Simplicity.

I’m all over the place.
What about you?

I mean, one moment I’m focused on homework.  Pragmatism and Literary Theory!!  Yes, I’m going to learn everything it means to be a pragmatist.  I’m going to read all seventy-plus pages assigned (with extremely small font) and enjoy it!!!!  It’s going to be a smashing good time!

Next moment, I’m reading Joy the Baker and daydreaming about warm apple cinnamon coffee cake http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/10/apple-cinnamon-coffee-cake/. More like thinking of ANYTHING I might bake.

And the NEXT moment, I’m painting my nails purple, only to erase it (erase?) and start over.  Candy red is def the new purple.  Defffff.

And between five classes, two clubs, seventh grade tutoring, rock climbing, and Bible study…….life gets a little jumbled up.  Like a jigsaw puzzle.

You know what I need?  You know what I think you need too?
Cookies and milk? – Heck yah!

A foot massage? – Anytime.

Vacay in Paris with a friend? – Of course!

Bubble bath with coconut scented bubbles….that are actually pink!?!? – Oh my 🙂

Quadruple-decker BLT and EXTRA LARGE pumpkin milkshake???? – Ok, that’s a little overdoing it, don’t you think?
…nawww.

I know.  I know what I need in one word: simplicity. 
Simplicity is totally welcome in this mixed up world of my mine. 
It comes from enjoying a good book while drinking coffee.
It’s listening to the rain patter against the rooftop, while doing absolutely nothing else.
It is giving a friend a smile, but reveling in the silence.  True friendship does not need endless words to fill in the gaps. 
Simplicity is making dinner with a few good ingrediants. 
In short, I would argue that simplicity comes in a can of tomatos.

I mean, there is nothing easier to make than spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce.

This is probably by far my most favorite go-to meal.  It is a winner every time, and is always welcomed.  Who doesn’t like pasta?  Who couldn’t eat pasta every single day of the week?

The only ingrediants you’ll need are olive oil, garlic (fresh pleeeeeeze), a sweet onion, canned plain tomato sauce, canned whole tomatos, fresh parsley, italian seasoning, butter, sugar, salt and pepper.  Now, remember, you can switch many of these.  Say you don’t have fresh parsley.  Not to worry!  It will still be delicious.  If you only have crushed tomatos, just use them.  Only whole?  That’s fine!  Heck, if you’ve got some fresh tomatos laying around, throw ’em in!  We’re being flexible here.

I’ll give the recipe in its entirety at the end of this post, but please feel free to switch things up.  I never actually use a recipe when I make tomato sauce.  Just make sure that garlic is involved and all the stars will align in your sauce making world. 

What else could possibly be this simple?  Garlic bread. 
Key word for the day: garlic
The stuff is gastronomic gold. 
And that was a fine example of alliteration………and just a teeny bit nerdy.

I’ll attach the recipe for this as well.  
One note to any student from UWGB reading this: Erberts and Gerberts bread makes excellent garlic bread.
Just remember to use plenty of butter.  The calories are worth it 🙂

Basic Tomato Sauce
makes enough for two….or one really hungry college student!

1 tbls. olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic

1/2 med. sweet vidalia onion, minced

1 15oz can plain tomato sauce

1 15oz can whole tomatos roughly chopped

handful fresh parsley finely chopped

italian seasoning to taste

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp sugar

thick pat of butter

Ok, so as you’ve probably noticed, many of these ingrediants are not specific in the quantity.  It’s kindof a taste as you go thing.  Since I don’t use a recipe, I don’t have exact measurements.  Just go with it!  If you taste as you make the sauce, it should turn out just fine.

First saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil at medium heat until translucent and soft.  Add both cans of tomatos.  Add fresh parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  If you have a red wine available, I recomment adding a splash at this point.  Let sauce simmer until the flavors just meld together.  At the end, correct the taste with more salt and pepper if needed.  Add sugar to taste.  I’d say I used roughly 2 tsps.  This cuts down a little on the acidity.  Add butter and stir till blended.  This adds an unctuous velvetiness that takes the sauce from ok to fabulous. 

Serve with pasta.  Preferably, cook some of the pasta with the sauce after draining the noodles.  This will cause it to adhere to the noodles, which makes for a better, less watery consistency. 

Garlic Bread

One baguette (or loaf Erbs and Gerbs bread!!!)

roughly 1/2 stick butter (this depends on the bread)

4-5 cloves garlic minced finely

garlic powder

fresh parsley

salt

Again, there really is no recipe…just guidelines.  Just make sure there is enough butter to almost saturate the bread.  Come on, it’s garlic bread!!! There is going to be a ton of butter.  Deal with it.

I melt the butter and mix it while warm with the garic, handful freshly chopped parsley, a little garlic powder, and a few shakes salt.  Split the bread horizontally, leaving an edge still attatched….like a brat bun.  Pour in the garlic butter mixture and wrap entire thing in tin foil.  Wrap it as if it were a sandwich and put in 400 deg oven.  After a lil while unwrap the foil and lay the bread buttered side up in the oven.  Let bake until golden crispy on the edges.

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