If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll know the title is from a song. Though whether we’re happy or not may not be  so simple to know. We all clap our hands anyway. Myren, my curmudgeonly chauffeur, says he never clapped his hands in kindergarten when his class sang that song. Big surprise. Myren aside, we all want to be happy.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick. Myren is rolling his eyes and I’m ignoring him because I’m happy—and sane.

After all that reading and studying, I’ve come up with my personal list. Check it out (everyone except Myren) to see how happy you are.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

You don’t even have to like your job if you like the people you work with. In fact, according to Buettner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money.

I can personally attest to the truth of this! (Myren is suspiciously quiet on the subject of workplace happiness. His mouth is clamped shut. I think he may be asking me for a raise later. But I digress…)

3.  You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right?

4.  You are healthy.

5.  You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tellfor happiness.

6.  You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy.

7.  Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, social and sleep—and all those other healthy things like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?LadySleeping

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

(And I’m going to give Myren a big hug because he needs it.)

Tell me what you plan to do to improve your happiness.

 

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You Can’t Drive to Martha’s Vineyard

by Stephanie Queen

BIiPad-RevYou can’t drive to Martha’s Vineyard…

That’s exactly why world-weary ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise settled on The Vineyard when he thought he was finished with the soul-wrenching missions and mind-crushing danger. But he wasn’t finished yet. Not when he owed the governor and the governor insisted on partnering him with her…

Shana George.

They came together like magnets, attracted and repelled by turns, and ended up partners in Beachcomber Investigations, a private detective agency. They work from their world-wide headquarters on the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

Remote and solitary in the winter, yet the island is a stone’s throw from Boston and bustling with vacationers all summer. Populated with an array of characters from edgy to comic, It’s the perfect spot for a couple who has no idea what they want.

Marthas_Vineyard_Massachusetts51It’s also a perfect getaway spot for a vacation at the beach. (Even if the movie Jaws was filmed at Martha’s Vineyard on State Beach–don’t worry–the shark was a prop.) My favorite beach is Gayhead Beach, also known as Aquinnah Beach, with the cliffs and boulder-strewn sand. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the islands towns, giving it a remote feel.

 

Here’s an excerpt from Beachcomber Investigations –Book One by Stephanie Queen:

Chapter 1

Shana darted a glance at Dane. He was leaning on the doorjamb, oozing his ridiculous brand of sensuality, all casual and strong. Visits to the hospital had always been nausea-inducing events in her life experience, but this visit had a whole different vibe.

With all her might, Shana resisted crediting Dane with the reality-defying mood she felt standing in the middle of this room, immune to the scent of antiseptics wafting around her.

Instead, she tried ignoring Dane and refocused on Cap—Captain Colin Lynch—lounging againsthis pillows.

Cap wasbandaged and sporting a sling and a grin as if the bullet in his shoulder had been a movie propand he was playing the role of the injured State Police Chief of Martha’s Vineyard—andplaying that role poorly.

“You’re not taking your injuryvery seriously,” she said.

Cap grinned wider. She squelched a long-suffering sigh, because Cap was not one ofher younger brothers. Far from it. He was a hunk of a grown man if she was in the mood for admitting things.

Her gaze slid back to Dane as he moved into the room. He eyed her, giving her that sizzling stare. The wave of desire nearly unbalanced her until her survival instincts kicked in.

Without thinking, her chin rose and she stepped closer to Cap as if he would protect her.

As if Dane Blaise were a monster. But he wasonly a monsterif she considered legendary war heroes who routinely saved lives—including her own—as monsters.

No. Dane was no monster, but he wasa threat to her well-being. Maybe she was being overly dramatic, but she felt as if he were wielding a knife, with the ability to cut her heart out and shred it to pieces if she were to let him.

She needed to get a grip.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

BeachInvest 4Book Box Set NEW REV CoverGiveaway! 

An e-copy of Beachcomber Investigations 4-Book Box Set which includes Beachcomber Investigations and three other books in the series.

Enter to win by leaving a comment—tell me about your favorite getaway spot!

