30 June 2013

From Swamp To Table

Upon tasting this recipe the first word that sprang to mind was "swampy."  My second thought was, "I just wasted four perfectly good stone fruits and some fairly expensive yogurt."

My first clue that something was awry should have been when I discovered that the protein powder was green.  Olive green, no less.  But I was feeling optimistic and it was plant-based after all, so what is a little chlorophyll?  So there it went, into my delicious smoothie base in the best kitchen appliance ever: the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus.  Economical, powerful, and pretty!  (Everything I strive to be!  Does that mean I have an appliance as a role model?)

First, the ingredients and tools (I forgot to photograph the spatula I used.  Big deal.).  Innocuous looking, aren't they?

Nothing scary about this cast of characters!  Right?
Now onto the recipe (and method):
  • 1 banana (organic, non-Dole brand preferred... I'll write more about the Dole Corp. later)
  • 1 plum
  • 3 apricots
  • 1/2 c. So Delicious brand unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. White Mountain brand non-fat Bulgarian yogurt (similar to Greek yogurt or kefir)
  • 1 packet of original flavour Amazing Meal plant-based protein powder

Step One - Slice and dice fruit into manageable chunks (remove and discard pits/stones, duh); put into blender or food processor (also, duh).

Step Two - Add coconut milk and yogurt; pulse/blend until partially liquefied, but still a bit chunky.

Step Three - Add protein powder (contents, not envelope... although I'm not entirely convinced that would negatively affect the taste) and pulse/blend once more until desired consistency.

Step Four - Optional!  Add sweetener of your choice: sugar (I prefer raw), honey (again, I prefer raw), stevia, agave syrup, or plain ol' white granulated sugar (which defeats the purpose of this being a healthy, non-crap-filled meal but suit yourself).

*Note: I chose not to add any sweetener because I simply didn't have any on hand.  Raw honey or agave syrup probably would have improved the taste, but I guess I'll never know!

Step Five - Pour into some sort of glass, if you dare.  Makes two approximately 8 ounce servings.  Sadly...

As I mentioned above, I should have taken the greenish powder as a red flag but persisted on my mission entirely heedless of the likely unpleasant consequences. 

At first all seemed to be going well... the fruit, coconut milk, and yogurt created a lovely bright coral colour when incorporated.

Then came the beginning of the end: the green powder lent its unfortunate colour to the previously appealing concoction.  The smoothie now closely resembled scummy pond water.  The protein powder also contributed a flavour that I can only describe as, "earthy and green in a manner not unlike compost."  Not that I know what compost tastes like first hand (I could ask my dog Gatsby who partakes of it at every opportunity), but I certainly know how it smells and can use my imagination from there.

The first flavours that hit your tongue are surprisingly banana, plum, and apricot.  Unfortunately this is followed by a lingering, bitter, compost-y aftertaste.  That was the only incentive I had to finish my single serving.  That and my refusal to be defeated by green sludge that has many healthful benefits (which it does; I can't knock it for that).

In conclusion, I may be willing to try the flavoured varieties offered by this brand... but the fact that I rinsed my mouth out with a 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and water (which is also what I use as a cleaning agent around the house...) gives me pause.

P.S.  I don't know why I included the recipe; I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

28 June 2013

Something Fishy

Did you know that one serving of ahi tuna is allegedly only three ounces?  Whoever decreed that probably never ate a nine ounce sesame crusted ahi steak, seared in sesame, oil for dinner.

It was some of the most delicious 800-some calories I've ever consumed in one sitting.  The spring mix with a made-from-scratch-by-yours-truly bright lemony ponzu vinaigrette was a perfect foil for the fishy richness of the tuna.

Hello, my pretty!
33 minutes was the duration of my run/walk with Gatsby.  Nine minutes total running (in three sets); the rest of the time walking briskly, jumping over ledges & benches, and running zig-zag through the trees.

