Blissdom Bound

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Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010
Bright and early tomorrow morning, I’ll be getting on a plane heading to Nashville for the Blissdom conference. I’m excited to spend a weekend with many wonderful friends – some I’ve already met in person, some I’ve chatted with on the phone and via email for what feels like forever, and some I’ve just developed a friendship with through our blogs.

It’s always hard to leave home though. Usually I like to have the freezer and fridge stocked with plenty of food for my husband and kids. But this time, my husband told me to not worry about it. He’s got plans, many of which revolve around some awesome coupons for free food from ConAgra, courtesy of the pre-Bliss package all the attendees got a few weeks ago.

He’s promised to take pictures and document their weekend. For my part, I’ve promised to relax and realize that my family will not suffer for 4 days without my home-cooked food.

It should be interesting. I’ll let you know how it goes after I get home.

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The Importance of a Good Kitchen Knife

Until this past Christmas, I would have argued that a knife was a knife was a knife. I would have said a $10 set works just as well as a $100 set. I would have said that I was perfectly happy with my 10 year old $15 set because they got the job done.

Until this past Christmas when my husband and kids gave me a beautiful set of Chicago Cutlery knives.

At first, it seemed kind of indulgent to me. But then I used one of the knives for the first time. I diced an onion in half the time I usually did! I was sold.

Since then, I have truly fallen in love with these knives. My favorite is the Santoku knife.

I use it for almost everything. It really has cut down on my prep time, so much so that I would never have believed the difference if I didn’t experience it first hand. (If you buy just one good quality knife, I definitely recommend the Santoku knife. And for less than $20, it’s a great deal!)

The blades are smooth and sharp and they cut cleanly. For once, I can cut things the way they do on Food Network and it actually works.

A few weeks ago, my friend Lynn shared her feelings on Quality Kitchen Knives and I am in full agreement with her views. Our set was a bit less than hers (I think my husband paid about $75), but these knives are definitely still high quality.

And honestly, I am all for anything that speeds up prep work in my kitchen. It leaves more time for experimenting!

Do you have a favorite higher quality kitchen item that you couldn’t live with out? My Kitchen-Aid is definitely right in line with knives, but I’d love to hear what tops your list.

Full disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with Chicago Cutlery. They did not ask me to review their product. These knives were a gift purchased by my husband and I’m sharing my honest thoughts because I am so pleased with the product. However, the links are my own Amazon affiliate links.
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Smoothie Cubes

Smoothies used to be a daily treat at our house. We’d have them with breakfast or as a snack and they were always devoured. But that was when we homeschooled and had a little more time in our days. Now, smoothies fall in the rotation just a few times a month.

So lately I’ve taken to making smoothies in stolen moments and freezing them in ice cube trays. That way, the kids can have a smoothie side dish at breakfast or grab a quick smoothie snack. They are so healthy and good for all of us that I was determined to find a way to fit them back into our schedule. And this works out perfectly!

The method works with any smoothie recipe. Just freeze your favorite smoothie in ice cube trays, pop out the frozen cubes and store in plastic freezer bags. Grab a few frozen cubes and enjoy. It really couldn’t get much easier. (Although I’ve found that rubber or silicone trays work best, like these that we got from IKEA.)

As far as our favorite smoothie recipe goes, that’s almost impossible to say. We are always mixing things up and every combination seems to be a hit. Here is the recipe I used for our last batch of smoothie cubes pictured below.

smoothiecubes

Smoothie Cubes

  • 1 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 2 bananas, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1/4-1/2 c. apple juice, optional

1. Combine everything except apple juice in a blender or food processor and process until desired consistency. If the smoothie is too thick, add a little apple juice to thin.

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