Monday, June 17, 2013

Kitchen Feat - Banana Ice Cream

I saw a pin on Pinterest the other day on making banana ice cream.  I was so excited because it seemed simple enough.  I pinned it only to try to pull it up later and realize that the recipe was no where to be found when I hit the link.  I almost had a hissy fit.

But then I talked myself off the ledge and reminded myself that I'm an educated woman with some kitchen abilities so I'm sure I can figure out how to do it myself.

And boy did I ever.  This is a freaking LIFE CHANGER!

The photo isn't the best but it highlights the main ingredients (other than the bananas of course).

Quite honestly I thought this was going to be an epic failure so I didn't take step by step photos because I didn't think I was going to be blogging about this. it goes.

Two posts ago you may remember me sharing my phobia of eating bananas with any brown spots on the peeling.  Yeah I know, I'm crazy.  I get it.  With that being said, I don't like to waste food so I wanted to come up with ways to use these bananas.  If I can't see the brown spots then it doesn't freak me out.  I know, I'm so weird.

Anyway, when you have a few bananas laying around that are starting to turn brown, take them and peel them.  Then slice them (like you are putting them on cereal slice them).

Once sliced, put them in a freezer bag or container and freeze.  I left mine in the freezer for 24 hours.

The next day I grabbed the following items:

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Organic All Natural Almond Butter
Container of frozen banana slices

Excuse me if I don't use technical terms here...

Dump your bananas in your food processor.  We have a Ninja.  Love it! (Pictured below is the model we have only ours is black not white.

Anyway, dump your bananas in.  Then take a heaping spoonful of Nutella, a heaping spoonful of Almond Butter and 1/2 a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and blend until smooth.  The actual amounts will vary depending on how many bananas you use.  I used four med-large size bananas for my batch.

Because you are making ice cream and not a smoothie the consistency will be pretty thick so you'll need to stop blending every minute or so and stir the ingredients up some so that everything gets blended.

Basically just blend until smooth and you will have the most delicious homemade ice cream of your life.  It is amazing.

It was so good that next weekend I'm going to do it again only this time I'm going to use bananas and strawberries and maybe even a peach.  I'll probably leave out the Nutella for that recipe though.  If it's not an epic failure I will be sure to blog about it and with much better step by step photos too.

Also important to note, you don't have to eat it all right away.  We ate some and then I put the leftovers in a freezer container and we have been snacking on it for the last two days off and on.  The consistency is the perfect.

Anyway, that was my kitchen feat this weekend.  What have you experimented with in the kitchen recently?

Until next time...

A Letter To Myself

I read a blog the other day where they wrote a letter to A Letter To My 21 Year Old Self or something along those lines.  I thought this was a great idea and have been toying with the idea of posting mine for everyone to read.

So here it goes...

Dear Jessica,

I know you think you have everything all figured out right now and that you literally know EVERYTHING.  But trust me when I tell you that quite honestly, you are an idiot.  For real.  You don't know squat.  I know you think your life is so hard right now working full time and going to school full time but one day you will look back on where you are right this very minute and laugh at what a blast this time in your life is, and you will want to smack yourself for not enjoying it more.

You will get your heart broken this year even though I know you don't believe that. You will think your life will never be the same but deep down you know that he is not "the one".  I know you don't want to admit that but it is so very true.  The sooner you accept that the better off you'll be.  All the dumb stuff you do after that experience is laughable now but trust me when I tell you that it is T-Totally-Stupid.  I'm not going to ruin the fun and highlight the dumb things you are going to do but trust me it's not your finest year.

You will then be able to love again only to be hurt again.  Only what you don't know is that what you are feeling really isn't love.  You have no freaking clue what love really is.  You have never experienced it.  But you will one day.  And when you do, you'll be blown away.  I won't tell you when though because I don't want to ruin the surprise but it will be absolutely AMAZING.  It won't be as lame and tear jerking as the movie The Notebook in which for a full year you will be absolutely obsessed with watching.  Seriously.  Burn that dvd already.  And by burn I mean literally light it on fire.

