A Perfectly Indulgent Saturday

It’s been absolutely freezing lately, but for the past day or two, Mother Nature has remembered that we live in Orange County, and has blessed us with 75+ degree weather. And it would have been a crime not to take advantage of it! So since my dad just returned from a long business trip, my mom, dad, and I decided to take a joy ride down to Laguna Beach and walk/shop, enjoy the sunshine, and grab some sun-soaked lunch. We ate at Hotel Laguna’s outdoor bar/grill, Ocean View Bar and Grill. They have a mean list of specialty cocktails and martinis, with not the worst view in the world (including several dolphin sightings):

Look at how clearly you can see Catalina!

Look at how clearly you can see Catalina!

Picturesque coastline

Picturesque coastline

Of course I had to indulge in mimosa…nothing quite as refreshing as a mimosa and a healthy dose of Vitamin D!

Unfortunately, the afternoon took a nauseating turn of events, as my mom came down with the flu, and my dad’s been experiencing some pretty severe pain in one of his teeth. Therefore, the rest of the Saturday we had planned needed to change. So, I stepped up and nurtured my invalid parents. For dinner, my mom needed something carby and dry, while my dad needed something soft, that required minimal chewing. Pasta was the obvious answer. While my mom ate it plain with no sauce, I decided to get creative and come up with my own pasta sauce. After all, it’s not often I get to cook for my parents, so I might as well make it count! The pasta sauce turned out absolutely delicious, and we’re saving the recipe for our future pasta rendezvous:

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1/2 chopped onion

-2 garlic cloves, chopped

-2 cans of 14.5 oz organic diced tomatoes (make sure the first ingredient in these and ALL tomato sauces is tomatoes, otherwise it’s all a bunch of fake stuff)

-2 tbsp parmesan cheese (I use Trader Joes Grated Parmesan Cheese- there are only 20 calories and 1g fat in one serving!) The parmesan cheese helps to thicken the sauce.

-1/2 tsp Parsely*

-1/2 tsp Oregano*

-1 tsp Basil*

-1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

*I used dried herbs since the cold weather has basically frozen/killed our collection of fresh herbs in my backyard, and this meal was last minute so I didn’t have time to run to the store. But hey, you roll with the punches, right?

I poured this on top of my gluten-free, brown rice pasta since I’m gluten free. It turned out perfectly since the sauce offered the necessary flavor, and cooking brown rice pasta a little longer makes it really soft and a little sticky, so it was the perfect texture for my dad. Talk about a last minute success!

Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan cheese and you've got yourself a healthy, delicious pasta dinner!

Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan cheese and you’ve got yourself a healthy, delicious pasta dinner!

So, despite a potential bummer of a Saturday, it turned out pretty fantastic! Happy Sunday, friends!



  1. Annette Roberts says:

    Love the simplicity of the pasta sauce……..all ingredients that I have in my pantry !!!