Sunday, January 22, 2012

green smoothies kids will drink!

Maybe it was initially a hard transition for me because I worked at Jamba Juice for 4 years in high school/college...but now I sure like my smoothies healthy.

Up until last year I used to make green smoothies a few times a week but my Ninja Blender just wasn't cutting it (literally), and we would be chomping away while we were attempting to drink. When our across-the-street neighbors went out of town I "borrowed" their Vita Mix. After a week I was sold and a few days later I was the proud owner of my very own.

I use it at least once a day (mostly for green smoothies for breakfast). My kids love them and it counts for Spencer's and my entire breakfast. I try to get about 10 different fruits/vegetables, depending on what I can get at that time of year. And my smoothies are usually not green...we like blueberries a lot so that changes the color to more of a purple when I use those.

It makes enough for all 3 kids to have smaller-sized cups, and Spencer and me to have tall glasses (about 6 cups total). While you don't need a fancy power blender, it definitely helps. And, I have the comfort of knowing that at least my kids are getting some greens every day.

Here is my typical green smoothie (equals a full blender):
2+ cups water (more or less depending on consistency during blending)
2 handfuls spinach
2 handfuls kale
About 10-12 baby carrots
10 strawberries (frozen or fresh)
1 small apple
Handful of frozen peach slices
Grapes, or any other fruit you have
Flaxseed (1-2 teaspoons)
Ice, if necessary
Blend, and add more water or ice depending on the consistency you want. What I love the most is that these taste slightly different because I always use different ingredients.

I love this sight!

*By the way, my very favorite fruit in green soothies is grapes. I would never have guessed it, becuase I generally don't like things that are grape-flavored, but they sure add a lot to the smoothies.
**Bananas add a creamy texture but also a strong flavor. Unless you love bananas, I would only use half of one, or none at all.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Oh, 18 months. How he is still SO MUCH my little baby, but has the independence of a growing toddler boy. I love him with my entire heart. I wish I could bottle part of him up because I truly enjoy him, and this age is my very favorite. I can't believe that when Emma was this age I had a new tiny baby... how can it be that I still feel like he is so much my baby?

If we hadn't had stake conference today, it would have been his first day in nursery. Next week.

He caused us a bit of stress the past 9 days. Lots of visits to blood labs, xray rooms and doctor's offices. Now that MY Tanner is back I am so extra grateful for who he is. He loves me, he loves my attention, and I hear "mom" about 400 times a day. I love it every time. I love when he gets right in front of my face and those gorgeous eyes look inside of me. Pure heaven. I don't love the screaming, but I know it is temporary.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of this little rascal.

Friday, January 6, 2012

pizza friday

For the last several years Friday has been pizza night at our house. Everyone looks forward to it. Well, everyone but Emma. The only food Emma doesn't love is pizza. And because I am economical and health-conscious, I always make it myself. Years ago I got a recipe from Spencer's mom but I have modified it slightly over time. In fact, I think it's probably different every time I make it. But it's always good, and always has a thick crust. Which is the most important thing.

In case you want to be not-so-original like us and have homemade pizza every Friday night, here is my recipe. Pretty much. By the way, it also works well for cinnamon rolls if you have extra dough (and use vegetable oil instead of olive oil)...

Pizza Dough
2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
7 cups flour (throw in some whole wheat flour if you want, but not more than 3 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or olive)

Mix water, yeast and sugar. Let rise for 35 minutes. Add salt, flour, and oil. Knead and let rise for 1 hour. Roll/stretch out dough onto a pan or stone. Add pasta/pizza/marinara sauce, mozzarella/provolone cheese, oregano and whatever toppings you want! Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes (check on it).

Makes enough for two large pizzas or three small (or two small...and cinnamon rolls!) I often half the recipe and just do one big pizza but I'm realizing that isn't going to fly any longer. I also have a recipe for white pizza sauce topped with tomato and basil if anyone is interested in that...

*Note: I read something the other day about how pizza should always be cooked at the highest temperature your oven will go to. Well, mine will go as high as I tell it to, so tonight I cooked our pizza at 450 for 8 minutes. I didn't notice a difference but maybe real foodies could have...?