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Posted on Feb 12, 2014 in How to simplify

Try it Backwards


When I was young, I was always trying out new stuff.  I guess most stuff was new to me then, so this seemed normal.  I think I may have made a few adults a little crazy with it, though.

Adult: “Why are you (eating, writing, cleaning) with your left hand?  It is slower and messier that way.”

Me: “What happens if I lose my right hand?  I need to practice with my left, just in case.”

Adult: “Why are you sitting with your head hanging off the seat of the couch and your feet in the air?

Me: “I wanted to see how the world looks upside down.”

Like most people who look for a simpler life, I have been thinking about getting rid of the things I don’t want (clutter, wasted time, energy sinks). But really, I simply want to fill my life with more of the things I do want (happiness, nature and people I care about).  Maybe this is true of most people, but I have the habit of being more clear about what I don’t like than what I want more of.

With that in mind, I would like to challenge you to join me in acquiring a new habit.  Yes, developing a NEW habit, not getting rid of one.  Let’s try to think about want we want more of in our lives.  Then, we can make room for these things by simplifying.  We can ask:  If I want more of this, what am I willing to trade for it?

Here is what I came up with this morning:

1.  I would like to get plenty of sleep so I can stay healthy this winter (two colds already!)

The easiest thing to trade for sleep is what I usually do before bedtime.  This is watching a movie or playing Candy Crush.     Since my dog is my alarm clock in the morning, I can look at when he goes to sleep as well: sort of a reverse alarm clock.

2.  I would like to eat more vegetables.

Strangely, this turns out to be a time issue as well.  I can add cleaning and chopping veggies for lunches and dinners to my weekly cooking list.  Steamed fresh veggies with my normal lunch will make me less hungry by the time I go home for dinner.

3.  I would like to get more exercise this winter with my dog.

We might have to move to Florida.  OK, for him, it would be back to Florida. He will need snow boots this year, at least.

OK, we’ll keep working on how to manage this one.

What would you like more of in your life?



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Posted on Feb 10, 2014 in Menus and Recipes

3-ingredient Pasta Sauce


I have been obsessed this year with simplifying my cooking.  As far as I can without eating boring food, at least.

I have a recipe this week that really surprised me.  It is a 3-ingredient recipe for a delicious pasta sauce.  The recipe seems to have originated from Marcella Hazan, the legendary author of some of my favorite Italian cookbooks.

It has 3 ingredients when you cook it, but only two when you serve it, so it almost makes my list of favorite 2-ingredient recipes or 2-ingredient party recipes.

Simple Pasta Sauce

  • 4 cups tomatoes, crushed with their juices included or 2 (28-ounce) cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 c (one stick) butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half

Place all ingredients in a pan and simmer 1 hour.  Add salt if you need it (I did not). Remove and discard the onion before serving.

This recipe makes enough for two dinners, and freezes very well. The sauce does not have the deep red color you might be used to, but the butter adds a lot of richness. Don’t put too much in your dish before you taste it.

It was delicious.

I have to admit it tasted even better with some chopped basil on top.


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