Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oriental Chicken Salad


I've mentioned it before, but I live in a small-town.  The small-town is predominately compromised of those from the Hispanic culture.  Therefore pretty much all of the restaurants around here are Hispanic restaurants.  There is one little gem among the tacos and burritos called Bon Vinos Bistro.  I have had phenomenal breakfast, sandwiches, desserts, and this salad (or at least my interpretation of it :)  I loved this salad when I first tasted it and knew I needed to recreate it.  

The description from their menu says..."Grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, coleslaw mix, toasted almonds, Linguini noodle, sweet & sour dressing, topped with green onions."  Simple enough, right?!  I found a ginger sesame dressing that was delicious on this salad.  I actually got it at Walmart in the produce section, it is the Marketside brand.  I had some yummy homemade fettucine noodles from my hubby's grandma, and they were perfect for this!



Oriental Chicken Salad

Coleslaw Mix
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Sliced almonds
Chicken Breasts
Fettucine or Linguine noodles, cooked al dente
Sliced green onions
Sesame Ginger Dressing

I marinated the chicken in some of the dressing for 3-4 hours then grilled it and sliced it.  Mix the coleslaw mix with the romaine lettuce and pile on each plate.  Mix the cooled noodles with more dressing and chill.  Pile noodles on lettuce, place chicken on top and sprinkle with almonds and green onions. Drizzle with more dressing if desired.

Recipe Source:  My Own Recreation

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Granola Bars


Some of the greatest recipes I have ever made are from ward cookbooks (and maybe a few flops have come from there as well :)  There are some wonderful family recipes shared in these books, and I am very thankful these folks that share are willing to do so!  These are seriously easy...under 10 minutes to make, and I definitely prefer them over the store bought variety.  The boys gobbled these up quick, and we quickly made the second variety shared in my cookbook for a s'mores granola bar (which I'll post another day)!!


Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Granola Bars

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. rice krispies
1-1/2 c. chopped pretzels
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine oats, rice krispies, and pretzels.  Sed aside.  Mix butter, sugar, and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes.  Stir in peanut butter and vanilla.  Add oatmeal mixture.  Stir well and then press into a 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and firmly press down.  Let cool and cut into bars.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in gallon size ziploc bag to store.  Yield: about 24.  

Recipe Source:  Rattlesnake Mountain Ward Cookbook via Angie Thomas

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sriracha Honey Chicken

I feel so out of it when it comes to my little food blog.  I started doing this about 6 years ago as a way to share our family's favorite recipes and turned into quite the hobby!  I want to keep it going, but lately with the whole home building process, 3 small children, and life in general it has taken a back-burner for now.  I do want to keep it going when I can!  Maybe when life slows down a bit I can make my posts a more regular thing :)  

Anyhow, we have been eating a lot healthier around here (for the most part).  We are trying to incorporate more veggies into all meals, and so far so good.  I follow a girl on Instagram and have loved seeing her ideas for eating whole.  This recipe for the chicken comes from her.  See the link below for her blog ;)

Sriracha Honey Chicken

3 chicken breasts, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until almost cooked through.  Drain any juices from pan, add honey, sriracha, garlic, and salt and pepper and cook until the outside of the chicken gets a little caramelized.  

*I served this over rice and stir-fried veggies.  Fried rice would be great as well.

Recipe Source:  Eating Whole


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mormon Muffins

Once upon a time I lived in Ogden Utah (ok, it was almost the first 25 years of my life!).  In Ogden, there is a restaurant that is famous for their...get this...BRAN MUFFINS!!  They call them "Mormon Muffins," and I'm not sure why, nor have I done my research.  In any case, these bran muffins have always been my favorite!  Put a little dab of butter or a squirt of honey, or even some homemade honey butter, and you have a divine treat!  The restaurant is called the Greenery, and it is inside Rainbow Gardens.  So next time you visit O-town, pass by and give these a try!




I won't lie, I haven't had one of these in years, so I won't tell you they are a dead-on match, but they must be close since the recipe is on their website!!!

Mormon Muffins


2
5
1
2
4
1
5
1
4
2
1
cups
tsp
cup
cups
each
quart
cups
tsp
cups
cups
cup
boiling water
baking soda
shortening
sugar
eggs
buttermilk
flour
salt
All Bran Cereal
40% Bran Flakes
walnuts (chopped)

Add soda to boiling water and set aside.  Whip shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs slowly.  Mix well.  Add the buttermilk, flour, salt and mix again.  Add the soda water very slowly.  Gently fold the cereals and the walnuts into the mix.