Just so you know that year and half of your life was not in vain, you will meet life long best friends during this process.  They will be there for you through the heartbreak, and through the crazy mess you get yourself in to over the next couple of years, and for years to come.  That very reason right now makes this time in your life totally worth while.

Also, even though you can't see it right now, your hard work and dedication in school and in the early stages of your career are monumental in getting you to where you will need to be in the future.  If you only could see yourself at thirty you would be amazed.  And by the way, thirty is so not OLD.  I know you think it is but believe me when I tell you that life really doesn't even fully begin until you reach the big 3-0.  So with that being said, keep rockin' it in school and working hard at your internship you get this year which will lead to your first full-time position in your industry.

I will leave you with these words, and I want you to listen to them closely....Believe me when I tell you that you truly are an amazing, talented, smart and wise beyond your years woman at the age of 21.  But at the same time you don't know $hit.  Accept each mistake you make and learn from those mistakes.  You are going to make tons of mistakes.  It's ok it's normal.  You don't have to be perfect all the time.  You really should stop spending time worrying about what others think about you.  Stop trying to please everyone and be true to yourself.  The sooner you do this the happier you will become.  Those who matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter.  Dr. Seuss is a freaking genius too by the way.  The older you get the more often you will find yourself quoting him.

Oh and one more thing, enjoy that free music you are downloading now because one day soon downloading music for free on the internet will be a major no-no.  Limewire & Napster will be things of the past soon.  I know you don't believe me but haven't you already figured out I'm way smarter than you are right now?


Your Future Amazing Self

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Random Facts About Me

An innocent conversation about bananas prompted me to write this post.  May you will find these facts about me interesting.  Maybe you will find them weird.  Maybe you already know some of these facts.  Either way here they are in no particular order...

  • I only eat green bananas.  If they aren't green then they better be bright yellow without one brown blemish on them.  Once they start looking brown (even just a couple of freckles of brown) I won't eat them.  They freak me out.  Ask Matt.  
  • Out of all the various type of apples that there are I only eat the granny smith ones.  They are prettier, juicier, and taste better.  I don't know why I feel that way, I just do.
  • I hate, no not hate, absolutely loathe the feel and sound of paper.  The texture of it makes my skin crawl which is why I hate using paper napkins and why I also wet my paper towels before I use them.  
  • I have anxiety when the towels are folded incorrectly.  Me adding this to the list right this very minute, or even being able to acknowledge that this is an issue for me is prompted by the fact that as I type this over the top of my laptop screen I'm looking at my future brother in law that is folding the towels that I had drying in the dryer so he can do his laundry and I want to rip them out of his hands and fold them "hotel style" or "my way" whatever you want to call it.  In my head that's the only correct way.  I know there are more than one way to fold towels.  But if it's not my way then I think it's weird.  I can teach you the method if you want.  It's much prettier.  I never realized I had so many issues until recently.
  • I don't like eating things with my hands.  Corn on the cob?  Nope. I will cut the corn right off the cob and eat it with a fork.  Chicken wings?  Nope.  I will eat those with a fork too.  Apples?  No, I don't eat those like a normal person either.  I core them or peel and slice them and then eat them although I will put a slice in my mouth using my hand.  Pizza?  When I rarely eat that I always use a knife and fork as well.  T-totally-weird!
  • I always get in the shower before I turn the water on.  Then get pissed when the cold water hits me because it always does when you don't let the water heat up before you get in like most normal people do.  After 30 years I still keep doing it.  I don't know why.  
  • I really do think I have an addiction to Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Lattes.  My mouth is watering now just thinking about one.  I plan my weekend activities around which Starbucks in the area has a convenient drive-thru.  Although I did switch it up today and got a Chai Tea Latte and it's probably now going to be my new addiction.  
  • Going back to my weird issues with fruit, I also prefer green grapes to the other types of grapes.  Not sure why.  All grapes taste good, I just prefer green ones the most.  Maybe because I'm obsessed with green fruit?  I have no clue.  I'm a nutjob so there really is no telling.
  • I'm not a morning person.  I don't like for you to speak to me until I've had coffee or at least had the chance to get fully awake.  If you breath too loudly or make any noise whatsoever I want to automatically throat punch you. Thankfully Love Muffin is not an overly annoying morning person so we don't have too many morning issues.  
  • I can't sleep in socks.  They make me feel weird when my feet are under the covers.  Like my feet are going to suffocate or something.  I don't know why.  If you see me under a blanket with socks on in bed it's only because I'm probably sick and have to have socks on to retain body heat.
  • I have anxiety about the most random ridiculous things but the major things in life that should cause me undue stress, discomfort, or pain don't seem to bother me in the slightest.
  • I can't stand to be late!  For anything!  Not even to a movie. In fact, when I go to the movies I like to be one of the first ones in the theater.  My friends and loved ones make fun of me frequently on that one.  It's just my thing so deal with it.  I just spent $100 to go to the movie!  I'm going to watch every preview, partake in the movie trivia, and make sure I watch every second of the movie in it's entirety.  Not to mention if you are the first one in there (at the theater I usually go to anyway) you can score that awesome middle section first row center seat with the rails in front so you have a foot rest!  Score! 

