Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

blend until purple.

My daily addiction:

1 cup skim milk (90 calories)
1 cup fat free yogurt (any berry flavor) (100 calories)
2 fistfuls of frozen blueberries (1 cup = less than 85 calories)
6 frozen strawberries (about 5 calories each)
blend until purple.

An antioxidant, vitamin C loaded snack that tastes like dessert for around 300 calories!

I’ve spent decades of my life not eating fruit on a daily basis. I’ve gone weeks at a time without eating any fruit. Not because I don’t like it, because I really like most fruits. It just doesn’t occur to me to eat any. Multiple times per year, I make resolutions to eat just ONE fruit per day. Finally, I included it on my fitness log (see the sidebar to the right) to try and put myself in a situation where I have to be accountable.

I also have a problem getting enough calories, which causes my metabolism to drop. I tend to forget to eat.

Smoothies solve both problems. I’m actually consuming fruit on a daily basis for the first time in my life and making them is easy and takes less than 5 minutes, so eating doesn’t intrude on my day. It doesn’t hurt that I actually crave them now.

I stumbled upon the smoothie idea while trying to get PinkGirl to consume some sort of nourishment in the morning. Trying to get that girl to eat breakfast before school is a chore! A few friends suggested I try smoothies and since PinkGirl loves Planet Smoothie, I thought it might work. It only took about 3 or 4 months to finally hit on a recipe that I actually liked. (for ME, not her. She still wavers about what she likes. I don’t know if I’ll ever find a recipe she really likes.)

But I was having blender issues. If the Vitamix is the BMW of blenders, it seems my little Oster was the VW bug of blenders. It was either forming a little pocket of air at the bottom and doing nothing or it was spinning like crazy and only blending the bottom half of my smoothie. I had to add more and more milk to thin it out so the blender would actually blend the entire smoothie.

I put a new blender on my Christmas list.

Which really irritated me because I own an Oster Kitchen Center with nearly every possible attachment, similar to this one:

It transforms from a blender to a chopper to a slicer to a mixer to a juicer to a . . . it does everything but clean itself. We got one as a wedding present from my husband’s parents and about 10 years ago, it died and I replaced it at our church’s WHALE of a Sale. Since all Oster attachments are interchangeable with every Oster made, I even bought a newer countertop blender to switch to the chopper when I needed it:

dsc_0129

So I was not looking forward to having a different blender on my countertop. It was going to mess up my system.

FirstHusband surprised me with an early Christmas present: An Oster Milkshake blade for my blender!

My little Oster just got tricked out!

And THIS ONE is also on its way, so we’ll see which one works better.

December 19, 2011 Posted by | 5 minutes, fight the frump, food, goodsteward/body, health, recipes, wise buys | , , , , , | 4 Comments

poor jack.

I’ve murdered jack.

cut him up into small chunks.

Now, I’m boiling jack.



pureeing jack.



and freezing liquified jack.

soon I’m going to bake him in a few loaves of bread.

later this month, we might even turn him into soup.

poor jack.

(and his friend, Harry Potter.)

Check out the recipes – both with a print-friendly version in PDF:
Bread Recipe: jack-o-bread
Soup Recipe: Mom’s Pumpkin Soup

(After spending so much money on pumpkins, I can’t, in good conscience, just throw them away. Have you SEEN the price of canned pumpkin these days?) eek!

NOTE: If you BLEACHED your pumpkin to make it last longer – do NOT do this.

November 1, 2011 Posted by | food, holidays, laugh!, recipes, status updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how to be the best mom EVER! (for a few minutes anyway)

Her children rise up and call her blessed…
Proverbs 31:28

…because she threw frozen chicken wings in a crock pot, smothered them with a bottle of barbecue sauce and cooked them on high for four hours selflessly dedicated four hours to cooking perfect, fall off the bone tender chicken wings dripping in finger-licking good sauce.

Prep/Work time? 5 minutes
End result? sticky fingers and happy kids

I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for “dump it in the crock pot and walk away” recipes, so if you have one, LINK UP or post it in a comment!!!


