Thai Coconut Curry Chicken
Friday Foodie, Uncategorized

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

My daughter has a bad cold this week and I wanted to make her a dish that was warm, spicy and delicious! When I have a cold I like to add a little “kick” to my soups as I think this helps clear out the gunk.

This is one I have made many times and it is always great! What I like is that I can change up the veggies in it depending on what I have on hand.

This week my garden had green onions and a lovely fresh Stupice tomato for me. Can you believe that? In February there are red tomatoes in my yard! My broccoli was overtaken by aphids in the previous 24 hours so luckily I had bought some broccoli rice at Trader Joe’s. You make due.

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken 

Prep time 15 minutes

cook time

45 minutes

serves 4

1 lb chicken thighs

1 13oz can coconut milk

3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste OR 1 jar Red Curry Sauce – These both work

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 cup chicken broth BUT only if you use the Red Curry Paste. If you us the jarred sauce there is already plenty of liquid.

1 cup broccoli

1 large carrot

1/2 medium red onion

2 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 a fresh jalapeño pepper

green onions and fresh tomato for garnish

4 cups cooked Rice or Cauliflower Rice

Get Cooking!

Dice the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño and cook in a medium saucepan in the olive oil over medium heat.

While that cooks for approximately 5 minutes cut the chicken thighs into 1 -2 inch pieces.

Add to the onions etc and cook for about 10 minutes – I turned the heat up to Medium High for this. Stir occasionally to get all the flavors mixed together.

Add the Red Curry Paste or Sauce and stir then add the coconut milk. This is where you would add the chicken broth if you used the curry paste.

Add the Broccoli rice (or finely chopped broccoli), chopped carrot and

Reduce the heat to a medium low and continue cooking uncovered for 30 minutes.

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The amazing aroma of the Red Curry and Chicken wrapped my kitchen in a flavor filled dream

While all those wonderful ingredients unite go ahead and chop the green onion, tomato and some limes for the garnish.

Place some cooked rice or, my preference cauliflower rice in a bowl and ladle over some of this delicious soup!

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

Happy Wandering!

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Creative Creature

I have been thinking back and I realize that I found my entrepreneurial spirit when I was a wee little thing.  I remember having that “Ah Ha” moment when I decided to create my first “line” of products to sell to my family. I believe I was 5 years old and felt determined to get this done. I was a small kid so when I found my inspiration and set out to gather my supplies this included carrying a large metal wash bowl and ALL the toilet paper in the house up three flights of stairs. Drive I had for sure!

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We lived in a large house that my Great Grandfather had built and the attic was actually a large playroom, kid friendly area. I set up my workstation which was the bathroom where I filled the bowl and got to soaking every last roll of paper.

The designs were all mine and when I finished up getting the tissue ready for “repurposing”  I proceeded to mold with my tiny hands, figurines of my family and our pets. Satisfied, I let my artwork dry and set them out for my family to purchase on a table down stairs.

This project took a surprising amount of paper which did not go unnoticed by my parents. Wonderfully,  I never got into any trouble for pilfering my family’s stash of T.P. but I am sure my dad had a few choice words for me as he drove off to replenish our home’s supply.

Herein is the key to the terrific side of my tribe. Creativity was and is always encouraged. This feeds into other areas of my life whether it is travel, fitness, cooking, gardening or making jewelry. That spark to experience something new and to jump in with the belief that no matter how it turns out it will be worth the effort is still strong in me.

Taking a new direction on my walks with my dog are one example. I have seen a lot more of my neighborhood and I have found items left on the side of the road that I have repurposed for my home and garden. Another example, taking a travel journal on my trips and just drawing what I see. My memories of the experiences are enhanced by the effort made in putting pen to paper.

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Creative use for a  road side find

My supplies have moved up in quality quite a bit but I am still passionate about keeping creativity a priority in my life. I even have it as a daily habit in my Bullet Journal. It isn’t always about art as I mentioned it but can be experienced in many forms and I thank my parents for never putting my spark out!

Happy Wandering,

Jane

I have a new ETSY shop called WanderitterShop where you can see my line of jewelry created with repurposed finds .

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Wander Wednesday

Of Train Rides and New Lives

He stood on the platform alone wearing a new puffy red winter coat and holding onto a fleece blanket.

The small boy was watching a train coming in to the Salzburg train station and I was watching him.