Meet the Characters: Dane & Shana

TheBeachcombers- Twitter-RevisedMeet Dane Blaise & Shana George, partners in Beachcomber Investigations on Martha’s Vineyard and two of my favorite people. This charismatic couple—or non-couple as the case may be—will answer some probing questions to help us get to know them.

Then maybe you can help them decide whether they ought to be a couple—or not. They are NOT having success figuring this out on their own. Here’s the Q&A for our intrepid characters from the world of fiction:

Q: What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?

DANE: I’ll be the gentleman and let Shana answer first.

SHANA: (scoffs) You’re a prince. That’s what I always say.

DANE: Answer the question, girlie. Honestly. Is it the action, the dialogue or, my favorite, the romance?

SHANA: (eye-roll) You mean your favorite is the sex, not the romance.

DANE: Then you agree—

SHANA: Honestly, my favorite scenes are the action scenes. That’s when I’m in control and in my element and doing what I love and was meant to do. Putting up with on-again, off-again romance with Dane is the hard part. It drives me crazy. But working with him, well, he is the best.

Q:  What do you do for a living?

DANE: Didn’t we say? We’re private investigators. We specialize in big cases—missions—often sent our way by the governor, my old special ops commander.

Q:  What is your greatest fear?

SHANA: This I want to hear—what is it Dane?

DANE: You. I’m afraid of you, Shana.

SHANA: (eye-roll again) You mean you’re afraid of yourself. I’m nothing to you but a pain in the butt except when I’m covering your butt.

DANE: (silence)

SHANA: Okay. I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of—never getting back home to Sydney, Australia, never visiting my Dad’s grave again…

DANE: Heavy.

Q:  What turns you on?

DANE: (looks at Shana)

SHANA: (yet another eye-roll)

Q:  What do you like most about where you live?

DANE: We live on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. It’s mostly a summer vacation place, but I like the solitariness of the winter months all the people are gone and it’s you against Mother Nature. The excitement summer crowd… (shrugs) It’s the cleansing ocean air that I need most.

SHANA: What I like most is living where Dane lives.

DANE: (raises one brow)

SHANA: No sense pretending otherwise. Why else would I stay? It’s the heart-hammering excitement of not knowing what will happen next, but knowing surely that something will happen.

DANE: Oh. That. None of that in Sydney or London? None of that with Scotland Yard where you worked when I found you?

SHANA: Where you found me? You didn’t find me.

DANE: Figure of speech, girlie.

SHANA: Don’t call me that in front of—

And that concludes the interview—before they come to blows. Or something else. You can see Dane and Shana in action all through the Beachcomber Investigations series beginning with The Beachcombers which is currently $.99. The newest book in the series, Beachcomber Test is available now.

Do you think Dane & Shana should stay together or fall apart?

Blurb for Beachcomber Test:BeachTest Teaser

The biggest test of Dane’s life comes down to this: Can he give Shana everything she wants from him?
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise is staking his life on passing every one of Shana’s tests for him. Desperation to keep her with him made him crazy enough to agree to take a divorce case.
He’d sworn never to take a follow-the-cheating-spouse case since the day they’d started Beachcomber Investigations together.

She was tough and gorgeous, but Shana George never expected much from men romantically speaking. Then again, she never thought she’d quit her dream job at Scotland Yard to work as a private-eye on Martha’s Vineyard. There was no explaining how Dane made her crazy enough to hope. Too many times she came close to leaving. Now she can’t live through another round of dashed hope without leaving for good. This case could be her last.

But Even a simple divorce case turns dangerous for Beachcomber Investigations while Dane & Shana’s resolve to stay together is tested to the end.

Excerpt: 

Chapter 1

It had seemed like a simple case. A case Dane had agreed to take because he would do anything for Shana. Now that he was shamelessly in love with her and in full-on convincing-her-to-stay-with-him mode after he almost lost her on Christmas Day.

Shana didn’t trust him yet. She was in full-on test-the-bastard mode to make sure he was for real.

Her first test had been to suggest a trip to Australia to visit her family. He’d agreed. They’d planned it for the fall. They were coming into spring and summer season so it didn’t make sense to leave now. They would wait for the cold weather to travel down under where it would be warm. She had booked their flight and the tic of uneasiness that Dane felt was almost imperceptible.

