Sweet Green Smoothie Making {{Borrowed}}

Post borrowed from: http://theglitterguide.com/2011/07/15/healthy-and-delicious-smoothie-recipes/   #HealthyEveryDamnDay
– Ami
Hey Glitter Girls! Crystalin from In the City with Crystalin here to share some healthy and delicious smoothies with you! Blending up favorite fruits and vegetables is one of my go-to afternoon snacks. Not only do they fill me up, but they’re also loaded with a ton of nutrients. They almost always satisfy my sweet tooth! The best part about making smoothies? Every recipe is adaptable to your personal taste and what you may have on hand at home. My current favorite: frozen strawberries, almond milk, and dates. Smoothielicious!

Give these healthy concoctions a whirl, and sip your way through summer. Enjoy!

Refresh:

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Mango Ginger — 2 cups frozen Mango, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 banana, ¼ cup chopped ginger, squeeze of lime, yogurt.

Savory:

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Strawberry Date — 1 date, 1 ½ cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup almond milk. Optional: 1 scoop protein powder or 1 TBL of flaxseed oil.

Indulge (guilt-free):

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Chocolate Peanut Butter – 2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 TBL peanut butter, ½ banana, 1 cup almond milk, ice. 320 calories total.

Detox:

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Green Smoothie — 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup kale, 1 pear, 1 ½ cup of orange juice, and 1 frozen banana.

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Cooking is relaxing

Oh, how I love rest days. I have not done anything today, no a thing. Well, except sleep. And for once, I don’t care. So, I am sitting here, watching a movie in the den… and tinkering around on Pintrest…. Which, by the way, is where I got the following recipe. There’s more to the recipe, than what I have posted below, and you can find it and all of the YUMMY details, @ the link to follow. . . http://cookiesandcups.com/brown-sugar-banana-bread/#_pg_pin=515803

  I hope all of you have had a very enjoyable weekend, and a memorable July 4th! -Ami

Brown Sugar Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas) 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (or sour cream) 2 eggs 6 Tbsp butter, melted 2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 Tbsp heavy cream 1 Tbsp honey 2 1/2 Tbsp butter

How to Make

1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. Spray 9×5 loaf pan with with cooking spray liberally, set aside 3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 4. In another bowl mix together mashed banana, sour cream, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. 5. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. 6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. 7. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edges of pan to release any parts that might be sticking and then remove from pan, transferring t o a wire rack to cool.

8. In small sauce pan, combine all ingredients, heat over medium until mixture reaches a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. 9. Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes and then pour over banana bread. Glaze will set up and then cut into slices.

Notes
Store airtight for up to 2 days.

Recipe adapted from Back in the Day Bakery

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

The Imaginative X-Factor … And It’s Theory

WhatThey’reReallyLookingForInA Relationship

JUL. 7, 2013 By

I keep seeing all of these articles and messages and “concrete ideas” about what men and women have to do to be date-able. These things tend to be rather gender-oriented, usually specific to the writer’s pet-peeves and generally present a negative way of thinking of yourself in the context of wanting to be in a relationship. Now, of course, sweeping generalizations for the entire population of human beings will inevitably yield falsehoods for some people, and I respect and understand that, just as I expect that you understand it would be absolutely impossible for me to talk about every single thing every person was looking for in a relationship… ever. I merely mean to discuss what most people are really after. The things that matter. This does not apply to every kind of relationship, of course. Some people are just looking for someone to have sex with, maybe a short-term fling, maybe a forever-deal. But regardless, here are some simple things that we can’t forget in the vortex of everything we “should” and “shouldn’t” be:

1. I used the pronoun “they” in the headline because here’s the deal: some people like women and some people like men and some people like both and some people like neither. Beyond that, being a “man” and a “woman” are really societally contrived ideas that few people flawlessly fall into– not without a little personal turmoil, anyway. So the idea of what men want and what women want is largely false by the fact that sex and gender is not so simply divided. You can be as much of a man or as much of a woman or as much of neither or as much of both as you damn well please and I promise you, there will be someone out there who is looking for just what you are. Sounds a bit idealistic? You’re feeling a little unsure? Give it time, my friend. We’re all non-believers until it happens to us.

