While I'm a homemade tomato sauce girl at heart, I'm also a working mom so jarred sauces certainly have a place in my pantry. My latest obsession is the Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce from Food Network star and chef Tyler Florence. This slightly creamy yet tangy sauce dresses up ordinary spaghetti, especially on a busy weeknight. (I've even spooned it over roasted pork and chicken--delicious). Tyler just launched his line of West Coast Kitchen Essentials, which includes 16 different sauces, brines, salt, marinades, rubs, and a tasty Dijon Glaze. And each product has a recipe on the label to get you started.

If you're in Northern California be sure to stop in one of his two retail shops (called The Tyler Florence Shop) in Mill Valley and Napa--they are packed with culinary treasures and must-haves, from wine glasses and gorgeous kitchen linens to sauces, spices, olive oil, and cookware. (I visited over the holidays and picked up quite a few unique stocking stuffers for my foodie family members!) Tyler also has two new restaurants, one in San Francisco and one in Napa, that serve hearty comfort food (my husband adored his visit to the San Francisco location, called Wayfare Tavern.)