Day 3 “gravy” and pizza, oh my!

[I can stop saying “organic”, “local”, “free range”, “all natural”, etc.  in front of everything, right?  Just assume that’s the case unless I point out otherwise.]

For breakfast we all tried these ak-mak crackers (mainly because they are fun to say, but also to see if anyone likes them).  They are really good and filling!  We had them topped with butter and hard boiled egg and smoked salmon OR with peanut butter and jelly.  Kids also had bowls of unsweetened applesauce that I dressed up with cinnamon and agave syrup.

Lunch was fried egg sandwiches with cheddar cheese on buttered whole wheat toast and a side of grape tomatoes.   As I mentioned, this bread was not great, so I was happy to finish it off.  I made another loaf in the afternoon that looks and tastes much better.  But the 9 y.o. picky bread eater hasn’t tried it yet, so the jury’s still out.

Bill, the 5 y.o. and I hit the Co-op for a pretty big shop in the afternoon and all shared a bag of the Kettle Brand Bakes sea salt chips.   I’m so happy to be eating potato chips again!  And that reminds me to add “figure out an all natural version of Lipton Onion Soup Mix chip dip” to the priority list (note to self: it does not have to be that weird brown color).

In the afternoon, I made a big batch of Fran’s Famous Gravy.  For anyone who doesn’t have an Italian-American background (or marry into it as some of us lucky, food-loving, non-Italians did), “gravy” is spaghetti sauce.  My awesome, and still much-missed, mother-in-law taught me to to make it almost 20 years ago.  I’ve been making it regularly ever since (with some slight moderations — feel free to call me sis-in-laws and tell me what I’m doing wrong — it will give us a good chance to catch up!)


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lg can crushed tomatoes, 2 lg cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • red wine
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic powder to taste
  • (opt. piece of parmesan rind)

I coat the bottom of a heavy pan with about 2 T. olive oil and cook the chopped onion – with some salt and pepper – on medium until translucent.  Then I slop in whatever red wine I am drinking or have open in the fridge — about 1/3 c.  Cook until onions look “jammy” (10 mins or so).  While onions cook in the wine, smash or mince the garlic and throw it in.  Then the fun part!  (And I have no idea why Fran did it this way – but it makes the perfect texture sauce and I don’t like any other texture to my sauce)  Puree both cans of whole tomatoes in a blender (I have to do them one at a time).  Pour that into the jammy onions and garlic.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Then throw in a bunch of oregano (about 2T), a little basil (1t), a couple sprinkles of garlic powder, more salt and pepper, and the parmesan rind.  Lower heat and simmer for an hour or so (cover it if it’s not cooking fast enough, take the cover off if it’s getting too thick) — you can add cooked meats at this point (meatballs, braciole, sausages).  After about an hour, I add some water if it’s looking too thick, taste and adjust the seasonings.

I froze about 2/3 of it, put some in the fridge for pasta night in a few days, and used the rest to make PIZZAS!  These were a huge hit with the kids and were easier to make than I anticipated — happy dinner time!  The recipe for the whole wheat crust is from 100daysofrealfood – but I’m working on some modifications and will post my version soon.

pizza 1   pizza 2Boys put “gravy”, fresh mushrooms sausage crumbles, mozzarella and parmesan on theirs.

We had “gravy”, fresh spinach, black olives, fresh mushrooms, parm and mozzarella on ours:pizza 3

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