Friday, January 23, 2015

Pensacola pizza and Italian tomato sauce

The other day while we were picking up some things after I got done with work I was super ready to go home when Peter said that we had to swing by the hospital to pick something up for his mom.  I was suspicious because 1) It was like 7:30 at night 2) He kept coming up with random details which didn't make for a very convincing lie.

After driving in what I was pretty sure was the opposite direction from the hospital, we pulled up to Ozone pizza! I was on a surprise date! Yay! I had always wanted to go there and apparently it is a Pensacola hotspot.  Also I've really been missing pizza.  Nothing can fill the void that Panda Pizza left in my soul... nothing.

It had all of my favorite toppings! Including vegan cheese.  As soon as I ordered it though, I thought to myself "Oh gawd I hope it's not Daiya."  Unluckily for me, it was Daiya.  Daiya is good for many things, but unfortunately pizza is not one of them.  So I learned my lesson there and I can't wait to go back and get a cheese-less pizza.... this time probably with thin crust also.  But it was so fun!

We haven't been on a date in forever and Ozone was so cool.  I'm not used to restaurants that have decorations that aren't pictures of the owners' family or a framed apron or something.  Ozone had these cool paintings on the wall that you could buy.  There was one with Mae West that I loved but I forgot to take a picture of it because I am a terrible blogger.

While on the subject of Italian food... I started thinking about the amazing pasta sauces that I got back home.  Jarred pasta sauces are great and convenient and I love them, but there's something so fresh and simple about Italian tomato sauce.  I tried a bunch of random recipes but nothing tasted right.  I would try to recreate it and add spices and garlic and it was never right.

I wrote to my parents and asked them to send me a sauce recipe from one of my mom's Italian cookbooks.  Once I got the recipe, I saw why I could never recreate it.  That's because there is like nothing in it.  Tomatoes, onions, white wine and salt.  That's it.  The Italians had it so right!

The recipe for this sauce came from the cookbook made by Miss Vera.  If you lived in Naples for a decent amount of time, you or someone you know probably went to one of Miss Vera's cooking classes.  I genuinely enjoyed mine! She has someone that cleans up your mess and where else can I drink wine with my mother at 10 in the morning?

Her recipe called for fresh tomatoes put through a food mill.  But I don't have one of those so I adapted it.  I decided to put it on here to give everyone missing Italian food an little piece of home.  One batch makes about eight cups of it so I plan on using it as pizza sauce and in lasagna and pasta.  There are a lot of carbs in my future.

Speaking of carbs.  My working out has been going really well! Except for the running.  I am just not a runner.  I hate running.  About a minute into all of my runs my chest gets tight and I just can't breathe.  So I started doing HIIT in addition to the toning workouts and yoga.  It's only been a month and I don't really SEE results, but I can feel myself getting stronger.

Anyways! Here's the recipe! Enjoy!

Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce
1 onion - diced
6 oz can of tomato paste
6 oz of water
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
56 oz container of strained tomatoes

1. Sautee the onion in the olive oil in a pot.
2. Add the wine and continue to sautee until the wine has evaporated.
This is the strained tomatoes that I used! They were so good! Use them if you can find them
 3. Add the tomato products and water and salt to taste.

4. Let simmer to two to three hours.

ENJOY! I was going to post a pic of the finished product on my pasta, but I used spelt pasta and it looked kind of gross even though it tasted so great.  I'm going to make my own pizza though and use it as the sauce and I think it's going to be amazinggg.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

So it has been MONTHS since I wrote on here.  I'd like to say it was because I am just too busy, but in reality I don't have that much going on.  I'm always doing something, but it's not exactly news worthy.  However, I've realized that no one's life is crazy exciting like a movie and that you should appreciate the little things.

Let me update everyone who is interested in my life with what it's like right now:

1) I work at Target.  I was a seasonal employee at Target, which basically means they reserved the right to fire me after the holiday rush was over.  The other day I was informed that they would like to keep me!  So I am officially a Target employee (given I pass the 90 day probation period).  I am Katelyn from Target.  I guess the NEX taught me something about working in retail after all.   However, it's part of my job to get people to sign up for a RedCard and I am so bad at it.  People think I am trying to trick them.

2) I have hit a lot of bumps in the road in my quest to have a plant-based diet.  If you put me in a room with Cheez-its, I'm probably going to eat them.  It's one of my biggest weaknesses.  But I'm working on it.  For Christmas, I got a bunch of vegan cookbooks to add to my collection!
Part of my impressive collection!! Not pictured is my new favorite, Vegan Eats World! 
3) I've gotten pretty experimental with my food-making! For Thanksgiving, I made a seitan mushroom wellington with puff pastry and the other day I made a vegan spanakopita using filo dough.  Working with intimidating ingredients is kind of like running.  I've noticed I have to work up to it.
seitan wellington with sunflower seed mac and "cheese"

4) Speaking of working out, I started to work out! I'm doing the Tone It Up Love Your Body Challenge.  I'd never really heard of the Tone It Up program before, but I really like it! My favorite thing about it is that every night they post the work out for the next day.  The biggest reason that I don't exercise that much is because I run out of ideas for stuff to do and I just give up.  The Tone It Up community is also really big so there's a lot of support.  I'm not quite ready to get on board with the nutrition plan (No starches past 3? No thank youuuu) but I'm really enjoying exercising more.

5) We found a dog! Peter found this dog in the front yard and it was almost morbidly obese and her teeth were very clean so I figured that she belonged to someone.  We posted that we found her on Craigslist and on the Pensacola lost dogs website.  She ended up staying a night (we put her in the playroom which is all tile) and within like twelve hours I had five phone calls from people notifying me that someone had posted a "Lost Dog" ad without seeing my "Found Dog" ad and we got it all figured out.  But she was fun to have around!

6) I finally tried one of the vegan restaurants in Pensacola!  Peter and I went on a date to Sluggo's which downtown and we got seitan buffalo wings as an appetizer and I got the walnut veggie burger and Peter got a seitan barbecue sandwich.  Everything was so good! Especially the wings.  I still need to make it out to End of the Line Cafe, but soon! I enjoy shopping at Ever'man's when I get the chance, especially because they have VEGAN HOT POCKETS.

7. My garden is doing really well! My tomatoes died, because I didn't cover them up one night and it was my bad and I feel really bad about it.  My beans also suffered a little frost bite, but they bounced back and they're doing well.  I probably should have followed the directions for the spinach and kale and placed them farther apart, but they're still doing well, I can't wait to plant my spring garden!

Since my last post, I turned 23, I got a 4.0 in my last semester of classes, I am forty followers away from 1,000 followers on Pinterest and that's about it! So basically my life isn't that exciting, but I plan on getting back into posting more regularly!
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