2. We are all looking for the X factor, the magic, the unexplainable-don’t-know-why-you-drive-me-crazy-with-love-but-you-do factor. We are no longer following in our ancestors’ footsteps of marrying the first person we date or settling down because it’s expected. Some people find this earlier than others, and happen to fall into the preconceived conventions of what life should look like and hey, good for you, I’m happy for you. But for most of us, it takes time to work out our own issues, get a grasp on this “loving ourselves” business and then sift through people until we finally find the right one. But the most important thing about this is that sometimes, it just isn’t there, and you’ll usually be conflicted about it because it will seem as though everything else about this person is perfect except that gut feeling just isn’t coming forth. If someone leaves you over this, don’t shower yourself in a perpetual hate bath of why you’re not good enough. They are doing you a favor. I cannot say that intently enough.

3. People want someone they can trust. Someone who will listen to them, who will talk with them, who will enjoy the often mundane day-to-day activities that inevitably come with a relationship. Someone who will be kind, understanding, willing to accept an imperfect person, and to work on things when they inevitably need to be worked on. This is the kind of person that most people take the most pride and assurance in being in a relationship with. It is more important than how gorgeous you are. It is more important than how much money you make. It is more important than the things that are fleeting.

4. Above all else, people want to love and be loved. To be accepted for who they are and not who they may one day be. People want to be someone that rearranges how a person thinks their story will unfold rather than fit into the preconceived character that they had imagined. There is a certain sense of security that comes with someone saying you can tell me anything and you know it’s true. Someone proclaiming that they love you not in spite of all your little embarrassing quirks you tried to hide but because of them. These things are not as complicated as people make them out to be. Because what people want out of a relationship is to have something in their lives that makes them happy… whatever “happy” means to them.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

Home Garden Summer Veggie Pasta

Ingredients • 8 oz (1/2 pkg) Mueller’s • Thin Spaghetti • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder • 2 medium green peppers, cut into thin strips • 1 medium yellow or red pepper, cut into thin strips • 2-1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced (about 8 oz) • 1 can (14-1/2 to 16 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1-1/2 tsp dried basil • 1/4 tsp ground pepper • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions Cook Thin Spaghetti according to package directions.Drain, cover and set aside.In large skillet heat oil over medium high heat.Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 minute.Add pepper strips and mushrooms; cook 2 minutes.Add undrained tomatoes, basil and pepper; bring to a boil.Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.Toss with Thin Spaghetti and Parmesan.

Happy Cooking!

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

Simply Perfect Add-in to any Cookout

Asparagus Pasta with Pan Fried Garlic & Lemon Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar 1 Shallot, chopped 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons 1 cup chopped scallions 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

{BORROWED POST} Peach Lemonade

With all those gorgeous peaches that are out there in summer, you just gotta have to make something with them. Tarts, pies, cobblers, grilled peaches, icecream, lemonade and what not! I wish I could have made every single one of them on that list, but so far its been only the lemonade. There is still some time left and hopefully I will get to make some more. We get some really juicy peaches in our CSA box from Full Circle Farm every other week. They are so very fresh and juicy that you have to use them up within the next couple of days itself. But most of the time I never get around to making anything those few days and we end up eating the peaches as is. They are really good as it is too, so I am not complaining about that.

Last weekend we took a two day trip to Portland with my parents. It was really awesome. For the first day, we packed some food with us and picknicked at a state park on the way. It was a really hot day and we knew it was going to be a hot day, so instead of taking store bought juice with us, I decided to make some lemonade with the peaches and took them with us instead. It was soo refreshing to drink these, especially when it was a nice and hot day outside and we were travelling. It is so very simple to make that I plan to make some every now and then and store in the refrigerator. Also, this particular batch of lemonade that I made tasted a little like musambi juice, which I love and miss a lot here. Musambi is also called sweet lime which is a part of the citrus family and I have never seen that fruit here in the US. Anyone know

where you can get them here? or do you even get them here? Let me know and I will be forever indebted to you

Peach Lemonade – The Recipe

Ingredients:

Peaches ( or nectarines) – 2 or 3, depending on how big/small they are Lemon – 5 ( use more or less depending on the level of sourness you need) Sugar – about 4-5 tbsp or as per your need for sweetness Water Crushed ice

Method:

Squeeze the lemons and keep the juice aside. Peel the peaches, remove the stone and chop the peaches roughly. Puree well in a food processor with the sugar.

