Different Omelet – Sophia Loren’s Recipe

Different Omelet – Sophia Loren’s Recipe

I’ve always been fascinated with Sophia Loren. Maybe because even though she’s a big Hollywood star, she has never lost her humility. She never forgot where she came from. And it actually shows in everything she does. Her movies, books, and interviews with her charity work shine the humble beautiful person. She has retained her roots pretty well. She never divorced and raised her children while living in Switzerland. Away from the American Hollywood drama.

What some might not know about Sophia is that she also loves to cook. She published couple of cookbooks. And I purchased one of them on eBay. I love reading through her stories and browsing the old photos while talking about her past and the art of simple Italian cuisine.

You can tell that she has a passion for whole food made at home from natural ingredients made with care and love. You can feel this when reading the book.

Today, I will share one of Sophia’s interesting recipes you can make at home. As the actress says, nothing goes to waste in Italy. Therefore, often when there are leftovers in the kitchen, various frittatas are made utilizing what’s left in the fridge. I’ve found a simple frittata recipe that you can make today. It’s called Omelet Napoletana – Neapolitan Omelet. You can make this omelet as an appetizer for lunch or supper.

Ingredients

6 oz spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
Salt.
Freshly ground pepper.
1 thick slice cooked ham, diced.
2 ounces soft cheese such as mozzarella or Italian fontina, diced.
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 cup fresh tomato sauce

Method

Preheat oven to 425F
Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water until just al dente; drain well, return the pasta to the pot, and toss with 2 tablespoons butter.

Beat the eggs together with the oils, milk, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the ham and soft cheese. Melt the remaining butter in an omelet pan over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. Lower the heat and cook slowly to set the omelet, taking care to keep the omelet from burning or overcooking on the bottom. Lift the edges with a spatula occasionally to let the uncooked egg run under.

When it is nearly cooked through, sliced the omelet onto an oven-proof dish, place the spaghetti over the omelet and sprinkle with the Parmigiano; place the omelet in the oven for a few minutes, until it is lightly browned on top. Serve hot with the optional tomato sauce.

Photos: Britannica.com, cocinillas.elespanol

Recipe and recipe text 1998 Sophia Loren; Library of Congress Cataloging: Sophia Loren’s recipes and memories/by Sophia Loren GT Publishing Corp 

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Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Why is it always so easy to make a ton of New Year’s resolutions, but then it’s so hard to stick to them?

I used to make a long list of all the things “I was going” to do in the new year. In my opinion, it was a stringent way for me to raise the bar quite high for myself. Of course, most of the things that I put on the list didn’t make it to the second or third month of the new year.

Why? You ask…Because I think the list was always too long. Often written in a day. Maybe even on a paper napkin.

No wonder it wasn’t effortless.

Over the years, as I have grown in my own personal development, I relaxed my stringent lists of popular new year’s resolutions.

I always felt like everyone got up at the end of December and screamed: where is YOUR new year’s resolution? You don’t have it? Omg – you’re a loser!

Then I thought to myself, stop this nonsense. I don’t want to make any stupid resolutions. Instead, what if I do easy weekly, quarterly, and monthly goals for myself? What if I made my plans more accessible to achieve? Sort of like dividing all of my new year’s resolutions into small, manageable pieces. What if the entire new year was one big, long resolution split into small blocks of time? OMG – I must be related to Einstein.

And you know what? When I started to implement my goals into small chunks and spread them out for the entire year. I noticed that I was actually able to accomplish them. Bit by bit. Baby steps! A win!

On the other hand, what if I didn’t accomplish a goal? Well, I certainly didn’t cry about it. I just moved that goal into the next week or next month. How easy was that? Isn’t that a much less stressful way to deal with things? Forget about that long new year’s damn list. Who has time for that?

Furthermore, how about patting yourself on the back for accomplishing all the goals you did complete? Even the year before. I think we women sometimes forget and keep the standards so high for ourselves, that we don’t bother looking back at all the things we’ve done.

But glancing and noting progress is crucial to our personal and professional development. That’s why I now keep a journal of all my accomplishments. I write down even the smallest things I achieved. Because, who knows, I might forget. And then who is going to remind me when I’m having a bad day? Nobody.

As such, whenever I feel like I am not accomplishing enough, I go back and read that journal. Then I think to myself – hey – you’ve done a lot in the past few months! Good job, girlfriend! Self pep talk – we all need it sometimes. Then I put the journal back to my files, and I move on to keep treading the path to greatness!

