Friday, June 10, 2011

Gettin Saucy

Hey there!!

Happy fuhhh-to-the-reaaak-ie de-to-the-eakie FRIDAY! {Can you tell someone is excited?!}

I'm a so sorry I didn't get to putting up a post yesterday.

Can you guys forgive me?! Pretty please with sugar & a big scoop of peanut butter on top?! Ok, thanks!! :)

The anticipation of the weekend is slightly less sweet when you know you will be sitting in a BarBri class all day Saturday, but hey, there's always a little fun thrown in there.

I rised (rose? rosed?) and shined again today for another early workout. 

So far, sorta kinda so good.

I was lookin' a little more droopy-eyed & bushy-haired this morning, no?! 

{Lululemon Wunder Under crops & push your limits tank, if you were wondering! The push your limits tank is no longer available online, but the somewhat-similar scoop neck version is, and it is on sale right now for $39!! Happy dance.} 

It has been thunder storming the past two mornings here in ChiCity, which instantly sends me into a coma.  If I'm being honest, it has taken every ounce of willpower (and knowing that some of you guys are getting up with me!) to rise me from my comforter heaven.  

For all of you guys who are joining me for the challenge, GREAT WORK!! Keep it up! I am so proud of you! You are seriously inspiring me already and developing a wonderful & very healthy habit! :) 

Today I did the Summer Shape Up workout from Fintessista again, which includes BOTH burpees & mountain climbers.  Can I just say that I'd rather simultaneously get a bikini wax & eat brussel sprouts than do either burpees or mountain climbers?! Holy bageeze. 

Instead of doing Fitnessista's ab set, I swapped in this ab routine from the Barre Bee Fit YouTube station (yes, there is such a thing, and it is amazing). 

The owners of BBF, Jillian & Ari, show you how to do the moves for the first 6.5 minutes, then, right at 6:30, they start the whole set (fyi). 

If you are at all curious about the classes I do not shut up about (I know, I'm sorry!), you should really really give this 8(ish) minute set a try.  It is (don't quote me because I'm only 99% sure) exactly the same ab set we did for at least a week in Barre Burn, and it is top quality.  Since I started doing these moves I have honestly seen definition in my abs that I never knew I could even have.  

Thank you Barre Bee Fit for a 2(ish) 6 pack summer!! now that I have you sold on that, maybe I can sell you on this week's weekend night-in recipe. 

{There's no denying I'm gonna be needing a lot of these over next month or so.}

This week, I decided to tackle a first...making my own spaghetti sauce (or "gravy" as the true Italians and my friend Christina call it!). 

First things first --> this recipe calls for....wait for it...

A crock pot! 

Mannnnnn.  I know, I really should have started this blog.  Darn it all! 

I was always a little intimidated by the idea of making my own spaghetti sauce, but I decided to put on my big girl pants and give it a try! Good thing I did, because this one is a life changer.

Jessica's Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce: 

What you will need (besides the crock pot, of course!): 

{Not so fast... I know you all might be thinking "she's a nut job" right now, because there are so many ingredients.  There kind of are.  However, I am somewhat confident that if you have a very average spice cabinet, you will have at least 80% of these ingredients on hand.}

2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste (I choose no-salt-added)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp EVOO
3 to 4 tsps minced garlic (depending on how many times you plan to watch Twilight that night!)
6 fresh basil leaves (washed & torn up into small pieces)
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder (again with the Twilight, take it or leave it)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Your choice --> If you want it meaty, add in 1 lb ground turkey, lean ground beef, or (my choice!) Jennie-O's Lean Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from the casings, obvi). 

If you don't want it meaty, you can roll with 1/2 tsp whole anise seeds + 1 tsp whole fennel seeds, to mimic that sausage-y taste!

What you're gonna do: 

Step #1: Brown up your meat (if you're using any!). 

Step #2: Throw all of the ingredients listed above + your meat (if any) into your crock pot. 

Step #3: Cover, and turn the crock pot to low for 8 to 10 hours, or to high for 4 to 5 hours. 

Take a looksie: 

Step #4: Turn the pot off and let the sauce cool for about 8 to 10 minutes while you make up some pasta of your choice (I went with a whole hheat linguine).  

To get some added nutrition, you can even grill up some veggies to throw on top of your pasta, like my favorite, yellow squash & zucchini (tossed with a little EVOO and some Nature's Seasoning): 

Step #5: Serve it up, stir it up, and enjoy! 

Step #6: If you're sharing this meal with a friend or a lucky significant other, watch him/her clean his/her plate! 


Extra Tip: If your not carb-a-phobic, you can serve this dish with my easy garlic bread.

Extra Extra Tip: You can put your leftover sauce in some Tupperware & freeze it for later dishes, like the pasta with the peppers or chicken parm-a-mazing

If you're looking for a nice glass of relaxation to go with this meal, try this wine I just discovered: 

Kitchen Sink Red Table Wine (only $9 a bottle...holla!!): 

I picked this one up @ Whole Foods on a whim, and fell in love. 

Let me know if you give this meal a try & tell me what you think! :) 

I'm off to take a monster nap, but it's only bye bye for now, because I am hoping to see you guys at least once this weekend.

**Something to talk about: Challenge participants -- how is it going?! If you got in a morning workout today, what did you do?? 

Have a fantastic night, everyone! 




  1. Looks so tasty!! AM workout was a good one today! Swam a little over a mile! And I couldn't agree more about those burpee and mountain climber things!

  2. while i was reading this entry, i was thinking, why does this all sound familiar?! and that's because i had that EXACT pasta for dinner last night, and i wanted to cry during the burpees and mountain climbers. hahaha, samesies!

  3. ohh I love the idea of a slow cooker sauce. We actually had homemade spaghetti tonight for dinner but a little turkey sausage would have been a nice addition! :)

    GOod for you for getting your early workout in :) I took today as a rest day but hope to get out for a run AND strength training early tomorrow morning. I've been letting my strength training slip!

    Hope you have a great weekend! :)