Spoon 1/8 cup into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.
Muffin mix must sit in the refrigerator over night before baking.  Muffin mix will last one week, covered and refrigerated.  Yields 3 dozen muffins.


Recipe Source:  The Greenery Restaurant

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Delicious Blueberry Muffins with Blueberry Swirl


It has been far too long since I made muffins from scratch seriously...like over 2 years since I tried a new recipe!  It is now time to redeem myself!  So, here we go with a muffin that doesn't only taste good, but is darn pretty to look at!  These muffins have whole blueberries inside as well as a swirl of some beautiful blueberry syrup.  The result is a cakey, moist muffin sure to please anyone!  

Stay tuned, I feel a muffin-baking spree coming on and have lots of recipes on my list to try!  Some are healthy, some just look sinful ;)

Delicious Blueberry Muffins with Blueberry Swirl


Lemon-Sugar Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
zest from one lemon

Muffins:
2 cups frozen blueberries (or 2 cups fresh)
1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping, stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

For the muffins, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse one cup frozen berries under cold water and spread on a double layer of paper towels to dry well. Bring remaining one cup berries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss the berries that have dried on the paper towels in with the flour mixture. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry spots of flour – don’t overmix. This is the key to moist and tender muffins.

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full. Spoon a teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter. Using a skewer (or a chopstick), gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.

Bake until the top of the muffins are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Black Bean Soup

 I have been trying to come up with some new quick fix (no to mention healthy) meals.  My usual go-to on a busy night is chili-dogs, cobb salads, tacos, or grilled cheese and canned soup.  This soup is literally one of the easiest things I have made in a while, and I loved it, the hubster loved it, as well as our 5-year old.  Be sure to use low sodium chicken broth and beans to keep this more on the healthy end of things :)
Black Bean Soup


2-3 cans black beans (do not drain)
2 cans chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
3 cups cooked rice, white or brown
avocado, sliced
grated cheese
tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream
red onion
cilantro
(I have also seen people put ham in this, but have yet to try it)

Blend together the black beans with one of the cans chicken broth. Add black bean mixture, the other can of chicken broth, and salt to a large pan. Cook on medium heat until nice and hot. (You don't need to bring it to a boil).

In individual bowls, layer the rice, then the soup, then the other toppings.

Recipe Source: Favorite Family Recipes

Monday, February 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms



My friends and I were recently discussing (well, like 2 months ago anyway) why peanut butter blossoms were such a traditional Christmas cookie. One of our conclusions was that they are so fast to make. With the I can agree with that. They are a great cookie for kiddos to help with, which is great around the holidays as well.



Peanut Butter Blossoms

48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates (hugs, peppermint kisses, Reeses PB cups...be creative!)
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Makes about 48 cookies.
Recipe Source: Hersheys

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars

For whatever reason, red velvet has been deemed as a Valentines Day treat. I'm guessing it is the wonderfully red color that it brings, but maybe there is a much more meaningful story behind it all ;) In any case, I LOVE it!

Next up, some yummy sugar cookie bars.  They are GREAT!  They match the classic pairing of red velvet with a cream cheese frosting that is just perfect!

Also, check out my other Valentine sweet treats ideas like Strawberry Oreo Cookies and Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie here.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars

3⅓ cups flour
¼ cup unsweet­ened cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bak­ing pow­der
1 cup but­ter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons (one 1-ounce bottle) red food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 8 Oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready. I like to line mine with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup butter softened and sugar until light and creamy. About 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until combined.

Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting.

To make the cream cheese frosting, Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Frost the top of the bars and enjoy!

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic


Happy Day 'o Love to you all!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Out of This World" Corn Dip

I had planned to post this well before the Superbowl, and then life happened.  So here you get it today! We enjoyed our Superbowl time with friends and ate some delicious food, including Completos...something new for me (I'll share about these another day).  It has been fun to live in the state with the Superbowl champs (even when we aren't fans of the team ;)  Just seeing the excitement in the community and the excitement of my husband's co-workers has made it so great.  

