Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday Ramblings

Well today is Grandparent's Day and of course I forgot the cards. Oh well, CJ is too little to sign them this year anyway. But I wanted to say HAPPY GRANDPARENT'S DAY to any grandparents that happen to stop in. (and my Mama who drops in occasionally :-D)

I also wanted to post a Maggie recipe since I hadn't done that in awhile. I love Maggie's recipes. yum yum!

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit, any kind
Juice, any kind
Milk or yogurt, optional
Ice cubes, optional
Sweetener to taste (optional)

This is more a method than a single recipe. You do need a blender to make smoothies. Food processors won't blend the fruit finely enough to make a good beverage.
After you have a blender you need fruit. I use leftover fruit, like that half a banana or half eaten apple left over from lunch. Fresh fruit which is ripening faster than it can be eaten is custom made for blender drinks. Canned fruit, with the juice from the can, works well too. I often use canned pineapple, peaches, pears, applesauce or fruit cocktail which has been sitting in the fridge for a few days, and doesn't look like it will be eaten.

Fresh fruit, cut into chunks, like apples (with the peels, but not the cores); peeled bananas; oranges,peeled and seeded; or any other type of prepared fresh fruit can go into the blender container. One exception to this is grapes with seeds, I only used them once. The seeds were very time consuming to remove, and then some wound up appearing in the smoothie anyway, no matter how meticulous I was about removing them. A few stray orange seeds don't seem to bother me the way those grape seeds did.

Fruit juice, especially any which might turn into cider or vinegar in the next couple of days, is really good in a fruit smoothie. The slightly sour taste adds a nice zip to the finished product, although you might want to add a little more sugar than usual for sweetness. Most of our juice is from frozen concentrate. Any time I use a recipe which calls for part of a can of frozen juice concentrate, I use the remainder, diluted somewhat casually with water, to make smoothies. Regular flavors at my house are orange juice and apple juice. Grape juice is good in a smoothie too, but it isn't quite as versatile as apple or orange juice, because it is so strongly flavored. When I have extra grape juice to use up, I usually mix it with unflavored gelatin to make real grape gelatin. The kids prefer this to grape flavored fruit smoothies.

Next add some milk, or yogurt if you like. I prefer to use yogurt, because to my taste buds it mixes very nicely with fruit. I do use milk sometimes though, depending on my mood, and the contents of my fridge. Lastly add sugar or honey to taste.

The procedure goes like this: Put a cup or two of fruit juice, or syrup from canned fruit, into the blender. Add fresh and/or canned fruit (cut into chunks if necessary). Use about a cup or two of fruit. Next add yogurt or milk if you are using it. About a cup or two will be sufficient. Put the lid on the blender and whirl it around until it is all smooth. When it seems smooth, turn it off. Take the lid off of the blender and taste the mixture with a spoon. If you think it needs sugar or honey, now is the time to add it. Usually 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar is plenty. Blend briefly to dissolve the sweetener.

If the blender isn't too full, I often add a few ice cubes, especially in the summer time. Put the lid back on the blender, and whirl it around until the ice is finely chopped Now it is done. Pour the mixture into 6 or 8 ounce size cups or glasses. I recommend this size because Fruit Smoothies are pretty filling as a rule, and the kids won't drink as much as they think they can, unless they are in a growth spurt, in which case, they will eat you out of house and home for a good week or two.
If you have any leftovers, this mixture makes very nice frozen popscicles. Pour it into popscicle molds, or into small paper or plastic cups (3 ounce size). When it is partially frozen, shove popsicle sticks down into the centers of the cups. Popscicles made this way are almost better than the Smoothies.

Tuesday night CJ and I rode in the big truck with MrB to keep him company since he has been working so many nights. Here are a couple pictures of CJ's first big truck ride. And of course in the first picture we were still in the driveway when I took the picture. It was late at night when we left so the pictures are kind of dark and I couldn't take anymore because CJ went to sleep. :-)


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