As I listen to the world speak of building a walls and this and that I am instantly brought back to that morning in the fall of 2015 and small boy on a crowded platform waiting to go to a new life.

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There is nothing like travel to take you to more than just a destination. That morning I was forever changed.

I had arrived at the station early to take a train to Munich and I was already missing Austria. Everything about my time in that country had been perfect. As I sat in the crowded bus with my trusted travel companion Helga (or a backpack to others) I watched the city of Salzburg pass by the window. As we neared the station I noticed banners that had written on them in several languages, “All Are Welcome Here.”

Only recently had I really become aware of the mass exodus of hearts and souls from Syria. Being from the United States my closest connection to this had been by news feed carefully tucked into whatever crowd pleaser filled the day. I am ashamed that I had not been paying closer attention. It was the top story in Europe and I could not help but pick up as much as I could. I felt comforted by those banners and wondered how everyone felt about them.

I entered the station walking towards a small market to get some food for my trip. As I walked in I saw that there was a group of people passing out water, small bags of food and blankets. “That’s interesting, ” I said to myself out loud.

Side note: when you solo travel you might end up talking to yourself anywhere, anytime. The key is to make sure you listen.

I bought some fresh fruit and salami and zipped up the stairs to my designated platform.  Instantly I was taken aback at the amount of people already waiting for the same train. I looked around and there was no place to sit so I propped Helga onto a rail and leaned back. So many families and men were standing around me.

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That is when I saw him small, bright and innocent grasping his new fleece blanket tightly. There were no adults standing with him and it was almost as if he was center stage with a light shining down upon him. I watched him and suddenly I understood. Glancing around I saw bags of food, some new winter coats and water bottles. I am pretty sure a look of surprise must have come over my face as I realized these were the refugees that I had been reading and hearing about. I was here with them as they headed to new lives, sincerely new chances to live.

A group of young men were gathered together and one of them tried to speak to me in english! I was surprised and thrilled to help him with the few words he already knew. As he turned back to his friends I could hear him practicing, “How are you, how are you . . ” I looked back at the boy and watched as he was gathered up by his father (I assume) and taken over to his family. The girls were sitting on the ground wrapped in their blankets and sitting back to back. No one had any luggage, no one had any personal items but what had been given to them by the volunteers. Meanwhile, I had overpacked my backpack to such a point that it weighed almost as much as me. The contrast of brightly colored suitcases of vacation goers to the refugees was stark and very real.

A couple of station agents walked around making sure everyone had tickets but it was very calm and friendly in the our little part of the world as our train entered the station. It was filled to capacity when we left and it did not matter what class of ticket my fellow travelers had they just sat wherever they could fit.

And we were all off to Germany.

The ride was lively with lots of conversations going on around me and young faces pressed up to the window. The undeniable energy of curiosity, nerves and fatigue was present in the air as we pulled into the station in Munich. It was a cold morning and the platform was quickly filling up as we all descended out of our respective cars. I looked to my left towards the exit immediately seeing a line of police blocking our exit. My fellow travelers began to huddle into their respective groups and I headed out. As I approached the officers, all very serious and standing so tightly together there was no space from shoulder to shoulder, I was asked for my passport. I handed it over and was quickly passed through two officers.

I looked back and saw the my intrepid fellow train travelers not here for sightseeing  in this wonderful city but to continue on to other cities throughout northern Europe. Outside a fenced corral and tents had been set up to contain and process the refugees. It was cold and uncaring to me but I could understand the need to make sure everyone was taken care of and attended too. The Germans had certainly taken a huge portion of the burden of this wave of humanity looking for safety and a new home. I was no longer a fellow traveler to these brave people but a grateful participant in their journey.

I may never have seen the little red jacketed boy again but he seems to always be in my mind and heart. That is what travel does right? I believe it makes us aware of a world outside our own, encourages empathy, kindness and an open mind.

Happy Wandering,

Jane

motivation, Travel, Wander Wednesday

Story Time at Sea

Sitting in the theater of the cruise ship I looked around at the small percentage of fellow travelers that had come together to tell their personal stories. Of a passenger list of 700 souls I would hazard to guess that 20-25 had shown up this evening.  I knew that the people who had decided not to attend would be missing a wonderful time.

