Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Smoothies are probably one of the easiest and healthiest things to make but being that it’s a boiling summer and I spend most days roasting in my shoe box apartment and they are just so dang good and cooling, I’m going to share my favourite smoothies with you.
In this particular drink I went with strawberries, raspberries and banana for fruit but it’s also unbelievably good with mango, banana and peaches. Sometimes I switch up the juice from 100% orange juice to cranberry juice for it’s diuretic qualities. Pineapple is also mouth watering for the mango smoothie but orange will do just fine. Other than juice and fruit I also add fat free vanilla yogurt. In the past I never liked the taste of Activia yogurt but I recently switched to fat free vanilla Activia yogurt because in a smoothie you can’t taste it as well so you get the probiotic benefits without the taste. Also in the mix are chia seeds which are a power food due to their amazing amount of nutrients held within the tiny seeds.
Fresh summer fruit is easily the best part of summer for me; it helps me get through the season without pulling my hair out from the agonizing pain of slowly baking (dramatic much?) Feel free to sneak a little taste of fruit dipped in yogurt before you make the smoothie but beware of wild beasts lurking around who are out to knab your snack.
Mix your ingredients in your blender and take in the colourful scene for a moment because it’s too purdy to ignore.
Chia seeds aren’t just for growing grassy Garfield heads. They look like salt and pepper in the container and to me they have no taste but some say it’s a mild nut flavour. They can be added to almost anything from yogurt, cereal, salads, baking, sauces and the list goes on. In smoothies they get soft and sort of gel so you barely notice they are there. They are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. So basically, there’s no reason not to add the kick of nutrition to your grub.
I use about one scoop in my smoothies. They are especially unnoticeable in smoothies that have strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc. because there are already a lot of seeds floating in the glass so you can’t tell one from the other.
Once you’ve tossed it all in your blender you are set to go and watch the blender pulverize the colours into one creamy pink colour.
Mmm, the yogurt keep the smoothie thick, you can vary how much you use depending on your preference. I like it a little more thin that thick.
Drink it in a wine glass if you feel like classing up the joint. I drank this beauty in my pajamas with the hole in the crotch but I still felt fancy.
Pretty basic stuff but I’ll break it down for you to make it easier:
2 cups of your favourite fruit: strawberries, raspberries, mango, banana, peach, blueberries. Anything goes and they all mix well for fruity fun.
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
1-1/2 cup 100% juice (cranberry, orange and prune are all health conscious choices)
One scoop of chia seeds (about 1/2 tbsp)
Throw it all in your blender and mix on puree for about a minute until everything is smooth.
Feel your horridly hot temperature lower as you gulp until it’s all gone.
Do you have a favourite summer food? What do you do to beat the heat?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Some things will never go out of style. The humble butcher block counter top is one of those things. It can be versatile, environmentally friendly, inexpensive and very long lasting. Wood can also make for a great addition to an everyday traditional room, a modern contemporary look or a rustic country style. With all that how can you go wrong? Let’s have a look-see into the wondrous world of wood. (Try saying that five times fast!)
Here are three shining examples of wood at work in homey everyday traditional kitchens:
Whether you’re a professional chef or just need somewhere to make your kids pb&j sandwiches for school, having a wood counter brings a natural and functional warmth to kitchens that other materials can’t compete with. This particular blue kitchen has a beachy vibe to it yet the wood adds a down-home charming tone to it making it feel more like an everyday traditional kitchen.
Here’s a look at three traditional contemporary kitchens working the wood:
Since some types of wood such as bamboo are sustainable, these counters are also a great green choice depending on the type you pick. Untreated wood is the best renewable resource and requires much less industrial processing than other countertop materials. You can refer to The Forest Stewardship Council for the best choices when picking an eco-friendly wood. (PS. All three of these traditional contemporary kitchens are making me swoon like a lovesick teenager. You think they’d go steady with me?)
Three examples of wood in rustic country kitchens:
It’s said that wood counters will likely outlast the home owner who installs it due to it’s hard working surface. It will eventually wear with time but giving a hearty sanding and oiling makes it good as new again. Can’t do that with granite or marble!
Three examples of more uses for wood counters:
With wood counters you aren’t limited to just the kitchen. It can be just as hardworking in bathrooms and laundry rooms too. Having a lovely earthy elegance, the wood pairs beautifully with just about any material including metal, glass and lacquered cabinetry like you see here thus, making it a fail proof pick.
I read somewhere: “If granite countertops are the little black dress of countertop couture, butcher block countertops are the perfect pair of jeans,” and I thought that really said it best. So what are your thoughts on the matter? What’s your favourite countertop material? And the big question, would you wood? I would wood.