Mix the lemon juice with this mixture. Add water and ice as per your need. Add more sugar too if the peaches are not sweet enough or if you need your lemonade to be sweeter.

Serve to your friends at a barbeque party and enjoy the compliments you get

This is my entry to Monthly Mingle – Stone Fruit edition hosted by Sukaina of Sips and Spoonfuls. Monthly Mingle is a monthly themed food evented started by Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey . If you haven’t yet been to either of their blogs, you should do that soon. The pictures are to kill for!

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

{BORROWED POST} How to dye 100% Cotton

How I hand dye fabric: a dye tutorial

I’ve received several emails requesting more information on how I dye fabrics. Let me preface this post, then, by disclaiming my expertise! I am by no means a chemist nor even a particularly well-schooled dyer. I have been dyeing by the seat of my pants for about 13 years, but I do end up liking most of what I dye. I am very loosey goosey, and if that technique will bother you, I suggest you click out of here before I bug you too much!

Much of my dyeing knowledge comes from reading the Dharma Trading website and catalogue, the Prochem website and catalogue, and many blogs, in particular, Paula Burch’s site.

I am particularly enamored with the low -water immersion technique of dyeing, and if you’ve seen the dyed fabric I’ve posted recently, you’ve got an idea of what this looks like. If you’re new to my blog, here are some sites to check out: my Etsy shop , Judy Rys’ blog, Lora Martin’s blog, and Deb Lacativa’s blog.

What you need to get started (the Wild Onion way):

Procion MX dye powders. Buy a couple of pretty colors to get started. If you like dyeing, you can buy more! I buy from Dharma, since it’s nearby, but you can buy Procion in lots of places, including some craft stores. Soda ash (aka sodium carbonate). This is not baking soda or baking powder. It is 100% pure soda carbonate, and you can buy it at most hardware stores or pool supply shops. Urea. Or not. I usually don’t. Adding a few spoonfuls to your dye water helps mix the more recalcitrant dyes. It also acts as a wetting agent, but that is useful for a different dye technique…. Urea is your call. Salt. Plain old table salt. Rubber gloves. You can use a pair of dishwashing gloves (don’t use them to wash dishes after you’ve used them for dyeing!). I finally bought a pair of rubber gloves made for chemical use at the hardware store– they are thicker rubber and longer than the dishwashing gloves. You can use the type of gloves used by the medical profession, but you will probably end up with dye on your hands. Dust mask. Buy one. Use it. The dust produced by the dye powder is very fine, it spreads out without your even noticing it, which means you will breathe it. Once the powder has been stirred into the water, you can remove the mask. Plastic cups and spoons. Don’t use these for food after they’ve been used for dyeing. Plastic tubs. A shoebox type will hold about 1/2 yard of cotton fabric, to give you an example of sizes you’ll need. Fabric! I dye cotton and silk with Procion MX. I dye white fabric, and I dye light -colored fabric– keep your color knowledge in mind if you’re going to dye light colored fabric!

Okey doke. You’ve got your supplies. On to the fun stuff. Remember, this is loosey goosey, and not meant to do anything other than give you a taste of dyeing in a relaxed environment. You will absolutely get some wonderful fabric that is permanently dyed!

1. Pre -wash your fabric. Known as “scouring”, which sounds very forbidding, but you do not need to get out a washboard. Just wash your fabric in the washing machine with regular detergent if you don’t have any Synthropol around. I don’t use Synthropol, and now I’m sure I’ll get emails about what a bad dyer I am…. 2. Wring out your fabric. You don’t need to put it into the dryer! 3. Make some soda ash soak. The soda ash “opens” the fibers of your fabric, in preparation for your dye molecules to permanently bond with the fabric. Ooooo, chemistry! To make soda ash soak: put on your mask and gloves. Dump 1 cup of soda ash (aka sodium carbonate) into 5 quarts of water. Don’t dump the water onto the soda ash– it’ll clump into a hard mess. Break up any clumps of soda ash, mixing the soda soak. 4. Add your damp fabric to the soda soak. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes while you mix up your dye water. Swirl it around a few times. 5. Mixing dye water: put on your mask and gloves. Mix up a bucket of warm water and a cup or two of salt. You will use the salt water to mix the dye water. Don’t ask why– it’s chemistry, and we’re doing fun, not chemistry. 6. Into a plastic cup, mix 1 tsp of dye powder with a small amount of warm water–about 1/4 cup. This will make a bit of a paste, but your plan is to make sure that the dye gets wet and doesn’t clump at the bottom of your cup. Top up your pastey dye with a cup of salt water. Stir stir stir. Hey! You made some dye!! 7. Continue making cups of dye until you’re bored and have enough colors. You can mix up your own colors, too. Drip a little bit onto something white– a coffee filter, a paper towel, etc– to figure out if you like the color you’re making.

