Thursday, October 24, 2013

Frankenstein Pudding Cups

I had a friend of mine's 3 daughters today because I wanted to do a fun Halloween snack with them. We decided to do the Frankenstein Pudding Cups and they loved them!!

We started with the following supplies:

Clear plastic cups
Permanent Marker
Vanilla Pudding
Green Food Coloring
Crumbled Oreos

By looking at this you can probably figure out what to do but just in case..we started by making the faces on the cups then we mixed the pudding with coloring the pudding in a separate bowl, so that the cup can be filled and less mess around the cup. Put the mixed green pudding in the plastic the crumbled oreos on top of the pudding and YUMMY!!
As you can see the orange strips on this cup my mom thought she would get fancy and we had some orange frosting left from another Halloween Treat - stay tuned for the instruction for making Witches Hats :)

Happy Thursday, all!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

Okay, I know I am not the only one that gets in the baking mood when cold weather rolls in. I just can't get enough warm sweets, my sweats and a full DVR! Maddox went down for bed the other night and my mom and I decided to whip these yummy creations up. 

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

2 containers Grands Crescents
About 3 Honey Crisp Apples - or apples of your choice

Start by slicing up the apples. Roll out the cresents and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then roll up the apple in the crescent.

You can also drizzle caramel over the apple before rolling it up :)

Bake for about 11 minutes or until the crescent is browning.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tater Tot Casserole

Happy Friday Friends :)

Since being home with Maddox, I easily lose track of the days. We are constantly up to something whether its story time, getting groceries or feeding the ducks at the park...the days just seem to fly right by. Tomorrow Maddox will be 7 weeks old already. I am excited for him to grow and learn but is there anyway  to slow down time....???? Before you know it his first day of school will be here!

A day in the life of me right now starts at about 5am and very rarely going to bed prior to 10 or 11. So tonight we had a cake order along with my parents, brother and his girlfriend as well as my father in law over for dinner. So for some reason I always plan like's all in one night but that makes it fun!! I decided to do something with not too much prep work and that is pretty hearty, sounded like a good night for Tater Tot Casserole. While most people don't need a recipe for this I threw some mixed veggies in with it so I thought I would share a slightly tweaked recipe I found.

 Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

2 Pounds Ground Beef, browned and drained
32 ounce bag of Tater Tot
One 10 3/4 ounce can of cream of celery soup
One 10 3/4 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon each Salt, pepper, and garlic
16 ounce bag of mixed vegetables
  1.  Brown ground beef in a skillet and add soups, vegetables, and seasonings.
  2. Place in the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
  3. Top with shredded cheese.
  4. Add Tater tots on top of the cheese.
  5. Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
And mommy brain I forgot to take a picture until I already had it dished up! HAHA...

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes and Maddox Update

After several weeks of unknown issues with my computer I think I have finally got it back to normal - it's a GREAT feeling!!

With that being said...we now have a 6 week old baby boy !! :) It really is a blessing to have a healthy and happy baby. We are loving parenthood! Looking forward to our first holidays with the little guy!

Maddox was born on August 31st at 3:17pm. After 50 hours of labor we were so happy that journey was over and the next on had begun!!!!

This is Maddox as we were leaving the hospital...

And obviously the little guy has grown quite a bit since then

Here are some Twice Baked Potatoes that we had this week with some Baked Chicken.

Twice baked potatoes

 4 large baking potatoes
 8 slices bacon
 1 cup sour cream
 1/2 cup milk
 4 tablespoons butter
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
 8 green onions, sliced, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
Bake for another 15 minutes. ENJOY :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

3 Cups Quick Oats
3 ripe bananas
1/2 Cup whole wheat flour 
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Toppings as desired, I used some M and M's and on half I added chocolate chips on top when I put in the oven

1. mash the bananas with the oats until smooth (using a fork is easiest)
2. mix in brown sugar
3. mix together flour, baking powder and cinnamon then add them to the banana and sugar mixture
4. mix in any adding toppings- chocolate chips, fruit or nuts. Or you can spread them on top like I did.
5.On a cooking sprayed sheet or dish lay out the bars, you can make into shapes if you choose as well.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes
7. Let cool for a few minutes or eat warm:)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Cheerios Bars

So who has not had these a time or two right?

