Dear Annie's Homegrown,

Thank you so much for allowing me to doctor my kids' Shells & White Cheddar with pureed cauliflower, SmartBalance spread, Mexican cheese blend, extra skim milk, and TJ's organic ABC/123 pasta.

I really appreciate you alleviating the guilt of not making my kids a completely homemade meal.




So, about a month or so ago, we strolled into the local Costco. OK, so local for us means driving an hour out to get there. ;o) Anyhoo...we walk in on a Saturday at 5pm. This means we have an hour to get everything on our list. No biggie...an hour is pretty feasible. BUT, it becomes UNFEASIBLE when you & the family get suckered into a food demonstration @ 5:15pm for 40 minutes! 6 samples and a Vita-Mix in our cart later, we scramble to get everything on our last. Did we do it. Yes we did. ;o)

Anyhoo...if you haven't heard what a Vita-Mix is, it's a high-performance blender. This bad boy can do everything....literally...grind homemade flours/spices, soups, ice creams, bread, etc. For us, we've used it every single day...at LEAST once a day...usually 2 or more times a day for us. We've been making smoothies galore. We're talking fresh-fruit smoothies here...complete with carrots, spinach, cabbage, inulin, grape seed extract, flax, oatmeal, etc. I always wanted one but shuddered at the price (they are really expensive). But, I don't think we'd ever live without it. So much so with the upcoming move, we're not packing it but bringing it with us instead. Yeah, we're that hooked. "5 a Day"...HA! We're well above that guideline!

My current favorite breakfast is my chocolate peanut butter banana oat smoothie. I used the following ingredients:

  • Vanilla Soy Milk & skim milk (more of the former than the latter since girlfriend is lactose-intolerant)
  • Skippy's Natural PB & Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams PB (although I don't favor chocolate, I do like dark chocolate)
  • Bananas
  • Ground flax seed
  • Old-fashioned oatmeal
  • TJ's grape seed extract & inulin
  • Wheat germ
  • Oat bran
  • Spinach

Veggies in a fruit smoothie...only in the Vita-Mix.