Monthly Archives: September 2011

Vita-mix = LOVE

My favourite small kitchen appliance HAS to be my vitamix!

Since my adulthood I have had a couple different blenders and in the cabinets they sat collecting dust, till the one time I try and use it and they seem to smell like burning plastic, and do not blend as good as I had hoped…

Then one day I was googling alternative treats for my then milk allergy kid*, and alternative milks, and I came across an a couple of recipes using a Vitamix.  A little skeptical at first, then I googled them, and watched an online video for them… and after probably a month of humming-and-hawing… I took the very expensive plunge.  Not wanting my 4 year old to miss out on ice cream alternatives during the summer, the options of making our own ‘milks’, PLUS the lure of being able to make our own flour (we live on a grain farm) won me over!  I bought the Vita-mix Super 5000. It came with the 64oz wet, and 64oz dry containers, a whole foods recipe and information book.

I bought it back in 2007ish, and it is still going strong!  It did come with a 7 year warranty, and I have only used it to replace my wet container as it had a crack.  All it took was one phone call to Vitamix answered a few painless questions and in a week I had a new wet container!  Awesome customer service!

With it I have been making Smoothies… soups, slushies, and have even made a cheesy appetizers!

With the dry container I have been making Flours

                                   

I have since added to my Vita-mix line-up, this Spring, I was in Costco and saw a 32oz wet container. I had been coveting it from the site for awhile as it would be the perfect size for my morning smoothies but the $179(CAD) price tag was a little steep for convenience. However, At $80 less than the website price, I left Costco the proud new owner of a 32oz wet container! I have used it almost daily since!

I love that I can make soups that are really just vegetables, and a couple small cooked potatoes, with a little blending I have a creamy textured soup that satisfies my cravings without all the fat-ladened cream.

I love that I can hide tons of vegetables in spaghetti sauce, which I like referring to as my cleaning-out my fridge sauce.  I take all my veggies that are about to go bad, blend them up and no one is the wiser, and we have a few more nutrients in our sauce, and I am not wasting produce.

I know a Vita-mix is not for everyone… as the price makes it into a major appliance, and not a minor one.  There are however,  refurbished deals on their site, like now… or keep an eye out for the Costco deals when they have them in stock for demos.  Personally now that I have bit the bullet and have owned one, I am most likely a lifelong owner… as the benefits make the cost worth it.

If I didn’t use mine almost everyday it may be a different story…

What is your favourite small appliance?  or what appliance could you not live without?

*My son now is able to have milk products despite his positive allergy tests, and previous reactions… as he is now reaction free!  A specialist put him back on milk products after he became vitamin D deficient, and has been healthy for a long time now!  Whoo Hoo!

Disclaimer:  I have not received any compensation from Vitamix for this review. This review is just as a consumer, recommending to another consumer :)

 

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Weekly Weigh-in #4

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Wow… it’s been a few days since I have posted.  Sorry!  I have been busy working on the stairs, working, and just living life.  Today however is a “day off” so I am free to post, finish the stairs, gut through more of the house, while doing the other regular domestic duties.  Oh… and weigh-in.

It wasn’t pretty and I may have cried a little, but I am trying to be open and honest… sigh! Why did I say I would post weekly weigh-ins??

Today’s weight was 191.5 :’(

I am really not getting anywhere weight-wise lately, and I know why.  I am not one of those people who can lose weight without exercise.  And honestly September has not been a month of exercise.  I have had a chest cold since the end of August, and have not pushed myself at all.  Do I regret it.  Yes! But could I have fully changed it this month. NOPE!  When a deep breath makes my chest burn, or makes me cough, it is really not conducive to exercise.  However, today my chest is feeling better, and my head is clearing up.  I’m on the mend, and onward and upward! Well onward and downward scale-wise… I hope!!

 

Breakfast today was 1/3 cup of steel-cut oats with some chia seeds cooked in, and 1/4 of a cup of pure pumpkin, a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice and a couple drops of vanilla stevia.  It wasn’t as sweet or as flavourful as some of my breakfast’s of late, but it was  nice clean meal, and what I need for awhile.  I am at the point I think that I need to detox off some of the “crap” I have been eating as of late, and get back on track.

