The perfect blueberry smoothie

Oh, hello there. Welcome to Wendy’s Place and Happy New Year!

I’ve spent a busy year working, homesteading, cheesemaking, volunteering on another farm, doing lots of yoga, cooking, fermenting and not sharing one bit of it. Which I missed.

I think about how many voices are out there on the web and see it as a chorus in a way, collectively making music. When I sang in the chorus in Germany it brought me joy. It brought others joy. Most of the time my voice blended in with many and once in a while it stood out.  I enjoy the process of writing, cooking, sharing thoughts and photos. So here I am. I’m not here to teach you to cook but I do hope you might pick up a useful tip here and there, be inspired to cook and for sure be inspired to eat whole foods. I hope you might glean a new idea, relate to a musing or find something to chew on figuratively and literally.  And I hope you definitely feel a smile grow as you read.

My daughter, Chloe, turned 18 last July. I feel a need to give her her name back. Thus, I’m trying on Wendy’s Place. I’m entering the first year, after 28 years, of no children to feed, nag and hug goodbye every morning, prepare dinner for or kiss goodnight and all the fun that goes on in between. I haven’t know whether to laugh or cry, so generally it’s been both.  I am looking at life as an individual,  as a partner in a rockin’ marriage and of course, always as a parent… but we are officially empty nesters.

2017 is starting off with smoothies like this one here. Blueberry, cranberry, banana. Though we’ve been drinking these for years, I’ve never used cranberry till recently when Ollie thought we were out of blueberries and threw in some cranberries. (Correction- he thought they were blueberries!)

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I threw out a cautionary “dude they are so sour what are you doing?” and dug into the back freezer to retrieve the next 6 lb bag of blueberries (I carry a detailed map in my head of our refrigerator and freezers).  Some of the cranberries sunk down to the bottom and remained. I’ll be damned if it didn’t brighten up the whole thing. I thought “duh” – acid. Whenever a dish needs a little hit of something to round it out usually it’s a need for a little acid- a lemon, vinegar, citrus sort of thing.

We have survivor greens in the garden I’m foraging and always a steady supply of  pealed and frozen bananas. And always an extra sac of baby greens in the crisper.

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Fortunately, this isn’t a new year’s resolution- Going to drink more smoothies. It’s like saying we are going to have a sober January. You can’t really expect a pat on the back for something you already do. Right? We like beer and wine, and drink it, but if we didn’t have it for a month I might not notice. This is something I rarely admit to avoid being a social pariah.

This is our alternative milk of choice when we aren’t using our own goat’s milk. Not a paid endorsement. But I like this one and the plain almond- the no carrageenan is good. I couldn’t keep up with making homemade nut milk for daily smoothies.

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And I’m always trying new protein powders. Pea protein is big right now. I prefer the texture, or lack thereof in the whey powder but ultimately like to switch it up. Some of the plant protein blends are a little starchy. I switch between goat and cow whey.

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For 2 smoothies you’re looking at approx-

  • 2 cups milk (substitute a little yogurt if you like)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ c cranberries
  • 3 handfuls of greens – mix it up
  • protein powder of choice.
  • whatever other superfood you like to add- maca, lacuna powder… or just check out Nativa naturals in general- I like their products. Chocolate nibs and raw cocoa for instance.

Our blender of choice is a Vitamix. I researched till my eyes popped. In the end I like solid, old fashioned dials, knobs and switches. I think it’s the last blender we’ll ever own.

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With your greens and blue berries you still come up with a rather dull colored smoothie but it tastes great~

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That’s a wrap.

To love, health, and compassion in 2017…

wendy

ps- I’ve taped this old placemat to every bedroom wall I’ve known since I was 8 years old.

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Meringue: White loveliness x2

Pavlova from Nigella Lawson’s, How to Be a Domestic Goddess…
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Twice in four weeks has this delicate, GF I might add, delicacy graced our table. I find it to be the perfect summer dessert. Well actually it’s perfect year round, but topped with fresh picked summer berries it is hard to beat. When searching Nigella and pavlova for a recipe link, I also came across this wonderfulness in chocolate.

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Strawberry shortcake cake… again

O’s birthday follows shortly after mine. We enjoy the same age for two weeks every year. The strawberry shortcake I decided to revisit from last year may become O’s yearly cake. Sure it’s nice to change it up now and again, but when you find something so light, all pleasing and downright yummy, why not stick to it for that special occasion. It would make a perfect summer cake when the berries are really in season.

We try to go outside the normal dinner setting. Although eating like this every night would be nice too.

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We celebrated with a family dinner and O got about a 24oz T-Bone on the grill from his father-in-law, Mr Willie T (he’s rocking the jazz world online these days). And this cake.

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Muffins and smoothies…

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Does anybody know why i’m getting a little arrow on some of these pics???

Celebrating health with more muffins and smoothies…

One of my favorite sounds this time of year rang through the valley as I took these photos. Baby lambs calling for their mama’s and mama saying “for God’s sake I’m right here- Can’t I just go pee for thirty seconds on my own!”

Really though, they are so sweet… just like these muffins I had to make again. Here’s the GF version if you missed it.

I HAD to do it again. … with the all purpose flour, canola oil and white granulated sugar. As much as I love deviation- this is straight up followed. I even let them sit for twenty minutes before I buttered one and inhaled it in all it’s Morning Glory. They were good but not as good as in the bakery. That’s when you realize publishing a cookbook with your secrets won’t necessarily detract from your business.

