Green Smoothie

Before Baylor was born, I came across a recipe for a green smoothie. For some crazy reason, I was intrigued. I gathered up my ingredients and created one of the most delicious smoothies I’ve ever had and the main ingredient is….spinach!

I drink these every morning and usually one in the afternoon when I get snacky for something sweet. I make about 8 red cups and keep them in the fridge for easy access. It fills you up and gives you a big dose of fruits and veggies in one tasty drink!

smoothie

Ingredients:

1 large box of baby spinach

4-5 kale leaves deveined

3-4 large carrots – chopped

12-16oz frozen pineapple check

12-16oz frozen strawberries

12-16oz frozen blueberries

12-16oz frozen raspberries

1 bottle Vitamin Water Zero

Water

 

~In a Cuisinart or blender (I use a Cuisinart), blend spinach, kale, pineapple and Vitamin Water. Add plain water if need be to get the mixture really smooth.

~Pour mix into approximately 8 red cups – each about half way.

~Blend strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and carrots (might need to do in two sets) with hot water until smooth.

~Fill remaining half of cups, cover and refrigerate. Enjoy!

 

 

Summer Corn Chowder

I found a recipe for corn chowder and it was amazing – I added in a few things that the recipe didn’t call for that I think made it extra delicious! It’s the perfect excuse to hit the farmers market or road side stand and load up on fresh corn. It makes for a light dinner or a great starter or side dish.

This recipe could totally be vegan/vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, butter (use olive oil) and cream.

Ingredients:

6 large ears of sweet corn – shucked and silks removed

2 slices of thick cut bacon

3 tablespoons of butter

1 large diced onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup diced celery

1 medium red potato cut into half inch cubes

1 tsp marjoram

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of paprika

Sour cream for garnish

 

Directions:

– Cut the kernels of corn off the cob. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs for the corn “milk”. Set both aside.

– In a heavy pot, boil corn cobs with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve the liquid.

– Dice bacon and throw into a large pot. Saute until crispy. Add butter, onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Reduce the heat, add celery and sprinkle with salt. Once veggies are soft, add the potato, marjoram, cayenne and paprika. Add corn stock. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat for 20-30 minutes. Add almost all of the corn (reserve about a cup) and simmer for 10 more minutes.

– I used a food processor for this next part, but a blender would work too – just be sure to cover it so you don’t get hot liquid all over the place! Pour the cooked mixture into the blender / processor and blend until smooth. Add blended puree back to the pot and add the remaining unpureed corn and milk to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and heat the additional corn through (about 5 minutes). Serve with a dollop of sour cream!

 

 

 

Ranch Burgers and Grilled Zucchini

Peter’s mom, Marilyn, has a bountiful vegetable garden every summer and this one is no exception. She brought us great and HUGE zucchinis and lots of grape tomatoes, my favorite.

Tomatoes are a no brainer, we eat them straight up, caprese salad, etc. But zucchini is always a toughie. Besides bread, I’m a little stumped. Feeling adventurous, I sliced the zucchini long ways into strips, about a quarter inch wide. Salt, pepper and a little fresh garlic and grilled them up. The result as delicious! The garlic gives them a little spiciness and they go great on the side of turkey ranch burgers.

Ranch burgers are not my invention, but rather those at Hidden Valley. I tried the suggested recipe and the result is great. It’s an easy and fast dinner that even the munchkins like – 1 packet of dry ranch dressing and 1 lb of ground turkey. Mix well, form patties (go bigger, they shrink when cooked) and grill ’em up. Double the recipe and have plenty for lunch the next day.

Also I’ve gotten a comment from a reader who I actually know and like (although his comment made me question our friendship) regarding the simplicity an often the use of ingredients that are pre-made (i.e. Lenten Deliciousness). This person questioned whether or not it should really count as a recipe when it is simple to make and my answer is this; when you have a toddler crawling up your leg, a sink full of dishes and a very small window before all hell breaks loose due to hunger and bed time, and you have to create a delicious and healthy meal, you call me and let me know if my “recipes” count as recipes. Ok?

Tonight I tackle cake pops for Baylor’s family birthday diner tomorrow night. Pictures and play by play to come. Hopefully they are great pictures and a happy story and not something along the lines of the Whopper Brownies.

My Resolutions For The New Year

I really don’t like resolutions. I feel like they make what is already a sad time of year worse. There’s nothing more depressing than knowing the fun, socializing, decorating, getting and giving, drinking and eating of the holidays are over and now I’m supposed to add a new and undoubtedly unfun thing into my life too? No gracias.

Thankfully for me, I don’t have any vices I’m willing to give up. We’re planning to have more kids some day so I’ll give up the drinking then – why put off that good bottle of wine on a random Thursday night now? I don’t smoke so I’ve got a big check mark next to that resolution and I wear sunscreen and my seatbelt so we’re good there too. I already work out and I’m near wedding weight so that’s covered. I already pinch our pennies, clip coupons and work any discount possible so that’s out.

The two things I’ve come up with are actually very fun resolutions so the chances of sticking with them are good. First, I need to get back into volunteering more. I love Pets On Wheels as written about in Give A Little Bit, but I’ve gotten away from it because it can be a hassle wrangling Travis T. Dog and the kiddo into the car and then through the nursing home. Last time we were there, a resident was coloring which Bay was all to happy to help out with. It’s always a toss up whether someone is a baby person or a dog person and this lady was not a baby person. It was a little exhausting getting B out of her room without the markers and with little screaming. But I think I build it up too much in my head and need to just take it for what it is. If we stay for 45 or 15 minutes, that’s good enough and that’s what I need to focus on.

Second, I’m going to get serious about growing our garden. I love to be in the yard and I love to grow beautiful flowers, but I tend to become a slacker on fruits and veggies once it starts to get hot and requires more work to keep the plants producing and or alive. But I really want Baylie to know that food doesn’t come from the grocery, but from the ground. So in addition to the two beautiful new rose bushes I got for Christmas, we’re going to plant carrots and scallions in the same planter. Then our usual two tomatoes, but I’m going to put in some serious effort to keep them alive past May. The jalapeno and sweet pepper that already exist and produce despite zero attention are going to get some serious TLC. Peter is building us a Martha Stewart inspired lettuce table that will be home to spinach, red leaf, butter lettuce and also strawberries – it’s my damn lettuce table and if I want it to be a lettuce and strawberry table, so be it.

Lastly, as soon as it’s warmer than 60 degrees out, B and I are going to plant the flower bulbs that I put out every year. Growing up, we always had pots of bulbs in the windows of our house. There was nothing prettier to me than the little green shoots on a dark, cold morning. Something about them made me feel like it wasn’t going to be cold and dark forever because spring was just around the corner.

I think any more than this amount of self improving would be like trying to make a sunset prettier…it would just be too much 😉