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kitchen gadgets

last weekend i picked up a new toy.

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not gonna lie, he’s a pretty handsome addition to my countertop.
but i haven’t had a chance to use it yet, so today will be a day of playtime.

i’m going to bust up some cauliflower for a big old batch of paleo fried rice for my lunches this week…
and i might even make some more larabar-type treats.  i’ve got some fancy dried fruit and loads of coconut and such in my cupboards so it seems like the right thing to do.
and maybe make some pesto or something… just for fun.

i’ve never actually owned a food processor before, so i haven’t quite wrapped my head around all the possibilities.  things like chopping & slicing vegetables and grating cheese will take some time to get used to.
although, the vegetable chopping thing is pretty exciting because this thing does adjustable slices.  so i’m definitely looking forward to using that to save some time.

this guy also has the mini bowl that sits inside the big bowl.  so when i want to make a mayo or pesto or whatever, i don’t have to clean out the giant big bowl.  that was important to me.

anyways.  clearly this was in no way a “necessity” purchase… but i have long lusted after one.  i’ve read recipe after recipe that uses food processors and it seems that especially in the paleo world they’re a well used item… and while i’ve certainly gotten by without one, dammit, i’m an adult and if i wanna buy a shiny toy, i’m gonna go ahead and do it.

speaking of shiny toys… i am THISCLOSE to buying myself a soda stream.

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here’s the thing.  i don’t really drink much pop, so its not really about that… but i drink a shit-ton of club soda, perrier, san pelligrino and whatever sparkling water i can get my hands on.  i love that shit.
in fact, i’m drinking a bottle of perrier right now as i type this.
and i’m getting super tired of all the packaging that comes with this habit.

if i get a soda stream, i can just carbonate my tap water and be totally happy about it.

and i have friends that have one and they love it.  they use it for water but also for pop… and i’m sure my husband would get into some root beers and cola and such…
but i like the possibilities of making some fancy sodas too.  infusions of fruits & herbs… you know, getting crazy and creative.  and the best part is being able to ultimately control the whole process.  no worries about sodium from club soda and too much refined sugar or corn syrups of whatever garbage…

so yes.  if i find one on sale one time, there’s a good chance its coming home with me.

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resolutions for 2012

well, we’re 4 whole days into 2012 and i have yet to give myself resolutions for this year.  but i’ve been pondering them for the last few weeks.

i’m a big lover of “goal setting”, but not such a “goal achiever”.  i set huge lofty goals because i believe that easy to achieve goals aren’t really achieving anything other than self congratulations, and then my lofty goals never get met causing me to abandon them altogether.

so, issues; i has them.

there’s a lot going on right now that is causing me to stop and have perspective on my life.  watching someone i care about slowly lose their life and fighting it every step of the way has been incredibly harrowing and irrecoverably changed me.  the reality of this has really hit me in the last 24 hours and it’s stirred up some intense desires in me to be better at living my life.

i’ve basically just come to the conclusion that i’d sure as hell better start making the most of my days on this planet and count my blessings whether they come in the form of huge life events or just a good cup of coffee.
every moment matters. there’s no time to waste.  start today.

my words aren’t any more meaningful that anyone else that’s come to this conclusion… the internet is full of people on their paths towards better lives and preaching of living for today and seizing every moment.  but like much of life, these things don’t resonate until they touch you personally.

so, consider me touched, changed and changing.

i’ve already been on a journey for years now to better myself in various ways… but the one thing that holds me back, time and again is simple fear.
i’m scared to do somethings alone. there’s oodles of things i want to do… classes, hobbies, learning… but i don’t.  under the excuse that i don’t have anyone to do these things with me.
i’m exhausted by this.
so in 2012, i resolve to stop this fear and do things by myself.  banish the excuse of needing a companion and just do it. simple enough to say, but incredibly hard to change as a behavior pattern.  so it’s an official goal, resolution or whatever you want to call it.

next up… the “good stuff”.  smoking.  i love smoking.  i absolutely love doing it… and i’ve stopped.  on december 20th i finished my last pack and was smoke free for 10 days… new years eve i smoked 2 cigarettes.  since then – none.
quitting smoking is one of those things that most smokers plan on doing eventually, but when that day comes, you’re full of excuses to not do it.  i still go outside with the smokers and look longingly… but i think i’m done for good this time.

general health goals…
i resolve to continue on my wheat-free journey… and my ongoing quest for local & sustainable choices for my food. i will eliminate processed goods and “food-like substances” and only eat real food.  i will continue to absorb knowledge and never put back on my blinders about what is going into my body.

i will learn to love exercise again.
i will swim, i will run, i will bike, i will hike, i will paddle.  and i will do them all alone if i must.

i will learn to drive a car.
yup, there it is.  the fear of driving has held me back for 15 years. but in banishing fear, i need to tackle these things. so this is a big one for me.

i will be happy.
i read a great article this morning called 12 things happy people do differently and it made me reflect a little on my own behavior.  while most of those things are things already on my mental to-do list, there’s some things i can work on.

i will see places i’ve never seen and experience things that scare me.
in september my husband & i are planning a trip to munich & italy. i’ve never traveled anywhere that does not predominately speak english. this scares me. i very much like to control my surroundings, so venturing out of that “safe zone” for me will be exciting and challenging and i’m really looking forward to it.

i will appreciate my friends more than i ever have before.
for some reason that i have yet to solve, i know some pretty amazing people that love me. and i think i have room to love these people back even harder than i did in 2011. so, i resolve to be better about phoning and communicating and visiting with all the people that make time for me. i will be there for my friends when they need me. always and without fail.

i will be better at being me.
i will be positive, i will grow, i will be respectful, i will be forgiving and i will be humble.  or at least i’ll try my best.