Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BlendTec Blender and Green Smoothies Again

We purchased a BlendTec blender a few months ago and we have had a blast using it!! Here are some photos - this blender is amazing!! We got ours at Costco and got a better price than is listed on the website. And a 7 year warranty (you normally get a 4 year warranty, but with Costco involved, they increased it to 7 years.) Also, if we had gotten home and not like this for any reason, Costco would take it back no questions asked. There was a demonstration one day, and that's when we saw it. We were in the market and considering a Vitamix until we saw this!

Here is a close-up of the buttons. You just push one button, and the blender does it thing. It speeds up, slows down, whatever is needed. Unlike the Vitamix, where you have to push different buttons during the blend process, this blender does it all for you.

The number on the display you see - 170 - is the amount of times we have used this blender since July!! I've made soups, dips, shakes, ice cream, sorbet and the most by far is the smoothie.

In my previous post, I showed the ingredients at that time. It is recommended that you trade out your greens occasionally, and change out the flavors for variety. This is my latest "favorite". One great thing about the green smoothie is that you can "drink" anything you really don't want to eat!! This smoothie is PACKED with nutrition, and drinking it in the morning is like drinking several energy drinks. You would really be amazed at how great you feel and how much energy you have. Your body is thrilled to have all this "live" food to assimilate!

What exactly is a green smoothie? It's a fruit smoothie that includes a big serving of dark green leafy vegetables.
Green smoothies are an excellent breakfast choice for many, as they provide healthy carbohydrates, along with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and chlorophyll. Green smoothies are also an excellent source of fiber.

My current recipe:

1 frozen banana
1/3 cucumber, peeled
1/8 cup frozen raspberries
1 plum
1 Roma tomato, cored
1 or 2 Tbs. local honey (good for allergies)
3-4 cups of spring mix greens
1/2 to 1 cup water, to taste and texture desired

Here is a list of 70 Green Smoothie Recipes:

Green Smoothie Recipes

Here is a photo of the greens I've been using. This is Spring Mix from Sam's, organic and already rinsed. This first photo is how much I had in the container when I started. The next photo is how much was left. That is HOW MUCH lettuce I put in the smoothie!!! BTW, this is a type of lettuce I would NEVER want to eat in a salad.

The ingredients without the lettuce. With the Blendtec, we push the "Whole Juice" button and it blends it perfectly. First at slow, then faster, then it pulls "down" and blends everything, while most blenders push "up".

Here is a website for Blendtec. Click Here Be sure to check out the recipes. Recipes Demonstration Videos

Here is a Smoothie Video - Click Here

And have you seen the "Will It Blend?" videos? That is the Blendtec! Watch these to check out the power of this blender. Warning - don't do most of these at home, but they are fun to watch.

"Will It Blend" Videos?

Will It Blend an IPhone?

OK, be forewarned - with all those colors, this smoothie is NOT green. It is actually sort of brown. When you mix all those colors and that much purple, the brown color is common.

This is actually delicious!! I put it in this clear glass to show more detail.

But in reality, I drink it in this Oklahoma Sooner cup, all 32+ ounces. Each and every morning. You talk about nutrition!!

I have lost 25 lbs, my complexion is glowing, my energy and mood are excellent. And my cravings for sugary foods has been greatly decreased. It is the weirdest thing! And on mornings I skip this and eat something else, I feel like a slug. I happily go back to my green smoothie breakfast and enjoy the energy!

You really must try this - your body will be very happy. Mix and match any fruits and greens you want. Do not add starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, egg plant, pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce some unwanted gas. I also recommend using organic whenever possible.

To your health!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ryan's Golf Update

On Monday (yesterday), Ryan met up with the college golf coach and team for the first time and went to a practice meet. He went to school in the morning, but missed 2 classes with excused sports absences. He ran by those classes, got his work and grades, and hit the road down to the main campus, about 30 minutes away.

The team left around 1PM and Ryan got home after 9PM. I was going to get a picture of him, but that poor kid looked worn out.

The wonderful news is that he got the best score on his new team, shot a 75, and tied for first place in this meet. He had 5 birdies on the day, but had a few 3 putts as well. He had never played on this course before. For those of you that know Ryan, we got the a bit of the play by play, but I'm unable to reproduce that. lol

He was also glad they rode carts during the meet, because it's been a LONG time since he's walked a golf course. lol That's on his list of things to get conditioned on before the season starts up in the Spring.

He liked all the guys on the team, got a few phone numbers, and is playing golf this weekend with a few of them. Also, I believe their next practice meet is next week.

What a great first impression, Ryan!! Way to go!

