My Favorite Easy Recipes

When you are pressed for time, it can be pretty difficult to find enough minutes to put together a homemade meal. However, we all know how important it is for our health to eat as many times at home as possible, since the food served by eateries spread all over the place tends to be loaded with salt, sugar, fat and preservatives. For people who have little time on their hands, I am writing down two of my favorite easy recipes that my family and I absolutely love.

 

French omelet

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French omelet is the type of recipe that takes under 15 minutes to make and it counts as a very filling, nutritious meal that you can make at home with minimum of ingredients. Everybody loves eggs as they are extremely tasty, while packing a lot of proteins. If you are cooking for one person, 2 eggs are enough, but if you need to cook for more people within a short time, add 2 eggs for each person. The good news is that the preparation and cooking take about the same, no matter how many people want to have omelet in the morning.

 

So, here is a short list of ingredients:

–        2 eggs per person at the table

–        A dab of butter

–        Salt

–        Pepper

–        Shredded cheese

–        Diced ham

–        A bit of water

 

Beat the eggs in a bowl, with the water, salt and pepper. Water serves to have a fluffier omelet and it is a good trick, from what I have tried. Place the butter on a heated pan and let it melt. Pour the beaten eggs over the butter and gently cover the entire pan, so that your omelet starts looking like a pancake. When you notice the top surface is no longer liquid, spread the cheese and ham on one half, then take the other half and cover the first one. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Pasta with tomato sauce and sausages

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Another tasty meal that you can put together really fast and is also one of my favorites is pasta with tomato sauce and sausages. As you can see, I am taking the easy way, since I do not combine pasta with any pretentious topping.

 

Here are the ingredients:

–        One pound of pasta (anything works)

–        Olive oil

–        4 sausages

–        A cup of diced tomatoes

–        One sliced onion

–        One crashed garlic

–        2 tablespoons of vinegar

–        Salt

–        Pepper

–        Grated Parmesan

 

Prepare the pasta as indicated on the package. Usually, you need to boil them in hot water with a bit of salt for several minutes. Take them out and drain them. On the side, prepare the sauce. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the onion and the garlic. Stir until they are soft, then add the sausages, sliced if you prefer, but it is not a requirement, and cook everything together for 5 minutes. After that, add the tomatoes, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to your liking. This would take about 8 minutes. At the end, pour the drained pasta and gently mix everything together. Serve with grated parmesan on top, for extra taste.

Making Crepes and Pancakes at Home

Easy desserts have always been right up my alley because I do not always have enough time on my hands to put together something really elaborate. Over the years, I noticed that what I really love making (and eating, of course) are pancakes and crepes. I will tell you now everything I do to make these easy desserts at home with zero headache.

 

The simplest recipe in the world

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One thing I really like about pancakes and crepes is that the composition for the batter is really simple and available for anyone. Just with a few ingredients that you normally have around the house, you will be able to create a dessert everyone in the family will love. Here is the recipe I use.

 

The ingredients:

  • One cup of flour
  • One cup of milk
  • Two eggs
  • A bit of sugar
  • A bit of salt

 

The batter is obtained by mixing all of the above together. To tell you the difference between crepes and pancakes, the latter needs a batter that is not as runny as the one for crepes. Basically, crepes are thinner, while pancakes are thicker, so this reflects in the way you create the batter. The above list of ingredients is for crepes, so for pancakes, add more flour to obtain a thicker batter. In case your batter is too consistent, here is what I do (a small trick learned from my mom): I add a bit of water little by little until I obtain the runny type of batter I want for crepes.

 

My savior: the crepe maker

 

Although you can use a normal pan for making pancakes and crepes, I found out over the years that getting the exact thickness I want is really tricky this way. So, one day, when I learned from an acquaintance that she is using a crepe maker, my reaction was: “what is that?” As soon as I saw the machine what it does in action, I decided that I needed one for myself. So I went straight to the computer, and ordered mine online.

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There are a few things I really love about my crepe maker. For instance, it comes with several temperature settings, so if I do not want crepes or pancakes that are too well done, I go for a lower setting. The pancakes I make all look the same, not what really happened when I used a normal pan. And the best part is that I do not have to scratch the pans after I’m done with cooking! So, from my point of view, it is a really great idea to purchase a crepe maker and take it home with you. This is an investment I am sure I am not going to regret anytime soon.

Here’s a review of my model:

 

Why I enjoy working at a museum

I worked as a museum curator for many years and I simply loved it. I never once thought about switching professions and I looked forward to going to work everyday. Recently someone asked me why I enjoyed working at a museum, and I found it hard to answer the question. Not because I didn’t know why I loved my job, but because I simply didn’t know where to start. So if you’re reading my blog, here is why I enjoy working at a museum.

 

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Always interesting

 

Never once did anyone hear me say that I was bored with my job. Since I’m pretty sure you’ve been to at least one museum in your life, you know how many exhibits there are. Even the smallest one room museum has more than one exhibit or artifact, and best of all once you have become familiar with each piece it is changed out for something new. Since I was the curator I also had access to the museum’s storage vaults so I could almost always find something new and interesting to look at.