Her second test had been to accept a divorce case without asking him. He’d vowed never to take follow-the-cheating-spouse cases and she knew it. The muscle clench between his shoulder blades was mild, so he soldiered through.

Now they would be following some nasty middle-aged man around the island for half the season to work up an irrefutable file on him for the wronged wife so she could work the pre-nup infidelity clause and wring every penny out of the sap—or scum, depending on your view—in the divorce. Dane tried hard not to have any view in the matter.

His view was to pray to hell that the man dropped his pants on his first night on island.

No such luck.

Instead, the poor sap—or scum—got himself killed.

This wasn’t any routine divorce case anymore, but Dane wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

*****

He stood in the small kitchen looking at Shana over his coffee cup. The sun shone through the window and glinted off her golden hair so that she looked like she had sparks flying from her. She wore her usual gorgeous scowl.

“Didn’t you do a background check on our client before you agreed to the case?”

He smiled when she narrowed her eyes at him.

“No.” She stood with her hands on her hips, daring him to shoot her down. That, Dane figured, was test number three.

He nodded and walked past her, brushing a hand over the waves of her long soft mane of hair and inhaling the scent of her.

“Where are you going?”

“To the secure phone.”

“What are you? Batman?” She followed after him. She always followed after him. Almost always.

He laughed.

“I’m calling in Acer.”

“Not that I have anything against Acer, but we don’t need him. We can handle this ourselves.”

She’d gotten the call from Captain Colin Lynch at six that morning about the murder victim. Dane knew it was bad when she came back to bed and wouldn’t tell him what the call was about.

He stopped at his old metal desk, the feature piece in his office, which should have been a living room. Shana had brought in a couch, but he mostly used it for a shelf where he threw all the files, papers, mail, books, and any other paraphernalia that got collected during an investigation. Or any other time. He looked at the pile of crap and took a deep breath. Then he smiled at her like he meant it, because he did.

“I’ll do whatever you want, sugar bun.”

“Stop that.”

“You don’t want me to call you sugar bun?”

“I don’t want you doing whatever I want—”

“Can I quote you on that?”

“Don’t patronize me.”

“I’m not. I’m trying to be agreeable.”

“Well, stop. It’ s not you and it’s creeping me out.”

He reached out and pulled her in and held her tight against him. He was hard and she was soft—in all the strategic places—and he let that feeling, of her pressed against him, simmer through his body, hit every nerve, and settle in his head and deep in his soul. She stirred and he reflexively tightened his hold.

“It’s okay, Dane. I’m not going to run out the door if you disagree with me.”

“Of course not. Why would you? I mean, look what you have here.”

He spread his arms. It was half-hearted sarcasm because he wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable, but he’d been feeling a lot of that lately. It was as if he were reliving his teenage years, only inside a forty-year-old body which made the fun parts not nearly as fun.

“I’m looking at who I have.” She sighed deeply and then leaned in and grabbed his lips with her teeth and sucked in, giving him a hair-raising—and other-body-part-raising—kiss. Deep and juicy and thorough.

“You want to go back to bed?” It was a stupid question and he should have grabbed her by the hair and dragged her—figuratively speaking. Maybe another time he would have.

She smiled, moving her hands over his chest. It was a strong, well-muscled chest because in his line of work staying in good shape was a matter of life and death. Evidently even when his line of work was a divorce case.

“Always. I always want you.”

“Then we have something in common—I always want you.”

He moved, holding her in his arms, half dragging her in the direction of the hall to the bedroom. Until she dug in her heels.

“We have a murder case,” she said.  Then she really smiled.

 

 

 

Don’t you love book series?

Box Cover Beach Inv Dark Spine-TransparentIt seems that readers these days are wired for series. The “more is better” way of thinking–and reading–is alive and well. Even Myren, my chauffeur, can’t stop at just one–book that is. (He also has multiple cars, come to think of it. Being a chauffeur and all, I suppose that’s to be expected. I’m not sure if his cars can be called a series… but I digress.)

What’s your favorite series?