Let’s talk about some examples. Let’s say you want to lose weight. You make a January 1 resolution. Then January 10 is your friend’s birthday party. You go to the party, you overeat. Bam! New year’s resolution is gone! You give up. But if you decided to start over the next day or next week. You still would have a chance to make the resolution. Then why not start over? It’s very simple. Only we make it so complicated.

Another example, at the end of the year, you get all pumped up about the resolution called “get fit” and go out and join a gym. January 1, you run to the gym when everybody and their mother is waiting outside for the gym to open. Did you ever notice that beginning March, April, all the gyms usually get less crowded? That’s because the gym newbies burned out, and their new resolutions failed, so they decided to quit.

In conclusion, let me end this rant with one of my favorite anonymous quotes:

“Every day is a chance to turn things around.”

Yes, my friends, every day we have a chance to make things new and make our own new year’s resolutions and start things over.

Why not make that day today?   

 

Traditional Borscht Recipe

Today’s post is about a traditional borscht recipe.

What do you associate Christmas with? Turkey? Juicy baked ham? Casseroles? Christmas tree? 

Well, I relate Christmas to a steaming bowl of traditional borscht and hand-made dumplings. That’s because even upon emigrating to the USA, we still cook this scrumptious dish during the holiday season. We couldn’t imagine Christmas and New Year’s Eve without this European delight.

Some might think this soup is difficult to make. But that’s only an illusion. And that’s because beets can be quite intimidating when you look at them in the supermarket’s produce section. Nevertheless, all you need is some patience, and the possibilities of creating amazing dishes with beets are endless.

Once you wash the beets thoroughly and chop off the stems – half of the intimidation is gone. The second half is coming up with a good recipe.

As such, I’m presenting my old-time favorite traditional borscht recipe, which I use every year to create the most flavorful wonderful traditional borscht.

Traditional Borscht Recipe

Ingredients
4 liters (1 gallon) of water
3-4 kg (approx 7 lbs) red beets
2 pears or apples
2 parsnips
1 celery root
2 medium-size onions
8 dried prunes or apricots or dates (prunes are the best)

Spices
1-2 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)
Salt/Pepper

Secret ingredient: few dried mushrooms

Method
1. Peel the carrot, parsley, and celery and cut them in half.
2. Wash the beets and cut them into chunks.
3. Put all vegetables, beets, onions, herbs and leaves, apples and plums or dates, and the secret ingredient into a large pot. I add enough water (preferably filtered water) to cover all the vegetables so that the water comes above three fingers. I add a little salt, and I let it simmer for about 45-60 minutes.
4. Next, I take out the vegetables, and I add balsamic vinegar to the pot (make sure you add this after the broth stops boiling). I add a little bit, then taste, then add more according to my desire.
5. I then add crushed garlic cloves and sugar. I add all spices bit by bit and taste the broth until it’s slightly sweet and tangy. I cover and let the borscht rest for 10 minutes so that all the flavors combine. Borscht tastes best the next day and can be frozen ahead.

*Warning: When the borscht is cooking, the kitchen smells divine!

Note: this soup unlike the Russian Borscht, is NOT served with sour cream. 

Final Notes
This red beet borscht can be served with homemade dumplings with mushroom filling, aka “uszka pierogi’ (ear dumplings). Or simply served on its own in your favorite ceramic cup. In Poland, when the borscht is served without dumplings, it is consumed out of teacups along with puff pastry filled with wild mushroom filling. On the other hand, large soup bowls are provided if small dumplings are present. Traditionally, the soup is made only once per year for Christmas Eve but we eat the borscht all the way until New New Year’s Eve. 

This recipe is adapted from Olga Smile.

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Town Of Davidson – Christmas Tour

Are you longing to move to the suburbs? But not your average suburbs but a welcoming, magical town – just like from a fairy tale? I know you are!

If you’ve always wanted to walk out of your house, grab a newspaper (yes, they still sell those down here), and read it outside while drinking a steaming cup of fresh coffee, and maybe even people watch a little – then Davidson is THE place FOR YOU. But you have to watch my entire video (below) to fall in love with Davidson – the enchanted town of North Carolina located in Mecklenburg County.

Once you get here, you will never want to leave. 

“The town of Davidson was founded with the establishment of Davidson College in 1837. In 1835, when the Concord Presbytery sought a site for a Presbyterian men’s college, churchman and planter William Lee Davidson II sold them 469 acres on a high and healthy ridge between the Catawba and Yadkin rivers. The college was named for his father, General William Lee Davidson who was killed fighting the British at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in 1781.” – Davidson Historical Society

Click here for a timeline of town history.