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We had all shared 4 days of experiences that will change our lives forever and this was our last night on the ship. I could feel the energy in the room as everyone was finding the courage to get up and speak. But, we had all seen and felt so much this week that I would have been surprised if there was a struggle to get the stories out.

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Two of the cruise directors spoke about what it is to tell a story and how much they enjoyed hearing our tales from our days spent volunteering in the Dominican Republic. They were so cheery but very sincere and truly happy to be a part of this Fathom Travel experience.

Then the call went out asking for our first storyteller. The room was silent for a split second when John raised his hand. He got up slowly and walked carefully to the center of the dance floor and sat down ready to begin his tale. John is 90 and I had the privilege of spending a day with him and his family. He was a positive and strong man who climbed three flights of stairs alone and always had a smile on his face.

“I was an orphan,” he started.

Immediately the magic of his tale swept over me and I was whisked away. I am a sucker for a good story. The individual tales, tones, words and rhythms of the storyteller is hypnotic to me. John was no exception and when his daughter tried to tell him to speak about an experience on the trip, one of the cruise directors let her know that all stories are important. He was so comfortable speaking to our group and I learned he was afraid to swim and here he was on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean Ocean on a trip with his family.

Everyone clapped loudly when he finished and from there many more stories were shared: The young lady who had recently had her heart broken but was feeling mended from having given to others all week; the gentleman who was so grateful to be able to do this with his family and in awe at the others he had met with common life experiences; the friend who had surprised her best friend with this trip not letting her know a thing about it until after the ship had sailed and me forever positively changed from being a part of a group that put a concrete ramp in front of a house with locals and volunteers working together.

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All stories are important no matter how long or short, no matter if the content is spot on topic. Travel is just one part of our lives that gives us an opportunity to become a storyteller.

I heard on an episode of Freakonomics radio (great podcast) that your brain will grow a new synapse every twenty minutes and listening to stories or podcasts does just that! I ADORE a good story and often find myself in line somewhere chatting with a stranger when all of a sudden I am treated to  listening to their story.

John’s story will stay with me as one of many magical moments from my trip to the Dominican Republic along with all of my own stories still to be shared.

Happy Wandering!

Jane

FYI – Check out the Moth Radio Hour for amazing stories every week. This is one of my favorites! Also, names have been changed in this blog 🙂

 

Uncategorized

New Year New Blog!

This year has already been a game changer for me.

So, my blog will be changing also!

I will be focusing on stories and fun with a recipe thrown in here and there.

I am ALWAYS willing and happy to share your travel, fitness, life stories as well.

If you have something you would like to share just send me an email at:

wanderfitter@gmail.com

Happy Wandering,

Jane

shortribswithlemonzest
Uncategorized

Friday Foodie – Short Ribs With Lemon Zest

Happy Friday!

Here is my final recipe for 2016 and this one is so yummy! You can serve the ribs with pasta, potatoes or riced cauliflower (my fav) and it is super easy to put together.

shortribswithlemonzest

Short Ribs with Lemon Zest

Prep time 20 mins

Cook time 8 hours

Serves 6-8

4.5 lbs of short ribs

1 tbsp fish rosemary

1 tbsp fresh oregano

6 cloves fresh garlic

1 large shallot

1 large lemon for zesting

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/2 cup beef broth

1 1/2 cup dry red wine

Mt Evans Butcher’s Rub (Savory Spice)

Salt to taste (I did not use any but I am a very light salter as it is)

Get Ready!

Rub the ribs with the Mt Evans spice mix and set aside.

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Zest one lemon set aside.

Rough chop the rosemary and oregano and set aside.

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Slice the shallot

Chop the garlic cloves

Get Cooking!

Heat skillet to med-high (My slow cooker has an insert I can cook in but you can use a skillet to brown the meat).

Add the olive oil and brown all sides of the ribs – the takes about 2 mins a side and this is an important step! It sears in the flavor and moisture in the meat.

Remove the ribs and set aside while you put the garlic and shallot in the pan and cook until softened.

Add the rosemary, oregano and lemon zest and stir together before adding the wine and broth. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding the ribs back in.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

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I enjoyed mine with my cauliflower rice but you can use pasta or potatoes.

Happy Wandering!

I use the microplane Zester and it is great!

