Monday Musings

Happy Monday boys and girls… here we go again! A  week behind us and a new week of adventures ahead.

Since it’s Monday, I think it’s appropriate we talk about M&M’s.

Candy. Yeah I know.

You like hanging out with me ’cause I’m sane and sensible when it comes to health and fitness and treats are an allowable part of a good life.

But there’s a story here…

You see our local store has been hawking them like crazy for weeks now.

Why? I’m not exactly sure. But they are everywhere. On the end of every aisle and literally all down the center of store right before check outs with huge signs that say

“BUY 1 GET ONE FREE!”

They have them in baskets right where you pay with the same sign.

Ok, I just can’t be tempted that easily. You gotta come at me harder.  I mean I do have many moments of temptation in the store but can usually dodge stuff like that.

The checker the other day was prompting me…

“Don’t you want some? I mean, you get an extra bag”

Me: “No, I still have candy from Halloween, Christmas, and Easter laying around” ( I didn’t buy any for Valentines day)

I’ve managed to avoid temptation until I realized they were peddling a new flavor….  which would be Crunchy Mint.

I bought into it like a fish going after a June bug. A girl can only take so much pressure, right??

Chocolate and mint are in my opinion, have the right kind of relationship going on

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It says “Sharing size” I’m not sure about that idea 😉

This is evidently one of their new flavors you/we the public get to have a say in. Let me say this about them… have you ever had the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookies?

Yeah… like little crunchy, chocolate morsels of ground up Girl Scout cookies.  They are up there in ways of tasty deliciousness.  Vote for these little suckers to stay around all the time.

Ok and I may share with the fam…  maybe….

Anyone tried these?

A deep thought provoking question for you

Hubby shared something last week, one of those meme’s that said something like ” being an adult is a lot like trying to fold a fitted sheet”

Well, the topic of folding fitted sheets got more discussion than the actual funny intended meaning of the post.

Which got me to thinking… weird.. I know…

I pretty much stated how I felt about folding fitted sheets.  I find them annoying. I can fold them, my mom and grandmother taught me well. It’s just I don’t spend any amount of time trying to “get them right” or perfect or whatever.

Sometimes they might be a loosely tossed folded ball  hahaha

Not really. The point being, I find it largely irrelevant. I don’t care if they are folded right or just clean and put away.  I understand no one is patting me on the head if I do it “right” nor do I get an award for being awesome at it.

I’m to much of a free spirit to worry about many things, that being one of them.  I’d rather get on to something more fun.

Lots of people though, seemed to take their folding fitted sheets pretty seriously.  I guess the older I’ve gotten the more I seem to not worry or get hung up on a lot of things that don’t need so much of my attention. The sheet thing just got me to thinking about it.

How I’d rather get done necessary chores, in as quick a way as possible while keeping a clean, organized home, so I can get on to stuff that’s fun and enjoyable to me.

As in I like a clean house, but it’s not something I love doing.   I like the final result but  I don’t get a thrill out of.

I save that for flying off hills on my bike 😉

What camp do you fall in? Are you super particular with sheet folding? Or do you just hit it and get on with life ? Or are there other things that you prefer not to do but get done to move on with something more fun?

Then there’s life in the hill country

Nothing makes my day more complete than coming home and realizing two of my goofy dogs have gotten a wild hair to dig out under the fence.

Nothing really makes my day more complete than one of them coming home looking like this….

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Yep, a face full of porcupine quills

The sad thing is, he’s so goofy. This isn’t his first time. Or his second time.  I wasn’t feeling super happy with him at this point… the next day and hundreds of dollars later he came home… much happier than when he went in.

Goof head. All he had to do was stay in his safe yard and not go running through miles of rugged country and he wouldn’t have to go through that.

But before that unexpected surprise

I had been out shopping and gathering ideas for some of my furniture projects I’ve been working on

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these colors 🙂 you’ll have to see they all play out

 

 

You will just have to wait and see what unfold with this scheme 😉

Oh but I did collect some fun new goodies this week! The best part, they’ve all been super cheap.

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1930’s beverage trolley

this little piece I got from a girl selling some random things out of a storage building. I knew it was old but took it and knew I’d research it more when I got home. It was 15.00 so I was willing to take a chance on it.  It’s an old school beverage cart/ trolley. How clever right? They actually used to use carts for teas and other drinks. I love the little drawer that I guess, held utensils.  I also got a cute solid wood accent table that I have ideas for, I just need to get to it.

I’m excited to have several pieces I’m working on that will hopefully be ready to go to new homes in the next week.

