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Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

If you have ever seen the (fantastic) A&E show, Hoarders, you might have seen the one about the woman with 79 dead cats in her house…AND SHE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW.  Well, while I would hope that I would know if I even had one dead cat in my house, I kind of understood where she was coming from.  There are a lot of things in my house – a relatively small one-bedroom apartment – that I’m not aware of.  I was aware of them when I bought them, brought them home and put them wherever they are, but so long as they are not in my direct line of vision during my day-to-day activities, they get forgotten fairly easily.  This is most often the case with groceries.  For example, last year I went through a period where I was convinced that we were out of capers.  So, every time I planned to make something that involved capers (more often than you might expect), I would grab a jar when we went grocery shopping, only to come home and find three identical jars in the cupboard, all purchased under similar circumstances.  I don’t think that my caper hoarding is on par with 79 dead cats.  I’m just saying…I get it.

Tea has become a similar issue in our house.  I always feel like we are running out of tea when we are not, in fact, anywhere near the point of running out of tea.  However, when I see a new flavour or a tea I love on sale, I grab it.  I’m a tea hoarder.  Despite plenty of eye-rolling from my significant other, he loves his evening pot of tea as much as I do, so he can’t really complain about having multiple varieties to choose from.

My love of tea has grown as quickly as my stash of teabags, and so I brought some boxes to work.  However, my beloved loose tea had to remain at home, since I didn’t have one of those hanging ball thingys that brews a cup of loose tea…in the cup.  True, I could have picked one up and solved the problem for under $4, but on a trip to one of my favorite grocery stores in my hometown with my Mom while I was home last week, I spotted THIS:

Libre Glass 'n Poly Tea Glass, with my beloved Davids Tea...ready to go.

This is my Libre tea glass.  It is amazing.  The outside is BPA-free polycarbonate, and the inside (the part that holds the tea) is glass.  The top has a little filter in it so that you can scoop in your favorite loose tea, pour boiling water over that and brew as is, or you can turn it upside-down and brew it that way.  I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the brewing performance, but obviously I wanted to try the upside-down style.  It worked perfectly:

The tea filter.

...add a scoop of my beloved David's Tea...

Flipping for maximum brewing power.

While it was brewing, I took my new Libre out for a walk down to the beach.  It was perfect.  And when I got home, the clean-up was a breeze.  I love this thing!  So clever.  Definitely one of my favorite things at the moment.

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A few months back, my mediocre-at-best blender died.  I had pushed it to its limits blending things like unsoaked almonds and frozen bananas and it got to the point where I had to shake it while blending in order to get it to do the job, which isn’t actually a really ideal way to use a blender.  Or safe, really.  Eventually, while blending a mixture of frozen fruit, greens and ice cubes, it sped up (without prompting), shook itself halfway across the counter and then sputtered to a stop.  For good.  I was a bit disappointed for about 5 milliseconds, until I remembered that even at the best of times, I kind of hated this particular appliance.  It was a combination blender and food processor, and didn’t perform either function well.  Like, just pick one.  Seriously.  I vowed that I would save up and buy myself a real blender.  The kind that can blend an iPhone, or a ski…and definitely wouldn’t make a scene about being asked to blend a few measly almonds.  The kind that might last for more than a year.

Well, Santa must have read my letter this year, because there was a gorgeous BlendTec under the tree on Christmas morning.  I don’t think I’ve screamed about a Christmas present since the year my parents Santa brought my sister and I five pet turtles.  The turtles turned out to be NOT the best idea ever once we realized just how much…um…”waste” five turtles can produce on a daily basis, but they made for an exciting Christmas morning, anyways.

Anyways, back to the BlendTec.  It was love at first sight.  No one has been quite as excited about a blender as I was.  My Swedish brother-in-law just sat there staring at me, looking confused, clearly wondering what he had lost in translation.  Because who cares that much about a kitchen appliance?  Me.  That’s who.  And then I got to live through my excitement all over again when I phoned Carlos and told him what I would be bringing home with me.  I’m not sure that the prospect of freshly blended kale smoothies really bowled him over with excitement, but he put on an OK show.  It was Christmas, after all.

Travelling with a blender isn’t ideal.  I don’t want to brag, but I’m a true packing genius.  This is what happens when you are ‘with suitcase’ numerous times each year.  You have to think it through.  Thanks to my clever usage of warm, Canadian-weather-appropriate outerwear, my blender returned to the Rock in prime condition and was set up on our counter not 5 minutes after I walked in the door.  The very next morning, I fired it up for the very first time.

Bliss.  Two buttons pressed and the perfect smoothie was blended.  Amazing.  And it has been used every morning since.

So, what do I put in the blender jar?  Usually a combination of some (or all) of the following:

  • banana, sometimes frozen to make it more frothy
  • frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • oranges
  • KALE (my favorite of the green leafies)
  • spinach (a close second)
  • ground flaxseed
  • virgin coconut oil
  • AmazingGrass SuperFood (chocolate, berry or natural flavors…they are all fantastic)
  • filtered water

I make enough for Carlos and I to each have a big glass for breakfast and then pour the leftovers into a steel water bottle to take to work for a snack later in the day.  Green smoothies fill me up nicely, have great staying power (I don’t get hungry again until lunch time), and give me great energy to get through the morning.  I love them!  I was skeptical about Carlos feeling the same way but every morning he’s standing there, holding out his glass for seconds, so I’m guessing he is on board.  That, or he’s out of cereal.

I’m looking forward to a long and satisfying relationship with my BlendTec.  I’m hoping to make some almond butter with it soon…I’ll definitely post about how that works out.

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