September Skills & Skillet
It has started to get somewhat breezy here in the Bay Area, but it doesn't last very long. Indian summer they call it? Indian summer with an autumn morning? Let's go with that.
Since my return from Barcelona, my mornings start earlier than usual. And when I mean early, I mean anywhere between 7-9am. That may not be early for some folks, but it's fucking early for me. When I told my doctor about this, she praised me and added, "no one should be up before 7am."
The first thing I do when I leave the bedroom after a slumber is open all the windows, and that sort of habit, is perfect for Indian summer--somehow I find that term problematic--and not only do I get to smell the fresh air, but I do a bunch of things! I do laundry, wash dishes, I drink my tea with no rush, cook and eat with ease, water my succulents and plants, walk the dogs, and so on. And by the time the day starts, I've already done everything I was supposed to do! So what now? I come up with ideas.
One morning about two weeks ago, I came up with this idea to paint our bedroom. So far, since we moved in, we painted most of the house only leaving the hallway, guestroom, master bedroom and bath left. I never really thought to paint the room since we sleep in it every night, but I decided it was time to get rid of that ugly orange cream colored walls that made it look like we lived in the 70s. It took us a week to go through 9 different shades of whites and then two days over the weekend to finish the paint job. The only thing I didn't touch was the baseboards because 1) they were ugly, discolored, plain and old af, and 2) I didn't want to risk getting paint on carpet we put in just a year ago.
5 minutes of convincing my husband, a few text messages with my next door neighbor and a couple of Pinterest searches later, I found myself installing new baseboards! It was much less challenging than I expected and fun in it's entirely.
I really love doing handy-work. I know how to replace outlets and light switches, faucets, toilets light fixtures and best of all, paint. Doing housework like that becomes so rewarding when you put a lot of time into it. I come home everyday reminded of the kind of skills I developed just from trying. And now I know how to use a machine saw and nail gun like a pro!
The one thing I can claim I am NOT a pro at, is using a cast iron skillet. They are heavy, clings onto food like sticky rice, and require a lot of care. This weekend, after moving everything back into the bedroom, I wanted to look for a recipe that would celebrate the coming of fall or more like Indian summer with autumn mornings. And the one recipe I found optionally called for a cast iron skillet. I recently came across mine in the bottom drawer of my range and thought it would be perfect to use for this harvest chicken skillet by Erin at Well Plated!
This recipe was a bit adjusted to work with the elimination diet
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 4 slices of thick cut bacon with no added sugars
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
- 3 cups of brussels sprouts
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 granny smith apple
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- preheat oven to 400°F
- line baking sheet with foil and fold up the sides to create a wall to prevent the grease from leaking out. place the bacon on the foil and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- while the bacon cooks, prep the rest of the ingredients: trim and chop brussels sprouts in fours, cut sweet potato and apple into 1/4 inch cubes, chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and mince the garlic.
- heat the coconut oil in the cast iron skillet over medium heat, add chicken, salt and pepper, and cook until done. remove from cast iron skillet and set aside on a plate to allow any juices to flow.
- by now the bacon should be done, remove from oven and set the bacon slices aside.
- by lifting and folding the foil carefully, transfer the bacon grease to the skillet
- add Brussels sprouts and sweet potato and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- add the chicken, garlic, and spices
- then add water and allow it to boil and reduce. I actually used the bacon pan to cover the skillet to let the sweet potatoes cook thoroughly, about 3-5 minutes.
- remove from heat, add bacon and serve warm!