Next is juicing…

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I’m not sure if the New Year juicing, fasting, GF cleansing has been plucked from popularity and you know I’ve had some dips already in the chocolate tin. Since I often get recycled magazines from the library I’m trending a little behind the beat anyway.  But if you could see me now I think I might be glowing.

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I’ve been reading about the positive impact of fruits and vegetables in the same blended drink. Sounds good except I don’t want to put my strawberries through the champion (old school around here) and my fibrous kale and carrots in the stand up blender (the one with a metal switch).

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So until I get something, if ever, a little more updated, then I’ll be pulling both units out. And this morning I had the time. Really it wasn’t so consuming.

I love juicing and I love smoothies and usually will crank both out for a week or two at a time. Because I have the attention span of a goldfish the thrill disperses quickly and I can’t justify a $500 bill on a new machine.

I juiced carrots, celery, kale and an orange. Poured this mixture directly into the blender and added a little spinach, berries, peaches, a frozen banana and my whey protein powder. Throw some flax or chia seeds in there and you will get an A++.

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Since I’ll probably do this for a few months , weeks, days, I decided to make up some packets. Two things that I still here my French cooking teachers say- “economy of motion… we must win the time”. This was his direct translation of gagnez le temp!… And “bien assaisoner”. Use the damn salt and pepper already (but that does not apply here).

I only made up three packets and they make about two servings each. Make them accordingly for yourself or family. But trust me the time it takes to pull out the peaches, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and frozen bananas (the going brown ones you already peeled and put in a baggie), reach a hand into each one, and put them all back… OR you could pull out one little baggie and plop it in the blender. You can always rinse out the baggie and reuse it

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You could of course also portion and prep your veggies for several days at a time too. This way when you pull out two machines- it’s not so bad. And if you have one of those Breville’s or Vitamixes, well hell – you’ve got it made.

You will literally start to glow at least on the inside when you see all this goodness your body will be shortly receiving. I’m just finishing my first glass now. Still picking the raspberry seeds from my teeth. The first sip was a little hmmm… I’m confused. A hint of greens and orange… berries. Do I like this? By the third sip. “I think so.” By the last bit. I love it and am  on for seconds. Or maybe I should wait a few hours so I don’t go into detox shock.

Here’s the official Macrina Morning Glory recipe:

Ingredients 
▪ 1/2 cup seedless raisins 
▪ 1/3 cup walnut halves 
▪ 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
▪ 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
▪ 2-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon 
▪ 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
▪ 1/4 teaspoon salt 
▪ 1 medium carrot, grated 
▪ 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated 
▪ 3/4 cup chopped pineapple 
▪ 3 eggs 
▪ 1/4 cup canola oil 
▪ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
▪ 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
▪ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
▪ 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut 
▪ 1/3 cup coarse raw sugar

Have a lovely week,

Tschüß xx

Mixed Berry Hazelnut Tarts and June Bake Together with Abbey Dodge

Here it is the end of the month and you may have noticed, I’m trying to slip in a few “round ups”. I’m generally not a huge procrastinator and I gave myself permission not to stress about doing these because they really are for fun. Knowing we would be getting our main house ready for the summer season of vacationers, that I would have loads of friends to catch up with and would just want to have a little me time for projects, I decided I’d play it by ear. So yesterday I did make a third round of pasta for the Donna Hay photo round up at Jungle Frog and since I had friends over for dinner a couple days ago, why not make mixed berry tarts to add to Abbey Dodge’s very berry mini pie  round up. Right?

Now I’m down to the wire and still managed to be courteous to the Census Bureau Man who happened to drop in at 5pm on a Sat night. Go me.

And honestly, cooking is my “me” time, my project time. There’s nothing more fun than having a time-contstraint free day to cook, take photos and share my project with friends and loved ones. This was our dessert after the grilled salmon and goat cheese pasta. I can be pretty hard on myself when something really doesn’t hit the mark, but I’m also not afraid to give myself praise when deserved. Let me just say… these rocked.

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Blueberry tart and Creme Fraiche Sorbet from Biscuits and Bobbins

Today’s post is from Jodi of Biscuits and Bobbins where I recently guest-posted preparing a seasonal German favorite of white asparagus. She in turn, has graciously offered to share one of her summer go-to desserts from her kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia. Jodi’s love of straight-forward and simple flavor-play stems from her professional pastry background with stints in Atlanta landmark kitchens such as Bacchanalia, Seeger’s and The Four Seasons. Check out her blog for more dishes inspired by farmer’s market finds and adventures in urban gardening.

Delighted to be here at Chez Chloe, thanks for having me over Wendy.

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Ultimate Spring Strawberry Short Cake…. Grande

Ultimate Spring Strawberry Short Cake…. Grande

O and I share the same age for two weeks out of the year from April 8th to 22nd. The rest of the time he is officially older. We’ve got a ram, a bull and a crab in our household. That’s an interesting image I hadn’t thought of until just now. We have a deep respect for one another and have learned to love and appreciate the unique qualities we each possess. I’m choosing not to elaborate here… might divulge too much. To this audience and possibly to myself. So moving on…

O is more of a fruit lover than chocolate lover… but still croons over a delicate chocolate mousse and he wasn’t turning his fork over at the recent appearance of that outrageous classic chocolate cake, so it all works in the end. For his birthday cake, I started with the idea of a white cake and strawberries, but I don’t fancy say a yellow or vanilla cake.

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