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Tea, Toast & Troweling

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Still fighting a cough, and headcold… I decided it was time for tea and toast.  Not the Tetley I grew up with, but some Yogi Green Tea Kombucha.  The toast was not the usual either, I decided to steal the last everything bagel and toasted it up.  If it wasn’t for the strong garlic and onion flavour I would not have tasted anything! Despite the higher carb/calorie count I think it was a great choice, as my biggest fault in healthy eating is that if I don’t taste what I am expecting, or my taste isn’t satisfied I tend to keep eating. :(

Today’s Yogi Message was another good’er that I decided to share with your!  Do not mind the fact that my mug looks  a little obscene from this angle! Oops…

I love the inspiration Tea Messages!!

 Last night I brought the steps from THIS…

… to THIS…

Whoo Hoo! Half way done!

While I was doing this my youngest son, Stinky was chased by a rooster, and kicked at with the rooster’s spur.  As much as the green egg layer’s eggs are cool, their roosters are not, and we are done with them after this year.  We had been waiting on a phone call for the next butchering day.  We just rushed it last night.  We are now down to a friendly Buff Orpington rooster and 6 hens.

While they were trying to get the free-rangers back into their coop, Bubba was pooped on by a flock of geese that was flying overhead, on their way back south for the winter!  It was SO funny!  Luckily he didn’t get it in the face as he had been looking up checking them out!

Today’s plans involve taping a stone pattern, an troweling on the surface coating on the steps… wish me luck that it goes quickly and painlessly!  I need to be done in time for Stinky’s Hip Hop class tonight.

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Apple Pie Smoothie??

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I totally didn’t just eat leftover frozen pizza… and an over-cooked oatmeal cookie for breakfast!  Yah… I didn’t think to even take a photo!  You know I am not sure if it’s the fact I was embarrassed that is what I ate that subconsciously I didn’t take a photo… or I just have only been taking photos of stuff I personally made, or want to share??  Regardless, it wasn’t pretty!

Today I am still trying to conquer this beast!  I have been trying to take the old surface concrete for over a day now… and think I have enough off to etch it with some acid.  On a side note, I actually phoned around to people to try and score some acid this morning… never in my life did I think I would be trying to score some acid!  Especially on a healthy living blog!

In the end we are lucky we live in a small town as a employee met us at Home Hardware to sell us some Muriatic Acid so we can finish our project.  Although if we lived in a bigger centre we could have just went to the store and bought it without all the special arrangements! :P  

Today I made an attempt at an apple pie smoothie… but since I have a wicked headcold, I wont be able to tell you How much like apple pie it tastes like till I remake it when I am able to breathe.

In the Vitamix:

  • 1 cored Granny smith apple
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder
  • 1 shot Davinci Sugar-free English Toffee Syrup (caramel could be substituted)
  • chia seeds
  • a pinch each of guar and xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
It looks pretty and does occasionally taste how I want-it-to-ish but the lack of smell is definitely hindering my… Wow this rocks, you should try it recommendation… So if you try it feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think!
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Picky Kids Peeking…

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I learned yesterday that I  have some young readers out there… namely, my kids!  Yesterday afternoon after school my youngest, Stinky freaked out looking for the apple pie.  Apparently he doesn’t always READ the content, but he does look at the pictures.  After he searched the fridge, and cupboards, and even the cold room and freezer he finally was willing to listen to me, and go through the post.  I explained I had a fake apple pie, and that photo of the pie slice was not mine.  After we finally got everything straightened out I agreed to make him and Bubba one of my psuedo apple pies for dessert.  It was a healthy dessert option and a win with both kiddos!

Supper last night was some Salmon we brought back with us from BC, and a reproduction of Pat’s Salad I had at there as well.

          

Ahh… heaven.  I actually had that salad for lunch yesterday as well, with half a hummus, red pepper, and gouda sandwich.

Today Picky Hubby has been sleeping, and I ruined a couple batches of cookies by forgetting about each pan in the oven… How does someone keep forgetting!?!  Yes I am talented!  Once the kids are out of school we will be off to pick up some lumber and supplies… Guess what we are doing this weekend??

…If you guessed slaving over our house, you guessed right!!  Fingers crossed something actually gets DONE!!