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars...mmmmmmm tasty

As I got home from work tonight it was like nesting but in full force baking mode. I made Banana Bread, Homemade Granola Bars, Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars and Homemade Blueberry Muffins. Woosh, on top of it being 99 degrees outside, hot oven and being 9 months pregnant...yeah I was sweating! I was able to freeze a couple of the items and the rest will be eaten before too long.

I had to snag a picture of the bars before there was a whole row gone. My mom said, do you have any of those Peanut Butter Cheerios, I said sure while I just started to whip them together. She quickly ate two before they were even cooled off :)

So, if you are looking for a 5 minute snack just throw these together!!

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups Cheerios

In a large sauce pan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, allow to boil for about a minute, remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add cheerios and mix until coated.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

High 5 for Friday

Today is Friday and I'm back to blogging - what a time to get back into it with mear 6 days
of pregnancy left. Well 6 days give or take some...hoping to take!

What are your Top 5 for the week?

1. false labor - 7 hours of false labor? yeah, that is how I spent my Tuesday night this week. I was really hoping that was it so I finished making out some last minute bills, putting things away, doing Maddox's laundry etc. Dale was prepping to get the garbage out, sprinklers off and fridge cleaned out. He was like a Mr. Mom ! I guess I should have taken some pics because that may not EVER happen again. My husband and housework - don't quite go together...

2. cooked freezer meals - I had went to the store and bought groceries to make 8 freezer meals, LAST WEEK. After my false labor I thought well maybe I should get to moving so I spent one night cooking up meals for us to have in the freezer for when the little one arrives. I will be posting recipes soon!

3. envoy is fixed - My car has been a nickel and dimer this year, after all I did just pay it off so that is bound to happen, right? This months fix was a bad wheel bearing and I can tell you that for the expense it was WELL WORTH IT! I have a quiet car again :)

4. started Christmas shopping - yeap, I'm that girl :) super prepper. I like to have things done in time and I love buying for Christmas so I started with stocking stuffers for my niece and nephew and of course can't wait to buy my little man his first Christmas present :)

5. saw a movie - Dale and I went to see the movie 'We Are the Miller's' - now we loved The Heat but I have to say I really think that The Miller's topped that. HILARIOUS MUST SEE!!

Have a great week and I hope the next High 5 will include the announcement of our son :)

Freezer Meal - Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Prep time:  20 mins 
Cook time:  30 mins 
Total time:  50 mins
Serves: 10

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Medium Onion, diced
3 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
10 Medium Flour Tortillas
2 Cans Red Enchilada Sauce

Preheat oven to 350

Cook the chicken breast for about 25 minutes or until done. Once chicken is out and cooled, shred it up and set aside.
Mix cheese, onion, chicken and 1 can red enchilada sauce in a bowl.

With a large scooper, fill each tortilla with mixture. Roll it up and place it in large 9×13 baking dish with seams down. Repeat until all chicken mixture is used.

Pour the second can of enchilada sauce over the top.
Top with cheese.

For a freezer meal - Let thaw, preheat oven at 350 degrees and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until melted and bubbly.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, lettuce beans or rice.

Friday, August 16, 2013

D-Day is Coming :)

With only 11 days left until my due date, the BIG DAY is coming! :)

Though the pregnancy has been extremely easy, I think it's time for it to come to an end. We are ready to meet our son.

We are now at the - 'wait, did we forget something' stage. Did I make sure to wash all of his clothes, did we pack phone chargers in the bag and finally is the car seat all in check? This list never seems to stop, my mind has not stopped running for the last two weeks! Did I do this, do I need to rearrange his drawers again, YES I did say AGAIN :)

Did I clean his ceiling fan? Did I vacuum his closet? - Yes, I am that clean freak. Those that know me know that I get it honest. I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to do before the little man appeared. It started with wiping down the wood work in the whole house and went on to shampooing carpets, washing windows, cleaning ceiling fans, washing doors, rearranging closets to cabinets, trust me it went ON and ON :) BUT in one day I did all but pull out the appliances! Did it kick my ass? Yes most defintely but that might have been the only night I slept through the night without getting up for a bathroom break in 9 months HA!

Does everyone feel the need to clean this deep before and baby, probably not but I did and I can't wait to bring the little man home to a clean house and just enjoy his presence!