Click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace MY past Tempt My Tummy posts can be found HERE.

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam MY previous Tasty Tuesday posts are HERE. Tasty Tuesday posts prior to April of 2009 can be found at Forever . . . Wherever

April 25, 2011 Posted by | 5 minutes, food, recipes | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wassail. revised.

(I originally posted this back in December of 2008, but I’ve made a revision since then. I used to float cloves in a coffee filter, sealed with a twist tie. Not very Martha of me, I know. But I’m reformed. Check out the photo below.)

When I was in high school and college, I sang at a few madrigal dinners. If you’re unfamiliar with madrigal dinners, here’s a sampling. (and no, I’m not in this video).

Wassail Song

One thing was a constant in every madrigal dinner – Wassail. It’s a kind of warm cider drink my choral director would make every year. I’ve made it on Christmas Eve for years. It’s a family favorite and a longstanding tradition. It only takes about 5 minutes to prepare, but allow it to simmer for a couple of hours in the pot if you really want the flavors to blend together.

Wassail

Needed:
1/2 gallon apple juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange (optional)

Instructions:
Pour all juices in a pot or crockpot.
Float Cinnamon sticks in the pot.

Here’s the update:
Take an awl and poke holes in an orange in any pattern that strikes you. Then insert the stems of whole cloves in the holes. Float the cloved orange in the pot while simmering.

When it the smell starts to waft, you know it’s gonna be GOOD.

Enjoy!

For a print friendly version CLICK HERE.

December 22, 2010 Posted by | 5 minutes, food, holidays, recipes, youtube | , , , , | 2 Comments

freezerburn soup.

So, what do you do with meat that’s gotten a little freezer burn because it’s been left in the freezer longer than it should have been? Don’t throw it away!

“Freezerburn Soup” is a favorite in this house. Here’s how it works:

Around the holidays, FirstHusband smokes an abundance of meat in the smoker because he can’t seem to use his smoker unless he completely FILLS his smoker. Then, for days after, we eat all the smoked meat we can eat . . . and freeze all the smoked meat we can’t eat.

Then, just before the holidays the next year, we realize we need to make room for this year’s abundance of meat, so we start pulling out what’s left over from the year before. Often, it’s on the edge (or over the edge) of freezerburn. Rather than throw it out, FirstHusband invented Freezerburn Soup.

He fills the crockpot with the the frozen meat, covers it with vegetable stock (we freeze stock and store it flat in ziplock bags). He turns the crockpot on overnight and we wake to a great smelling kitchen. (And usually a counter of boiled over stock, but today wasn’t too much of a mess.) Then he removes the meat, lets it cool, de-bones it, puts it BACK in the crockpot with whatever veggies he can find.

By FirstHusband: “Add some earthy spices like coriander, sage, parsley sometimes even hickory smoked seasoning. The mix simmers in the crockpot all day making the house smell great.”

. . . and torturing FavoriteSon with the waiting.

That meat you thought was a goner has now been infused with stock for nearly 24 hours and is moist and tender!

Second to last step, a couple hours before serving, he adds wild rice. Then in the last 15 minutes, he adds 6-8 crushed bullion cubes. (I’ve put in a request to go easy on the bullion – the sodium is a little much for me.)

And then, if we’re lucky, we end up with this: half a crockpot of freezerburn soup. Unless we’re really hungry and eat the entire pot.

There’s not really a recipe for this, it turns out different every time because FirstHusband changes the spices each time. He’s also used pasta instead of rice before. I wonder what orzo would do for this soup? hmmm.


Find more helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Menu Planning Monday 01.04.09

I have high hopes. Menu Planning. mmm hmmm. It’s easy to write a menu plan. What’s difficult is to write a menu plan EVERY WEEK. Here goes:

Monday – White Chicken Chili, Salad

Tuesday – Grilled Pork Chops, Cous Cous, Steamed Broccoli w/Cheese

Wednesday – Wet Enchilladas, Corn, Campbells Select Harvest Southwestern Style Soup

Thursday – Spaghetti Florentine, Salad, Garlic Bread

Friday – Cream Cheese Chicken (Burrito Style), Chips & Queso

Saturday – Pork Tenderloin Diane, Italian Green Beans, Wild Rice

Sunday – Paella

AND? I’ve also made bake ahead egg patties this week! So breakfast for the entire week is already cooked, cut, in the fridge and waiting to be nuked! It’s gonna be BUSY and I’m trying to be READY.


