Posts Tagged ‘food’

We recently bought a Vitamix.

Yeah! Smoothies, fresh juice, salsa, peanut butter, ice cream, soups, the list is endless right? I use it every day, and know we are getting our money’s worth out of it in the amount of fruits and veggies we now can consume.  I will say though, that it’s not as easy as the road show guy makes it look. I love the way he just tosses all kinds of stuff in there and out comes something amazing. When I get home though, and start throwing various flora into the machine, the results are not always positive. I can’t tell you how many smoothies I’ve tossed because no one will drink them, myself included.

“Too tart.”

“Too sweet.”

“Too watery.”

“Something bitter in there.”

“What IS this?!”

I know they give you a recipe book, but a lot of those recipes have something like 20 ingredients or just 1 ingredient that I never seem to have. Obviously, it’s been a learning process.

But today . . . . . .

Today, I made a 10.

A drink it all, lick out the glass 10.

A “where have you been all eight weeks that I’ve owned a Vitamix?” 10.

A “there’s no way this can be healthy” 10.

(And no, I didn’t add any alcohol!)


Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a TINY bit. Maybe you aren’t gonna go slap your momma after drinking it or anything, but it IS yummy. It’s especially yummy after so many mistakes and failures. So you wanna know what was in it? Of course you do! It’s actually not anything earth shattering, but I think for me it’s the consistency and sweetness that’s always been off, so the STATE of the fruits here is what made it work out. Here you go.

1 orange, peeled of course (taste it first, make sure it’s a good orange. Bland oranges make bland smoothies)

5-6 fresh strawberries

1/4 C fresh, peeled cucumber

1/4 C FROZEN watermelon

1/2 FROZEN banana

1/2 C apple juice (if you have the time, do fresh pressed in your vitamix and strain it, if not, you can use store bought-it’s only 1/2 a cup)

That’s it! Blend it up for 30-45 seconds and BAM! Yummers.  Makes one HUGE serving, for a carry around cup, or a 2-3 modest servings.

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Even being off of Media, I still couldn’t resist carrying my iPhone around to snap photos. Here’s what I would have posted had I been on Instagram.

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A day away from home that is.

A much needed day.

A gift of a day.

Many of you know that my parents have lived in AZ for many years, and in the almost nine years now that Andy and I have been married, I’ve only gotten to see my folks once or twice a year. Ugh! It’s so hard to be away from family, isn’t it? To my delight though, due mostly to God’s leading them in new directions, but also I think due to the grandkids, Mom and Dad have moved back east and are now living in NC, only about an hour and half drive away. Yay! Day trips! We’ve been able to see them a lot more often now! They are actually going to get to have a real relationship with their grandkids. We’re pretty excited about this.

This weekend though, I took a day for myself to be with them, leaving those grandkids behind. The past few months have been increasingly difficult just in all those mommy ways. SO many of you who read are moms, many of you with several children, so you understand those dips along the way when you forget the value of what you’re doing, forget the reasons you’re doing it and just want to find a quiet hole where there aren’t toys with dying batteries singing “Twinkle Twinkle” slowly and somewhat demonically.  You long for a place where there aren’t toddlers screeching, questions pummeling or endless thudding noises followed by dramatic wails of “Liam made me bonk my ______________!” (insert random body part here). You wonder if there will ever again be a place where your name isn’t repeated a thousand times in succession, or even a place where you are known by a name other than “mom!”

Yeah, so you guys know what I’m talking about. You know about needing a break. I was eager to get away to my parent’s secluded cabin in the country and enjoy some peaceful grown up time. It wasn’t until I got there that we realized the three of us hadn’t spent a day together in at least six years!  The days was needed for so much more than my own relaxing and de-stressing. I took a few pictures of our time together, as well as a few of their place so you could see how peaceful and lovely it is. Love you Mom and Dad!


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1-4. Berry picking.

5. My sweet Mama, stringin’ beans for supper. I’d have shown a picture of her blackberry picking, but that wasn’t a pretty sight. She spent most of the time swatting mosquitoes and getting tangled in the briars. The things grandmas will do to get a bowl of fresh berries for their fruit lovin’ grandbabies.

6. Playing with antiques. More crafting ideas!

7-10. I’ve always been amazed at how quickly dad can beautify a place. A lot of the landscaping was there, but he’s just got a knack for making it shine. (Sure wish I’d inherited some of that!)

11. The view from the hammock

12. The other view from the hammock

13. Uh . . . ME . . . in the hammock

14. Playing in the stream

15. Me and my $4000 walking stick.  (You have to leave a comment if you want to hear the story)

16. I think I hear something!

17. Me and Dad

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“Stay-Puff Pancake Man.” Thank you Ma Ingles for changing my children’s pancake expectations. However, in my defense, if you compare Ma’s training and preparation for domestic prowess to my own 21st century upbringing, I think I did okay.