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FYI – sometimes my blogs have links in them which simply means that I earn a few pennies when you click through and make a purchase. This is greatly appreciated!
Happy New Year - World map
Wander Wednesday

Wander Wednesday – My Goals for 2017

Hi Everyone,

This is my last Wander Wednesday blog for 2016. Boy, did this year fly by! I had some wonderful road trips with family members and solo, I tried some new exercises, paddle boarding, pilates, pole fitness and I wrote a book (not to be published) but I wrote a book! All in all not bad for this old gal 😉

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As I am writing this I am already focused on my goals for 2017. It is never too early and I always believe that if you start a wee bit before January 1 then you are already in the right groove. I never make unrealistic ones like flying to the moon on a whale but I do believe that the goals we set for ourselves can be accomplished with patience, perseverance, honesty, planning and a positive attitude.

I am sharing with you my goals for next year and I would love to hear yours.

Fitness Goals:

This past year has presented a few challenges for me and I have needed to change my fitness routine accordingly. In January 2016 I had Carpal Tunnel surgery to relieve the intense pain and numbness I was experiencing in my hands. Today, I am still having a bit of a problem with inflamed tendons in my fingers but I am beginning to see some relief there. As a result, I stepped away from crossfit (you use your hands A LOT) and focused on cardio and core work. Today, I can look into my garage and admire the new Rogue rack and plates out there and yesterday while I was milling around getting things done in my house I popped out there and did my back squats and strict presses. It felt wonderful.

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So my fitness goals for 2017 are to get back to strength training, get back to doing handstands, hike more and do 100 reps of some kind of core work every day. Simple enough and already in my daily calendar!

Travel Goals:

I have two trips planned for 2017 as of now. On January 1, I am cruising to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic to participate in some impact activities with Fathom Travel. Then in February and March I will be in Hawaii! I found a farm through WWOOF USA  and I will be staying there for three weeks and volunteering  some of my time before I get a week in Maui with my daughter and my mom. Not a bad start!

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This leaves 9 months left to plan more trips and adventures! I am seriously considering finally doing a road trip with my pup and explore this lovely nation of ours for a bit or something else, who knows? I am working on figuring out my finances so I can determine where to go.

FYI: I always have finance goals. That is just good sense.

Brain Goals:

Continue learning and practicing my spanish. I am admittedly not great at foreign languages but I did manage to muster enough words together to make it through Europe for three months in 2015. Spanish is my favorite and I want to speak more confidently. That will be a daily practice from here on out.

I participated in NaNoWriMo last month. I wrote 50,000 words in a month! When someone asked, “Can I read it,” I laughed out loud and said, “absolutely not!” Oh, it was terrible but I wrote a story that had a beginning, a middle and an end. There was plot and a plot twist and a lovely garden setting. I wrote a book! The daily practice of writing was so tremendous that I have decided to write another one and this one will be better I guarantee it!

Life Goals:

I spent a month this year with my Uncle as he was losing his battle with COPD. As a result I and seriously considering volunteering with Hospice and I am already exploring my options. I definitely want to do some sort of active giving back in 2017.

So, there you have it.

My advice is this:

  1. Write your goals down where you can see them.
  2. Find a partner for one of your goals if you think this is what will keep you motivated.
  3. Be positive that you will accomplish your goals. Your best tool is a good attitude.
  4. Stay focused and soon enough these ideas will become habits.

Enjoy the rest of 2016 and take a look at my last Friday Foodie of the year this week (short ribs!) on 12/11/16.

Happy Wandering!

Happy New Year - World map

 

 

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Friday Foodie, Uncategorized

Friday Foodie: A Favorite Cookbook

I don’t know if you feel like I do but I am still pretty “fooded” out from Thanksgiving. Yes, it has been a week but that Holiday just keeps going with the leftover bonanza.

So, I am so happy to be making a nice, healthy, delicious soup this weekend from my FAVORITE Slow Cooker cookbook by Diane Phillips. I have turned to this book so many times and I have never been disappointed with the recipes. There are delicious ideas for a meal from start to finish.

My choice for tomorrow is the Chicken, Mushroom and Barley soup (pg. 45) and I will be using my own homemade chicken stock. I can’t wait! Slow cookers and the holidays go hand in hand especially as we all get so much busier. Plus, nothing says home and happy like a home cooked meal!

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Happy Wandering!

fyi-this blogpost has an affiliate link which simply means that if you make a purchase through it I will earn a few pennies. Always appreciated and never expected 😉