Davidson is a small town located within proximity to Lake Norman and twenty five minute drive to Charlotte City Center. This bicycle and pet-friendly small municipality has a historic college feel with considerable modern updates. The town’s antique feel has been preserved, and locals love to sit outside, play chess games, walk their dogs, meet for coffee, or play sports with their children in nearby green parks. 

Most people visit Davidson’s downtown Main Street area, where its boutique charm attracts locals as well as visitors from Charlotte and even curious tourists from beyond the state lines. 

Want to grab a delicious meal? Check out various local cuisines scattered around the neighborhood. Need a romantic weekend getaway? Book a traditional small hotel called Davidson Village Inn and enjoy breakfast in bed cooked up by Famous Toastery. As its name states, it’s a famous local breakfast establishment with multiple locations. I’ve tried their breakfast on various occasions and was never disappointed. 

As you can see, The Town of Davidson is truly unique, gracious, and beautiful. As a matter of fact, I had no problems striking up a conversation with total strangers. Some of which used to live in NYC or Chicago. It turns out that in Davidson you can say “hello” to just about anyone without them looking at you like you’ve lost your mind. Now, that’s refreshing for a girl like me who used to live in the crazy Brooklyn, NY – where saying “hi” to a complete stranger meant that you wanted something. 

However, that’s not the case here in the south, especially in the warm, and friendly Town of Davidson, where everywhere you go, people smile and are delighted to talk to you. 

What is the secret?

Most probably, the quality of life and careful town government planning assuring that citizens are well cared for, and locals strive for a common goal – creating a vibrant sense of community where everyone is looking out for each other. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it.  

Don’t believe me? 

Check it for yourself!

Watch my Town Of Davidson – Christmas Tour video and let yourself be enchanted. 

Photography: Caramel Chic LLC, Jon Tyson Photo by Annie Spratt 

 

Hungry for more content? Check out Christmas Gift Ideas For The Practical People In Your Life

How To Make It Feel Like Christmas

I recently discovered that most people don’t care much for Christmas despite what others think. I was wondering why this was the case, and thus I did some research. Here is what I’ve found out.

Most of the time, the number one reason people don’t like Christmas is that the intensity of the holiday preparations, all the shopping, and family demands to make things perfect and festive – make people cringe.

I don’t know about you, but if you walk outside and watch the traffic and human behavior around the holidays – everyone is crazed. Why is that?

Well, that Aunt from Australia is coming for Christmas, and we sigh, nobody wants to see HER. Someone might add, gosh, I have to get a present for my boss and have no clue what to get him. And, we sigh once again. Or, the house needs to be cleaned before the out of state guests arrive, and we don’t have money to hire a cleaner—double, sigh.

Besides, the stores have long lines and more rushed stressed customers who probably think the same way. The commercial aspect of buying, buying, and more buying is the real Grinch that stole Christmas. I think we forgot what Christmas is supposed to be like. That’s the whole clue to the miserable feeling. We need to discover how to celebrate Christmas again.

Of course, for those who are religious, Christmas is all about the above mentioned plus the celebration of little Jesus’s birth. So not only do they have to endure the family stress and the “shop till you drop” syndrome, but they also have to make sure that they attend all sorts of church services.

However, for the rest of the people who might think that Hallmark and Amazon invented Christmas – the misery doesn’t get easier.

To make things a bit more understanding around Christmas time, let’s look at the past. What did people do for Christmas 100 years ago? Or 200 years ago? I mean, I’m throwing a considerable year gap that’s at least is still in the history books. Let’s not forget that Jesus was born over 2000 years ago, so there were already 2020 plus Christmases!

Back in the old days, it was unthinkable for shops to be open on Sundays or 7 am or 10 pm. Nobody would come to work during those hours anyway. Moreover, years ago, there were fewer TV channels, fewer commercials, and looking further into the past, we had no TV at all.

As such, constant advertising was not inundating human brains. Also, because the job workflow was not as busy and many women stayed home with the children, there was more time to prepare for Christmas without the stress and the rush.

Furthermore, I don’t think that Abraham Lincoln would have trampled over his neighbors’ heads during Black Friday hysteria, mainly to buy a horse buggy or a leather armchair. Nah, I don’t think he would be into that if he were still alive. I think he’d rather sit in his old chair and smoke a cigar. Indeed, what is wrong with that?

Well, how do I make it feel more like Christmas – you ask?