 

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Learn something new

 

I’m a firm believer that everyone should continue to learn something new, even after they have finally graduated from school. Working in a museum I was lucky enough to learn at least one new fact everyday, and I still try to continue this now that I’m retired. Maybe that is why I was so eager to help my wife with event planning and cooking. Another benefit to continuing to learn is that you’ll never run out of interesting things to talk about, and this will always come in handy.

 

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Exercise

 

You might think I’m crazy for saying that exercise was one of the reasons that I enjoyed working in a museum, but it does make sense if you think about it. As a curator I was responsible for every exhibit in the museum, and I had to know exactly where everything was all of the time. This meant that most of my day was spent walking up and down stairs and along corridors. My wife got my a step tracker one year, and I logged over two miles at work in one day.

The First Thing You Should Consider Making at Home – Yogurt

 

 

Yogurt is an all praised food that everyone should eat every day. Grabbing some yogurt from the shelf at your local grocery store seems like the easiest way to make sure that you are eating enough yogurt day by day. This solution may be the easiest, but have you checked the label on what they are selling in stores today? Even yogurt, a type of food supposed to be healthy, is filled with preservatives and added sugar, just to make it tastier. Personally, I think that natural yogurt, without anything added in it, has a perfect taste, and nothing should be added. If you want to make sure the yogurt you eat is healthy and capable of providing all the benefits doctors are talking about, here is my solution: make your own yogurt at home.

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Homemade yogurt is fresh

First things first, an important difference between homemade yogurt and the type you can get from the store is that the former doesn’t need any preservatives to prolong its shelf life. This means that you will get all the benefits of the fresh byproduct of lacto-fermentation, the process that transforms milk into yogurt. Lacto-fermentation is based on the action of live good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system. Homemade yogurt is much richer in this type of bacteria, so it is much healthier.

Homemade yogurt is great for losing weight

In order to be kept in stores, commercial yogurt needs to be refrigerated, and this makes it less efficient in helping you lose weight, something that homemade yogurt does. Cold yogurt is heavier and more difficult to digest, hence the reduction of its health benefits. Homemade yogurt, on the other hand, that can be consumed as soon as it is ready, is much easier to digest, and it helps with your weight loss efforts in a much more efficient manner.

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Homemade yogurt is richer in everything

The problem with store bought yogurt is that because of the long storage periods, its benefits are decreasing. As I mentioned a bit earlier, yogurt must be rich in live cultures of good bacteria, and these cannot live forever, no matter how packed with preservatives commercial yogurt is. Homemade yogurt is richer in all the important nutrients it contains, when compared to yogurt you can buy from the store. It is richer in calcium, as well as protein, potassium, folic acid, B vitamins and phosphorus. If you decide to go for a yogurt maker these become even easier.

Homemade yogurt is easier to digest and good for your stomach

It is much easier for your stomach to digest homemade yogurt, and this is something to consider. The flora developing continuously inside your stomach is essential for good digestion and for the good functioning of your entire body. It is not far-fetched to say that good health starts with a healthy stomach, and a healthy digestive system, which is why regular consumption of yogurt is highly recommended.

I personally enjoy homemade yogurt better than commercial yogurt because it is tastier, more filling, and, of course, healthier.

A retired museum curator’s blog

After having spent most of your life working inside a museum, when you retire you lose the sense of purpose you once had. I guess it happens to most people who end their professional activity due to one reason or another. Suddenly, you notice that you need to reorganize your schedule by yourself and that some of the excitement and joys that your job provided need now be replaced with other occupations.

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It so happens that I have a numerous family and we all live close to one another, so, at least during the weekends, we all gather at our place (because we have a big porch and garden in the backyard) and we have dinner together. Sometimes we also celebrate anniversaries and special events of our family and hold small parties.

In the past, it was my wife who dealt with all the preparations, helped by other members of the family because I was usually at work. However, she’s still working, so I’ve taken over her responsibilities to ease her evenings. Cooking is not something I’m not familiar with, but I’m no expert, so I may need some practice.

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Before starting a cooking class or something similar, I reckon I should first listen to my wife’s advice and indications, but also scout the internet for simple and healthy recipes – as I’m not longer at an age when I can’t afford anymore eating any types of food. So, from now on, this will be my purpose, that finding recipes and building a new ‘career’ as an amateur cook.  At least in what concerns the aspect of my dishes, my years spent near art and artifacts should be of assistance. When it comes to cooking techniques however, my skills don’t go as far.

Luckily, the internet is filled with video tutorials, step by step recipes, and kitchen tricks to ease your work. I am sure that if I follow them closely I will be able to handle things in the kitchen in no time. Meanwhile, I share my progress on the blog and post easy and healthy recipes that I came up with or that I was taught by others more skilled at cooking than I am. By doing so I hope to receive feedback from my readers in the form of tips on how to improve my recipes and suggestions on how to shorten the amount of time spent in the kitchen.

For the moment, I am assisting my wife in preparing day to day meals while taking notes (literally, I have a notebook and a pen and I write down anything I find to be useful). For now, I haven’t put in practice all the theory, but I hope soon enough I will be able to handle everything in the kitchen all by myself, like a pro.