This weekend I have planned to stock up on freezer meals, that's IF I don't go into labor :)

I can't wait to share the pictures when our son arrives! Stay tuned for the announcement of his arrival!


Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Raspberry and lemon are such a great summer pairing, why not make a cupcake with the two together??

You can't make it with one flavor stronger than the other and this recipe is the perfect combination! The cupcake is topped with a smooth Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with some fresh lemon peel.

Yield: 2 dozen

For the cupcakes:

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups (8 oz.) sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon, preferably organic
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
Juice of 1 large lemon

For the frosting:
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp. fresh raspberry puree*
Zest of 1 lemon
Candied lemon slices, for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Go Red for Women

I had the opportunity today to participate in the local Go Red for Women - American Heart Association Awareness Luncheon. While at the Luncheon there were several guest speakers, 2 locals, a doctor and a few videos. While no one wants to hearthe risks and statistics of Heart Disease - it was an eye opening experience. 

As I sit there and listen to the surviors of Heart Disease and realize they are thankful forever day they are here with the condition they have and that all it takes is one ignored sign of a heart attack. Be aware of how your body feels!

I guess the thing I think about more and more these days since I am about to bring a child into this world is - don't live with regrets. Make sure you live your life how you want to live it.

I think I was meant to post this sappy message because I also on the radio this morning was listening to a segment about how terminally ill patients were asked what their top regret is in are a couple and please don't let this be you. Don't be scared of the doctor and don't be scared of your body!

1. Wish I would not have worried so much about what other people think of me.
2. Wish I would have taken more risks to get what I wanted.
3. Wish I would have stayed in touch with more friends.
4. Wish I would have spent less time working and more time with family.

While these are just a few - take a look at what you may regret and I challenge you to change that :)

Here are a few pictures from the event today :) These are just a couple of my dearest friends.
Above is my lovely cousin and I - both of us are expecting :)
Kelly is due mid October and I late August
Above is a co-worker and close friend, Pam. Glad we were able to attend this event.
Above in the middle is another great friend - Ally.
And the feistiest (is that a word?) my Aunt Giulia ;)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Scratch Strawberry Shortcake MMMMMMMM

This past weekend for part of Father's Day we went to brunch with my Father-in-law and then made it over to Long Grove for some fresh strawberries off the patch! :)

This is a great day for those fellow strawberry lovers - I think what Dale at on the way to the car went faster than they can pick these things!

If you live in Iowa you really should take a visit to The Pride of the Wapsi 

They have Strawberries, Raspberries, Pumpkins and Corn ( all in the appropriate season )

I think with all the cakes we have had lately Dale was ready for something different - so for his birthday he wanted Strawberry Shortcake!

I had never tried making it from scratch but I thought why not. Dale always says do this or that from scratch and of all times he said just buy Bisquick hahaha

So, I surprised him with this for desert!

To make the Strawberry Shortcake you will need 
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons sale
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Whipped Cream - see recipe below

Mix the strawberries with 3 tablespoons of sugar and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an 8 inch square pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Serve this yummy shortcake up with the Whipped Cream recipe

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat it all together until soft peaks form - about 2 1/2 minutes 

I use this Whipped Cream recipe every time (never buy store whipped cream when it is this easy)