I will leave you with a recipe for that amazing salad… if you try it, please share if you liked it or not! Measurements are a little estimated… if you like more avocado add more, or black beans, or tomatoes ect!

 

Avocado Black Bean Salad

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can black beans rinsed
  • 1 large tomato or  a couple smaller ones, diced
  • Sprig of cilantro (I used freeze dried stuff and it turned out)
  • green onion chopped (1 stalk or more if you prefer spicier)
  • tsp of lime juice
Stir and enjoy!  It tends to get even better with flavour as it marinates in itself in the fridge.  The lime juice prevents the avocado from turning brown.

What are your plans for the weekend??  and/or Do you enjoy home improvement projects??

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Apple Pie for Breakfast!

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I know fall hasn’t officially begun until tomorrow, but after yesterday it feels like fall!

My commitments are beginning again, from running kiddos here and there, to work, to sitting on boards and the meetings that are involved. After last night’s meeting, you are now reading the enlightened words of the new secretary of the Parent Council, and the grade 3 rep as well.  Haha… it’s not because I was the best person for the job, it was more a situation of too few people and too many positions to fill! 

Have I told you lately how much I hate love fall?!?  Can you read the hint of sarcasm in my tone ;)

I really do however love the colours and the flavours fall! Fall makes me think of…

No this is NOT what I ate for breakfast!! (source)

Baked Apple Pie for Breakfast… or well a pseudo apple pie for breakfast!

I cored an apple leaving the very bottom intact.  On the apple I sprinkled some cinnamon, and couple pecans.  I then placed it in a microwave safe bowl and I cooked it for 3.5 minutes on high.

I topped it off with a dollop of 0% greek yogurt, a sprinkling of chia seeds, cinnamon and some puffins squares.

No sweetening is needed…. and it honestly tastes like dessert for breakfast!

What is your favourite way to eat dessert for breakfast?

 

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Bye-bye pumpkin…

Yesterday after work we had a bit of running around to do…

…an appointment at the bank- which told us we will be just fine at retirement! Yay, even said we could retire closer to 55! That made Picky Hubby VERY happy!   

… I had relented and let Stinky join hip hop dance class again this year provided they moved him back down to the younger group and at an earlier time. Yesterday was his first class! -It all worked out, and now he is talking to me again ;)

… I had a clandestine meeting in a parking lot to trade goods- I had listed a few costumes on a local buy sell page, and met a lady last night to exchange costumes for cash.

Last night for supper it was a quick soup.  Broccoli, carrots, a few baby potatoes and a small handful of real bacon bits, and a chicken broth. Spices added were fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a little dill. Once everything was soft, I just used my immersible blender and pureed the lot.  At the end I added half a cup of greek yogurt to the 6.5quarts of soup, and sprinkled a tiny bit of mozza/cheddar when serving.  As simple as it was, it was SOOO good!  On the side were some garlic artisan rolls.

Breakfast today was another yogurt bowl, and sadly now I am out of canned pumpkin till I go shopping again.  I do have some pumpkin I cooked up last year still in the freezer I am sure I could still use, but the convenience isn’t the same.

In the bowl:

  • 1/2 c 0% greek yogurt
  • half a gala apple chopped
  • small handful of Barbara’s Puffins
  • half of a quaker 100% natural oat packet
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • a sprinkling of chia seeds
  • T sunflower butter
  • 3 drops vanilla stevia
  • pumpkin pie spice

Once again another score in the meal department… now I am off to work… Have a great day!

What is your favourite fall-flavoured breakfast??

 

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Chicken Voyeur and a yogurt bowl…

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Yesterday after work I came home and had some lunch, Sweet Potato tortilla chips, and salsa… I know not healthy, but it was quick and I was hungry!

After we went to town and switched over our vehicle registrations to be in both of our names, finally after  almost 12 years of owning a vehicle together, we came home I thought I would go and check if there was an egg yet today in the coop. I ended up coming across one of the hens and a rooster in the nesting box.  I scared them, and they scared me… I watched them run out of the coop, and then go back in right away.  Being that they only go in the nesting boxes to lay an egg, I decided to peep at them through the coop’s window.  I have to say, WOW… it was pretty amazing to see the effort a hen puts in to lay an egg that I so effortlessly crack into a cookie recipe, or hard-boil into an egg salad.