This appetizer is great for football parties, or I have also seen it called "poolside" corn dip, so set this recipe aside for summertime gatherings as well.  It is yummy!


"Out of This World" Corn Dip


3 (11-oz.) cans sweet corn & diced peppers, drained
7-oz. can chopped green chiles
6-oz. can chopped jalapeno peppers, drained and liquid added to taste
1/2 c. green onion, chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
16-oz. pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 bags scoop-like corn or tortilla chips

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chips. Chill two hours to overnight. Serve with your favorite chips (I used Fritos and Tostitos) for scooping. Makes 6 cups.

Recipe Source:  Inspired By Charm

Monday, February 3, 2014

Red Velvet Muddy Buddies


I can't believe I have let my blog go like I have with no posts for so long...forgive me!  The transition from 2-3 kids has thrown me for a loop.  That and the fact that my kitchen is so shut off from the rest of the house...it has been hard to find motivation to cook.  But here I am :)

Valentines is such a fun holiday.  I love spoiling the hubs, but love that the kids can get so into things as well.  My Kindergartener is extremely excited to give Valentines to all his buddies in class.  

These muddy buddies are a perfect snack for this month.  Red Velvet is one of my favorite cakes, and so I knew I'd like this recipe.  It did not disappoint.  Make yourself up a batch...it only takes 10 minutes and well worth the effort! 

Red Velvet Muddy Buddies


5 C. Rice Chex cereal
¾ C. white chocolate melts or chips
¼ C. chocolate melts or chips
2 oz cream cheese, room temp
Tbsp. milk
1 C. Red Velvet Cake mix
½ C. powdered sugar
Valentines colored M&M's or other candies
Heart sprinkles for extra decoration and cute-ness

Measure out Rice Chex cereal and place into a large bowl.  Place cake mix and powdered sugar into a large plastic bag or tupperware with a lid. 

Melt chocolates together in the microwave or on the stove top. Careful not to burn and stir until smooth.  Stir in cream cheese and milk (the chocolate will get thicker, but it's okay) Pour chocolate over Rice Chex cereal and stir until coated. 

Dump cereal into the bag or tupperware with powdered sugar and cake mix. Shake, shake, shake until coated.  Dump onto a cookie sheet and let cool.  Mix with extra colorful candies and serve! 

NOTE: Because of the cream cheese, keep in the fridge if you won't be eating them that day. You can also omit the cream cheese all together if you wish...if you do that, you don't need the milk either!  

Recipe Source:  Key Ingredient

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing and Dip

I LOVE Superbowl food!  My hubby's team is still in the running to make it to the Superbowl, and every week I find myself making football munchies to snack on during the game as he cheers them on.  Don't get me wrong, I love me a good buffalo wing or any other deep-fried delicacy, but I feel like I need to get some crunchy veggies on my plate as well to make me feel a bit better about the other things on my plate.  Not to mention this is the time of year when I'm sure you are all trying to lighten things up a bit.  


So here's a recipe you can take to your next football-watching party and not feel the least bit bad about it...and it is delicious!  Try it with veggies, chicken tenders (if you are in the mood for deep-fried deliciousness), or even on top of a salad for a change from the usual old ranch ;) And lets face it, homemade is ALWAYS better than the bottled variety!


Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing and Dip


2/3 C mayonnaise (I used Light)
3 T Dijon mustard
3 T honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 T lemon juice (out of a bottle is fine)
1 T white vinegar
3 T milk
1 T canola oil

Place 2/3 cup mayonnaise in your blender.  Add 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons honey. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon  lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 3 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon canola oil.  Blend it for 30 seconds or so, or until all the ingredients are well combined. 

Refrigerate leftovers. It should keep well for you in fridge for up to a week...longer if you dare. 



Recipe Source:  Jamie Cooks It Up

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Salted Graham Cracker Toffee


I love it when a recipe finds its way to me, instead of me having to search it out.  I like it even better when the recipe comes from someone that has very similar tastes to my own, so I know I'll love it!  My aunt texted me this recipe and said we needed to try it immediately, so I did...and it is awesome!  It is a little different from the saltine cracker version that I have seen plastered all over Pinterest, and in this case...different is AWESOME!

Be warned, though.  When you start consuming this stuff, you will not stop until the entire pan is gone!  So be prepared to give some of it away as soon as it is ready :)  Enjoy!