Sunday I picked up some chairs that I came across. I haven’t really gone after chairs as I haven’t been sure exactly what I would do with them. But these were so cute and old and she was selling them for next to nothing, I couldn’t resist.

I couldn’t resist, especially since I immediately had ideas bouncing through my head for them.

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those legs!

ok what I love most of all is how perfectly, horribly needy they are. It’s my idea of perfect project pieces.

 

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I’ve only learned to celebrate my win when I’m actually driving home with my prize

 

Random fact

If there’s one thing I get a lot it’s comments on my smile and this week I guess I heard it more than usual.

So I’ll just say this to the questions I get often.. yes my teeth are naturally like this and no I never had braces 😛

I’m a good girl and see my dentist twice a year for cleanings, floss most of the time and eat foods that keep my mouth healthy.

Are you good about flossing? We all should be 😉

Speaking of food…..

I came across this tasty looking recipe a day or two back. I haven’t made it yet, but think it will be on the menu sometime this week.

 

Have you whipped up anything new this week?  What new adventures have you been on? What are you most looking forward to in the week ahead?

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Spotlight On Strawberries

I spotted them the other day, the first batch that looked full, big, and naturally deep red as if ripened on the vine.

Strawberries.

So it’s a bit appropriate as we slowly creep into spring, to make todays spotlight shine on them.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person on the planet that can’t be convinced to eat these sweet tasty little morsels. If you’re one of those sugar smothering strawberry eaters, stop that. They have an amazing natural sweetness all their own and rarely, I stress that word, need added sugar.

Well, unless you’re making homemade ice cream with them, then well, ok. And yeah, I have a tried and true amazing, and I mean amazing recipe that I’ve used for years.

Be good and I’ll share it at the end with you.

What’s the sweet scoop on them

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Can anyone really resist the sweet goodness of fresh, ripe strawberries?

 

How about one medium one has only like, 4 calories? I find that to be a rather delicious fact.

Today there are over 600 varieties of strawberries. …strawberries are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Strawberry plants are runners, and are not produced by seeds. They have an average of 200 seeds per fruit and are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family

The sweet berries rank among the top 10 of fruits and veggies for a high antioxidant content.

Gosh. There’s that word again. What is an antioxidant and what does it do? Simplified, the human body naturally produces free radicals and the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects. However, in most cases, free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants. In order to maintain the balance, a continual supply of external sources of antioxidants is necessary in order to obtain the maximum benefits of antioxidants. Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream.  And those damaging agents cause things like… aging and other age related damages.  The antioxidants protect our cells and promote health and wellness in the body.

You seriously want to up your antioxidant food intake. But good news, so many fruits and veggies have them you don’t have to look far to get them in. You just need to eat them…..

Ok.. science lesson over… that might be a post unto itself….

They are rich in Vitamin C (providing twice as much as the average fruit) just one serving, about 8 berries, yields more Vitamin C than an orange. Potassium and magnesium are also big hitters in these berries.

Are there health benefits?

Yes, once again there are benefits to making this fruit a part of your nutrition plan.

The vitamins and antioxidants found in strawberries can promote eye health, boost our immunity, treat arthritis and gout, help prevent some cancers, boost brain function and memory, reduce hypertension, improves heart function, and help promote weight loss by stimulating metabolism and reducing appetite. Strawberries can also help reduce inflammation and prevent birth defects as they are high in folic acid, a necessary nutrient during pregnancy.

Strawberries are also not only good for your health, but good for your skin too, in both consumption and topical application.

Strawberries can be used as a made into a cleanser, they can help reduce eye puffiness, and help with oily skin and acne. ( please note, I’ve not tried this personally.)

Well, when can we eat them?

Yeah, ok. Time for the good stuff.  Sometimes, I like to do things like this with strawberries….

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This is one of my most requested birthday cakes

of course a cake isn’t complete without ice cream, right? Actually this strawberry ice cream has been a 4th of July family favorite for a long time…

Strawberry Ice Cream:

2 3/4 c fresh strawberries

2 c granulated sugar

2 3/4 c heavy cream lightly whipped

Press strawberries through a sieve or puree in an electric blender.  Add sugar and lightly whipped cream to strawberry pulp.

Churn freeze according to manufactures directions.

Enjoy 🙂

And then a little healthier option for you too…..

In summary strawberries are a wonderful low calorie, healthy, sweet and tasty fruit that offers numerous health benefits to us when we make them a part of a healthy eating plan.

Tell me, do you have preferred ways you enjoy eating strawberries?