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That’s a Stupid Dinner

Did you guys ever have cereal for dinner growing up? I remember a lot of Sunday nights that we ate cereal. It never bothered me as a kid, and, although I was surely too self absorbed to appreciate this then, I’m sure it made things easier for my mom. We need to have cereal for dinner more often. Mostly because I could use a night of no cooking without the guilt of making a fast food run, and also because my children need to learn to adapt. Last night Gillian asked me what we were having for dinner.  “Cereal,” I say cheerfully. Liam repeats, as though the word is a death sentence, in a tone that would easily identify him as a frightened three year old girl, “CEREAL?!?!?” It was a sort of whimpering moan. I’ll just be honest and say that his response pissed me off. Lucky for Liam, Gillian, although equally as ungrateful as her big brother, has terrific comedic timing and piped in casually. “That’s a stupid dinner.”



I probably didn’t handle it as well as I should have. No, I didn’t scream at either of them. In fact, I was so busy laughing at Gill that they got off a lot easier than they probably should have.

But they DID eat cereal for dinner.

In other Gillian related news:

The sickness has been fearsome this year. Everyone has had it, many families more than once. We’ve been through our fair share the last few weeks, so naturally, I was momentarily devastated when Gill got sick night before last. You moms know how it is when you are awakened out of a deep sleep by the sound of retching. Ugh! Just thinking about it is making you a little queasy, isn’t it?  As some of you know, I don’t do well with puke. I’m not a nurturing mother to a vomiting child. I don’t want to smell it and I sure as cuss don’t want to touch it. So I all but push Gillian out of my bed, where she just stands, unceremoniously depositing her lunch onto my bedroom floor while I helplessly watch. Most kids (and me) are sobbing after barfing, but not Gill. She’s a natural born puker. When she’s done, she crawls into the lazy boy with her blanket and sucks her thumb. When I ask if she’s done she says, “I think so, but you might want to bring me the puking bowl just in case.” Then she goes to sleep.  Thankfully (and I don’t say thankfully lightly, I’m really giving thanks here!), more rest the next day and she was just fine.

Fewf! (As Liam likes to say)

And finally, lest Gillian catch on that I blog about her so much and get a big ego . . .

The RULE, is that they can’t actually GO to bed with us. Even when Andy is out of town, they have to go to bed in their own beds and if they wake up in the middle of the night and are scared, THEN they can come get in the bed with us. Well, Gillian wakes up scared every night. That is, she says she’s scared as she cooly crawls in our bed and proceeds to nudge both of us to our perspective edges, then falls into a sleep so deep that a Barney sing a long right in our bedroom wouldn’t wake her up.  Well tonight, after Eliot and Liam are soundly sleeping, she comes in exaggeratedly rubbing her eyes, which have clearly been open ever since 9:00 when she went to bed and says, “I sure wish it was the middle of the night so I could come in and cuddle you in your bed.”

Well how do you say no to that?

You tell me.

Don’t tell me. I don’t care. She’s sleeping next to me right now as I write and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Yesterday wasn’t the first time Andy’s treated me to one of my new Greenville favorites, but it was no less satisfying than the first visit.  Cullen’s Seasonal Bistro is a little hole in the wall out on Woodruff Rd. that no one would think a second time about if they drove past.  Inside this hole in the wall though, lies a quaint little family owned business that means business when it comes to providing healthy, locally grown/raised and delicious French and American food.  Everything is made from scratch by folks who have a passion for good food, healthy eating and a great sense of community. The first time we visited I had the Coq Au Vin, which was rich and wonderful.  On this last trip I was delighted by a turkey sandwich with melted brie and roma tomatoes. Not to mention the peach crepes.

If you aren’t in Greenville I feel really bad for you.  It’s so hard when you’re trying to eat healthy to find good places to go out.  I’m not just talking about ordering a salad or the baked fish, but eating food that you know comes from a real farm, not a factory.  Food that is grown, harvested and prepared with respect–and we should respect our food because we put it into our bodies and often don’t think for a second beyond what it does to our taste buds, while it’s having serious lasting effects on us.  I’m just amazed at how dangerous the food in our country has become, and I’m thrilled by all of the friends I have who are joining the food revolution and choosing local, organic, non-processed foods.  Wow, so I didn’t mean to soapbox on that! Geez! Well, if you agree with me at all, and you live in Greenville, you’ve got to check out Cullen’s. I was so excited to see that they were packed out this Sunday, but small businesses always need good word of mouth to stay alive, so go check it out, get fed well, then tell all your friends.

Take a look at their website to see pricing and menu.  You can also read about the owners and hear from their own words all about their food philosophy.

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