I love the range of colours!

Here is how it went down… First he went into the nesting box, and made some sounds for her to follow, I assume.  As that is what happened.  Once she was in it with him, she squeezed to the back, and laid there, turning, adjusting, making noises, for almost half an hour.  When it was almost time she almost vibrated made some gurgling noises, then got up and crouched, and plop, out came a perfect egg!  He stayed there the whole time keeping watch, and sheltering the hen.  It was so neat to watch, it was like they were a little married couple.  Once she laid the egg they became derelict parents and he bailed and she ran out of the coop right after him…

For Breakfast this morning I had a yogurt bowl…

Oops! I forgot sunflower butter before photo!

  • 0% greek yogurt (Liberte)
  • canned pumpkin puree
  • Barbara’s Puffins
  • chia seeds
  • part of a pumpkin pecan muffin
  • Sunflower butter
  • couple drops of vanilla stevia
Now I am off to cover at another school as they haven’t hired someone yet… sigh!
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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Yummy pumpkin flavour in a cup!

Well the weekend was WAY too short, and now it is back to the grind of work.

Breakfast is a pumpkin smoothie! Not exactly pumpkin pie, but pretty darn good! :)

  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c greek yogurt
  • large handful of spinach
  • 2 T quick oats
  • 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • vanilla stevia drops
  • splash of Davinci pumpkin flavoured sugar-free syrup
  • 1-2 c of ice

Yummy pumpkin flavour in a cup!

When I was on my way to check for eggs last night I had my camera with me… partly to take a picture of this…

Apparently raking leaves is dangerous these days, as Bubba seems to need a helmet!

When I decided I wanted a close up of our Golden Retriever, Buddy’s face.  Well he kept moving, and this photo made me think he was laughing at my efforts! Or at Bubba wearing that bike helmet?!?

Haha... you look so funny with that big black thing on your face! ...and your son is silly too!

Finally I was able to snap this one… not the angle I was going for, but when your subject is a 70 lb golden retriever you will take what you can get!

He is such a good dog!

 

Do you have a dog?  What kind?

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Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts

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Well I failed at getting a pumpkin donut recipe baked yesterday like I planned, but this morning after I had a coffee, I got right to work.  I was to have company come for coffee this afternoon, and thought it would be a nice treat! (Once I found out company wasn’t coming, my kids devoured most of them!)

This recipe is based on Oh She Glow’s Pumpkin Spice Donuts… It is no longer vegan as I used real butter and milk.  It is however egg-free.

Next time I'll put applesauce in bowl for pic! ;)

Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts

  • 6 T skim milk + 3/4 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c organic raw sugar
  • 3 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 T lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t sea salt (ground)
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
Optional topping:
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 3 T raw sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350′F. (325′F convection) Grease mini donut pan.  I used my mister with canola oil.
Mix wet ingredients and sugars together (vinegar/milk mixture, pumpkin, butter, sugars, and applesauce) till blended.
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix till just combined.

Using a disposable pastry bag pip around inner ring on pan, if you do not have one you can use a ziplock baggie, however I recommend using a freezer grade one as a sandwich one will break easily as the dough is thick.  Or make a parchment cone.  Smooth out dough with damp fingers.

Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or till the donuts spring back up when pressed.

I immediately removed donuts from pan and put them on a wire rack to cool, as I only have one mini pan, and needed to clean and use it for a second batch.

Optional topping:  Melt the 2 T of butter and combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl or plate.

I dipped the mini donut top barely in the butter and set back on the wire rack and let sit for a couple minutes, as I found when dipping in the sugar right away way too much sugar mixture stayed on the top.  I was going for a light coating.

As much as the topping is optional, it really makes the donut taste, well… like a donut.  It still maintains a lower calorie count that a fried donut using this method, and well if it doesn’t taste good it’s not worth eating in my opinion!!

SOoo Good! ...and worth the wait! :)

Nutritional info without topping: 44cal,  1g protein, 8g carbs, 1g fat

…with topping (approx): 51cal, 1g protein, 9g carbs, 2g fat

 

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