My favorite is the Gabriel Allon thriller series by Daniel Silva. Also, my own DSilvaBeachcomber Investigations romantic detective series (Myren is rolling his eyes, but don’t pay attention to him. I’m not.)

It’s all about the characters. When you read a series it’s because you love the characters, find them exciting and fun, find yourself wishing they were real people so you could meet them and be their best friend. (Okay, maybe that last part is just me. After all, my current best friend is Myren, my chauffeur, so you can’t really blame me for wanting a fictional character for a friend, can you.) (Don’t answer that.)

The only thing better than reading a series that you love is writing a series that you love.  Returning to the world and the characters like they’re old friends in a familiar neighborhood, makes the writing easier–though not easy–and all the more enjoyable. That’s what I do and why I do it.

The new upcoming release: Beachcomber Test

Beachcomber Test 3-DBookComing in November will be book 7 in Beachcomber Investigations. Here’s an excerpt from Beachcomber Test.

Chapter1

It seemed like a simple case. A case Dane agreed to take because he would do anything for Shana. Now that he was shamelessly in love with her and in full-on convincing-her-to-stay-with-him mode after he almost lost her on Christmas Day.

She didn’t trust him yet. She was in full-on test-the-bastard mode to make sure he was for real.

Her first test was to suggest a trip to Australia to visit her family. He agreed. They planned it for the fall. They were coming into spring and summer season so it didn’t make sense to leave now. She booked their flight and the tic of uneasiness that Dane felt was almost imperceptible.

Her second test was to accept a divorce case without asking him. He’d vowed never to take follow-the-cheating-spouse cases and she knew it. The muscle clench between his shoulder blades was mild and he soldiered through.

Now they would be following some nasty middle-aged man around the island for half the season to work up an irrefutable file on him for the wronged wife so she could work the pre-nup infidelity clause and wring every penny out of sap–or scum—depending on your view–in the divorce. Dane tried hard not to have any view in the matter.

His view was to pray to hell that the man dropped his pants on his first night on island.

No such luck.

Instead, the poor sap or scum got himself killed first night on the island.

This wasn’t any routine divorce case anymore, but Dane wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or bad thing.

He stood in the small kitchen looking at Shana over his coffee cup. The sun shone through the window and glinted off her golden hair so that she looked like she had sparks flying from her. She wore her usual gorgeous scowl.

“Didn’t you do background on our client before you agreed to the case?”

He smiled when she narrowed her eyes at him.

 “No.” She stood with her hands on her hips daring him to shoot her down. That, Dane figured, was test number three.

Dane nodded and walked past her, brushing a hand over the waves of her long soft mane of hair and inhaling the scent of her.

“Where are you going?”

“To the secure phone.”

“What are you? Batman?” She followed after him. She always followed after him. Almost always.

He laughed.

“I’m calling in Acer.”

“Not that I have anything against Acer, but we don’t need him. We can handle this ourselves.”

She’d gotten the call from Captain Colin Lynch at six that morning about the murder victim. Dane knew it was bad when she came back to bed and wouldn’t tell him what the call was about.

He stopped at his old metal desk that doubled as the feature piece in his office that should have been a living room. Shana had brought in a couch, but he mostly used it for a shelf where he threw all the files, papers, mail, books and any other paraphernalia that got collected during an investigation, or in general. He looked at the pile of crap and took a deep breath. Then he smiled at her like he meant it, because he did.

“I’ll do whatever you want, sugar bun.”

“Stop that.”

“You don’t want me to call you sugar bun?”

“I don’t want you doing whatever I want—“

“Can I quote you—“

“Don’t patronize me.”

“I’m not. I’m trying to be agreeable.”

“Well, stop. It’ s not you and it’s creeping me out.”

He reached out and pulled her in and held her tight against him. He was hard and she was soft—in all the strategic places—and he let that feeling of her pressed against him, simmer through his body, hit every nerve and settle in his head and deep in his soul. She stirred and he reflexively tightened his hold.

“It’s okay, Dane. I’m not going to run out the door if you disagree with me.”

“Of course not. Why would you? I mean, look what you have here.”

He spread his arms. It was half-hearted sarcasm because he wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable, but he’d been feeling a lot of that lately. It was as if he were re-living his teen age years only inside a forty-year old body which made the fun parts not nearly as fun.

