It’s the weekend and time for a new Seven for Saturday post! ☀️
Here are some things going on this week in my little corner of Wine Country:
1 – A Blog Worthy Recipe
I cook often these days and think of myself as a decent cook. Certainly not everything I make is worthy of a blog post or even a photograph, but some dishes are!
This One Pot Curry Chicken dinner I made the other night is outstanding, healthy and fast so I just had to share it with you. I used a recipe from Simply Keto as my inspiration and incorporated my Instant Pot to make it faster and easier.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 boneless chicken breasts – or thighs if you prefer
1 yellow onion
2 bell peppers – one green and one yellow, orange or red
1 medium zucchini
1 13-ounce can of coconut milk, full fat
3 tablespoons red curry paste
10 to 15 drops of stevia extract – or 1.5 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce (optional, add more if you like it hot!)
Fresh basil leaves, as many as you want, cut chiffonade style (chiffonaded?)
Rice or riced cauliflower to serve with the dish
Here’s how I made it:
I cooked the organic chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. I actually cooked 4 of them and saved the other two to make chicken salad later. To cook the chicken, I used the Meat setting on high for a 12-minute pressure cook and manually vented – adding a cup of water to the pot before I add the uncooked chicken to the pot.
Once the chicken cools, I shredded it into bite-sized pieces. If you don’t have an IP, just cook the chicken with the veggies. You can leave breasts whole while cooking, then shred, or cut up into bite-sized pieces before sautéing.
While the chicken is cooking, I added a couple of tablespoons of sunflower – coconut blend oil to a big skillet and heated it up. Once it was hot, I added a whole yellow onion, quartered and sliced about 1/4 inch thick, two bell peppers – one yellow, one green – cut into strips, and a zucchini sliced into coins. Next time I will add one more zucchini, some minced garlic and maybe a handful of sliced mushrooms.
Once the vegetable mixture is cooked and softened, I transfer it to a bowl. In the same skillet, I added a can of full-fat coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of red curry, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 to 3 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce to add some spiciness (optional) and about 15 drops of stevia extract. Less is more when it comes to stevia so I recommend starting with 10 drops, taste it, then work your way up to your preferred level of sweetness. You can also use sugar if you want to. Stir the mixture and bring to a low simmer.
Now you’re ready to add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet. Mix it all together and let it cook for a few minutes while you heat up your cauliflower rice. I cook my frozen cauli-rice in a non-stick skillet on the stove. It’s so easy! I like to get mine a little browned to give it more flavor. I then turn the heat off the chicken mixture and let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Right before serving, I stir in the fresh basil, leaving a little out to top the dishes with. I serve the chicken over cauli-rice and make sure to bring the bottle of Sriracha with me to the table as my husband loves spiciness!
2 – Gifts from Whole Foods
I had a meeting with a couple of friends who work for Whole Foods here in wine country. We are going to be working together again on a promotion and I am so excited! I am a very frequent Whole Foods shopper and it’s a brand I feel good about promoting and supporting.
My friends surprised me with a bag of goodies. Inside I found chocolates, soaps, a darling candle with a wonderfully fresh pine scent, and more! I tried the Giovanni 2Chic hair oil serum the other day, applying it after I washed and towel-dried my hair, and I love it. It made my frizz disappear and my hair was so soft and silky!
I also use this hand cream, which is absolutely amazing. I already had a bottle of the unscented version that I keep on the window sill of my kitchen. Now I have a scented one for my nightstand. This hand cream is not greasy one bit and leaves your hands incredibly smooth. I highly recommend it, especially in winter months when your hands to be their most dry.
This weekend I am looking forward to using this cute bath bomb and savoring a chunk or two of this chocolate bar – maybe I’ll do both at the same time!
3 – Getting Some Shut-Eye
Poor sleep has plagued me since returning home after the fires. Initially I think it was the stress from the fires, then Bill was away in Southern California most of December fighting their fires, Tori moved away and then there are those fun hormonal issues I have which include sleeping like crap.
Although I do not ever sleep through the night, I have been sleeping better. I did a trial and error with a few things: I tried melatonin which made me have very strange and unsettling dreams. Same goes with a tincture I bought at a local grocery store, that did not have melatonin, and also gave me some strange problems (waking up screaming is not my idea of a restful sleep!). Advil PM works well but I don’t want to take that anymore as I prefer to find a more natural solution.
So I tried a variety of teas created to aid sleep. Some do nothing for me but a few have worked. These are my current favorites:
Paromi Tea, Sleep With Me (which I am currently out of)
The other thing that seems to help is staying up later than I usually do and reading in bed. I bought this handy book light over the holidays and it’s the best I have ever owned. It’s so lightweight and has three brightness settings.
I read until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. That seems to help me get to sleep and stay asleep.
Do you have any tips for sleeping better? I would love to know them!
4 – Daily Sun Salutation
Let me start by saying yoga and I have never gelled. It’s hard for me, I don’t particularly enjoy it but I know it would enhance my life and improve my flexibility, strength and peace of mind. I am not ready to commit to a yoga practice but I would like to dabble in yoga to see if it can become part of my lifestyle someday.
I decided to do at least two rounds of Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar as it’s also called, daily for the next 30 days. I started yesterday and today, I already noticed that I can bend a little farther and have a bit better balance.
I am looking forward to seeing where this will lead and I am giving myself the options of doing more than two Sun Salutations per day and/or adding other movements to my daily challenge.
I followed this video to help guide me.
Do you practice yoga? If so, how has it helped you?
5 – Home improvements
The home improvements continue, I am happy to report. I don’t have any “after” photos yet as our painting projects continue. Bill is working on guest rooms this weekend, removing an old shelving unit in the closet of one room and building new shelves. If all that goes well, next weekend we will tackle our bedroom.
Our new floor lamp arrived yesterday and we got new bedding for one of the guest rooms. My job will be decorating the rooms with wall art, lighting, rugs, and some accents like coffee table books, candles, plants, vases and the like – the fun part!
I bought some aloe vera plants yesterday as I read somewhere that they are supposed to purify the air inside your home. Plus their gel makes a great burn remedy and I sometimes burn myself when cooking so that will come in handy. I think they are hearty too so hopefully I can keep them alive.
Over the holidays, Bill’s cousin gave me a bromeliad plant, an offspring of a bromeliad I gave her last year. I am potting them all this weekend and will have little plants ready to go for both guest rooms once they’re painted.
6 – Lunch at Archer Napa
Eariler this week I met a couple of friends for lunch at the new Archer Hotel in downtown Napa. What a stunning property! I hope to go on a getaway to Archer one of these days. Charlie Palmer Steak is their restaurant. My friends and I had w wonderful meal there. It was a Tuesday in mid-January and packed so you know it’s got to be a winner.
I had the Grilled 5 Dot Ranch Burger with aged cheddar, no bun and a garden salad. The burger was as perfect as you can get. I savored every bite! Next time I have to go with Bill and try a steak!
If you’ve visited Napa lately, have you been to Archer yet?
7 – Le Tote
A friend told me about the clothing and accessory rental brand, Le Tote recently and I decided to give it a try. I am focused on losing some of this stubborn menopause weight and I am happy to say, my focus is working – not as quickly as I would like but I have lost several pounds. I don’t want to buy new clothes during this transition so renting makes perfect sense to me. I set up my account earlier this week, selecting casual clothes to go with my laid back lifestyle. I even included some exercise clothing to add to my closet.
As I write this, my first box arrived. I am excited to try things on and see if this is a service I might want to continue.
Have you tried a clothing rental service? If so, what did you think and which one is your favorite?
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