The best way to get into the holiday spirit is to give the people you love something they can’t buy in the shops. Yet, give them something that they can keep with them forever.

And that, my friend, is time and memories.

I wonder how many people will glance over my blog post right now and laugh—probably many. But I genuinely don’t care because the purpose of my blog is to reach one woman at a time.

So perhaps you’re contemplating today, somewhere on this globe, and you’re reading my blog, and you’re wondering how to make Christmas feel more like Christmas. And I’m telling you how. Give the people you care about your time.

Call that friend you haven’t seen in six months and find out how she’s doing. Meet her for a cup of coffee. Listen to her story. Snap a selfie to create memories. Or, if you have a family, take time off from work, and spend time with them exclusively. But not just for an hour or twenty minutes. Do something with them. Create extraordinary memories.

It’s the stories we create that are the most valuable Christmas gifts! That’s how you make it feel like Christmas. That’s how you make it unique. You don’t have to smoke a cigar like Abraham Lincoln, although truthfully, I simply visualized him like this. I honestly don’t know if he smoked cigars.

Perhaps you have neighbors that you only wave to once a week. Why not bake a pie and bring it over. Start a conversation. Bring your kindness and warmth into their lives. Remember the old movies? People used to welcome new neighbors with pies—that person who received the pie most likely never forgot that moment nor the pie. Little moments like that are priceless.

Kindness is not trendy anymore. Maybe that’s why people don’t like Christmas. They forgot how to be kind.

There is no need to buy aimless gifts and spend a fortune during Christmas. And the house doesn’t need to look better than the Jones’s. A simple, fresh Christmas wreath will do.

Boil a pot of water with cinnamon sticks and orange peels to make the house smell festive. Make a delicious meal. Don’t just order from a restaurant. You do that every week.

Take out that porcelain dinner set that’s been sitting in a box somewhere. Set a table cloth and some candlesticks. Put on a lovely dress or a shirt. Dress it up with a smile.

And in that festive, celebratory mood, spend quality holiday time with your loved ones while singing songs, talking about everything, and laughing until your belly hurts.

Also, show your family and friends that they are important and turn off the TV, turn off the iPhones and iPads. Let go of technology for a few days. I promise – you’re not going to die.

During Christmas, focus on your family. Direct your attention to the people in your life. Listen to their stories, tell them yours, and create incredible lifetime keepsakes that you will never forget.

And THAT, my dear friend, would be a truly wonderful way to create an unforgettable Christmas!

The Grinch who stole Christmas can only remain alive if you let him. In this case, I don’t know; maybe it’s Walmart, or Marshall’s, or Macy’s. It doesn’t matter. They’re all the same. Do you believe that they care about Christmas by telling their employees to work such odd hours? By staying open no matter what for profit? No, they don’t care about Christmas.

But you do! So, do not shop until you drop, do not get sucked into consumerism. Set your priorities with how and what you give and how you spend your time.

Go ahead and create heartwarming, beautiful presents called memories that no department store will ever offer at any clearance event.

Give kindness, give time.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Photography:  S&B Vonlanthen, Chad Madden, Matthias Kinsella, Jason King, Nonki Azariah, Josh Hild, Phil Hearing, Olena Sergienko, Giulia Bertelli, Cris DiNoto, Jametlene Reskp,  Jonathan Kemper, Matthias Cooper

Featured photo: Simon Berger

Text copyright Caramel Chic LLC 


Hungry for more content? Check out my recent post about Christmas Gift Ideas For The Practical People In Your Life 

Christmas Gift Ideas For The Practical People In Your Life

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the practical people in your life? Well, I have just the idea for you!

Enter “Vesta” a beautiful watch from Thümm & Co. This Orange Genuine Leather Hybrid Strap women’s watch is simply a stunner!

You can wear the lovely “Vesta” which comes with a sleek stainless steel case and white enamel finish dial to a business meeting or during a weekend outing with just about any outfit for the pop of orange color. Sporty yet elegant, “Vesta” can be a fantastic accessory whether your wardrobe is casual or formal. I think the wristwatch can be worn on any occasion. The “Vesta” watch can also be worn with a stainless steel bracelet. 

Thümm & Co says: “The stainless steel bracelet that we offer features a five-row paved brick pattern that, like our hybrid strap options, represents both form and substance. The shiny bracelet allows for a supple and comfortable fit on the wrist. All available women’s timepieces that we offer can be equipped with this beautiful bracelet and its jewelry-grade quality, form fit, and lustrous look.”