Now for the fun!

To get a one color fabric that is kind of mottled, add your fabric to a plastic tub. Pour enough dye water over it to get the fabric really wet. Knead and mush the fabric. The more you mush, the more the color blends out into the fabric, making the color application more even. Some people do this in a baggie. It’s not really my thing, so I’m only briefly touching on it, in case it’s something you want to do.

To get fabrics like mine, or Judy’s, or Lora’s, etc. you will use the low -water immersion technique:

Take your damp fabric. Scrumple it into a tub. The looser you scrumple, the less textured your color will look. I scrumple about a 1/2 yard of fabric into a shoebox sized tub:

You can pleat, twist, swirl your fabric to get different looks:

Experiment and play. You can kind of direct how your fabric will end up, but mainly you have to let go and let the fabric and dye decide.

You don’t need to immerse the fabric in dye water, but you do need to get the fabric “wet” with dye. There will be small puddles of dye at the bottom of the tub, and the longer the fabric sits in the tub, the more it will wick the color around.

The size of the tub is determined by the amount of fabric. If you stuff the tub totally full of fabric, then there’s not much room for the dye. You will create a resist (think of it this way– if you twist fabric really tightly, then run it under water, the inner parts of the twist stay dry. You’ve created a resist!). Experiment with how much color to add. Sploosh dye only around the outsides of the tub. Sploosh dye over the top of the fabric. Create splooshed spots of dye. Play and have fun. Resist the urge to handle the fabric, and you’ll wind up with fantastic textures.

Let the fabric sit for at least 4 hours. After about 24 hours, the dye has been exhausted and won’t do anything, but you can leave it in the dye longer if you need to– you won’t hurt the fabric.

Now comes some important washing instructions:

1. Rinse your fabric one by one in COLD water. You must get the soda ash out of your fabric! Warm water might re-activate any loose dye molecules, and you could end up transferring color where you don’t want it. You don’t need to rinse until the water runs clear, just rinse until you get impatient to rinse another piece of fabric. 2. Soak your fabric in cool water. The soaking really loosens up the excess dye. I used to rinse and rinse and rinse. I’d rinse until the rinse water ran clear. Then when I was soaking the fabric in preparation for washing, I’d notice more dye running out. Now, in deference to the preciousness of water, I rinse less, soak more. 3. I soak like colors together. Or I soak each piece but use smaller tubs, not a whole sinkful of water for one fat quarter. I also do 2 soaks– one in cool water, one in warm. 4. I have a top loading washing machine, so this is how I wash the fabric. If you have a front loader, please research how to complete your final wash! Set the water to the highest level (unless you have a very small amount of fabric). Add some detergent (I don’t swear by Synthropol, but some dyers do.) Dump your fabric in, and let it soak for about half an hour. Close the machine and run the Knit/Delicate cycle. Repeat. I check the machine at the second wash’s rinse cycle–if the water is clear, I’m done. If not, I’ll wash again. 5. To save even more water: if I notice that the rinse water is pretty clear on wash #1, I will take out that fabric, and wash load #2. Then the two (or more) loads all get washed for the second time together. I usually wash all my fabrics together for their third time through the washing machine. 6. Dry as usual. Iron as usual. A note: ironing your hand dyed fabric is a visual treat–enjoy!

I hope this helps. I really do dye loosey goosey with usually great results. I will throw dye baths together in between stirring spaghetti sauce (if you do this, make sure that you don’t use your dye spoon to stir your spaghetti sauce).

Let me know how it goes for you!

Posted from my Android ~ Ami