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  • Lindsey, EDRD

Happy birthday, babes.

We're in the midst of the 5-birthdays-in-six-days stretch at our house- all four kids plus myself. Originally we had planned on throwing a li'l party on Saturday but of course we downgraded that for safety.

So glad I bought a box full of party decorations a month ago.....argh.

It's hard for me to believe it's been another year already and that now I have 2 2 year olds (yikes), a 4 year old, and a 6 year old.

She fell off the swing and face planted into the dirt. Typical Annika, still all smiles though!

Meanwhile sissy Sabrina has been not so politely refusing her naps about half the time now.

Big brothers got new police station and airplane Lego sets.

And we celebrated by making our favorite homemade pizzas and ate them picnic style, 'cause that's what you do in Minnesota whenever the weather is above 50 degrees, ha.

Per their requests, I made each boy a cake. Fred wanted a blue stegosaurus and Mac wanted a green tractor.

Not exactly cake fails, but fortunately they were both super pleased.

As for celebrating myself? Let's be real- as long as I have Amazon Prime, I tend to treat myself whenever, wherever. Today's stroller walk was equal parts I-need-my-vitamin-D and let's-see-if-this-can-induce-labor.

Back to the pizzas- I need to let you in on the sauce. THE SAUCE. The make-it-or-break-it flavor for your pizza. For starters, it's easy and doesn't take much time. I use this sauce for pasta too. Just promise me you'll spend the extra $2 and get the can of San Marzano tomatoes instead of basic canned tomatoes. San Marzanos are from Italy and have a lower seed count and lower acidity so they translate into amazing sauce.

Pizza Sauce

-1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes (the only kind my store has is whole, which is fine- they don't have to be diced)

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1 tablespoon red wine (can sub red wine vinegar or omit completely)

-1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon pepper

-1/2 teaspoon sugar (please don't omit- it's such a tiny amount but really makes a difference flavor-wise as it cuts the little bit of acid)

-1 teaspoon dried parsley (or ~1 tablespoon fresh chopped)

If you want to get fancy you could add fresh chopped basil

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepot over medium low heat. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If I'm on top of my game, I'll let this simmer for close to an hour.

If you have an immersion blender, use that to puree the tomatoes, but otherwise just going to town with a fork will do the job fine too. I personally don't mind a slightly chunky sauce!

Pair on your favorite pizza crust (my go-to is always from The Pioneer Woman) or pasta, and top with veggies and cheese.

Makes about 2 cups worth of sauce, which is always enough for the 4-5 mini pizzas we make.

Happy birthday to all my babies! Messy faces, lack of naps, and time consuming cake requests, yet I wouldn't change a thing!

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