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Day My Life Changed Forever

As I ran into someone special tonight and I begin to think to myself how God has been looking out for me lately. Which has prompted me sharing our story of pregnancy.
The gift of life is something that I have wanted since I was a little girl. As most, I carried around a baby doll and dreamt of it being real. Not imagining what I had in store for me in 24 years.
Fast forward 19 years to November 2007 -
I knew I wanted to get married and share my life with someone, however, I never knew I would meet someone like Dale. I was raised around race cars and race tracks. As a daddy’s girl we went to the races together quite often. We then had a close family friend begin racing. I met Dale in this friend’s race car garage. I looked at him and thought, ‘eh, he looks like a nice guy but WAY to old.’ A few weeks later driving into the pit area with my mom, and Kelly (friends wife); we passed Dale. Kelly spoke to him, my mom said, ‘I want you to date him.’ Now, for those who know my mom, we just learn to appreciate when she says ‘I want’. J Love you mom. Whether she is trying to choose my future husband or my nail polish, she means the best! And I love her for that.
                So another few weeks go by, I decided to text him. It was the day before Thanksgiving 2007, he was actually working on his race car that day. We talked ‘secretly’ for about 2 months. There was something that was fun and sneaky about it; maybe it was because my mom didn’t know she got her way HAHA. Then he asked me on our first date the day before Valentine’s Day. Yeap, we were a couple – February 13th, 2007 J
                After only 4 months, we got an apartment together. Things moved pretty fast for a while. The joke still stands that I really wasn’t invited to move in…I did ;) Tote after tote ended up making its way to the apartment! I had lost my job in April while searching for a house and actually in the process of getting one...Pretty soon it was June of 2009 and we bought a house.
While then getting back to the workplace, I started at HON in June 2010. We got engaged that September. May 12th, 2012 I would be Mrs. Tetmeyer. We were so happy. I was so happy. I had never pictured myself with a man like Dale. I never thought I would meet someone so much like my dad. Someone who will put me before him. Someone who wants me to be happy. Now, while this things sound selfish, I was extremely happy.
In April, we decided to start trying for a baby. Our wedding was the next month, we thought we would get a head start. So at the beginning I had read a couple of books, articles, blogs, etc. Nothing to in depth, I thought ‘oh, people make it seem so easy let’s just wing it’ I had already been tracking menstrual cycles for a few months and things were normal. Every 28 days. So I thought oh maybe we will get pregnant right away. I mean, how hard can this really be, 14 year olds get pregnant these days. I am married we love each other so much that we would love to share our love with another being, that we created.
A 3 months went by we had negative tests. Each month I tried something new, OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kits), Digital OPK, a new Fertility chart, and more. We gave ourselves 6 months and we would go the doctor. So in mid October 2012, we went to see a Specialist. She did her exam, talked (unfortunately we already knew everything she was telling us) but it was getting one step closer to a baby. Everything is normal but in order to do any further testing you have to be trying for a 12 months. We were excited to try again next month, but not the next. It was becoming more of a chore for us, than actually trying to make love. While being frustrated, it put a lot of distance between Dale and I. We knew it was not healthy but we felt like we were not even connecting anymore. We let that go and the next month we tried a little less, while I still used OPK; we were not as demanding and tied up in trying. We pretty much laid low for the next month. I finally said let’s take a break. Now, I know that we have only been trying for 7 months; it was really taking its toll on me. It was hard for me to concentrate on anything else but think, ‘I am a woman, why can’t I do what a woman is meant to do?’ Dale was blissfully patient on the outside but frustrated as well. We were going to take November off and just have fun.
In November, we had the opportunity to go to Jamaica for a family wedding (it was beautiful). Since we were not really trying to conceive, we took a nice vacation. Another honeymoon, as we called it! We had my family of 25 there for 7 days and it was absolutely blissful!!
Dale went to Germany a week after we returned from Jamaica, I hosted a couple Holiday events, worked on something’s around the house and spent so QT with my little brother J Dale returned 8 days later. I was feeling crampy, crabby and tired – you know - the normal monthly symptoms. It was a Thursday, the biggest snowstorm ever, I drove to the Dollar Store just to buy a test. I was to the point of needing to take one for confirmation every month that I was not pregnant. So I took it secretly while Dale was shoveling snow so my tears could be gone by the time he came inside. After a few minutes...seemed like an eternity - I looked at the test and there were two lines...(thought, this has to be wrong I better take another one). So I took another one...this one said positive as well - I was also a day late - could it be?!
I wanted to tell Dale in a special way but in all honesty I could NOT WAIT! It was about 6pm, he came inside and I was standing there waiting with the test in hand - to this day I am really not sure what I said. All I know is we stood there with tears of JOY! PURE JOY!!!! It was 5 days before Christmas so we decided to wait to tell our parents until Christmas Day. LONGEST 5 DAYS OF MY LIFE!! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Surprise Announcement !!

Alright readers... I have been on a small sabbatical and I have missed blogging but this week and next are my best attempts to get back to the groove.

One of the reasons that I have not been posting is because I have been keeping a small secret that just seems to be everything I think about and I was trying not to share until we knew for sure that everything was good to go...

Dale and I are finally expecting!! :) We will find out on Monday what our little nugget is - meaning we are officially 5 months pregnant.

