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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get 15% off Lamplighter Illustrated Books

I have written before about our much loved Lamplighter Books. These books are a treasure both from the inside and outside. The first set of books we purchased from Lamplighter Publishing was the illustrated Collection. We have read many of these books over and over to our little girls. This package has books that appeals to both girls and boys.

I am super excited to be an affiliate for Lamplighter Books. That means when you buy through my link or use my UTN (unique tracking number) when ordering you get 15% off your order on regular priced items. My UTN LAMP04 .

Feel free to pass this UTN LAMP04 on to whomever you please. Just be sure to mention the UTN LAMP04 if you call also.

One of our favorites of the Illustrated books is The True Princess. This is a sweet book of what it takes to be a true princess in Jesus' eyes.

The little princess' father has to leave the kingdom for a while and to protect the princess she must also leave the castle to work in a little bakery. She learns how to dress herself (with no maids), make her own music (with no musicians), and laugh at her mistakes (with no jesters). She learns to serve just as our master served us.

No matter what others say, if we know we are a true daughter of the King, we know we have what it takes to be a true princess.

The scripture reference is placed at the end of the book.

Matthew 20: 26-28

"...Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

I recommend this book to any little girl. If you are interested in buying this book and getting 15% off click The True Princess.

If you are interested in getting 15% off the entire Illustrated Collection (which I highly recommend too) click here Illustrated Collection 2010.

And don't forget when you are buying to use my UTN code LAMP04 .

BlendTec Chocolate Pudding

It's nearly bed time and of course this is the best time to make a quick evening smoothie before the kids head off to bed.

Tonight my 5 year old (soon to be 6yo) wants to make chocolate pudding.

Last time we made chocolate pudding before bed the kids were up late giggling... what made me think to give them cocoa before bed...but tonight we opt for Carob Pudding.

But, it can go either way, depending on the time of day.

We peeled and plopped 3 bananas into the jar.

Then spooned in some Carob powder. The recipe we created initially called for 1 Tblsp of Cocoa Powder, but my 5 yo is making this and feels we need 3 Tblsp of Carob powder (she's our little chef). Okay...go for it, girl.

Then we pour in 'some' rice milk then a glob of natural peanut butter. (These measurements are normal around our house.)

No added sugar is needed in this, the bananas are plenty sweet.

It's all set up and in the blender. Pretty, isn't it!

Now it's time for 'lift off'. All little hands on deck go straight to their ears and I ask "Who wants to push the button?"

They look at me like..."Huh?"

So, I push the button.

Blending... all smiles around the kitchen.

Done! It's oh, so creamy!

Just like out of a box, only better...

it's natural and this pudding you can eat before or after dinner.

And again...I know what's in it!

And It's dairy-free!

We love our BlendTec!

Recipe for Blendtec Chocolate Pudding

3 Bananas
1 Tblsp Rice Milk (or Almond Milk)
1 Tblsp Cocoa or Carob Powder
1 Tblsp Rice Protein
1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blendtec 101

Well, we did receive the much awaited for and admired Blendtec Total blender right on schedule. We were eager to pull it out and start blending, but we did keep self control and watched the video that came with it, looked over the very nice and informative cook-book and scanned through the instruction manual.

So, It's time to start blending... We, of course, started by making a green smoothie.

I had not planned very well and was out of fresh bananas so I used frozen ones I had put up weeks before awaiting for this exact moment...drum roll please....

We did manage to easily place all the required ingredients into the very pretty and clear jar and hit "smoothie". It was like a small jet was taking off on my counter. My 5 year old takes off to the back of the house pretty scared and I am wondering if I had just broken it! My 7 year old has a look of "Is this Right Momma???" on her pale face...and I am wondering the same thing.

The blender does finish the cycle and shuts off on its on. (But I was carefully holding on to it to keep it from coming off the counter...really, it does sound like a jet taking off) Done, finally, I am shaking and I carefully pour the smoothie into glasses. I was expecting a completely liquefied smoothie, like a green juice with no lumps or bits to flow from the jar...then plump!...part of the frozen banana falls into the glass! I am pretty shaken up by now and am not doing a good job of hiding my disappointment.

