My Kitchen Gets Used!

Posted on May 2, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Well-used KitchenMy neighbor wondered if I wanted to buy her fancy-shmancy countertop hot air oven.  She was cleaning out her house after losing her husband; reorganizing everything and getting rid of things she doesn’t use.  Hmmm…there’s the rub.  She didn’t use this contraption, and yet, she thought I might want it.  Little did she know how much I detest unused kitchen gadgets/appliances.

Here is a picture of my kitchen sink area right now.  That’s the French press coffee makers from this morning, the food processor and mixer bowl with assorted measuring cups and spoons from a batch of granola bars I put together, and the blender parts from a lunch smoothie I made all drying after their washing.   I do have quite a few gadgets and appliances for the kitchen, but I use them all.  And I love it best when I use almost all of them in the same day as here!

Whenever I hear about or see some new amazing gadget that will make my life wonderful, I try to think hard about how it will be either better than what I have right now, or how it will completely change the way I do something for the better.  Well, a countertop hot air oven?  Why do I have a regular oven, then?  How will I store it?  Probably way deep underneath somewhere or in the basement.  That’s a recipe for never using it!  These items above live on my kitchen counter or on the cart that gives me more counter space right there in the kitchen.  I don’t have to bend deeply or do stairs to get at them.

When I was getting married my aunt wanted to get me an electric frying pan.  This is a nonsensical idea to me.  I have a stove and frying pans.  Why would I need an electric frying pan in addition?  I had to talk hard and fast to get her to see my point of view.  She couldn’t imagine life without one.  I told her I would return it and buy something I really want!  The pan never materialized.  Same story with “high ball” glasses.  She said, “But what will you do when you have someone over who asks for a high ball?”  I said, “They will drink what I have available.  I will never have high balls available as I don’t plan on having a fully-stocked bar!”  I guess in her day that was a great faux-pas.  Now I think people are fine when you say what you have and they pick from the list of available drinks.  Poor auntie, I wasn’t very nice about it even then, 20 years ago.  I’m a fierce defender of my small kitchen storage space!

I have been lured by the idea of a great new gadget, though.  For a time I was a consultant for a home party-based kitchen gadget company.  I acquired many of their products.  By now I have decommissioned most of them.  The keepers?  Stoneware pans.  I love them.  A killer garlic press and a few other things.  Not much, though, as much of it was made of plastic or nonstick surfaces.  I’ve gotten rid of anything that could poison me!

A small kitchen can work really efficiently with tools that are actually used to make the jobs of cooking at home easier.  I always like to think of how much money I save by cooking at home instead of eating out.  The savings definitely more than justifies any kitchenware purchase that will get used and save effort.

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Superfood Fruit Smoothie Made Simple

Posted on April 12, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Fruit Smoothie 3

Americans need to take back control of their food!  My neighbor mentioned that she had to get to the store to buy some packets of powdered fruit smoothie so she could make them in her blender again.  You can probably imagine my reaction.  I said, “Why would you pay for that?”  and “Have you looked at the ingredients list?”  Let’s just say she has thanked me profusely several times now for teaching her that she doesn’t need a package from the store that some gigantic food manufacturer has put together.

Fruit smoothies are so simple if you have a blender and a freezer.  The best base for all of them are frozen bananas and other fruits and vegetables.  Peel ripe bananas and slice in smallish slices, then throw in a ziplock bag and freeze flat so you can break off as many as you want when you are using them.  Bananas make smoothies creamy and thick so they are a great base.  After that any other fruit and many frozen veggies work great too.  It’s a very sneaky way to get vegetables into children’s diets!  Basically it is frozen stuff, sweetener (honey, maple syrup, stevia, even dates – your choice), and liquid (milk, nutmilk, water).

Mine above there is a special superfood smoothie.  I included frozen banana, rhubarb (yep, using up last year’s frozen supply before this year’s comes in – low calorie and high nutrient, why not?), kale, and papaya.  Then some stevia for sweetening and 1 T. each chlorella and spirulina and some coconut milk.  Absolutely delicious!

Food - Fruit Smoothie 1          Food - Fruit Smoothie 2

The final product makes it possible for me to consume the spirulina and chlorella because I do not find these palatable, believe me, but their health benefits are astounding so I throw them in here where I can’t taste them.  The final color is surprising, but I think especially boys would like the idea of a pond scum smoothie – eeewww!  Hard to believe, but I’m telling you, it tastes wonderful.  And again, every cell in the body sings, “Thank you for the FOOD!”

By the way, that is a stainless steel straw in there.  What a great concept!  I have tried to eliminate plastic from my food and I didn’t know, until recently, that there was any other choice for a straw, but glass and stainless steel are now available for reasonable prices too.  I invested in 10 of these and I will never have to buy straws again and none will go into the landfill or need to be recycled.  And I won’t be sucking up plastic chemicals along with my smoothie.  Just great!!

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