Thümm & Co, the father-and-son company based in Ohio, lovingly creates everyday men’s watches and women’s watches brand utilizing many years of industry expertise. I love that the country of origin of the materials used in making the watches is displayed on the company website. Also, you can purchase the wristwatches for a lot less than you would in your typical brick and mortar store, where the price would be $425 – $525 for each timepiece.

However, because the wristwatches are sold online only, you pay $175 – $225 for each wristwatch. And, you’re getting a high-quality, well-made timepiece designed in the United States that will last a long time. 

What’s appealing to me is that you receive a three-year warranty, as well as free shipping and free engraving, which you customize on the company’s website. With this sweet deal, you might as well get everyone in your family a handsome, well-made watch. The variety of choices are plenty. And all of Thümm & Co wristwatches are very elegant and quite stunning, as well as simple and beautiful. In my opinion, the look and design of the wristwatches are classic and timeless; the watches will never go out of style. 

Wristwatch Trivia 

Did you know that the first watch was made especially for the Queen of Naples?

From the beginning, wristwatches were almost exclusively worn by women, while men used pocketwatches up until the early 20th century. The concept of the wristwatch goes back to the production of the very earliest watches in the 16th century. By the mid-nineteenth century, most watchmakers produced a range of wristwatches, often marketed as bracelets, for women.” “Wristwatches were first worn by military men towards the end of the nineteenth century when the importance of synchronizing maneuvers during war without potentially revealing the plan to the enemy through signaling was increasingly recognized. It was clear that using pocket watches while in the heat of battle or while mounted on a horse was impractical, so officers began to strap the watches to their wrist.” Source: Wikipedia 

A Wristwatch Christmas Story 

During the Christmas season, when I was a kid, when I still lived in Europe, I’ve dreamed of getting a wristwatch because I knew it would make me look “important” in school. Well, those were different times then. Nowadays, to appear “important,” kids carry the latest models of iPhones; how times have changed. 

Anyway, back to my story, I’ve dreamed of putting on a magnificent watch and arriving at school, emphasizing the validity of my own “importance.” My parents knew I wanted a wristwatch. Actually, everyone in my family did. But that year during the Christmas season, nobody talked about buying me a wristwatch. That year, I was informed that my Christmas present was so huge that it had to be stored in the attic. 

Hence, with only a few days left until Christmas, I went on the prowl in the attic, determined to find my vast holiday present. Apparently, waiting until Christmas to get my gift didn’t really appeal to me. So, I rummaged through dusty, old furniture, and strange forgotten items that used to belong to my grandparents in a quest to find my gigantic gift.  

Few hours and many attempts later, I’ve concluded that my parents must have stored my massive Christmas present at the neighbor’s house because I couldn’t find it anywhere! So, grudgingly, I gave up. I was not going to my neighbors to ask for my Christmas present. That would have been utter humiliation. Therefore, I waited. Patently. Or rather impatiently until Christmas Eve, for my incredible, enormous Christmas gift! 

On the day of Christmas Eve, that’s when we exchange gifts in Europe, I fidgeted at the table and followed my mother’s every move. I envisioned her carrying my huge present on her back, through the door, or maybe even enlisting neighbors’ help to wheel it in the house. The suspense was exhausting. I don’t think I even ate my supper. Where the hek is my colossal Christmas gift? 

Before I had a chance to dig into my dessert, my mother walked up to me, gave me a warm hug, and put a small rectangular box next to my plate. “Here is your present, dear,” she said, “Merry Christmas!” 

I opened the small box. Inside the case, there was the most beautiful wristwatch I’ve ever seen! My very own watch! I was overjoyed! At the same time, I felt like it was April Fools Day instead of Christmas. I looked at my mother, who was quietly chuckling; she then said, “Your endless trips to the attic are over, my dear. THIS is your Christmas gift.” 

I was speechless. Happy as a hippo but bewildered. I guess my mother knew I would find the wristwatch. So she produced an alternate narrative so that Christmas wouldn’t be spoiled for me. 

After that time, I never went back to the attic to look for anything anymore. I wasn’t going to be fooled again. It was a lesson learned; perhaps the watch reminded me of one thing: as the clock is ticking, be patient and let the time arrive at its inevitable moment that is predestined. 

So, that was the very first time in my life that I received a wristwatch. How about you? When did you get your first wristwatch? 

I hope the story inspired you to make someone’s Christmas day special this holiday season. Maybe even by getting them a wristwatch… 

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! 

Photos copyright: Thümm & Co. 

Featured photo: Diette Henderson

Content copyright: Caramel Chic LLC 


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