Spirulina Smoothie

The Loch Ness Monster Green Thickie from greenthickies.com is one of my favorite smoothies. I thought it would be horrible, I mean reading the ingredients did not make me want to try it. However, I had some spirulina powder that I needed to ingest somehow and this was a recipe from a trusted blogger. Now I find myself craving this smoothie. This morning I was craving one, but I like use fresh spinach and this thickie doesn’t call for extra greens. Luckily I was out of spinach. Perfect! Now, I would have never come up with this recipe on my own. Even though I have all these ingredients in my pantry I would not think of putting them all in a smoothie, but somehow it works.

Spirulina is one of those super foods that you buy just for the health benefits. I don’t think anyone ever said they loved the tasted of algae. When I was a little girl my grandpa took blue green algae. He didn’t put it in a smoothie or anything. As far as I know he just mixed with water and slugged it down. It was one of the highlights of trips to their funky house on the Oregon coast and one of the memories I cherish of him. He would pretend that the green slime turned him into a monster and then he would chase my sister and I around the house while we giggled and shrieked with excitement. He was such a great grandpa. I will gladly drink this smoothie in his honor.

 

2 cups coconut/almond milk
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup peaches
2 bananas
juice 1 lemon
1 tablespoon spirulina powder 
 Blend the milk, oats, raisins, coconut and sunflower seeds until smooth. Add fruit, juice and spirulina powder and blend again. Makes two servings.
Drink it down and pretend it turns you into a swamp monster. Chase your kids/dog/cat/husband/roommate around the house.

“Clean Cooking”

I don’t mean healthy or anything, but the opposite of “messy cooking”; the way I usually cook. I think I am a great cook. My family had to suffer through some interesting dinners when I was in high school, but by the time I was on my own, I could make just about anything with a recipe and I had some killer go to recipes. Good or bad, down-home or gourmet, my cooking style is messy. I use every pot/pan, knife, utensil, cutting board, anything I can get my hands on. Now that our home is for sale, I need to adjust my cooking style. Yesterday I went through the Chick-fil-A dive-thru three times. My kitchen stayed clean, but I don’t think that fast-food is a solution to any problem. Unless you are too skinny and have too much money. So…Today I made a pot-roast. Definitely not fancy, but I pretty much used one knife, one cutting board and my crock pot. The only problem was the smell of onion cooking all day. If you are showing your house, onions are not the first smell you want hitting people when they walk through the door. Luckily I have been wasting time on Pinterest looking for bar cookies. Why do cookies have to be messy and time-consuming? These bars have all the sweet cinnamon-y goodness of Snickerdoodles, but they are so much easier. Snickerdoodle is a good smell for prospective buyers. And while the pan was in the oven I washed the mixing bowl and measuring cups/spoons. After the bars cooled I cut them all and put them in an airtight container and then I washed the pan! I had cookies AND a clean kitchen. Amazing.

snickerdoodle bars

Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars
Adapted from The Domesticated Redhead, adapted from Frugal Antics

Ingredients:
1 cup shortening
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between eggs.
  3. Mix in yogurt.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix into shortening/sugar mixture.
  6. In a separate, small bowl, combine ⅓ cup sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mix into a 9X13 pan.
  8. Spread batter on top.
  9. Top with remaining sugar mixture.
  10. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  11. You don’t want this too much like cake, so opt for less time if you need.

I didn’t think it looked like enough batter for a 9×13 pan, but it raised beautifully. I don’t know why I need to confess this, but I ate three bars last night after dinner. They tasted so good I couldn’t stop. And then I felt sick. Perhaps today I will only eat one at a time. Shouldn’t I have learned that lesson?

Moving? Strangers judging my house.

We live half an hour from my daughter’s school. Her school is one block from our church. So five days a week we spend 2 hours driving my daughter to and from school and Sundays we drive 1 hour to and from church. That doesn’t include Awana once a week, Bible study once a week, choir practices, praise team practices, school programs and what about when the girls are old enough for sports? Anyway, I’m tired of living (eating) in my car. So, we are looking for a house close to school and church. This also means that I have to get my house show ready. Yesterday I cleaned off my desk. Yes, it took all day. I have one large plastic tote full of cookbooks. I realize that I will have to distribute those book to other totes so that it can be moved more than 4 inches. And no, I don’t think I have too many cookbooks. The next thing to tackle is the pantry. I love this pantry. It is more than a walk-in pantry, it is like a live-in pantry. I will miss the pantry. However, things can get lost in this pantry. I occasionally buy more than I need of something, conversely I sometimes run out of things without knowing that we were running low. In our new, almost definitely smaller house, I will have to find room for things like ice cream freezers, tortilla presses, Dutch ovens and fondue sets. I have had my fondue set since college and have used it twice? I can remember one time clearly, but I must have used it another time, surely one other time. I’m not getting rid of my fondue set. I don’t think I will be using it in the next few weeks, months, perhaps years. Anyway, I can pack it up. The last time I moved myself, all of my stuff fit in the back of my ’88 Jeep. Since then the military has been kind enough to pack us up. Which makes sense since they are the ones sending us to new places in the first place. It has been pretty great and pretty terrible. Great because I don’t have to do anything, but watch and direct. Terrible because they pack everything and I don’t feel the need to go through my stuff and get rid of crap I don’t use. So, here we are. My husband is retired, we want to move and we have about ten years worth of stuff to go through. I might need some help. My plan is to purge and pack so that my house looks staged, not livable. Here is my plan:

1. work on one area a day (this could be a room or a closet)

2. get rid of more than I pack (trash, craigslist, donate)

3. stage with 2-3 necessary or decorative items

IMG_20150105_080912_251So far we have our two hall closets done. And I have half of my craft closet done, or strewn across the floor. We have ten days before our house goes on the market. Let’s make a list.

1. craft room

2. master closet

3. master bath

4. girls room

5. kitchen

6. pantry

7. laundry room

8. living room

9. master bedroom

10. anywhere else that escaped the list

And…GO!