the easiest homemade pizza sauce

Ok, so I am a total sucker for cuteness.  Cute babies, cute little tiny anythings, and cute hearts.  Especially when those hearts are in unexpected places.

Like pizza!

The Cutest Pepperoni Pizza & The Easiest Homemade Pizza Sauce!

So yeah, the heart pepperonis were totally not my idea.  I’m sure I saw them on Instagram or Pinterest.  But man were they just too cute to resist.

They did take a few minutes to make, but it was easy and fun and totally worth it!  (Kind of like cutting paper snowflakes, except they’re just hearts, and you’re cutting pepperoni instead of paper!)

Heart Pepperoni Pizza

Of course that’s not all I’ve got for you today.  If you’ve been hanging out with me for long, you are very familiar with my Homemade Pizza obsession.

What you may not know, is that I have never made homemade pizza sauce before!  I don’t even know why, except that I seemed to keep picking up jars of Trader Joe’s pizza sauce and thinking that had to be easier than making some myself.

Well, you know what?  It’s not any easier!  Seriously.  Ok, maybe 2 minutes of work is too much, but you guys, this sauce is so good and so worth it.  Give it a try next time you run out of pizza sauce!

The Cutest Pepperoni Pizza & The Easiest Homemade Pizza Sauce

the easiest homemade pizza sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don't like a little spice!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in the garlic to sauté for about 30 seconds, until very fragrant.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil quickly over high heat and then immediately reduce to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better, the flavor only intensifies as it simmers!).

When you are about ready to start assembling your pizzas, turn off the heat so the sauce can cool back down a bit.

This should be enough for 2-3 pizzas (or one batch of my favorite homemade pizza dough). If you have leftovers, cool completely and store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 weeks!

http://sweetannas.com/2015/02/the-easiest-homemade-pizza-sauce.html

 Now go make some pizza!  (And Happy Everything-Hearts Week!) 

quick, creamy tomato rosemary soup

I made a couple loaves of honey wheat bread last night in a fit of “I need to bake bread right now”…  these fits come over me occasionally, and I have learned to never ignore them.  Bad things happen when I do (extreme grumpiness, binge snacking, etc.).

Even if I lose sleep because of it, baking homemade bread is always a good idea.

So, of course all day those loaves were staring at me and calling my name over and over and over again.  I tried to be good and only eat 2 12 slices, but I knew I needed to use up the rest of the bread to keep myself from snacking endlessly on it.

Grilled cheese for dinner, it is, then.

And what goes better with grilled cheese than a great homemade tomato soup?  Nothing.  That’s what. Nothing goes better with grilled cheese than a great bowl of creamy homemade tomato soup.

quick, creamy tomato rosemary soup | Sweet Anna's

Especially if said soup is rich and creamy and laced with fragrant fresh rosemary.

So, here is my favorite tomato soup for you to try!  It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it goes perfectly with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Trust me.  Dinner tomorrow.  You won’t regret it!

quick, creamy tomato rosemary soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease (or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
  • 4 oz (half of an 8oz brick) cream cheese, softened

Directions

In a large dutch oven or deep sauce pan, heat the bacon grease (or olive oil!) over medium heat until it's nice and hot. Dump in the onions and carrots and sauté until just starting to turn golden, seasoning with the salt & pepper and stirring occasionally.

Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for about 30 seconds, until very fragrant. Stir in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, stirring well with a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or as many as several hours, until you are about ready to eat.

About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the softened cream cheese. Keep stirring occasionally until it is melted and then taste the soup for seasonings. Add some salt & pepper, and more rosemary, if needed to get the flavor you want. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes if you are anything like my family and like some kick to your soup!

(At this point you can use an immersion blender for a few minutes to get a creamier soup, or leave it the way it is and serve. I serve it both ways, depending on my mood!)

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches, or garlic toast, and enjoy!

http://sweetannas.com/2015/02/quick-creamy-tomato-rosemary-soup.html

If you like your soups creamy, PLEASE invest in an immersion blender.  You will wonder how you ever did without one!  This is what I have, but I’m sure as long as it’s sturdy, it’s fine. It’s just so much easier (and less messy!) than using a traditional blender.  Worth every penny!

spiced honey nut granola

I’m standing in my kitchen surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of baking granola.  The sweet, spicy smells and the anticipation of the perfect crunchy satisfaction are almost driving my bonkers, and my stomach is growling insistently.

There is almost nothing better than baking a batch of fresh, homemade granola.  It is so incredibly simple to throw together, and the scent of granola in the oven is just plain heaven.  The sweet, nutty, cozy aroma just screams fall!

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Have you ever made homemade granola?  If you haven’t, now’s the time!  Making granola is about the easiest thing you can do in your kitchen.  (And it’s an easy hands-on project for the kids too, if that’s your sort of thing!)

With less than 5 minutes of prep, and into the oven, sometimes I think I could make granola every day.  We snack on it by the handful and enjoy it on our morning bowls of yogurt.

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Of course, I rarely seem to be able to make the same recipe twice (there are just too many fun variations of granola to enjoy!) but this spiced, nutty version is definitely one of my favorites.

And really, what’s better than a quick bowl of homemade granola and yogurt on a busy fall morning?!

spiced honey nut granola

Yield: makes about 8 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups sliced almonds, or other chopped nuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, spices and salt.

(I like my granola pretty mild since we usually eat it with yogurt and jam. If you want a sweeter granola, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup!)

In a small bowl, melt together the coconut oil and the honey in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted (you can also do this in a small pan on the stove).

Stir the honey mixture into the oat mixture until well coated. Spread evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in the nuts, and then bake another 15-20 minutes, until the granola is golden.

Remove from the oven and cool completely, stirring occasionally as it cools to prevent big clumps (unless you like big clumps, then by all means, leave it be!)

http://sweetannas.com/2014/10/spiced-honey-nut-granola.html

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What’s your favorite way to eat granola?  On yogurt?  With milk?  Just plain??