Homemade Tomato Sauce

As requested, a recipe for delicious, fresh, homemade tomato sauce.

If there’s one thing an Italian child is raised on, it’s tomatoes. Italians are obsessed with tomatoes. I’ve even seen it go as far as a dinner conversation centered around the different kinds of tomatoes and their individuals uses – for a whole hour! Anyways, their obsession led to tomato sauce, which is something I think many of us could not live without. They’ve perfected it into one of the world’s best comfort foods, and it’s also pretty easy to make. I’ve taken tips from various individuals and come up with my own personal recipe. There’s nothing like homemade tomato sauce, so enjoy :)


1 – 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 – 6oz Can of Tomato Paste

2 Extra Large Garlic Cloves (minced)

Approx 10 Basil Leaves (ripped into thirds)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

10 Cherry Tomatoes

½ Cup 2% Milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Place olive oil, garlic, and half of your basil into a sauce pan to sauté


Once your garlic is browned, lower the heat as low as it will go, add in tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes (it’s important to lower the heat A LOT so that it doesn’t explode all over you when you pour in the peeled tomatoes). Sprinkle with oregano, add remaining basil, and stir.


Turn the heat up to about a medium flame. Once it starts boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5-10minutes.


While the tomato sauce is thickening you’ll want to peel the skins off of your cherry tomatoes. After you’ve peeled them, quarter each one.

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Once the sauce is almost to the desired consistency, put water on to boil for your pasta. As you do this, add the cherry tomatoes into the mixture so they have about 5-10 minutes of simmer time. Once you’re ready to throw in the pasta, turn off the sauce’s burner, and slowly stir in milk. Let sit until pasta is ready.


Drizzle over or mix into pasta.


Style File: Office Coordinator

Our office coordinator has a courageous coolness about the way she dresses. There’s nothing quiet about how she presents herself. You can almost guarantee she’ll have on an awesome loud print or a bright color if not pasted across her lips. Perhaps what I covet most about her wardrobe, are the true pieces that make it up – her funky fringe jacket, cool vintage pin, artisan rings, and perfectly grunge tee – all seemingly one-of-a-kind (if not so). She knows how to pull them all together with attitude. Whatever look she is going after she makes it fearless and exhilarating. Check out what she wore this week…












I should also mention she’s a pro at braided hair styles!

Now for a little bit more about her, in her own words :)


Getaway: Hong Kong

It’s tough to come up with an all-encompassing answer when people ask me how my trip to Hong Kong was. I jump to, “it was great,” because it definitely was – but it was also more…

The city has a lot to take in. Just walking around, your senses are overloaded with incoming sights and smells like you’ve never experienced before.



Visually, it’s a city full of contradictions. The city is half built on an island and winding up a mountain full of lush greenery and wild animals. As you wander through its labyrinth-like pathways, your eyes take in the many skyscrapers (each a mind-bending architectural fete) juxtaposed against an abundant natural foreground.








The people and setting are a mixture of old-world and new. Modern-day businessmen walk amongst temples and traditional street vendors while at every turn you are discovering something of British influence alongside the Chinese heritage.



And the smells! Markets with strange foods waft new scents your way. Dried seafood, bubble tea, and strange grills line the street.





I loved learning more about some of the traditional Chinese practices. One of which – ancient Chinese medicine – is very interesting. From what westerners who have sampled the remedies tell me, it really works!

I hunted down this neat place where they prepare you remedies using obscure ingredients. Once you are given the makings, you take them home and brew everything into a bitter tea-like concoction that you drink down for healing. It was amazing how busy they were doling out remedies for a crowd of clients.

In addition, I picked up some Tiger Balm which is found everywhere. I’ve fallen in love with the stuff. It works on anything from sore muscles to head-clearing for a stuffed up cold.



Lastly, there was a lot of food sampling on my trip – some good, some bad, and some just okay.

Traditional Dim Sum was as I expected. I’m not a huge dumpling fan, but it was consumable. Sadly, the congee didn’t really fly with my palette. I wasn’t a fan of the texture and overall flavor. What I really fell in love with though, was hot pot and the century egg.

Not only is hot pot a fun sociable activity, but it also tastes great. I made my sesame dipping sauce extra spicy which left me in heaven, but, if you’re not into spicy, you can prepare it however you want and it still tastes great. For those that don’t know what Century eggs are, they are eggs that are buried underground for a supposed 100 years before they are dug up to be eaten. You have to have an open mind to consume these black eggs, but I swear – they taste amazing. Also, if it’s on the menu, order a milk iced tea to go along with your meal. It has a particular, creamy, tea flavor that is well worth the try.

On top of these suggestions, I also enjoyed the variety of noodle soups, munching on dried mango, and hydrating with a selection of great iced teas that comes in fun juice boxes. There are so many things to try! If you ever go, I suggest tasting anything you can stomach. It’s an entertaining eye-opening experience – and for those who like to cook, it’s always fun to expand your horizons.


