Tag Archives: single women cooking

A Tool for Confidence

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce advice, divorced, divorce the divorce

This is a tool that I use if I am feeling a little down or need to boost my confidence. I remember the three accomplishments I am proudest of in my life so far. Our minds tend to replay our mistakes or the should-of or could-of. That is a habit. But, we can break that habit. Try this tool for confidence the next time you need a little boost.

What would your three accomplishments be? Take some time to think about them. It may not be the first three that you think about. Also, do not restrict it to adulthood, you may have had an awesome achievement while you were in elementary school.

When you are thinking about this, really try to go deep. What is it that YOU think? This is not how you made the most money or the one that your parents were thrilled about. It maybe something that you worked hard to accomplish and did not give up.

My proudest accomplishments:
1. My boys – I did the best job I could raising them and being a mother. I am very lucky that God blessed me with two wonderful sons and I am proud of the men that have become.
2. Earning my Screen Actors Card while in my 20’s. – I gave up my full time teaching job to pursue an acting career. That is a tough business and I worked several part time jobs while trying to support myself. I would take acting classes at night and when I booked my first national commercial, it was fantastic. That SAG card took years of dedication and commitment to earn.
3. Surviving my divorce. – I was married for 21 years and never envisioned myself divorced. It was really difficult in so many ways. First dealing with the betrayal and struggling to survive on my own. I received alimony for only a few months. I was a stay at home Mom, so, getting back into the workforce and supporting my sons was challenging. But, I survived and I am proud that I went from devastation to happiness.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Write them down and next time you are ready for a challenge, know that you CAN do it. You have done it before and that strength and determination is there for you again! No matter what decade you are in, there is more you can and hopefully will do.

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“Tasting Rome” a Cookbook and Travelogue

By: Gloria Marie

tasting rome cookbook

“Tasting Rome” by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill is a combination cookbook and travelogue. The beautiful photographs, wonderful recipes, and interesting texts will make you want to buy a ticket to visit Rome.  If you cannot go to Rome, enjoy the delights of this cookbook. “Tasting Rome” is so much more than a cookbook.

This book combines both traditional and contemporary recipes with interesting stories and facts about Rome. They include recipes for classic dishes like Cacio e Pepe, Pollo alla Romana, and gnocchi di patate di arcangelo dandini.  The authors worked alongside some of the city’s great chefs to develop recipes deeply rooted in Roman culture.

The photographs accompanying the recipes are beautiful, but, I personally enjoyed the photographs of the Roman landscape, people and restaurants.  It is an immersion for the sights and taste of that beautiful, historic city.

In the “How to Use This Book” section the authors explain the use of “q.b.”, which is used throughout the book. Quanto Basta means, “as much as you need.” In the Roman tradition they do not get bogged down with precise measures or proportions. They provide guidelines that you adjust to your personal preference, “q.b”.   This reminds me of my Italian grandmother’s recipes, they did not have exact measurements and I finally know the term for that!

“Tasting Rome” has recipes for pizza, salads, chicken, pastas, and deserts.  But, it also uses some ingredients that are more native to Rome. For example, lingua in salsa verde (beef tongue in salsa verde), coda alla vaccinara (braised oxtail), and fegatelli di maiale (grilled pig’s liver).

Get a copy of this unique cookbook. Plan a Roman meal and dream about your visit there!

I receive this book from Blogging for Books in order to write this review.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Deal with Holiday Stress

By: Gloria Marie

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This is an easy time of year to overburden ourselves.  I was thinking about all the additional things I was putting in my schedule: holiday parties, baking, decorating, gift purchases and holiday dinners.  This list, of course, is in addition to my everyday obligations with work and my home life. I decided in order to really enjoy the holidays and spend time with my family, I would only schedule things that really mattered to me and I would not worry if the holidays weren’t perfect.  When my holiday decorations came down from the attic, I looked at all the boxes and decided that is was not important to put out every decoration and that it was ok that my outside bushes did not have lights. I decided to take some time for myself with the 5 ways to deal with holiday stress listed below.

 

5 Ways to Deal with Holiday Stress 

  1. Does this sound too simple? It is simple, but, it works.  Stand up with your feet flat on the floor.  Place you hand on your stomach, take 5 deep breaths, and feel your stomach go in and out while you breathe.
  2. Develop a spiritual practice. Throughout the holiday season, try to spend at least 5 minutes every day in a spiritual practice. Try meditation, prayer, inspirational reading, or some time in silence. The important point it to practice it consistently.
  3. A good laugh does our soul good.  Watch a funny movie, read cartoons or read a humorous book.
  4. There are many studies that show that exercise reduces stress and helps you sleep better.  At the very least, go for a walk.
  5. Gratitude is very powerful. Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Try to stop and do this whenever you feel stressful.