I look forward to sharing the updates with all of you!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Man and Sandwich Cake Auction Cake

We had the opportunity to make a cake for the Muscatine High School Cake Auction this year for a local business and friends of ours.

Avenue Subs logo is what they wanted so there was some brainstorming and planning that went into this cake. We took some helpful hints from Cake Boss and used the best of our abilities to complete.

While I will admit this really tested some patients it was well worth it :) It was our first cake like this and really not perfect but it turned out pretty darn good. 

We started building the figure buy gluing together PVC pipe and screwing it temporarily to a board to assist for sturdiness. We then started building the figure with Rice Krispie treats and covering with frosting to smooth out the imperfections.

After the Krispies were covered in frosting we starting rolling out fondant and covering it.

The cake stood about 2 - 2 1/2 foot tall.

We screwed a board to hold the sandwich that was actually cake, frosting and fondant veggies.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

• boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 4)
• 1/3 cup flour
• olive oil
• 1/2 Tbl. salt
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 3 Tbl. ketchup
• 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
• 4 Tbl. brown sugar

In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour the flour in a small bowl. Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.
The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.

After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White Sauce Canadian Bacon and Italian Sausage Pizza

White Sauce Canadian Bacon and Italian Sausage Pizza

1 pkg. refrigerated pizza crust (I use Pillsbury thin crust)
1 c. garlic Alfredo sauce
Green Peppers
Black Olives 
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 pkg. sliced Canadian bacon
1 pkg. cooked Italian Sausage
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1 c. cheddar cheese
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread pizza crust on greased baking sheet. Brush olive oil all over crust and spread on minced garlic. Spread Alfredo sauce on crust all the way to the edges. Layer on the goodies and top with cheese. Put in oven and bake for an additional 10 - 15 min or until the cheese is bubbling. Let the pizza stand for a couple of minutes before cutting.

Below is another pizza I threw some BBQ pork on. It tasted mighty fine as well. We had it to use up so we thought, let's throw it on a pizza. I just used Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce instead of Alfredo sauce. Slather on the ingredients and go!

You could also try freezing these as frozen pizzas!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cheddar and Mayo French Bread Spread

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine. At first I thought, mayo on bread - interesting. Once I cooked it, absolutely the best bread EVER. This recipe is made a lot in our house. We have it with pizza, pasta, or with even burgers. I recommend trying this recipe because it is easy and delicious.

All you need is...
1 loaf french bread -
          I had to do with Garlic that's all the store had. I did have to scrape off the butter they had on it.
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 T. parsely
1 t. garlic salt

Pre-cut french bread 3/4 through. Combine all ingredients and slather on bread. Place on baking sheet or foil and place in the oven on broil. Keep your eye on the oven, this can burn really easy! Remove from the oven once mixture is bubbling and bread has turned golden brown. Pull apart and serve.

Friday, January 25, 2013

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Pudding Cookies

I think these cookies are only for some people. My husband loves cookies but doesn't care for these. I on the other hand love them as they are so moist!

White Chocolate Snicker doodle Pudding Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz. package white chocolate instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. cinnamon sugar for rolling


Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.
Add eggs first, and mix in, then add remaining ingredients (reserving the cinnamon sugar). Mix well.
Scoop out with a cookie scooper (about 3 tbsp. worth) and roll the dough ball in the cinnamon sugar, coating completely.
Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until slightly golden and just set in the middle. Let cool on baking sheet.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Alright, so let me start by saying this was a crazy last minute thought that turned out to be a good one. I was not sure how I would do on this one, but hey it tasted pretty damn good. I don't know I will ever buy a jar of Spaghetti Sauce again...well maybe in a pinch :)

Here you go - ENJOY!!

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped and divided
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
2 pounds hamburger (at least 90% lean)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 14-oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 carton fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 1/2 cups beef stock or beef broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 of the onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until no red is showing. Drain beef slightly. Blend up the remaining onions and red pepper in food processor
until mostly smooth. Add mixture to the garlic, onions and beef and stir to combine, cooking for another minute. Add tomato paste and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined. Add tomatoes, beef broth and sugar (and mushrooms, if using). Stir until combined and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

NOTE: The sauce will seem watery at first but will reduce to perfection after simmering for an hour. I’ve let it simmer on the stove for up to three hours before with no problems.