Posts – Page 3 –

Easy, Fresh Garden Tomato Marinara Sauce

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

It's tomato season. And if you're like me, you always have tons of tomatoes from the garden, waiting for you to can them, make salsa, sauces, slice, roast, it's endless! Well I have a super easy recipe that's the most delicious Marinara Sauce you've ever tasted. And the best part, no seeding or peeling. Just throw the tomatoes in, straight from the vine.

4-5 pounds of Vine Ripened Tomatoes (don't bother to peel and seed them, it's not necessary!)

About 1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 whole red or yellow onion

4-6 cloves garlic

1/4 cup red wine, or slightly less red wine vinegar

Tomato paste to thicken

About 3 tbsp fresh, or 2 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of red pepper flakes, or whole chili of your choice

Small bunch of fresh basil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Cut up the onion in chunks, and peel garlic and just slice it in half and sautee in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft, in a big dutch oven, or pot large enough to add the tomatoes'

Cut the tomatoes in quarters or halves, depending how large they are. Add to the pot with garlic and onion and add the red wine, or red wine vinegar and pepper flakes.

Optional: I grow cayenne peppers, so I throw one of those in with the tomatoes instead of the flakes and let it simmer too! It blends right up with the rest of it.

Now let it simmer on medium-low until they cook down and soften. About 30 minutes or so. I just go about my business and stir them once in a while. 

When everything is bubbly and soft and smells delicious, use an immersion blender (or put in a food processor if you don't have one). Add some tomato paste. About one small can, or if it's in a tube, squeeze some in until the texture is right for you. Blend it all up until creamy smooth. 

Chop the oregano and basil, put the sauce back in pot, (or if you had the immersion blender, it's still in the pot) and add the fresh herbs. Let simmer for another 15 minutes. 

 I promise you, this is the yummiest Marinara Sauce you will ever taste! 

Read more →

My Super Easy, Super Delicious Salsa Verde

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

Salsa Verde is an authentic Mexican Salsa that adds flavor and zest to any dish. Use it on enchiladas or as a dip and I promise you, everyone will love it!
This recipe made about 4 pint size jars of salsa that I canned. If you want less, it's ok to cut the recipe in half.I use 6 fresh Jalapenos because I like it hot! If you want it milder, use whatever tastes good to you.
Salsa Verde
I find tomatillos the easiest thing to grow of any vegetable. They re-seed themselves and grow like weeds all over our yard and garden!


  • 2-3 pounds of tomatillos, husked
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole onion, cut into about 8 pieces
  • 1-6 Jalapenos, or chiles of your choice
  • About a handful (you choice again) of fresh cilantro
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water


  1. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile peppers into a saucepan. Season with  oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the Cilantro and Lime juice after cooking. I use an immersion blender because it's easier. If you don't have one, use a regular blender or food processor and blend in smaller batches.until it's smooth.
Read more →

About Me

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

Cooking School in Cambodia 
I have been fascinated with food my whole life.  I grew up in a household in the 60s and 70s where my mother did all the cooking and she was a master! I didn't realize it at the time, but we were blessed with amazing, wholesome food all around us. We had a 37 acre fruit orchard in the Napa Valley filled with plums, prunes, apples, and pears. Every summer  as little kids, we would pick lugs of fruit to  sell  at our roadside stand. My parents had invested in some cattle with one of the neighbors and we had fresh, grass fed beef from happy California cows. We had a pond on the property stocked with Bass and Bluegill and my Dad would take us out fishing all the time in our little row boat. I learned to clean a fish at the age of 6. We had two creeks, one on each side of the house filled with blackberry bushes where we would pick cans full of juicy blackberries all summer and try not to return too bloody from all the thorns.
Dad and Me fishing circa 1965
My Mom was a wonderful cook. We had tacos every week, at a time when tacos weren't the staple food of Californians. She insisted on fresh, green salad with every meal. I would go to dinner at friends' houses and their mothers would serve up some canned vegetables or frozen peas, or something I wasn't used to and although I was polite, and ate it, I remember thinking how awful it tasted.  When I got older, my parents got chickens. I never realized how different and delicious fresh, grass fed, free range chicken eggs are! The yolks are orange, the fats are healthier, they're full of omega 3s which are fantastic for you and the shells are actually hard to break.
As I have been getting older, I've been much more aware of the importance of quality food, and sustainable agriculture. I'm a bit obsessed with gardening lately. My husband tells me I need a 12 step program for plant nurseries! It seems I can't pass by a plant for sale anywhere without at least stopping to inspect them, and usually buying at least something for my gardens, whether it be food or flowers.
I'm newly semi- retired, and part of the reason I quit working full time is so I can stay home and nurture my gardener's heart growing a great variety of foods, and tending to my back yard chickens, who are Tillie McPeckerson, Twinky Dink and Ginger.  They give me three beautiful eggs every day, which is more than my husband and I can handle, so we end up giving lots away to family and friends.
My Grandson Logan with my three girls.
My other passion in life has been travel. I have been fortunate to travel to 6 continents, and eat a lot of amazing food from other countries! I even snuck in some cooking classes in India and Cambodia.
Watching and helping my Mom in the kitchen taught me most of what I needed to know to start me on a lifelong exploration of food. I have never liked following recipes, and feel I have a natural (or learned, not sure) instinct when it comes to seasoning and mixing flavors. Up until this point, I have not been writing down my recipes, just throwing stuff together every night for dinner.
 I've decided it's time to tie together my homegrown harvests and some very simple, farm to fork recipes, gardening tips and ideas for producing organic, sustainable food. I will be recommending products, books and movies to expand your knowledge base as well. Click on my store to see my beautiful Home and Garden wares, and sign up for my blog!
Join me on my food adventure!
(One more picture of  my grandson...
just because he's adorable and he loves to cook with his Bubby!)
Read more →

