What I Love This Week

Coravin Model Six wine preservation system. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Wine O’Clock & All Is Well 🍷

We love our wine, and usually work in some wine tasting when we travel. And we belong to a few wine clubs from our favorite wineries. But lately we’ve been trying to keep our consumption down to a glass or two per week. If we open a full-sized bottle, chances are we won’t be able to finish it before it goes bad. We’ve tried those little pump vacuum seal tops, but they rarely work well.

Several of our wine-loving friends have recommended a Coravin wine preservation system, and we’ve been noodling it for a while. Le Monsieur’s birthday was last week, so I decided to surprise him with one.

OMG, this is one of those “where have you been all my life” gadgets! It’s SO easy to use, and we can enjoy a glass from our favorite bottles without uncorking or allowing air into the bottle. It’s really easy to use, and not much bigger than most corkscrews.

Pouring wine with the Coravin Model Six. Preserves wine in the bottle so you can enjoy by the glass. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you have a wine lover on your holiday gift list, I’d definitely recommend a Coravin!

Snack Attack

Snyder's Gluten Free mini-pretzels, a perfect salty-crunchy snack. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

When lockdown started in March, le Monsieur was home during the day, which meant more snack food in the pantry. I’m not much of a sweet eater, but do have a weakness for salty, crunchy foods.

Before I started on Faster Way to Fat Loss, I’d developed a bad afternoon potato chip habit. I haven’t had any since being on the program and haven’t been tempted. But some days, I find it challenging to get the recommended amount of healthy carbs without going over on my fats or sugars. Karen recommended these gluten-free pretzels and they’re awesome! Low-fat, low-sugar, and really satisfy that crunch urge.

(BTW, there’s another round of Faster Way starting up on Monday. If you’d like to improve your strength and fitness, build lean body mass, reduce cravings, and increase mental and physical energy, you should give it a try!)

Java From Sumatra

Nespresso Aged Sumatra Single Origin coffee. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Most days, I use my fancy espresso machine that grinds the beans fresh for my morning (caffeinated) brew. Two caffeinated espressos or Americano’s, then I switch to decaf made with the Nespresso machine.

I was ordering my monthly supply of decaf capsules, when I spotted this new Single Origin variety, Aged Sumatra. Sumatra is my favorite variety, so I ordered a sleeve to try. Wow, is this good! It’s a lower intensity than I usually like, but very rich, earthy and smoky. I may give my big machine a break some days to enjoy this one in the mornings.

Just so you know, Nespresso has a robust recycling program for their (aluminum) capsules. You can get a free recycling bag with a pre-paid UPS label. Just fill it up with used capsules, seal, and give to your UPS delivery person, or drop off at a UPS location.

Civic Duty

I’ve been on call for jury duty all week, but thankfully haven’t had to report yet. I’ll admit, the idea of sitting for hours in a closed room with a bunch of other people doesn’t thrill me.

So today I’ll use the reprieve to fill out my sample ballot. Both le Monsieur and I will be voting early, in person. With high turnout expected, it’s a good idea to have a plan for where, when, and how you’ll be voting.

Have you found any new healthy snacks lately?

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  1. I just thought I would mention my favorite healthy snack for this time of year. Sounds a little weird, but when I have a craving for the caramel apples I loved as a kid, I make this:
    1 toasted English muffin
    Crunchy peanut butter spread on the muffin halves
    2 thick slices of a crunchy, tart apple placed on top


    1. That sounds wonderful! I just made applesauce for the first time in probably 30 years. It is a beautiful shade of pink! It is sweet enough for me without added sugar. I have been eating a cup of it with a large dollop of plain Greek yogurt for my afternoon snack.

  2. I agree with you, I love my Coravin! My husband bought me one five or six years ago for my birthday, and it is the bomb! I love a glass of wine some evenings, but my husband prefers a cocktail and I don’t want to open a whole bottle when I am the only one partaking. My previous solution was to stick to inexpensive wines that I didn’t mind “wasting”, but that meant I hardly ever enjoyed the higher quality wines from our wine clubs and travels. Along came the Coravin and transformed my world. Now I can have a glass of any wine I choose (even switch from white to red) without worrying about waste. It was a little pricey, but it has more than paid for itself IMHO!

  3. It is different here. Normally we have to vote at our polling station – a very short distance from my flat. Or by advance poll, a bit farther away, but still extremely walkable. It is a good idea to get there early.

    And yes, I’ve found that wines lose their nuances after a few days in the fridge.

  4. Rx Bars are wonderful! I have eliminated added sugars from my diet and RX has no added sugar-the sweetness comes from dates. Even my physician snacks on them! Often times, this becomes my lunch.

  5. A favorite supper for me and very healthy is a baked sweet sweet potato, with small amount of butter, Dijon mustard, tsp brown sugar, placed on top of hot potato. I saw it it on P Alan Smith and tried it. We both like it. A bit of butter, molasses and sprinkle of nuts is good too.
    I don’t drink wine but I do drink hot tea. That’s the drink that relaxes me. Sometimes with honey but just about always a black tea like Earl Grey, Lady Grey. English breakfast, Irish breakfast or Chia.

  6. My sweet treat is a medjool date, pitted and cut in half, and either stuffed with a pecan or peanut butter. They taste just like caramel.

    1. Susan, I’ve eliminated added refined sugar from my life, but enjoy Lily’s chocolate sweetened with stevia. Try it, even if you don’t think you like stevia. I started WW (Weight Watchers) about 15 months ago and have lost 31 pounds. You are looking wonderful!

  7. I was on call for jury duty last year, just after I’d lost my mom, and was on a waiting list for surgery. They cancelled the call for jurors, so a plea deal was likely reached. I did not want to go through that, and these factors were not on the list of excusable reasons for being exempted in advance. I do not believe I could have served well under the circumstances.

  8. Honestly found the best is to just do all in moderation and at 70 it works for me…still that little belly won’t go away…just adjusting. Just thankful to be alive…14 years ago I survived a ruptured brain aneurysm…am blessed. Stay healthy and happy everyone!!

  9. Thanks for the Coravin tip, Susan. I absolutely loathe wine & my husband’s not that keen on it either so this isn’t a problem for us, but what a great gift idea for both his hard-to-shop-for (grown) kids! I’m a tea drinker — strong black Ceylon tea all day long — but we also like coffee & our heavily-used single-serve machine gave out early this year. We’ve been toying with the idea of not replacing it in our goal to get rid of a lot of kitchen clutter, but have finally admitted we miss it. I think a Nespresso is in our near future. As for snacks: as in life in general, I don’t understand the appeal of moderation — I want all or nothing! — so I’ve cut packaged snacks out completely after eliminating refined sugar & excess salt & carbs from my diet. I make “bliss balls” from ground up dates, figs, dried apricots, flax seed & unsweetened coconut & coco, or treat myself to a couple of dates filled with blue cheese, a Mandarin orange, a banana & blueberry smoothie, an apple with a bit of cheddar or peanut butter, a few roasted whole almonds with some sultana raisins or dried apricots. Or just a glass of water will often do the trick.

  10. I have to follow a low fat diet, so if I want a snack, it sill be a small bowl of Costco pretzels or unsalted mixed nuts (also Costco). Postal voting has been the norm in Australia for many years, so not sure why it should be such a problem in America, especially given the pandemic. Voting is compulsory in Oz, although this can be open to fraud as ID is not required. As for jury duty, I received a summons to do it, but as I was a carer for my parents at the time, luckily received a permanent exemption. The wine opener looks nifty, but we tend to buy screw caps these days.