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower And Breadsticks

Mark Twain once wrote, “Training is everything. A peach was once a bitter almond; a cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”

I got you with the title, didn’t I? You are wondering what on earth one has to do with the other…..

If you’ve been following along on some of my posts in the last couple weeks you may have seen some of my comments on food “projects” I wanted to try.  Sometimes it’s about a particular veggie or fruit as in my spinach post last week.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/19/spinach-benefits-and-great-hair/

One of the things I’ve talked about experimenting with is cauliflower. That plain, ordinary looking vegetable is also rather versatile which is great if you are following any low carb or gluten free eating plan ( which I’m not)

cauliflower

 

I just like food ya know? Eating veggies is really good for me and they also tip the scale fairly low in calories so it’ a win/win.

Fun food and nutrition facts

Let’s start with the fact an entire head with a 6 inch diameter has only 146 calories. Yes, you read that correctly.

146 calories. Impressive.

It is also loaded with calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B-6. Most impressive, that entire head offers 472% of Vitamin C!  It also contains 50% of our daily need for potassium. C

Bet you didn’t know that 😉

Ok so we now know that cauliflower is crazy low in calories AND contains lots of good vitamins in abundance for our bodies.

Does it offer any health benefits? 

I’m glad you asked. Why yes, yes it does.  Cauliflower includes plenty of vitamins and minerals, but its real power comes from cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates.

Other top benefits include….

  • Reduces Cancer Risk.
  • Fights Inflammation.
  • Provides High Levels of Vitamins and Minerals (especially important Vitamin C and Vitamin K)
  • Improves Digestion and Detoxification.
  • Aids in Weight Loss.
  • Helps Balance Hormones.
  • Preserves Eye Health.

 

You know what kinda, semi-amuses me? That list reads like what some of these snake oil health companies claim with their products, and look at this, you can eat whole, real, natural food and get the same benefits. AND you can buy a whole lot more cauliflower for your money 😉

How to eat it

Cauliflower is essentially a blank canvas. I hope you venture more into cooking with it than just steaming . One of my most favorite, fast and easy ways to cook it is by roasting it.

Sweet heavens, roasting any vegetable adds so much more flavor and overall “deliciousness” to it.

To roast, simply wash and prepare the cauliflower breaking it out into florets. Toss with some olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt. Roast in a hot oven ( about 400) turn frequently so it browns and crisps all over ( the best part) it usually takes about 40-45 minutes. I have to be careful because I can literally nibble away at it while I’m cooking the rest of the meal and my kids really are into this version of cauliflower and like to find some left to go on table 😉

I should say I’ve got numerous recipes pinned on Pinterest for this vegetable. Some are waiting to be tried and a few others I have tried.

I mentioned in Monday Musings  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/22/monday-musings-2/   that I had made the “potato” salad version. Seriously, of my family members that eat potato salad, they all ate it and liked it.

Find it here…. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ARWljr6ZFFOvYUscYjTe9A7nbrhyjxkPAneCDUxOw3Ivn3gw6Jl8SRY/

 

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The finished product.

 

Another recipe that has been taunting me is using cauliflower as a crust for breadsticks or pizza. I mean… really? I decided tonight was the night to experiment. This is best done when no one is home and has high expectations of me making a meal while I’m in the middle of food experiments.

Tonight it was the breadsticks.

I found it fascinating that after a quick trip through my food processor it did indeed look like fine, fluffy “flour”.

20180124_175414 once you add in the additional ingredients you pat it out onto a baking sheet so it looks kinda like this….

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After baking it’s all golden and pretty

Oops. The final product. I guess I got a bit zealous sampling before I snapped a pic.

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I added a bit of cheddar with the mozzarella because, why not?

My take on it.

Ok, it’s not bread. I had read on several posts the “negatives” to this is the fact the cauliflower contains a lot of water and trying to get enough of the water out so it can bake and not be soggy. I baked longer than recommended time, the outer edges were crispier but the inside was more soft, soft but good. Next time I will try a method I read about that suggested pressing it into paper towels to help pull out more of the water.

It smelled delicious and had good flavor. I can definitely see using it as pizza crust as tomato sauce would enhance flavors.

If you are on gluten/carb free diet this could be a good substitute for bread cravings… but still it isn’t bread… and I guess if I want breadsticks I will most likely have the real thing.

Next up on my “to try list” is Sweet and Sour Cauliflower. I hope that is as good as it sounds.

Now what about you? Have you tried any cauliflower recipes? Have you tried it as crust for bread or pizza?