“I’m looking at who I have.” She sighed deeply and then leaned in and grabbed his lips with her teeth and sucked in, giving him a hair-raising—and other body part raising—kiss. Deep and juicy and thorough.

“You want to go back to bed?” He figured it was a stupid question and he should have grabbed her by the hair and dragged her—figuratively speaking. Maybe another time he would have.

She smiled, moving her hands over his chest. It was a strong well-muscled chest because in his line of work staying in good shape was a matter of life and death. Evidently even when his line of work was a divorce case.

“Always. I always want you.”

“Then we have something in common—I always want you.”

He moved, holding her in his arms, half dragging her in the direction of the hall to the bedroom. Until she dug in her heels.

“We have a murder case,” she said.  Then she really smiled.

You can pre-order Beachcomber Test a the following places:

AMAZON.         B&N.         iBOOKS.         KOBO.

Let me know what your current favorite series is for a chance to win a copy of Beachcomber Investigations 4 Book Set!

Small Town Christmas Baby – An Excerpt

Small Town Christmas Baby Cover Twins Bow-2I’m very excited for the upcoming Authors of Main Street Christmas box set! It’s scheduled to be released in October and we’ll keep you posted. We’ll have over ten novellas about the warmth of Christmas, romance and BABIES!

My story in the anthology is set in the small (quasi) fictional town of Hamlin, New Hampshire. This is the fourth book in my Small Town Romance series.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s an excerpt from Small Town Christmas Baby:

Chapter 1

Lumberjacks adore New Hampshire. Trees grow faster here than Usain Bolt runs the 40-meter sprint. Julie, not being a lumberjack, had little appreciation for the giant trees with their enormous branches overhanging the Stillwater Inn. They’d need to call the tree chopper guy in again and it would cost thousands. Again.

She turned away from the window and vowed there was no way she would ask her husband for the money this time. She’d find it in the Inn’s budget if she had to make beds herself to save money.

Running her hand over her disappointingly small rounded belly, she turned her attention back to the cupcake frosting. One way to get a bunch of cash quick would be to win the Bake-off in Boston next month. She shoved aside the thought of rumblings from Jack about her needing to take care of herself and concentrate on the arrival of their first baby in a few months. Surely she could do two—maybe three or four—things at once. Lots of women did.

But as of today, Julie officially hated cupcakes. It was a shame because she was starving and she was staring at racks filled with all kinds of gems. But even the smell of her fresh-baked specials didn’t tempt her any more. These days she craved chocolate covered potato chips and hot dogs.

As she squeezed the bursts of frosting on the hundred and twelfth cupcake, the back door slammed and she looked up. It had to be Tammy. Only her oldest and best friend slammed the door open like that. It had always been Tam’s way to announce her arrival.

“You’re in time to help me.”

“You must be desperate. You know how I am with cake and icing—“

Julie waved her tube of icing.

“Not with that. I wouldn’t want your drool to contaminate the cake-lets. I need help with something far more important.”

“What the heck could that possibly be?”

Shoving aside the issue of tree-chopping money—because she knew deep down Jack would talk Uncle Billy into letting him pay on the grounds that Jack was part owner of the family Inn now since he was part of the family—she lasered in on the real gut-twister.

“I need to come up with a show-stopper of a Christmas gift for Jack.” She paused a beat while Tammy predictably rolled her eyes.

“Something I can afford on my own.”

* * * *

More to come when the entire set of Christmas Babies on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street will be available in a few short weeks.

In the meantime, look for the cover reveal soon!

SQ Bakes Experimental Banana Bread!

SQMadScientist

SQ: the Mad Scientist Cook 

Call me a mad scientist-cook, but I decided to experiment with a recipe. Myren’s concerns about poisoning and his reference to Arsenic and old Lace not withstanding, I went ahead with my dangerous risky exciting baking experiment.

My Mission: To make Healthy Banana Bread

To accomplish this goal, I needed to change out some of the horrible killer deadly less than stellar ingredients for healthier options. Which ingredients are those, you ask? Flour, for one.

