Healthy Eating Recipes Travel

Finding a Minute’s Peace and Quiet

What a week.  I literally pray for rain during the monsoons and then the week we get our roof replaced, we get a record-breaking rain that came from who knows where and really screwed things up.  We had buckets everywhere and I walked around with my Clorox wipes every day.  The noise and all the workers had the cats traumatized and truthfully, it didn’t do much for my nerves either.

Boyce Arboretum

But, I did counteract that noise and stress with a visit to Boyce Arboretum which is one of my good juju happy places.  We haven’t visited there in many years and it was just what the doctor ordered this week.  We went with our DF Denisse and got some sunshine, fresh air, and time in God’s creation.  We brought plenty of yummy snacks and that made the afternoon all the better.

The arboretum is a joint venture with University of Arizona and the state parks.  Picketpost Mountain provides a stunning backdrop and seems like the perfect meeting of desert and riparian habitat with Queen Creek flowing through.

Most of the time I can destress with a book or a walk, but with all the noise and commotion at our house, getting away and enjoying our beautiful desert gave me some much-needed peace.

What I’m Reading

Move over, Jack Reacher, there’s a new man in town.  Poldark  Technically, it’s not what I’m reading, because I’m binge watching it on Amazon Prime.  But, I did check out the first of the novels it’s based on.  The show is beautifully done and Ross Poldark is the man o’ my dreams.  He does the right thing, he stands up for the needy, he’s refined, he loves his wife, he has a scar on his face.  Oh, and did I mention he’s totally HOT?  Ok, I’ll report back next week on the book.

Old Bones is the newest of the Preston and Childs I’m reading.  I’ve read all the Pendergast series and this is a spin-off of those with a young agent Pendergast mentored and is now out on her own.  I love that it takes place in the Sierras at the site of the Donner Party mess.  We lived close to there and that history is interesting and familiar to me.  Hmmm, sounds like an upcoming blog post.

I’m listening to another Thomas H. Cook on audio.  This is The Quest for Anna Klein.  The reader is good, but he doesn’t delineate the voices well enough for me, so it’s a little hard to follow.  That with the fact that our rain storms meant I couldn’t walk my normal hours this week and couldn’t get some consecutive listening hours in.

I finished The Holland Suggestions which is an old John Dunning standalone book, not part of his Cliff Janeway series.  It was written in the 70s which means it was dated, but I thought it stood the test of time and was worth listening to.

What I’m Eating

This week’s cold weather (ok, we turned on the heat for a bit when the house dropped below 70 degrees), inspired me to make some comfort food.  Hub’s gluten-free means comfort food can be a big of a challenge, but I found an old recipe from defunct (sad!) Cooking Light and adapted it to a) gluten-free ingredients and b) fresh ingredients we had on hand.  Almost all ingredients came from Trader Joe’s expect the Pacific cream of chicken soup.  Who knew chicken soup wasn’t in a can.  I used a combination of fresh and frozen vegetables and chopped them with my trusty Mueller vegetable chopper.  Using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables works great too. The pics aren’t great, and in fact, the dish wasn’t all that pretty, but it was good and every bite got eaten.

Gluten-Free Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pit

  • 1 GF pie crust
  • 8 oz chicken breast tenderloin cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbs GF all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ c chopped mix vegetables (I used finely diced carrots, frozen corn and frozen green beans)
  • 1 container cream of chicken soup plus one container of water
  • 1 tsp cooking oil (I used avocado oil)

Bake pie crust according to package directions.  Dice up vegetables and steam until tender.  Combine flour, sage, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and toss chicken pieces to coat.  Heat a large skillet coated with cooking oil and cook chicken about 7 minutes browning on all sides.  Stir in soup and water and vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes until thickened.  Spoon into crust and serve in bowls.

Did you know you can easily prepare fresh beets in the crockpot? Really, why I never knew this is mindboggling. I love beets, but they are such a hassle. Nope, not anymore, You just clean them up, stick them in the crockpot for a couple of hours and voila! Done with no mess and not watching the stove or oven for an hour. The peelings pop right off too. I always try to buy beets with lovely tops to saute and add to my egg white omelette. Bon Appetit.

What I’m Doing

I’m excited to spend time with John’s family this week and making one last Costco run before Thanksgiving.  Phew, wish me luck.

God bless you and your loved ones this week and we think about what we’re thankful for.

2 Comment

  1. “This week’s cold weather (ok, we turned on the heat for a bit when the house dropped below 70 degrees)…”

    …and bundled up in hoodies and thick socks and pulled out the down comforter.

    Ahhh…desert life. 🙂

    1. I know! It rained off and on all day yesterday and I literally could.not.get.away from the fireplace. Roxy and I stayed there and read all day. How do people in Seattle get anything done?

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