 

Which of these did you try?

10 Ways to Save Money

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced, divorced women, divorce the divorce

After my divorce, I had to come up with ways to spend less and save money. I no longer lived in a two income household. So, I came up with 10 ways to save money. If it seems too overwhelming to enact these all at once, try a few at a time. Some may be harder to put in place: giving up that spa facial may be difficult or giving up the morning coffee stop. This week make it a point to try at least some of these tips.

1. Limit the number of times you eat out. Instead, have friends over for a pot luck meal. You can exchange recipes. This can be fun and it is low cost. Maybe even watch a movie or play a card game.
2. Practice a 30 day wait on unnecessary purchases. A 30-day wait will stop impulse buys and help you purchase only what you need.
3. Try generic brands of your favorite beauty products and foods.
4. Brown bag your lunch. Add up the cost of eating out for lunch every day, it is probably quite costly. Plan your lunches on Sunday.
5. Develop your grocery list and meals around the weekly grocery flyer specials.
6. Go to the library for books, CD’s and movies. It is free or low cost for rentals.
7. Drop the gym membership. Opt for free You Tube exercise videos or free exercise apps.
8. Clean your closets to make extra money. Sell things you no longer need or want on eBay, Craigslist, or have a garage sale.
9. Make your own cup of coffee in the morning instead of stopping at the local coffee shop.
10. Cut spa costs- buy the products and give yourself a facial, manicure and pedicure at home.

Do you have any money saving tips?

Best Meatball Recipe

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, divorce the divorce, single happy strong

When both of my sons come home, they love for me to cook Italian recipes. I guess it is in their blood, as it is in mine. There is comfort for me to smell tomato sauce simmering in the kitchen. It reminds me of the times I would visit my Italian grandmother and love the smells in her kitchen. Both my Mom and my Grandmother were fantastic cooks. They never used recipes, they would use what fresh ingredients they had to prepare meals. I have many meatball recipes, but, this is our family favorite: the best meatball recipe.

It is best not to over mix the meat mixture. They can get tough. I prefer soft, moist meatballs.

1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
½ pound ground beef
½ pound veal
¼ pound pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup fresh-grated Roman cheese
8 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add milk and bread and let stand 5 minutes.

Add the ground meats, onions, garlic, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until well blended. Mixture should be moist, but should not fall apart when you form into 2-inch balls. I prefer to have them the size of golf balls.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with vegetable oil. Place meatballs on foil lined baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Serve with your favorite sauce.

My boys love the leftover meatballs in sub sandwiches. I put some mozzarella cheese over the meatballs.

These also freeze well to use at a future date. If you freeze them before putting sauce on them, freeze them on a cookie sheet. When frozen, put them in a plastic freezer bag.

Roasted Eggplant

By: Gloria Marie

single women cooking, roasted eggplant, divorced women, single happy strong

Cooking had been a hobby of mine for many years. When I was teaching in the 1970’s, I went to cooking school with my fellow associates. It was sort of a humorous thing to do because I was single and only kept yogurt in my refrigerator. It was called Ralph Varketta’s Cooking School. Ralph would show us how to prepare food and then we would eat what he prepared. One of the best things he taught was how to schedule the different parts of a meal and how to prepare the foods ahead of time. Every month was a different meal and included soup, appetizers, main course and desert. Because of my love of cooking, I am going to feature some of my favorite recipes once a month.This week’s recipe is a roasted eggplant. I had a similar dish at one of our local restaurants and tried to replicate it at home. I served this with a hearty vegetable soup.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant

Fresh mozzarella

Fresh Spinach

Bottle of your favorite Tomato Sauce

Garlic

Olive oil

roasted eggplant, single happy strong, divorce, single women cooking

Salt, Pepper

Slice the eggplant into ¼” slices. It is not necessary to peel it. Sprinkle salt on both side of the eggplant. Let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the salt off and pat it dry. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. Put the eggplant slices on the cookie sheet and brush with olive oil on both sides. Salt and pepper the eggplant. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning them over half way. While the eggplant is roasting, sauté your spinach. Place a few teaspoons of olive oil in a pan, add 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper and sauté you spinach. Get a 13 X 9 inch roasting pan. Put some of the tomato sauce in the pan. When the eggplant is done, place it in the pan. Put some sautéed spinach on top of the eggplant. On top of the spinach add some fresh mozzarella. Put back in the oven at 350 degrees, just until the cheese is melted and the tomato sauce is warm.

What recipes would you like me to include?