I'm sure I could think of a few more but these are the first ones that come to mind....

I know I'm not the only one that has weird tendencies and issues.  So come on, share yours!

Until next time...

Iron Chef Here I Come...

So as you saw from my Facebook/Instagram photo upload, I made a delicious breakfast this morning and followed that by thirty minutes of exercise and then by having a healthy nutritious snack.  I really do so much better on the weekends than I do during the week.  The other day it was 11:45am before I realized I forgot to eat breakfast.  Then by the time I got to lunch I was starving so naturally ate more than I should have. 

Anyway, notice the presentation of the orange.  I mean I should get extra awesome points for that. 

With that being said this weeks weight loss was 2 lbs

Let's hope I keep that up this week and have another week of loss rather than gain....

Anyway, recipe is below if your interested.  

I'm sure you are fully well aware of how to make an omelete so rather than a recipe, this is just my ingredients list...

1/2 cup of egg whites
1/4 cup of fresh chopped baby spinach
1/2 slice of turkey lunch meat (you can also make it without or substitute mushrooms for meat instead)
a small amount of cheese of your preference (I used sharp cheddar)
Garlic Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Moving on....

What is so exciting about this breakfast is that for the first time in my life I was able to flip the omelet over without the use of a spatula.  No for real.  I mean like Emeril style lifting the pan up off the eye of the stove and with the flick of a wrist flip that thing over so it got brown on the other side.  Sadly no one was in the kitchen to witness this feat.  I was so proud of myself.  I had to tell someone.  So I told Bear and Princess.  They didn't care.  They just wanted me to drop some food on the floor so they could indulge themselves in to what the humans were eating, which is why they follow me around whenever I'm in the kitchen.  Since no one saw this I thought they probably wouldn't believe it.  When Matt finally woke up I told him.  He didn't seem too impressed either.  So, I thought I should blog about it.  That way it's at least documented somewhere that for one day at least I was able to make an omelet like a normal person.

Am I the only one that gets really excited over things like this? 

I'm a dork.  I know.

Anyway, stay tuned for the next post:

Random Things About Me You May Not Know

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Super Doubles Time Again & Other Stuff...

So I wasn't going to participate in Super Doubles this time at HT but who was I kidding?  I can't resist.  Love Muffin's Moma always saves her coupons for me so today after a quick stop at Mom & Dad's I grabbed some scissors and cut some good ones I thought I was going to use and then headed right on over.  I did commit the ultimate cardinal couponing sin by not making a list before I went to the store and by not having my coupon book.  Since today's trip was impromptu as it was, I just threw the coupons in my wallet and hoped for the best.  Normally this does not end well but today it was somehow manageable.  Maybe because I had a limited number of coupons on me?  Who knows.

