The Simple Framework

To DoSomething that I’ve wanted to do for a while and something I’ve been thinking about for a long time is how I can communicate a simple way to achieve goals.

I’ve always been interested in how people, successful and not-so-much, approach and handle goals. So interested in fact I think I read up on and tried just about every major process and tool out there. Here is a list of the some:

  • Getting Things Done (GTD)
  • 43 Folders – kind of GTD
  • Omnifocus (Still using this)
  • Things
  • Remember the milk
  • Wunderlist
  • Evernote to dos

That is just a few that I could think of off the top of my head. All of them, regardless of being a process, or a tool are just fine. I’m sure they work well for people and like I said I still use Omnifocus. But, for me, it seems as though something is missing. So I started writing and started trying to come up with a way to express what I was thinking. I think I have run into a few insights and have yet to figure out a lot of what I need to.

For now I’m calling it The Simple Framework. Because, one, I think it should be simple and, two, to remind me that it should be. If you are interested in following along. I’m tracking my thoughts and what I come up with at Anyhow, it is fun for me to try to figure out exactly what it is I think is missing and get it out there. Maybe it’ll turn in to something useful or at least help a person or two.

2013 New Years Dinner Recipes

Bacon“Big Easy” Gumbo


  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 (14-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
  • 1 pound peeled, large raw shrimp (1 6/20 count)


  1. 1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until flour is chocolate colored. (Do not burn mixture.)
  2. 2. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; add chicken and next 2 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
  3. Note: We tested with Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning and Savoie’s Andouille Sausage.

Black-eyes Peas


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed or pink-eyed peas, shelled (3 cups)*
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 large beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 (16-ounce) package kielbasa, sliced, browned, and drained (optional)


  1. Bring first 4 ingredients and, if desired, sausage to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer 40 minutes or until tender. Serve with Sweet Onion Relish.
  3. *1 (16-ounce) package frozen black-eyed peas may be substituted. Reduce cooking time to 30 minutes or until tender.

Sweet Onion Relish


  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 2 tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 oz. Olive oil


  1. Mix all ingredients and let marinate for at least 2 hours

Southern Style Greens


  • 12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth
  • 3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp.
  2. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes.
  3. Add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
  4. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.
  5. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.

Skillet Corn Bread


  • 2 to 3 teaspoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter


  1. Coat bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon drippings; heat in a 450° oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add cornmeal, stirring well.
  3. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour batter into hot skillet.
  4. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Serve with butter.

The Little Black Notebook

What is this Little Black Notebook?

The Little Black Notebook started with a moleskine.

The thought behind the little black notebook is to have it with you at all times so you can capture fleeting thoughts and ideas as they come to you. For me, this accomplishes a few things:

  1. It stops you from thinking “That is a great idea, I’ll totally remember that!” only to realize 4 hours later that the great idea is gone.
  2. It keeps your mind clear. Instead of trying to remember everything you have to do along with all those great ideas, you write them down relying on the notebook to keep track of those thoughts for you. This allows you to clearly focus on what you need to at that moment.
  3. It provides a reference. Something for you to go back to and remember what has gone on in the past.

What the Little Black Notebook Represents

The Little Black Notebook has evolved into a much less physical thing. The idea behind the Little Black Notebook remains the same but, now it represents the larger goal of accomplishing ideas. Here is what I mean:

When you write down your ideas, you make them a physical thing, you make them simpler & you provide yourself a reminder of what you want to do. Doing this makes it much easier to decide what is the next thing you need to do to make the idea a reality.

The Little Black Notebook is evolving into something that I deeply care and believe in and I hope to grow and expand the ideas and thoughts behind it. For now I’ll keep writing down everything I think of and making those ideas that I want to a reality.