Archive | April, 2013

Vegetable Juice and Spirulina: The verdict’s in.

6 Apr

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May be my new go to drink.  Yesterday, I blogged about Spirulina and how I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Spirulina considering the reviews posted on Amazon, here and here.  I made some vegetable juice using red vine tomatoes, sunburst tomatoes, celery, carrots and kale.  I added a little seasoning.  Sample the juice.  Check. Add a teaspoon of Spirulina. Check. Blend juice well (I used a blender bottle). Check. Sample juice again. Check.

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The verdict is: my juice tasted like vegetables with and without the Spirulina.  Since I just did this roughly 20 minutes ago, I’ll have to wait and see if I feel like it has any effect on me.  Some people reported increased energy and a general sense of well being after using this supplement.  Some of the positives sound too good to be true, so I’ll listen to my body and see if it’s worth me using this supplement on a regular basis.  A pound of this dirty green stuff runs almost $30.

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(Completed product: Vegetable Juice and Spirulina)

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

5 Apr

A definite win with the kiddos since it combines two favorites: PBJ and Cake!

Chaos and Cookies

011I had another great dessert idea today and had to go with it! I wanted something with peanut butter in it because I’m peanut butter obsessed as is the rest of my family fortunately, and I thought about a yellow cake with Strawberry Jam in the center and peanut butter frosting. It turned out better than I thought and everyone in my house loved it! I can’t not share so here is the recipe

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4  cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 lg. eggs

1 cup milk

1 jar of strawberry jam for the center

 

In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, baking powder & vanilla on high for about 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each…

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It’s Green, stinks, but it’s (supposed to be) good for you!

5 Apr

Spirulina that is!

In a previous post, I talked about the juicing book I bought, The Big Book of Juices, by Natalie Savona.  Some of the recipes included Spirulina. Spiru what? Spirulina.  In my research, I found out that it’s a Superfood derived from the Ocean.  What was never mentioned (until I read an Amazon review) is that it is dark green and stinks.  In this review for Spirulina powder marketed by NOW foods, it’s described as everything except delicious, great-tasting, and platable.  However, in this review, many say Spirulina can be tolerated.  Apparently, where it’s harvested has a lot to do with the flavor which makes a lot of sense.  The Spirulina I bought is harvested from waters in Hawaii.  The earlier product from Now is harvested in India and it stinks (literally, lol!)

I describe myself as adventurous, so I immediately ordered a bottle of Spirulina Powder to add as a supplement to my fresh vegetable juices.  I just got it today, so I haven’t taken it for a test drive.  To be completely honest, I’m a bit scared.  I opened it up and it looks exactly as described: dark green powder resembling algae.  I quickly put the top back on and put it in the fridge.  Now all I have to do is make some vegetable juice, mix the Spirulina and Juice using this Blender Bottle I bought, as take it all down….I’ll be sure to check back in once I’ve become brave enough to drink the juice…

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What’s your go-to natural supplement?

I’m a Certified Coffee Nut

5 Apr

Hello, my name is Jaye and I’m a coffee addict.

I just don’t feel right if I don’t start my day off with a tall cup of coffee.  Since I’m frugal, I rarely buy it while I’m out, but instead make it at home.

As frugal as I am, I’m usually drinking whatever is cheapest.  BUT, I got lucky this week.  One of the savings blogs I follow, made a post about 1/2 price coffee from Cost Plus World Market.  If you aren’t familiar with them, I would say they’re like a cheaper version of Pier One.  For all those foodies out there, Cost Plus also sells different “gourmet” items to add to your kitchen.

Now, where I’m from, I would have just hopped in my car, went to the store and picked it up.  Unfortunately, I’m 3,000 miles away from home and there’s no Cost Plus here.  In order to feed my ultra unhealthy caffeine addiction, I was forced to place an order from coffee.  Here’s a picture of some of my stash:

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I ordered 12 bags of coffee, some of them duplicates, because I have to feed my caffeine addiction I’m hoping I like them.  At roughly $2.50-$3.50/bag, I’ll take my chances.  I can’t even get Target’s brand of coffee for that cheap and I have their employee discount (shows you just how much they love their employees lol).

But wait, I didn’t explain the best part!  In addition to saving 50% on each bag, I got 10% off my order for joining their World Market Explorer Program.  The program offers 1 free bag of coffee for each 6 purchased and a $10 reward for every $100 worth of “gourmet” spending.  According to my account, I earned 4 free bags of coffee, although I think the math is wrong because they also offered double coffee rewards…how awesome, free is F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!

Can you relate? What’s your favorite coffee?

A Perfect Day for Grilling + The Death of My (almost) Famous Chicken

5 Apr

I woke up with the thought of making Enchiladas for dinner, but as the day progressed, it warmed up and I decided grilling would be much more fun.  I cleaned my chicken and marinaded it in my top secret special ingredient, Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade.  Minutes before I began, I found out that one of my local grocery stores was running a special on Lawry’s Marinades, making them $1 ea, when they normally sell for almost $4 ea.  In a hurry, I made sure the chicken was bathing in Baja Chipotle so I could rush to the store and clean them out of it.

At the end of last year, I bought some of the Baja Chipotle marinade on clearance at Target.  I figured hoped that Target was the only store getting rid of it.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  It appears that my favorite marinade has been discontinued.  My grilled chicken will NEVER be the same again.  I’m devastated….you know how I feel.  We all have that special ingredient or favorite cooking accoutrement that we use to give our meals that special ummph.  What am I going to do?!?!?  I’m so devastated that I had to send Lawry’s an e-mail about this.  I can’t believe this is happening.

I normally make my famous grilled chicken by seasoning to taste and letting in marinade in the Baja Chipotle for as long as possible.  Once the grill is smokin’ hot, I throw several pieces on the grill, turning frequently and basting with the marinade.  Once it’s finished, I take it off the grill, let the juices rest, then serve hot.  It’s a hit!  All the years I’ve made this chicken, no one really knew what the secret ingredient was.  All people know is that they couldn’t duplicate it, nor could they eat just one piece.

Since I only had one bottle of the marinade left, I intended to get another at the sale, but that was a bust.  I had to resort to using some barbecue sauce to baste as I have this thing where it’s a must that I baste my meats on the grill.  It looked delicious, but when I tasted it, I was disappointed, upset, angry, and hurt.  How could Lawry’s do this to me?

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The chicken was great, cause I’m an excellent cook and I rarely make anything that’s less than tasty :0), but it wasn’t what it should have been!  Lucikly, the potato salad and baked macaroni & cheese saved the meal from being a complete disaster.  We were supposed to have some cabbage too, but I couldn’t bear cooking anything else after the Lawry’s disappointment/disaster/fiasco.

As devastated as I am, I’m now on the lookout for a new ultra secret ingredient to make my grilled chicken famous again.  I’m covered for my next grilling session or two because I found a six pack of Baja Chipotle Marinade on Amazon for a reasonable price.  In my wildest dreams, Lawry’s would wake up and fire that person who thought it was wise to discontinue my chicken’s favorite sidekick, but until then, I need something new to get my chicken kickin’ again.  Anyone have any ideas?