 minutes. Serve over quinoa, rice or serve with a bread to sop up all the saucy goodness. Enjoy!

Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes Oh My!


What’s really great about this dish is how versatile it is. All you do is change out the paprika for any other spice you like, like curry, tikka masala, Garam masala, and you get the idea.

You can also add other kinds of vegetables towards the end of the cooking process. more onions, bell peppers, peas, and you get the idea!

Happy Cooking!