LeAnn's Yummy Garden Pasta Sauce

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on



Summer's here and it's that Tomato time of year again! I love all things tomato...and I've created this yummy sauce to preserve, or use tonight. 


Pasta Sauce: Ingredients

Oil Poached Tomatoes (super easy, click for the recipe)

1 tbsp sugar (optional because sometimes garden tomatoes are sweet enough on their own)

Salt to taste

Fresh basil, chopped

1 large red onion chopped

2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, or ½ cup red wine

2-3 serrano chiles chopped (optional)

You can also add a little vodka and cream whole simmering for a delicious addition to the sauce. (About 1/3 cup of each).

To cook:

Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to large pot

Saute onions, basil and peppers until onions are translucent.

Pull the tomatoes from oil and add to food processor  along with the 2 tbsp of olive oil from the poached tomato mixture, all of the garlic and herbs (stems removed) from the mixture. Whirl until just chopped.

Add to onions and basil, then add sea salt to taste.

Simmer on the stove for about an hour, up to several hours, covered on low. This makes the richest, sweetest most intensely flavored pasta sauce!  I use it for lasagna, but you can use it for any pasta.

 Check out our Homdox Pasta Maker to complete your "Farm to Table" experience!

Read more →

LeAnn's Awesome Lasagna Recipe

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

Lasagna is one of my favorite meals, and it's really quite easy to make, once you've done it a couple times. This one is using my pasta sauce with oil poached tomatoes.. I love starting with one thing and building on it. I keep the oil poached tomatoes in the freezer, so I can just pull them out and make sauce out of them or toss them on pasta or crostini any time!

Start with a delicious rich sauce and you can't go wrong!


Full quart size jar of homemade pasta sauce or you can use store bought, but I would get a good quality one.

1/2 large eggplant, skin on, diced in about 1 inch cubes

1 small onion diced

4 cloves garlic minced

about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 pound italian style sausage of your choice (I love spicy chicken italian).

Any lasagna noodle you prefer. I use the brown rice no boil ones. They're easy and delicious and good for you!

8 oz of good quality ricotta cheese

About 3 cups (12-16 oz) good quality Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

About 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese shredded

Homemade or store bought basil pesto (about 1/4 cup. I make fresh pesto from my garden basil and store it in the freezer, so I use this of course.

Start with your lasagne meat sauce:

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and add eggplant, onion and garlic. Slice open sausage casings, scoop out the sausage and add to the pan. Cook, stirring often until sausage is cooked through. Eggplant should be soft and onions transparent.  When that looks done, add the sauce. turn it down and let it simmer while you're preparing the rest of the lasagna.

Now layer it up!


While the sauce is simmering, pour your Ricotta Cheese in a bowl and add pesto and stir together.

Use a standard 13"X 9" baking pan and scoop out enough sauce to line the bottom of your pan. Now add 3-4 noodles to  line the bottom of the pan. Scoop on 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the Ricotta mixture, and 1/3 of the Mozzarella cheese. Repeat this for 3 layers.  Top with Parmasan cheese, cover with foil, and bake at 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Take the foil off and let it bake for another 10 to get a brown crusty top.

Yield: About 12 single servings


Now get all the supplies you need to grow a garden so you can make these yummy meals too, from farm to table. Here's what I recommend!


Read more →