But flour is kind of a key ingredient, you say. (Myren said it. Many times. Loudly.)

I say–no worries. The usual bleached wheat flour can be replaced. I had a couple of options and I said what the heck (making Myren so nervous he threw up his hands and said why don’t I just blow up the kitchen), I’ll use both!

Instead of using 1 3/4 cups of bleached wheat flour, I only used 1 cup and 1/2 cup of coconut flour (yes, you read that right! COCONUT FLOUR) and a 1/4 cup of hazelnut flour (yes, the nut, hazelnut, can be pummeled into flour–but I didn’t do it myself. I bought it at the store. Pricey, but good and floury.)

My next substitution was for the sugar. (Myren moaned like an old Italian lady at a wake when he heard this.) Instead I used a half-and-half mixture of Truvia (a stevia plant based sweetener with virtually no calories) and the usual crap granulated sugar.

For my third and most ridiculous crazy challenging substitution, I had to find a replacement for the dreaded deadly tasty high-fat shortening. I searched around my kitchen for something with healthy fat and the right consistency, briefly skimming over Myren walking around and waving his hands and yelling for me to stop this nonsense. Then my gaze landed on…

An AVACADO!

I used half shortening and half mushed avocado to make up the 1/3 cup of mushy fatty substance I needed for the recipe.

Then I mixed all the ingredients together, baked it for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees and voila! [The banana bread pictured at the right is the authentic deal fresh from the oven.]*

Here’s a list of the recipe’s ingredients:

  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (wheat, coconut & hazelnut combined)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (half Trivia, half granulated cane sugar)
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup half shortening-half avacado
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups walnut pieces (or as many nuts as you want) (I used a lot.)

Good Luck and let me know how it goes with your experiment!

*I ate this banana bread and it was delicious and I suffered no ill effects (in spite of Myren’s dire warnings. He refused to try it.)

Cooking with Stephanie Queen

ingredientsgrandmagravy

Don’t go by what Myren, my chauffeur, says about my cooking. I’m no pro, but I have my moments of deliciousness in the kitchen. Especially when I get hungry. Then I can really cook.

I think I got my penchant for cooking and food from my Italian grandmother. She could barely speak English and forget about reading or writing. But she could cook any hoity-toity chef from the best Italian restaurant under the table. I’d put her in any of those TV cooking show competitions and bet my house on her. She was a red-headed spitfire and enjoyed nothing more than cooking for a party of people any time. The main room in her home was the kitchen, second was the dining room. There was no living room or parlor or family room. She didn’t need any room extraneous to cooking and eating.

Myren says it’s about time I got to the cooking and recipe-sharing part of this blog-a-treatise. So here it is. My Grandma’s *heirloom* marinara sauce from the old country–otherwise known as Grandma’s Gravy. Watch me cook it up HERE!

The Recipe

 

Stephanie Queen’s Recipe for Grandma’s Gravy (aka marinara sauce)

Ingredients:

  • 2 28 oz cans Crushed Tomato
  • 1 lg can Tomato Paste
  • 3-4 cloves of Fresh Garlic
  • 4 medium – large bunches of fresh large leaf basil
  • ¼-1 whole Sweet Onion, chopped finely
  • Olive Oil
  • Approx. 1- 1 ½ lbs combined Pork, Sausage and beef (cuts/amounts as preferred, but include some with bone-in)

Instructions:

In large heavy dutch-oven pan, cover the bottom with a generous amount of olive oil and add the meat. Saute on medium heat until lightly brown, turning over 2-3 times. Remove meat from pan and lower heat.

Add chopped onion, chopped garlic and basil. Tear basil before adding. Saute for a few minutes, adding more olive oil. Add tomato paste, stir, saute for a couple of minutes.

Add meat back in. Mix in with tomato paste. Add olive oil and stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Turn heat up to medium and add two cans of crushed tomatoes and one half can of water. Stir this mixture thoroughly.

Cover pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-7 hours, stirring occasionally.

Myren also suggests wearing an apron. Right now he’s hovering with a big spoon and a bowl of spaghetti waiting for the *gravy*. Time to go.

What’s your favorite *heirloom* recipe? Please share!