I decided on my way home from work last Friday that I'd like to make something yummy for lunch for Jeremy. He's been working his behind off in school and at work and he's under a lot of pressure with this Europe trip, so I wanted to treat him.
I started flipping through my tagged recipes in my cookbooks and nothing looked too appetizing. I had The Easy-To-Use Beginner's First Cook Book by Bridget Jones open and started flipping through the recipes that weren't tagged [a walk on the wild side].
I started by heating 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Once it was hot, I added a chopped up garlic clove (recipe also calls for a finely chopped onion, which I skipped). After cooking that for about five minutes, I added about 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (I estimated on that one) and substitued a few shakes of paprika for the pinch of cayenne pepper.
Meanwhile, I was also making some beef stock with Better than Bouillon.
After a few minutes of cooking the herbs in the garlic, I added one pound of ground beef and browned that.
Then, I added a can of diced tomatoes (next time, I will definitely put them in the blender first - was not a fan of those huge tomato chunks), about 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon oregano and pepper.
I mixed all of that together and poured in 1-3/4 cups of beef stock (and skipped the suggestion of 3 tablespoons of red wine).
Bring this combination to a boil, cover, lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes. While it's simmering, stir occasionally.
Jeremy and I had crescent rolls with it and it was delicious (despite the huge tomato chunks).
Jeremy absolutely loved it. He told me it reminded him a lot of the spaghetti his mom used to make when he was growing up.
Jacob ended up having some leftovers a couple days later. At first glance, he said "I don't think this is good, Vicky." I, of course, told him he would need to try it. After eating 2 noodles and piece of meat, he said "Thank you for this delicious lunch!" I finally convinced him to try the sauce "The sauce isn't bad, Vicky, I like it. I thought it would be spicy, but it's not."
I love that I'm using the stove more often and becoming more comfortable with it! This recipe was far from my comfort zone, and, not only was it very good, but I was even able to eat a few smaller pieces of tomato, which is HUGE for me.