Anyway, I didn't manage to do too incredibly bad and even menu planned in my head for the week while there and managed to come home with items that either worked together or complimented items already in my stockpile. 

I feel I got some pretty awesome deals today and also did a little ibotta shopping as well.  Love Muffin and his lil' bro whom is now what I affectionately refer to as "our tenant" since we let him move in with us love snack foods so I thought I might as well take advantage of some sale items that I could also get ibotta rebates for in the process.  Perfect example would be the two bag of chips I bought.  I don't usually eat chips but did because of the rebate and because the guys would like them.  However it is hard for me to resist them and I did have a few earlier.  I'm hanging my head in shame as we speak. 

Moving on...

Total Spent: $90.05
Total Saved: $66.33 (between coupons & VIC specials)
Total ibotta rebates: $7.50
Total savings + rebates = $73.83

% Savings of 61%

Details on my best deals of today are below.  If you aren't interested in the details of all that please skip on to the next section...

Best deals from today:

L&P Worcestershire Sauce:  on sale for $2.50 - $1.00 off x 2 = .50 cents!
Sunlight Dishwasher Detergent Packs: on sale for $3.49 - $1.00 off x 2 = $1.49!
Head & Shoulders Men's Shampoo: on sale for $4.99 - $2.00 off x 2 = .99 cents!
Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-in Conditioner: on sale $2.99, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner: also on sale for $2.99 - $1.50 off two Aussie products x 2 = $1.49 each
L'Oreal Advanced Leave In Repairing Oil Treatment: on sale $5.99 - $2.00 off x 2 = $1.99
Dove Men's Deodorant: on sale for $3.50 - $1.00 off x 2 = $1.50

Front Porch Ice Cream: on sale BOGO = $2.24 each - .75 cents off 1 x 2 = .74 cents
Front Porch Ice Cream: on sale BOGO = $2.24 each - $2.00 off 2 x 2 = .48 cents each
Green Giant Frozen Veggies (corn & carrots): eVIC email deal at .97 cents each (without coupon)

Now that that's out of the way...

I haven't been blogging much lately.  I know you all have been heartbroken over this.  Maybe even shed a tear or two.  Please rest assured that it's not because I don't want to or because I don't have anything to say....Lord knows I've got plenty to say about everything.  I guess I just feel kind of overextended right now.  We have so much going on and work is crazy busy too and I just don't have the mental energy to get on the computer as much anymore.  I keep telling myself that if I don't make some time for me and my health that all the work and things we have going on won't matter anymore.  Some days this does the trick and on the days where I'm feeling the most overwhelmed I just head on over to some of my favorite blogs for motivation and encouragement.  I will share a list of my favorite blogs/bloggers in my next post.

Anyway, for those that asked, the Skinny Cookies & Cream Milkshake recipe is below:

1/2 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2 reduced fat oreos
1 heaping tablespoon of non fat cool whip
1/2 cup of low fat vanilla frozen yogurt

add all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth

Not sure of the WW points or calories but trust me, it's delicious and you won't feel too guilty about drinking it. 

Let's see what else...oh yeah, I've also finished week 1 of couch to 5k however it took me two weeks to do it.  So yeah, I'm thinking that's not the most effective method...I will really try to push myself hard this week to get up early enough to make it to the gym for my morning workouts before work, and then to finish up in the evenings with my 30 minutes of couch to 5k.  I will TRY.  I really will.

Thursday night last week I decided that I should read while walking on the treadmill on an incline of 3 on level 3 speed.  Partly because I felt guilty about skipping the gym all week and also partly because I really wanted to read but knew that I should be fitting in a it's not much but it's chapter later I had already walked 1.56 miles without managing to fall off so I'd say that's not too bad.  If they'd only let me mount my laptop to a treadmill while at work I'd be fit it no time...

Anyway, until next time....