Want to score some free menu planning? Have a menu plan you want to share? Check out Menu Planning Monday hosted by Laura at Organizing Junkie.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | intentional living, recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

pork tenderloin diane

This recipe is surprisingly fast and easy for how seemingly sophisticated it is. It’s one of those recipes that fool people into thinking I can actually cook.

Ingredients:
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 8 crosswise pieces
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons butter (we use smart balance)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon minced parsley or chives

Directions:
Pound each tenderloin slice, with meat mallet to 1-inch thickness
(get a kid to do this – they LOVE it)
Sprinkle with lemon pepper
Heat butter in skillet
Cook tenderloin medalions 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fork-tender
Remove medallions to serving patter, keep warm
Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard to pan juices in skillet
Cook until heated through
(I love deglazing a pan, it’s like cleaning and cooking at the same time!)
Pour sauce over medallions and sprinkle with parsley

(Favorite Recipe from the National Pork Producers Council)

January 3, 2010 Posted by | recipes | , , | 1 Comment

Pragmatic Summer Recipes

Kristin over at We are THAT Family is is hosting a themed edition of Works for Me Wednesday this week! Here are some of my favorite summer recipes! Click on the links for the original post and the ingredients/recipe.

Chicken Grape Salad

chicken-grape-salad

5 Minute Panera Wanna Be Salad

Wannabe Salad Ingredients

Wannabe Salad Ingredients

Panera Wannabe Salad

Panera Wannabe Salad

5 Minute MorningStar Burrito Lunch

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Before

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Before

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Done!

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Done!

Mom’s Pasta Salad

pastasalad

pastasalad


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

July 1, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, recipes | , , , , | 2 Comments

easy garlic toast

I used to make this garlic toast when I was a kid, using the oven broiler and I can fairly say I burned more than a few pieces of bread. Now we use the toaster oven. It’s VERY easy. Butter a piece of bread and sprinkle garlic salt to taste. Toast in the toaster oven (or place on the top rack of your oven and use the “broil” setting) Garlic toast in less than 5 minutes!

easy-garlic-bread

easy-garlic-bread2

We use wheat bread and smart balance spread for a healthier bread, but this is especially good with slices of french bread too!


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE.

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace MY past Tempt My Tummy posts can be found HERE.

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam MY previous Tasty Tuesday posts are HERE. Tasty Tuesday posts prior to April of 2009 can be found at Forever . . . Wherever

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

April 22, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, recipes | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Easter Bunny Cake

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST!

Growing up, my mom often made an Easter Bunny cake like this one for Easter. (page down for more photos)

easter_bunny_cake3

Easy, not too crafty (thank goodness), I think I’m making one this year. Judging from the number of available photos on Google Images, I’m not the only one. Check it out:

Bake a cake, any cake, in two round cake pans. Mine will be chocolate. There is no reason for me to eat cake unless it is chocolate. Let it cool and then cut it like this:

easter-bunny-cake-pattern

On the serving plate (my mom always used a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil), CAREFULLY arrange it like this:

easter-bunny-cake-cut-out

Then, frost and decorate! My mom always frosted it white and covered it with coconut shavings as a base. Dark chocolate cake with coconut – mmmm – just like a Mounds bar. But CAKE!

That does it. We’re making this cake.

Here’s a video and some more samples:

A Zooma Zooma Zooma Zoom!

easter_bunny_cake1

easter_bunny_cake2

easter_bunny_cake4

easter_bunny_cake5

easter_bunny_cake6


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

And I’m jumping ahead to Friday with my Would You Like Chocolate With That? hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolate

If you’ve got a few minutes, check out my previous chocolate posts.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | chocolate, holidays, recipes, traditions | , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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