My 5 yo is yelling from the back if I'm through blending yet (and after a week of having this blender, she takes to the back for blending). Yes! It's ready, but kinda lumpy. She does not taste it, I chug it because that's all I know to do.

I was not giving up. I have seen the videos and will not be defeated by this costly machine. We have seen it blend up golf balls, rake handles, surely it can blend a banana. On to hummus...

We try chick peas. I am waiting for a nice smooth consistency like what we get at Sams (but with out the added oil). I can't remember which button I pushed, but at the end of that 1 cycle it was a clumpy mass of chick peas...and some garlic bits.... Ugh...

What about wheat...I will persevere!!! At this point I am really trying to keep my composure and will not let this thing get the best of me. I have invested a lot of money in buying this machine and I want my money's worth!!!

"Grab the wheat, girls, we're going to see what this machine is made of!" Out comes the wheat and I follow the written directions for grinding wheat in the cook book. 50 seconds later...beautifully ground flour. It does work! Yeahhhh! So, I grind a couple more cups of wheat. Beautiful once again...

I add a cup of hot water to the empty wheat jar and a drop of soap to wash. Pulse for 5 seconds. Presto, clean...but not like the pretty, clear jar it once was. Again, my heart drops, my jar is beat up by the wheat grinding at...300 mph (or something like that). The polycarbonate jar could not take the (w)heat. It's branded for life.

Later, I find this is normal and wheat does scratch the jar; you have to kinda play with the controls until you get a feel for them and you really can't hurt the Blendtec by continuing to hit 'smoothie' again and again or 'speed up' to 9 and letting it run the cycle over and over until that frozen banana is smooth! It can be done! Don't give up.

It's been over a week and I am using my Blendtec Total blender every day...from 3-6 times a day. Our diet the first couple of days was pretty much liquids, but now I am using it mainly for smoothies, ice creams and hummus and of course grinding. Occasionally I will use it to blend soups, such as my sweet potato and lentil soups.

I have made pancakes and muffins using the blender and I really like that! Clean up is easy and it's just too simple to use anything else.

It has held up to its reputation this short time I have had it. It is quite loud so I keep ear plugs for all the ears that stick around while blending. I feel this purchase has been a wise investment for my family and our nutrition. We are having lots of fun experimenting with different kinds of fruits and veggies going into the blender. We found a papaya at the nearby produce store...wonder how that tastes in a smoothie...don't know yet, but it's cut up and freezing awaiting it's appointed time to be blended smooth and creamy...

I am looking forward to posting some of our most favorite Blendtec recipes.

If you have a great smoothie or blender recipe let me know and if I absolutely love it...I'll post it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Quick Rice Dish for Dinner

This evening was a whirlwind of an evening. I had not done a good job at all for planning out dinner earlier in the day, but I got it together at the last minute and was pleasantly surprised at what I came up with.

I knew I had rice from last weeks red beans and rice. With my new rice cooker I had made extra rice for evening such as this. :)

I opened my fridge and pulled out the left over rice, had some fresh broccoli and a few cherry tomatoes. Hmmm, what to do with all this goodness...certainly something fantastic... and healthy.

I cut the broccoli into little bite sized pieces and cooked in a couple of teaspoons of Braggs Liquid Aminos. Then added the rice and a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed) and tomatoes with some seasoned salt and another splash of Braggs. I warmed some Naan I had in the freezer and BAM! dinner is served.

Quick Rice Dish

1 cup bite sized broccoli
1 cup cooked rice
1 can garbanzos
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
1 TBSP Braggs Liquid Aminos
Seasoned Salt or seasoning you like

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Banana Strawberry Yogurt...any one???

Well, my yogurt is still coming out great.

Today I blended some strawberries and banana with a cup of yogurt and made a wonderful creamy drink for the girls.

Yummy! And the best thing is I know everything that went into it.