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Office Style

It looks like the rain has people dressing a bit more casually this week. Today in office style we have some great laid back tees, close-toed shoes, high waters, and cozy sweaters or jackets. Where people decided to battle the elements and thrown on something more put together, we have great combinations of color and texture. Who would have thought to layer plaid over lace or to throw in and pop of blue with rusty orange and zebras? I love it all!

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The Sleeveless Printed Tie Buttondown

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The Dursoduro Maxi Cardigan

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Thursday Poll: September 2011 Catalog

The much anticipated September catalog dropped this week, and in my eyes it’s the perfect depiction of fall – my favorite season. I can’t get enough of activities like apple picking, the smell of crisp air, jumping into piles of leaves…and the clothes, oh the clothes…

I love fall fashion. It’s chunky knits, cozy fabrics, jackets, scarves, and ankle boots. It’s plaids and flannels – furs and fairisle. The September catalog falls nothing short of what I love about fall fashion. I can’t wait to get all cuddled up in these clothes with a good book and a mug of something hot. Which outfit will you all be wearing to enjoy autumn delights?

Look 1

The Ihamana Scarf, Polka Dotted Boho Top, Daisy Chain Plaid Dress, and the Helios Waist Belt

Look 2

The Pretty Cozy Romper and Floral Woven Pullover

Look 3

The Oversized Fairisle Trimmed Sweater and the Vermont Knit Sweater Shorts

oversized fairisle trimmed sweater

Look 4

Textured Turtle Neck, Native Floral Silk Slip, and the Linea Blades Necklace

textured turtleneck

Look 5

The Americana Jumper Sweater and the Medford Lace-up Boot

americana jumper sweater

Look 6

Enchanted Eyelet Dress, Open Stitch Cardigan, and the Devendra Lace-Up Boot

enchanted eyelet dress

FNO 2011: Getting Creative with Free People in NYC

Tonight is our fashion night out event; we’re kicking off fashion week with style!! if you’re around that area please come and join us – we’ll be there with our creative directors and these ever so cool bloggers from Honestly WTF who will be carrying out a special DIY project.

 Here’s what inspires them about NYC

New York in 4 words…

Ambitious, home-away-from-home, sleepless, and fashion, baby.

What we are packing…

We’re totally embracing the grunge-chic trend this season: ankle boots, skinny pants, oversized sweaters and a little sparkle to top it all off. Of course bell bottoms, maxis, and hats will forever be staples in our closets. 

Best Places to go in NY?

 1) We love brunch in NY. It’s a battle between the baked eggs at Café Gitane and the Turkish eggs at Public . . . I’ll have both, please.

2) Christie’s Auction House in Rockefeller Plaza is a great place to go see an art exhibition. Not a lot of people know that it is free and open to the public.

3) Daha in the Lower East Side has the most extensive collection of vintage boots in New York City.

4) Whenever we’re in New York, we always stop by The Little Branch for a sweet libation.

5) Dropping by the first floor of ABC Carpet & Home is always a must – it’s full beautiful things and perfect place to pick up a gift for someone.

One Free People item you’ll be taking into fall…

We’re kinda dying over these Hatchett ankle boots – love the asymmetrical cut and distressed details. They are the kind of boots you live in all season long!

September Catalog Behind the Scenes with Martha Hunt

It’s a rainy, chilly day in Philadelphia and I wish I could jump inside these behind the scenes photos from our September catalog shoot. They have me longing to curl up on the couch in a bulky sweater and drink hot chocolate while listening to records.

Photos by Thomas Northcut.
















How gorgeous is that sunset?! Unreal.

Fashion’s Night Out: Meet Singer/Songwriter Jeremy Current!

Yesterday I told you about one of the band’s performing at our Fashion’s Night Out events, and now meet singer/songwriter Jeremy Current! Read More

DIY Inspiration

Hey guys! I’m not quite ready to share the results of my natural dye experimentation just yet… i need a little more time, so check back for that next week! To hold you over, here’s a lovely little idea from Liz of Late Afternoon:

Spice up ice water (or any beverage for that matter!) by putting berries and flowers in your ice cubes! Just drop them in the ice cube trays before freezing :)  This would be such a sweet touch for a party!

Vintage Missoni now available in Vintage Loves!

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When you think about fashion with amazing prints and patterns, surely there is one name that springs immediately to mind. Missoni. Founded in Italy by designers Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the brand has been known throughout the years for their use of bold patterns, mixed fabrics and kaleidoscopic colors. Our Vintage Loves line has just launched a collection of Vintage Missoni pieces and I was completely blown away when I saw them.  The pieces are pricey but they are fashion treasures, and the colors and patterns are at the very least some pretty amazing eye candy.

Plus, they’re modeled by one of our beautiful home office ladies which provides some awesome styling ideas for how to wear these pieces in a modern way.








Shop the Vintage Loves Missoni lookbook.

Click on top three images for sources.