Gats is an excellent running partner: he never gets tired, he matches my pace on locks into that speed like cruise control which keeps me going even when I want to wuss out, and sometimes if it's breezy his ears flap adorably.

The only time he slows down is to try to swerve into every bar or pub we pass... is he my dog or what?!

This is not a photo of me hand feeding Gats a piece of perfectly seared ahi...

26 June 2013

A Beer Reference

If I got married and had two children, my family would be a six-pack.

Yes, dogs count as family members even if they refuse to go to the bathroom inside like civilized humans would.  Actually, I strongly encourage that course of action.

Gatsby, Foxtrot, & Lola Lulu

25 June 2013

Proof is in the Pudding

I'm watching a movie about competitive butter sculptors.  No, I did not make that up in an incoherent haze of being both physically ill and medicated.

I've also read seven Nancy Drew novels (on my beloved Kindle) in the past... two or three days?  Four?  I'm not really sure, but that's not the point.  The point is, if you'd like books one through fifty-six let me know and I'll send them to your Kindle.

A one hour nap turned into four; I only woke up at that point because Gats stretched out in his sleep and clocked me in the eye with an enormous rear paw.  This dog has shovels for feet.  The front paws, from the back of the large foot pad to the end of his middle toes (this is excluding his nails, which are roughly the diameter of a No. 2 pencil) are FOUR INCHES across.  Rear paws are probably three or three and a half inches long/across/front-to-back/whatever.

Thankfully I don't have a black eye.  Good grief.

 I also changed the ringtone on my iPhone to a quacking duck and the incoming & outgoing text message alert to a bird whistle.  Pure enjoyment, when you own there bird dogs.  :)

Ten minutes and pasta will be done; I cannot believe I am boiling water, in Tucson, in JUNE, during the day.  Ugh.  Pure madness.

But then again, I'm about to start a movie about competitive butter sculptors.

I think that is self explanatory.

Also, the title of this post is making me crave butterscotch pudding.

Three or four hours of hard work today (read: dog rescue work), even though I am supposed to be "resting" and "taking it easy."  I'd venture to guess that is why my afternoon siesta was... what it was.  Excluding the being kicked awake by a GSP... that pretty much is what passes for normal around here.

Yes, I understand that this is nothing but rambling, babbling rubbish that almost no one would care to read.  Oh, well!

P.S.  The above-mentioned movie is called "Butter."  Shocking.

P.P.S.  It has occurred to me that the title of this post doesn't make much sense when compared to the content of this post.  Guess what?  Not going to change it.  (I still want butterscotch pudding.)

24 June 2013

Between Chapters

Sporadic is the best word I can use to describe my blog posts over the past several months; writer's block has been a persistent ailment and I'm determined to overcome it... even if it means writing some complete drivel to chip off the rust and flush out the pipes.

That was a terrible analogy.

I really am out of practice.

Between the stress of the dog rescue (5 dogs needing foster homes; no adoptions and every new foster we've had has fallen through... at least half a dozen, total), financial worries, weeks of respiratory illness, and overall exhaustion from 18 months of non-stop chaos it is hard to find the energy or motivation to write, as good as it is for my mind and sanity to creatively express myself.

Yet, their is hopefulness in the midst of all this weightiness.  Things have got to change and changing they are already.  I've applied for what would be very close to a dream job for me, in Michigan about 45 minutes from where my parents and grandparents live.  Hopefully I'll have an answer within the week so that I can give my landlord notice.  My lease is up at the end of July so I will have to give 30 days notice to either vacate or renew my lease.  The idea of a fresh start, even out in the boondocks, sounds exciting and rejuvenating.

I've been reading a lot lately and have gotten better acquainted with my Kindle (and the marvelous things it can do!).  The first 56 Nancy Drew novels will be eating up my spare time for a while, in addition to a complete collection of Antonin Chekhov's short stories and an actual "real" book version of Food Fight by Daniel Imhoff which is describe as a "primer to the US Farm Bill."