Living Simply, Part 2

I’m not quite sure how many parts to this series there will be, but I’m certainly learning more and more each day about simple living.

1. You will engage in long discussions with spouse about seemingly insignificant (but totally significant) items. For instance, yellow onions. I lost. We have none. Waiting until next grocery trip.

2. When forced, you can use up so many ingredients in the fridge and learn to forgo those that simply are not around. Thinking outside the box and letting go of ‘musts’ or recipe-fixations is necessary.

In addition, we are identifying new ways to become simpler on a daily basis. For instance, no more cable. Done and done. Also, I really need to stop driving to work. I work about 1 mile from my house but I can’t seem to move my butt fast enough in the morning hours to have 10 minutes (maximum) to get there by foot or bike (it also snows a ton up here). Alcohol is on the restricted menu. We’re learning to forgo the after-work cocktail and simply go for water. And the library is headed to the top of our fun and free resource list!

In the coming weeks, I will learn to tackle coffee (which is sounding a bit intimidating right now), limit the use of my iphone, checking of facebook, and more. I will also find more time for sewing (Mom- I promise your 2-month late birthday present is coming soon) and reading (without falling asleep) and (hopefully) exercise.

As far as shortcomings, there are plenty. Was the whiskey really necessary for husband’s sore throat? I’m still skeptical. Did I spend more than I should on new running shoes? Yes. But it was in the name of health and wellness. And cuteness. Crap. Did we spend more than we should on a show and some alcohol that we ended up leaving early from? Yes. Did the recipe I’m about to share come from a cookbook I won on this wonderful website? But it was free! … but it wasn’t necessary.

As I’ve mentioned, this is all in an effort to de-clutter life; To grow closer to the things in life that matter most (my feelings, friends, husband, and Creator) and realize that it isn’t the material objects that matter the most. I know it will not be a perfect attempt, but one that is worked on a daily basis. In reflection, we spend so much of our day disengaged – surfing the web, wanting things we can’t have, ‘vegging out’ in front of the tv. How much more can life become if we take away these distractions and start living life to the full? I believe this is possible! It’s going to be a long road full of temptations from seemingly ‘normal’ life, but in fighting the tide, I believe more life can be lived.

On here, expect much simpler recipes. This may be great to hone in on my basic cooking skills- to know that so many things can be done with just some flour, salt, and water. For instance, tortillas! Joda and I find tortillas to be a staple of our diet. But when faced with a small chicken, yellow and orange peppers, red onions (no yellow, of course), some salsa and sour cream, but NO tortillas – our only thought is to make them from scratch. And let me tell you, make them from scratch we did! They are so simple and easy and have a little toasted, fresh from the skillet taste! MMmm, I’m still thinking about them now!

Flour Tortillas

From Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day by Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

Makes 6-7 depending on size.


2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

3/4 cup lukewarm water (~100°F)

1 1/2 teas. Salt

2 T. olive oil


Mix all ingredients in stand mixer or with wooden spoon. Let sit for 30 mins.

Preheat cast iron skillet on stove and keep on medium heat. Break off golf ball-sized bits of dough and roll into 6-8″ rounds dusting with flour to keep it from sticking to your hands, rolling pin, and counter. Lay tortilla on hot pan and cook for about 30 seconds on each side – until each is toasted and bubbly.

Top with your favorite ingredients! It’s definitely worth trying, a ton cheaper than buying them from the store, and delicious!

With love,

from Jess’ kitchen

PS. This cookbook is great, and highly recommended 🙂


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