In school news, he found out he made a 97 on the last Biology test! Awesome!

Have a great day!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Which one got a haircut?

This is quiz - who got the haircut - Holt or Sage? Shocking that I got a photo within minutes after the haircut, shorter than normal!! Speaking of Sage, she loves her boy!!

His hair really curls when it get much longer, and when he got home from work, it was flipping out all over.

He's on his way out to hang with the girls ........had to look good! I told him if I was going to continue paying for these haircuts, that he better look like he got one this time. And he does - thank you Holt!

Have a great day!


Left over Roast - Shredded Roast Beef Enchiladas

Do you ever have left over roast? We do, as our boys don't love to sit down to a traditional roast dinner. One time when I was convalescing, a friend brought this dish to our home and I fell in love with it. So good!

Shredded Roast Beef Enchiladas (Left over Roast)

1.5 cups shredded roast beef
1 10.75 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. split
1/4 cup milk
1 10 oz. can Ro*Tel (diced tomatoes and green chilies) - we prefer mild
6 large flour tortillas
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine cream soup (can use cream of celery or other flavors, as desired), sour cream, Ro*Tel. Reserve 1 3/4 cup of mixture and set aside.

To remaining mixture, add shredded roast beef and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly.

Take out flour tortillas, and divided mixture between the 6. Roll up like a traditional enchilada. Put in greased baking dish.

Add 1/4 cup milk to reserved sauce, and spoon mixture over enchiladas.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with remaining cheese and bake 10 minutes more.

Photo shows only 5 because I had made a double batch and this was the second baking dish.

These are so yummy!! You can vary the type of Ro*Tel sauce you use from mild to hot, per your taste.

I almost always double this recipe, because one batch doesn't last!



Chicken Pockets - A Sure Hit!!

OK - THIS is the meal you've been waiting for, the one that will fill up those growing boys and have everyone loving your cooking!! You can cook up chicken breasts and shred your own meat, but if you're in a hurry, here is what you can do - Use canned chicken. Here we go:

Chicken Pockets

4 cups shredded chicken (I used 2 large cans shredded chicken)
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 Tbs. butter, melted
4 Tbs. milk
salt and pepper
Optional: onion powder (we have an onion allergy)
Other seasonings you might like - we like things plain

For Topping:
4 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the chicken, softened cream cheese, butter and milk in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings as you prefer. (Onion powder, Italian seasonings, etc.) Mix thoroughly.

Open up crescent roll containers and separate into rectangles, as below:

Use your finger and seal the perforations into a rectangle, making 4 rectangles per can. There will be 8 rectangles in this recipe, using 2 cans of crescent rolls.

Scoop approximately 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto each rectangle.

Take 2 corners and pull over the chicken mixture.

Take the other 2 corners and pull up over chicken mixture. You might need to seal the edges around that might have come open.

Here are the 8 chicken pockets on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam cooking spray.

Take the 2nd 4 Tbs. of melted butter, and spread over the rectangles. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the melted butter. (That's the extent of the seasoning we prefer. lol)

Bake for 25 -30 minutes at 350 degrees.

This is guaranteed to please your family! I have also used beef in the place of the chicken, pork, almost any meat. Roast beef would probably also be great. Feel free to play with this, and you can always buy the fat-free or reduced products as well.

My boys LOVE this meal, and they are 20 and 17. Crowd pleaser to be sure! An excellent choice if you are having company. Combines the meat and the bread, just add salad and side dishes. Voila'!

P.S. I'm allergic to chicken (and turkey, if you can imagine) so I don't get to enjoy these. And that's actually good, since there were only 3 left with 3 men at the table! These are especially good as leftovers.

Have a great day!


The New and Improved Ryan!!

Wow!!! That's what we say!!! Our 20.5 year old is certainly impressing us this year!! To start, he's lost 21 lbs, down to 154. Gotta get that body back in shape for the ladies!

School Update:

Pre-Pharmacy Major
Must maintain a 3.5 GPA to get into Pharmacy school

6 weeks of school taking 17 hours:

Calculus - 98 on the first test.

Biology - Highest grade in the class on first test (most of class failed) - 82.

Biology Lab - no grades yet.

Chemistry - Highest grade in class on first test - 86.

Chemistry Lab - current A in class.

Public Speaking - 94 on first speech.

Psychology - 94 on first test, 109 on second test. Average currently over 100 with all the extra credit he has accumulated. LOVES this class and is very surprised. Teacher is great.

Comments he's made/Things he's learned:

"Wow, I can really see the value of extra credit opportunities now that I have to carry an A average overall!"