Salted Graham Cracker Toffee

14 whole graham crackers (I used the honey-flavored kind)
1 bag (8oz) toffee bits
1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped toasted natural almond (I had sliced ones...they work fine)
1/2 c. sugar 
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. (4oz.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay graham crackers in a single layer across foil with their edges touching.  Sprinkle toffee bits and almonds over graham crackers.  In a saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and cook at a rapid boil, swirling pan occasionally, for 2 minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy.  Immediately pour over graham crackers.  

Bake until topping is bubbly, about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over top.  With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares.  Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.  

Recipe Source:  aunt Trish

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights


Next up, some yummy cookies!  I love cookies that are just a little bit different from the norm...hence these cookies.  I know with most people there is a love or hate relationship with chocolate covered cherries.  I really had never had them growing up that I remember, but they have always been one of my husband's favorites.  So we always have a box or two around during the holidays, and I have grown to really like them myself!  

Even if you don't like the boxed variety, these cookies will still knock your socks off!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick) 
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries*
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Melt the butter and mix in the sugar. When the mixture has cooled off a bit, add the egg and mix. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and cocoa, stirring after each addition. Add the flour and mix well. The dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly.

Drain the cherries and reserve the juice.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet, 12 per sheet. Press down in the center of each ball to make an indentation. Place one cherry in each indentation.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat on low, stirring, until the chocolate chips have melted. Start adding in some of the reserved cherry juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the sauce is thick and will glob off a spoon. If it won’t glob off, keep adding juice until it is the right consistency. Spoon a small bit of the sauce over the center of each cookie – just enough to cover the cherry. It shouldn’t drip down the sides.**

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe Source:  Taste and Tell

Enjoy!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

Sometimes I just don't have time to post a recipe.  I don't have time because it gets gobbled up before a picture can be taken!  That was the case a few years back with this recipe.  My hubby remembered how much he liked this casserole and asked me if I knew where I put the recipe.  At least I remembered that much!  So we made it for our very first Thanksgiving that we hosted at our house.  

Don't get me wrong...I like the recipe that uses cream of (insert your favorite) soup and canned green beans.  This one just has a little more love behind it and tastes phenomenal.  Enjoy!


Cheddar Green Bean Casserole
Topping:
4 slices sandwich bread, each torn into quarters
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 cups canned fried onions (6 oz, about one can)  If the store sells cheddar fried onions then go for it!
1 cup cheddar cheese
Beans and Sauce:
Table salt
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, and halved
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1.5 cups heavy cream
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups canned fried onions
For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt & pepper in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl and toss with onions and cheddar; set aside.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
If you are using fresh green beans, fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add 2 Tbsp. of table salt, and the beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.  If you are using frozen green beans, just let them thaw and then pat them dry with paper towels.
Add butter to now-empty Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add garlic, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium, add cream, cheddar, and fried onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in even layer in 3-quart (or 13×9-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source:  Life and Kitchen

Monday, November 25, 2013

Meat Sauce Bolognese

I had my baby!  It happened 2.5 weeks early, but I was expecting it since my other 2 kiddos were each 2 weeks early.  We have had lots of yummy meals brought to us, but on one of the nights we didn't have a meal brought in, I was glad I had frozen some extra portions of this yummy sauce.  It made for a super simple meal for my little family :)

There is veggies hidden in the sauce, and they cook down so much your kiddos will never know they are in there.  Definitely a keeper-kind of recipe !



Meat Sauce Bolognese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
2 ribs celery, minced (about 1/2 cup)
Salt
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup dry red wine (or broth)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups hot water, or as needed

Heat the olive oil in a wide, 3 to 4-quart pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, season with salt and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Crumble in the ground beef and pork and continue cooking, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat or remove the pan from the heat and use a crumpled paper towel to drain off any extra fat. 

Add the wine (or broth) and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, toss in the bay leaves and season lightly with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. 

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is dense but juicy and a rich, dark red color. (Most likely, a noticeable layer of oil will float to the top toward the end of cooking.) This will take about 2 to 3 hours - the longer you cook it, the better it will become - but an hour is also fine. 

While the sauce is cooking, add hot water as necessary to keep the meats and vegetables covered. The oil can be removed with a spoon or reincorporated in the sauce.

Serve over pasta.
Recipe Source:  A Taste of Home Cooking