"Ummm, I think I've got the "smart kid" label in my science classes, as many are coming to me with questions and seeking help. Who would have guessed that? " *chuckle*

"Wow, I really did not know studying made tests this easy!!! (Mother interjecting - He SERIOUSLY said this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)"

Golf Update:

He is on the school golf team and they will have their first practice meet next Monday. We're all hoping it doesn't rain - to much rain lately has cancelled other golf opportunities.

The transformation of Ryan from the gifted jock who did everything the easy way to the disciplined student...... a true joy to watch.

For those that don't know, this is Ryan's second attempt at college. First time around, he lost his full academic scholarship and made some choices no parent wants to watch their child go through. It was devastating but he had some growing up to do. The last year he has been working manual labor jobs full-time, saving all his money. He decided he did NOT want to do those jobs for the rest of his life. He's now back on track and doing amazing.

We moved to a new state and he came with us. That helped remove him from that group of friends and gave him a fresh start.

For parents whose children take a different path: You must not lose faith in your children. You must not give up. Even when your last nerve is gone, and you don't think you can cry one more tear..........have faith. That dream you had of your precious child and what he would become? It's not gone, perhaps just on hold. Keep dreaming of the greatness in his life so that it can come back. When we focus on the negative and the bad, we just get more of that. Hold your marriage together with every last bit of energy you can muster. Continue to pray for the good to return to their life and choices. A few years down the "wrong" path does not define a person. Choices in life are sometimes difficult, but always easier with the loving support of your family. Ryan is living proof.

Your child can come back to you. Praise God!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

$24 Beautiful Custom Curtains

Do you ever feel something is wrong in a room and wonder just what? Well to me, this room needed some more "weight" on the wall with the window. Along with needing some artwork to hang on the wall down the road, it needed some curtains. But curtains with "weight". I did this using a darker color and making sure they reached the floor. I felt like a simple valance would not give me the "weight" I desired.

I first saw this fabric at Hancock Fabrics back in the discount section, but it was still $12 a yard. While I loved the lightweight silky blend with beautiful embroidered stars in the perfect blue/green shade, it was NOT in my budget. So I kept an eye on it, checking the store every so often. Sure enough, one day the fabric was on sale for $6 a yard!!

So $18 later - yes, you read that right!! 3 yards at $6 - $18!!! I already had the cup hooks from my former window mistreatment, and the rings I found at Tuesday Morning for $3.99.

$18 - Fabric
$4 - Rings
$2 - Cup Hooks

Here is what the window looked like before:

We are renting this home and it was already painted this blue color. I had the brown bedding and it made it simple to keep the palette 2 colors.

Also since we are renting, we didn't want to invest in a regular curtain rod, make those holes and marks in the wall. With this method, there are 6 little holes in the wall now, which we can easily spackle when we move.

I took the 3 yards, cut it in half, and each half on each side. I hemmed down the edges with Stitch Witchery - all you need is your iron. (If you have never played with Stitch Witchery, go get some!! I found it on sale for $1. It comes in regular and heavy weight.) It honestly took me just over 1 hour at the ironing board to get these curtains "hemmed" and ready to hang.

Curtain rings in above photo are from Wal-mart.

Hubs came home and had it hung in under 30 minutes. He is an engineer, and everything has to be spaced "just right" that takes a little longer, but I love his perfection issues! lol

Here is a view of the other side of the room:

For step by step instructions on exactly how to make this curtain, click HERE.

Really, it is SO simple and you do not need any sewing skills. If you have an iron and a measuring tape, you will be set!

I am participating in this weeks DIY Day. Click the button below to check out the wonderful website and see all the others entries for this week.


Have a great day!


A Boy and His Dog

Awwwwwww... these two are inseparable.

Notice this lap dog is not our 18 lb Pekingese, but our 62 lb Golden Retriever/German Shepherd pound rescue? lol Sage is as soft as a bunny rabbit on her neck - we love to cuddle her!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Show Us Your Life - School Pictures

This week is School Picture week at Kelly's Korner Blog. I'm proud of myself - hooked up my new wireless printer/scanner all by myself, lol, to be able to participate. Hubby will be shocked when he gets home!

I may have the first 2 backwards - they are 2nd and 3rd grade, I think.

This was my junior year.

Any my senior picture - 1984. I can't find any copies of my actual senior yearbook photo - maybe my mom still has those.

One year after high school, I did have my nose done and it looks different now. It was larger and off-center, if you can tell from looking at photos. I like my new nose and am glad I did it. (I fell on my face while sledding in Kindergarten.)

Here is a good straight-on photo of the old nose and the new nose, while we were dating in 1987.

Have a great day!